The school’s curriculum embraces and reflects the aims of the National Curriculum and it is balanced and broad in line with the school’s ethos. The National Curriculum exists to fulfil four key functions of establishing an entitlement, establishing standards, promoting continuity and coherence and promoting public understanding. The school curriculum aims to:
Provide opportunities for all students to learn and achieve
The curriculum aims to develop students’ enjoyment of, and commitment to, learning as a means of encouraging and stimulating the best possible progress and the highest attainment for all students. It builds on students’ strengths, interests and experiences and develops their confidence in their capacity to learn and work independently and collaboratively. It equips them with the essential learning skills of literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology and promotes an enquiring mind and capacity to think rationally.
The school curriculum contributes to the development of students’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society and of the local, national, European, Commonwealth and global dimensions of their lives. It encourages students to appreciate human aspirations and achievements in aesthetic, scientific, technological and social fields, and prompt a personal response to a range of experiences and ideas.
By providing rich and varied contexts for students to acquire, develop and apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills, the curriculum gives them the opportunity to think creatively, to solve problems and to make a difference for the better. It gives them the opportunity to become creative, innovative, enterprising and capable of leadership to equip them for their future lives as workers and citizens. It also develops their physical skills and encourages them to recognise the importance of pursuing a healthy lifestyle and keeping themselves and others safe.
Promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life
The school curriculum promotes students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, in particular, develops principles for distinguishing between right and wrong. It develops their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their own and different beliefs and cultures, and how these influence individuals and societies. The school curriculum passes on enduring values, develops students’ integrity and autonomy and helps them to be responsible and caring citizens capable of contributing to the development of a just society. It promotes equal opportunities and enables students to challenge discrimination and stereotyping. It develops their awareness, understanding and respect for the environments in which they live and secures their commitment to sustainable development at a personal, local national and global level. It also equips students as consumers to make informed judgements and independent decisions and to understand their responsibilities and rights. Students are also guided to consider modern British values, including freedom and democracy. This provision is tracked across the curriculum.
The school curriculum aims to promote students’ self-esteem and emotional well-being and helps them to form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others, at home, at school, at work and in the community. It develops their ability to relate to others and work for the common good. It enables students to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity.
It prepares students for the next steps in their learning, training and employment and equips them to make informed choices at school and throughout their lives, enabling them to appreciate the relevance of their achievements to life and society outside school, including leisure, community engagement and employment.
The following four policies:
- collective worship
- personal, social and health education (PSHE)
- sex and relationship education
- spiritual, moral, social and cultural
reinforce the curriculum opportunities provided to students both in and out of the classroom in order to develop them into capable young adults equipped to make informed decisions about their future lives.
The curriculum offered at Ruislip High School is a balance between traditional subjects combined with some vocational subjects at Key Stages 4 and 5.
Key Stage 3
The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is as follows:
- Art, Craft and Design
- Computer Science
- French or Spanish
- Food and nutrition
- Physical Education
- Cultural Studies (Citizenship, Religious Education. Personal, Social and Health Education)
The school follows the National Curriculum as the model to form an appropriate programme of study. Students study either French or Spanish for Years 7 to 9; parents/guardians are able to express a preference if they have good reason to do so.
In Year 7, students are taught in their form class for all subjects except PE (gender groups) and mathematics where student are grouped into broad levels of ability. Ruislip High School believes in allowing students to benefit from mixed-ability teaching whilst they adjust to their new school. The school’s priority in Year 7 is to ensure all students make a successful transition to secondary education. The school’s teachers are highly skilled at ensuring that all students fulfil their potential in lessons and are able to differentiate lessons to ensure that all students are challenged and make the expected progress.
Year 6 students, who are identified as not reaching expected levels of attainment for secondary school, participate with their parent/guardian in the school’s Core Kick Start programme after school from June to October (Years 6 into 7). From September 2017 the school has employed a transition teacher to deliver targeted literacy and numeracy support to students identified by the transition team as requiring further intervention. These intervention classes are timetabled when the remainder of the cohort are studying history, geography and computer science. This provision is also offered with other year groups at KS3 but depends on the school’s budget in terms of the affordability of the provision.
Key Stage 4
In Year 9, students are supported through the process of selecting their options for Key Stage 4 at Ruislip High School; the process begins in the spring term so that there is plenty of time to allow students and parents to make this important decision. The school recognises that this is an important time for all students and is therefore committed to providing support and guidance to ensure each student makes the right choice for his/her future. The option booklet provides comprehensive information about the different courses. Students are invited to choose five option choices in order of preference. The school is committed to ensuring that all students are given the opportunity to study three of their five preferred options.
GCSE: Art & Design, Art Graphics, Art Textiles, 3D Art, Computer Science, Drama, French, Geography, History, Latin, Media Studies, Music, Physical Education, Spanish.
Vocational courses: Travel and Tourism, Health and Social Care, Business.
The school also runs a pathway system to help guide students and parents which is as follows:
Pathway 1 – English Baccalaureate:
GCSE Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Triple Science (some student study Combined Science), and core PE. Students also choose one Modern Foreign Language, one Humanities (History or Geography) and one other GCSE from the optional courses available.
Pathway 2 – Full GCSE Course:
In addition to GCSE Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Triple or Combined Science, students choose any three GCSEs from the optional courses and study a GCSE in citizenship if they do not study Triple Science.
Pathway 3 – Mixed GCSE and Vocational:
In addition to GCSE Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, and Combined Science, citizenship and core PE, students choose one vocational option and any two GCSE options.
Adjustments to this model are made for students who are unable to access the pathway curriculum model outlined above and these include an ASDAN Personal and Social Development course, the Art Award, a Functional Skills certificate in ICT and entry level Mathematics and English.
Key Stage 5
Students enter the Sixth Form to study for Level 3 qualifications, either taking a full A2 programme or a mix of A2 subjects plus BTEC Level 3 courses. Students are invited to attend a Sixth Form Open Evening in the autumn term of Year 11 to guide and support them through the transition process. The Senior Assistant Headteacher (Sixth Form) and other senior staff meet with all Year 11 students individually in order to ensure students follow the most appropriate pathway.
The Ruislip High School Sixth Form curriculum offered is as follows:
A2 level courses at Ruislip High School
- English Language
- English Literature
- Computer Science
- Media Studies
BTEC courses at Ruislip High School
- Travel and Tourism
In September 2018, the 4H consortium was established between Haydon School, Queensmead School, Ruislip High School and Vyners School; this allows students to take one Level 3 subject at a ‘host’ centre. This has broadened the subject choices available to sixth form students in all four schools.
Programmes of study through all key stages are subject to review and staffing availability. A member of the senior leadership team (SLT) provides a curriculum model and staffing plan each autumn, showing staff availability/recruitment proposed/required for the following academic year.
In the spring term KS3 student admission numbers are confirmed, and KS4/5 students decide their option choices with support from staff. Staff recruitment takes place to meet teaching needs.
During the summer term, all courses are timetabled to operate from the start of the autumn term.
In addition to the timetabled curriculum, over a number of days each year the school timetable is collapsed so that quality cross curricular activities can be organised, eg. enrichment day, theme day, activities week. These days offer varied opportunities to explore individual or cross-curricular subject disciplines in greater depth. Additionally, a wide programme of school visits are organised each year to places of local, national and international significance/interest. All students are encouraged to participate, and financial support is offered where applicable.
Students are also encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activity on a regular basis through the Above and Beyond programme. The Above and Beyond programme is closely monitored with a view to ensure that the majority of students, particularly in the lower school participate each term. Revision opportunities and after curriculum related programme are very well attended by Key Stage 4 and 5 students.