Key Stage 3
The curriculum in KS3 at Holcombe Grammar School is designed to help students develop a solid foundation, both in beginning (in year 7) and continuing (through years 8 and 9) their high level academic studies and in their development as productive and valuable members of society.
Our fortnightly timetable ensures students have access to a range of lessons and home learning opportunities to attain knowledge and abilities in preparation for their GCSE courses. Our curriculum builds on many subject specific skills, including numeracy and literacy covered in primary school, and develops transferable thinking skills that are used throughout the subjects. Many topics studied are demanding and unfamiliar but enable students to discover new ideas that may shape their future choices in work and education.
Academic mastery in KS3 is rooted in a student’s wider reading, research and general world knowledge that supports the classroom-based learning. Therefore, throughout KS3 lessons, form time and extra-curricular activities the development of a love of reading is a priority. In addition, students are encouraged to make use of the school library, share their book reviews with peers and attend extra-curricular book clubs to extend their interests and reading skills.
Individual focus days include Thinking Tools training in Term 1 and Revision Skills in Term 4. These days are led by the Form Tutors to introduce the Thinking Tools that form the basis of Holcombe’s approach to teaching and learning, and by the School Captains and Prefects to help students prepare for their end of year exams successfully.
Students are also encouraged to get involved in many other aspects of the Holcombe community. An extensive range of clubs, societies, music and sports are offered before school, at lunchtime and after school. Students also have the opportunity of making an impact on the life of the school through a number of different positions of responsibility including being an Anti-Bullying Ambassador, helping to run a club or taking on the role of a Form Captain or Sports Captain.
From September 2020, Key Stage 3 will expand into Year 9. Therefore, the curriculum will be switching from a two-year Key Stage 3 to a three-year Key Stage 3 (across Years 7-9) and a two-year Key Stage 4 model (Year 10 and 11). This is an exciting decision, which was made in response to significant national changes to the educational landscape and following a great deal of thought and discussion. This will mean our students will select their GCSE option choices in Year 9 instead of Year 8 and will commence GCSE studies in Year 10, instead of Year 9.