Our Curriculum at PCSA

We are very proud of the broad and enriching curriculum that we offer at PCSA. Our curriculum is the heart beat of our academies ethos and supports all students to be highly successful young people and effective independent young adults with a genuine passion for life-long learning – in-line with our ‘students first’ motto.

Our dedicated and committed staff strive to deliver inspiring and engaging lessons, leading to excellent progress and enriching experience for all students and a genuine passion for learning and taking opportunities to improve themselves.  Our curriculum values and promotes academic excellence with enrichment and personal development, creating young people with a range of transferable skills, who are rounded, caring and highly motivated to succeed, ready for the world of college or work post-16.

We offer a totally inclusive programme of qualifications, from entry level and vocational subjects to more traditional GCSE subjects. The wide choice of subjects allows for a tailored programme for individual students and one which allows all of our students to succeed and to prepare for the next stage of their studies.

The Academic Curriculum: Outline

Years 10-11: Exploring GCSEs in depth

We offer a very broad and balanced curriculum, which ensures all students continue a humanities subject and most a language throughout their time at Priory. We offer a very wide range of GCSE options, including the full range of Arts subjects. We believe a two-year preparation for GCSE allows students to be well-prepared and specialise in subjects and topics for the demands of the qualifications, whilst not being taught solely to the examination. Students would have more knowledge and experiences from the three-year KS3 experience to make a more informed choice on the qualifications best suited to help them achieve their goals.

What does the curriculum look like in practice?

We use a learning cycle system to structure our curriculum. There are four cycles per year group, except in Year 11 where there are three due to final exams. The learning cycles show what students will be learning in their subjects and how the components and composites of learning within each subject builds on knowledge and extends knowledge for understanding.

KS3 – Years 7, 8 & 9
All students follow a broad ranging curriculum which provides a firm foundation for their chosen KS4 options. As with all year groups, Year 7 – 9 students are continually assessed throughout the Key Stage. Areas of study currently include Art, Design & Technology (D & T), drama, English, geography, history, computing, mathematics, LGU (French, Spanish and German), music, PE, RE, science and others.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in field trips, and alternative and extra – curricular activities throughout the year.

The general pattern is for students to be taught in mixed ability groups in most subjects. In English, mathematics, science, and LGU, in some year groups students are taught in groups of similar ability (called sets).

It is hoped that KS3 will lay sufficient foundations for the students to choose a sensible, informed and suitable course of study for Years 10 & 11. Heads of faculties are always willing to discuss any point of philosophy or detail of the courses they offer.

KS4 – Years 10 & 11
Students in KS4 will continue to study subjects in the National Curriculum. These are: English, mathematics, science and PE.  The majority will also have the opportunity to study up to four subjects.

At the end of KS4 the majority of students will take public examinations for GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)  in the subjects they study. There may also be a small number of students who will study for Entry Level Qualification in some subjects.

Our Curriculum…

  • Is HIGHLY PERSONALISED. Students have great scope to tailor the curriculum to their learning needs and interests. Students have significant choices about the curriculum they follow. These choices are always supported by Individual Advice and Guidance.

  • Encourages students to develop POSITIVE ATTITUDES and a sense of responsibility towards themselves, other people in the community and other cultures.

  • Allows outstanding ACHIEVEMENT. Students have every opportunity to gain the qualifications needed to maximise their life chances beyond PCSA.

  • Promotes the acquisition of LIFE SKILLS, including Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL). Furthermore, students develop key skills of communication, ICT, Number and Word. Through this approach PCSA students are well prepared for life and work in the 21st Century.

  • Is INSPIRATIONAL, ENGAGING AND RELEVANT for all students. Through high quality, enjoyable, memorable and rich learning experiences students develop a lifelong love of learning.

  • ALLOWS PROGRESSION. At all stages students follow courses and programmes of study that will leave them qualified and well-equipped for the next level of learning: at PCSA, in post-16 education and in the world of work.

  • Promotes HIGH ASPIRATIONS. All students will be encouraged to strive to fulfill their potential and their achievements will be recognised, valued and celebrated.

Year 11 Information Guide for Parents/Carers

Click below for an information guide for parents/carers on how to help you child achieve their full potential in Y11.

Y11 Information Booklet 2018/19

The Curriculum and Careers

To learn more about careers relating to specific subjects, please look here - https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/subjects

In addition to the careers work delivered in class, the school offers a wide range of careers related events and activities throughout the year including:

  • Themed assemblies including visits from colleges, universities, apprenticeships, employers and previous students to explore career pathways

  • Collapsed curriculum days - college and university taster days to help our students plan their studies beyond school

  • Collapsed curriculum days - the maths team support students with a day of money management classes and the English team support with CV writing and interview skills

  • Mock interviews for Years 7, 9 and 10 to build confidence and employability skills

  • Guest speakers and tutor time drop-ins to meet employers, education providers, previous students and representatives from other organisations in an informal setting

  • Work experience week to help our Year 10 students build their confidence, their employability skills and their work awareness

  • Job of the week information delivered in tutor time to encourage students to explore different career pathways and the skills and qualifications required

  • College, Sixth Form and University open evenings to help students and their families explore options beyond school

  • And plenty more!

The Careers Office is open from 8.00am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday and until 7.00pm on Parents’ Evenings and is available for students to visit and talk through their ideas. Specific one to ones can be booked with parents/carers too if requested, but students are welcome to drop in at any time.

The Careers Office is based in the centre of the school next door to splash world. You can contact Mr Wilmot and Miss Silmon by phone on 01934 511411 or by e-mail: james.wilmot@pcsa.org.uk / jodie.silmon@pcsa.org.uk