Years 7 to 11 are the Year Groups in the secondary phase of Gildredge House where the emphasis is on high academic attainment, individual study and preparation for success in examinations.
We are fortunate in having highly-qualified and experienced teachers in all areas and therefore there is an expectation that, from the outset, the learning is exciting and full of enthusiasm. Students are encouraged to take an active part in their lessons and we strive to utilise meaningful differentiation to enable every student to engage and make progress.
Years 7 and 8 Curriculum
In Year 7 and 8, students are taught most of the time in classes of 26. In Year 7 these are their Tutor groups; whereas in Year 8 these are new teaching groups with a mixed ability profile. In order to support learning in some subjects, including Mathematics and Languages, in Year 8 teaching sets may be somewhat larger or smaller than this number.
In Years 7 and 8, we continue the building of a solid foundation in English language skills and numeracy and begin to extend students’ understanding and knowledge of Science and Technology, Humanities, Languages and the Arts. French and Latin are taught from Year 7 and the languages on offer broaden to include Spanish in Year 8.
As a Free School, we have the freedom to set our own curriculum which is skills-based with a focus on academic rigour and inquiry, and an individual’s increasing independence and responsibility for their own learning and progress. In Years 7 and 8 students are taught by specialist teachers in mixed ability groups for all subjects. For full details of our Year 7 and 8 curriculum, please download our Years 7 & 8 Curriculum Booklet [PDF].
Years 9 to 11 Curriculum
In Year 9 the foundations are laid for the qualifications which will be studied in Years 10 and 11. Gildredge House offers a rigorous curriculum which allows students to study topics in depth and develops successful students, giving them excellent preparation for their next steps in education.
Teachers increasingly look to students to take charge of their own studies. They help to guide a student through the key parts of the course and they will set assignments that will develop understanding, but they also expect the student to take over the principal responsibility for his or her own learning. For full details of our Year 9 curriculum, please download our Year 9 Curriculum Booklet [PDF]. For full details of our Years 10 and 11 curriculum, please download our GCSE Options Booklet [PDF].
Prep and Homework
Students in Years 7 & 8 undertake mandatory Prep (short for Preparation) in supervised study sessions at the end of the day, three days per week, until 4.00pm. This is an extension of the students’ learning in class and helps to consolidate and reinforce the skills and understanding developed within lessons as well as providing an opportunity for students to develop the skills, confidence and motivation needed for effective and independent study.
Students in Year 9 also have the option to undertake Prep. The decision for a Year 9 student to take Prep rests with the school and is designed for those Year 9 students who have not yet developed the skills of independent study, or for those who have fallen behind academically or are at risk of doing so; in this case, Prep will finish at 4.00pm. Parents can also request that their child attends these Prep sessions.
Students in Years 9-11 are expected to use the independent study skills learned in Prep sessions to continue their studies at home allowing for longer, focused studying in preparation for examinations.
Subject Specific Interventions
Students in Years 10 and 11 have the option to attend subject specific interventions. Attendance at these intervention sessions is by invitation only and staff make professional judgements as to which students should attend based on GCSE progress data.
Students in Years 7 and 8 have the option to undertake Twilight Activities after Prep three days per week, until 5.00pm. Twilight Activities are optional and are on a first-come first-served basis.. These sessions are run by school staff and give an exciting dimension to school life. Please download our Twilight Activities Booklet – Years 7 and 8 Autumn Term 2017 [PDF] to view this term’s sessions.
We recognise that a large number of Year 9 students are well-organised, up-to-date and are making good progress meaning their attendance at Prep is not necessary. For these students, they can if they wish, opt in to an extra-curricular Sport programme that runs until 4.00pm, three days per week.
For students in Years 10 and 11 who have not been invited to attend subject specific intervention sessions, they can opt in to the extra-curricular Sport programme that runs until 4.00pm, three days per week.