Many of the subjects studied at Key Stage 3 follow from the Key Stage 2 curriculum. The main difference is that at Key Stage 3 these subjects are taught by subject specialists in specialist rooms. As such, students move for different lessons rather than being based in one base room. This allows greater diversity of experience and depth of study.
At ABCIS we also introduce a bespoke Business Studies curriculum in Key Stage 3. At this stage students start to specialise in one language and take either French or Mandarin Chinese.
Students are encouraged to be more independent thinkers and learners and to question evidence rather than accept everything as factual. These years are crucial in preparing students for the IGCSE and AS/A levels.
Literacy in English is broken down into three basic areas:
I. Speaking and Listening
Pupils develop confidence in speaking and writing for public and formal purposes. They also develop their ability to evaluate the way language is used.
Pupils are taught to:
- Structure talks clearly so the listener can follow the line of thought
- Use illustrations, evidence and anecdotes
- Use gesture, tone, pace and rhetorical
- Use visual aids and images
- Use spoken standard English fluently in different contexts
- Identify the major elements of what is being said
- Recognise when a speaker is being deliberately vague or ambiguous
- Make useful contributions to group discussions by adapting their speech or views
- Clarify and summarise important points
- Help move conversations forward by negotiating consensus or agreeing to differ use a variety of dramatic techniques to explore ideas, issues, texts and meaning
- Appreciate how the structure and organisation of scenes and plays contribute to dramatic effect
- Evaluate critically performances of dramas that they have watched or in which they have taken part.
Pupils read classic and contemporary texts and explore social and moral issues. They are exposed to a range of literature including the following categories:
- Plays, novels, short stories and poetry from the English literary heritage
- Recent and contemporary drama, fiction and poetry written for young people and adults
- Drama, fiction and poetry by major writers from different cultures and traditions
- Literary non-fiction
- Print and ICT based information and reference texts
- Media and moving image texts (for example, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, television, films, videos).
Pupils are taught to write for a number of different purposes as outlined below. Furthermore, students are encouraged to plan, draft and proofread their work on paper and on screen in order to be able to critically analyse their own and other people’s writing:
- Narratives that imagine, explore and entertain
- Non-fiction texts that inform explain and describe
- Texts such as speeches designed to persuade, argue and advise
- Evaluative texts that analyse review and comment.
Mathematics is broken down into:
- Using and applying mathematics
- Number and algebra
- Shape, space and measures
- Handling data.
Pupils take increasing responsibility for planning and executing their work. They extend their calculating skills to fractions, percentages and decimals, and begin to understand the importance of proportional reasoning. They are beginning to use algebraic techniques and symbols with confidence. They generate and solve simple equations and study linear functions and their corresponding graphs. They begin to use deduction to manipulate algebraic expressions. Pupils progress from a simple understanding of the features of shape and space to using definitions and reasoning to understand geometrical objects. As they encounter simple algebraic and geometric proofs, they begin to understand reasoned arguments. They communicate mathematics in speech and a variety of written forms, explaining their reasoning to others. They study handling data through practical activities and are introduced to a quantitative approach to probability. Pupils work with increasing confidence and flexibility to solve unfamiliar problems. They develop positive attitudes towards mathematics and increasingly make connections between different aspects of mathematics and other curriculum areas. Emphasis on speed of mental calculation becomes extremely important, as does improving understanding of course work by laying out methods in structural form.
Pupils build on their scientific knowledge and understanding and make connections between different areas of science. They use scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena and events, and to understand a range of familiar applications of science. They think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They take account of others’ views and understand why opinions may differ. They do more quantitative work, carrying out investigations on their own and with others. They evaluate their work, in particular the strength of the evidence they and others have collected. They select and use a wide range of reference sources. They communicate clearly what they did and its significance. They learn how scientists work together on present day scientific developments and about the importance of experimental evidence in supporting scientific ideas.
Information and Communication Technology
Pupils become increasingly independent users of ICT tools and information sources. They have a better understanding of how ICT can help their work in other subjects and develop their ability to judge when and how to use ICT and where it has limitations. They think about the quality and reliability of information, and access and combine increasing amounts of information. They become more focused, efficient and rigorous in their use of ICT, and carry out a range of increasingly complex tasks.
We use a wide range of quality Educational Software, including numeracy and literacy programmes from DLK. (www.dlk.co.uk)
Pupils learn about significant individuals and events in history from Ancient times to the twentieth century. They also learn about key aspects of European and world history. They show their understanding by making connections between events and changes in the different periods and areas studied, and by comparing the structure of societies and economic, cultural and political developments. They evaluate and use sources of information, using their historical knowledge to analyse the past and explain how it can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
Pupils investigate a wide range of people, places and environments around the world. They learn about geographical patterns and processes and how political, economic, social and environmental factors affect contemporary geographical issues. They also learn about how places and environments are interdependent. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this they identify geographical questions, collect and analyse written and statistical evidence, and develop their own opinions. They use a wide range of geographical skills and resources such as maps, satellite images and ICT.
Students become more expert in their skills and techniques, and how to apply them in different activities. They start to understand what makes a performance effective and how to apply these principles to their own and others’ work. They learn to take the initiative and make decisions for themselves about what to do to improve performance. They start to identify the types of activity they prefer to be involved with, and to take a variety of roles such as leader and official.
Pupils deepen and extend their own musical interests and skills. They perform and compose music in different styles with increasing understanding of musical devices, processes and contextual influences. They work individually and in groups of different sizes and become increasingly aware of different roles and contributions of each member of the group. They actively explore specific genres, styles and traditions from different times and cultures with increasing ability to discriminate, think critically and make connections between different areas of knowledge.
Pupils develop their creativity and imagination through more sustained activities. These help them to build on and improve their practical and critical skills and to extend their knowledge and experience of materials, processes and practices. They engage confidently with art, craft and design in the contemporary world and from different times and cultures. They become more independent in using the visual language to communicate their own ideas, feelings and meanings.
Pupils use a wide range of materials to design and make products. They work out their ideas with some precision, taking into account how products will be used, who will use them, how much they cost and their appearance. They develop their understanding of designing and making by investigating products and finding out about the work of professional designers and manufacturing industry. They use computers, including computer aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM) and control software, as an integral part of designing and making. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum.