Curriculum

The curriculum of Eden Girls’ School, Slough recognises that all knowledge is sacred and worthy of pursuit and that learning is a lifelong tradition in Islam.

The School’s curriculum is designed to foster thought, curiosity and a desire for learning in all students, regardless of their backgrounds, strengths and needs. The curriculum should be a gateway to opportunity and a knowledge-based vibrant community in the United Kingdom and beyond. It must also reflect national policy and priorities.

This policy sets out the curriculum that underpins teaching and learning at the School. The curriculum will serve the aims of the School and its community. This is defined through the School’s mission statement:

‘Promoting a culture of educational excellence, from within a caring and secure Islamic environment enriched with values of discipline, mutual care and respect which extends beyond the school, into the wider community.’

Aims

Our curriculum serves the aims of Star Academies, the Multi-Academy Trust which manages the school:

  • Transform the educational achievement of our young people.
  • Elevate the life chances of young people in areas of social and economic deprivation – from all backgrounds – to help them succeed at the highest levels of education, employment and the professions.
  • Lead a drive based on rigour and high expectations designed to improve standards.
  • Mould students into active British citizens, with a sense of responsibility for their actions.
  • Encourage students’ social participation within their community.
  • Promote the development and nurturing of young leaders.
  • Give students a practical and more successful understanding of their rights and responsibilities in society.
  • Allow students to develop their individuality.
  • Promote the physical and mental development of students.
  • Empower students with the necessary skills and abilities to play a full and inclusive role within society, consistent and comfortable with their beliefs and principles.
  • Fulfil Trust and statutory requirements.
  • Support the mission, vision and values of the Trust and its establishments.

Star Quality Standards

In line with the Star Quality Standards, the School will ensure the curriculum:

  • is primarily academic, broad and balanced in nature.
  • emphasises learning in literacy, numeracy, languages, humanities and science.
  • encourages high levels of participation in subjects that lead to the English Baccalaureate – at least 80% of the delivery time in each year is dedicated to E-Bacc subjects.
  • prioritises academic achievement in literacy and numeracy for least able learners.
  • provides highly positive, memorable experiences and rich opportunities for high quality learning.
  • has a very positive impact on all students’ behaviour and safety.
  • contributes to students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • adopts an inclusive, values driven approach in line with the ethos of the School.
  • fosters, in all, the fundamental British values of:

1. democracy
2. the rule of law
3. freedom of religion
4. freedom of choice
5. freedom of thought
6. freedom of speech
7. freedom of association
8. tolerance and respect
9. fairness
10. liberty
11. social responsibility
12. equality for all.

  • Contributes to the Leadership Specialism of the School.

Our Curriculum Offer

The curriculum will operate at three levels and will address its students’ academic, personal and social development. The three individual elements of learning will each provide a different component to the education of every pupil. Intellectual, personal and social maturity will be the goal of these structured layers of learning at the School.

Element 1: Educational Excellence

At the core of the School’s curriculum will be a specialist and obligatory menu at Key Stages 3 and 4 for all students of academic subjects leading to the English Baccalaureate and including English, mathematics, sciences, languages, humanities, arts and technology.

The School believes that every pupil can benefit from a broad and balanced academic curriculum.

Therefore, GCSEs will be appropriate for all bar a very small number.

For these small number of students, the School will design a bespoke vocational route which will be tailored to the specific needs and interests of the students concerned in any specific cohort. The School will, nevertheless, expect these students to take GCSEs in English, mathematics and science, and to gain the full benefits of the school’s Leadership Specialism.

Element 1 will be delivered mainly through the formal taught curriculum.

Element 2: Character Development

Concurrently with the core academic curriculum, students will participate in a programme of character development including sports, cultural, creative and other extra-mural activities. This will help students develop key personal skills and aptitudes, including oral communication, personal effectiveness, entrepreneurship, self-actualisation, problem-solving and enhanced emotional intelligence. Through a focused and integrated approach to arts, culture and tradition, students will benefit from deep learning through direct experiences, visual displays, handling artefacts, live performances, cultural exchanges and outside visits. These extra-curricular dimensions of learning will be at the heart of the school.

Element 2 will mainly be delivered through extra-curricular activities and students’ independent studies in their own time.

Element 3: Service to Communities

The curriculum for this element will be structured to help the development of citizenship, social enterprise and service to communities.

Students will acquire, through a range of individualised programmes, insights into social education and experiential community activities; with ‘hands-on’ and participative learning at the fore. For example, students may have the opportunity to undertake an extended placement working for a charity or for another community organisation. As this element is based on student voluntary work, there will only be limited taught time in school.

At Key Stage 3, this element will be promoted through the Citizenship curriculum. At Key Stages 4, students will receive guidance and support through Citizenship lessons and the Tutorial programme.

Curriculum Structure

At Key Stage 3:

The School will operate a two-year Key Stage 3 and a cycle of 26 periods per week.

All pupils will follow a traditional model of study, which involves core and foundation subjects.

Pupils will be offered extra time for English and Mathematics where necessary. The focus is to support pupils with literacy and numeracy as soon as they join the school.

At Key Stage 4:

The School will operate a three-year Key Stage 4 and a cycle of 26 periods per week.

Pupils will make their GCSE choices towards the end of Year 8.

Across Years 9, 10 and 11, most pupils will follow a combination of subjects which will enable them to achieve the English Baccalaureate. They will sit GCSEs across Years 10 and 11.

Pupils will be offered extra time for English and Mathematics where necessary. The focus is to ensure that every pupil makes above expected progress in English and Mathematics.

A very small number of pupils will undertake an alternative vocational pathway. This pathway will be a targeted pathway which will ensure SEN pupils, including those supported with an EHC Plan and those newly arrived, are supported in their learning to ensure they make the rapid progress.

Pupils will complete nationally and industry recognised awards and qualifications, developing a personalised portfolio to include GCSEs, technical levels and general vocational courses.

Communication, Mathematical and Scientific Skills

Communication skills at Eden Girls’ School, Slough will be enhanced by English Language and Literature courses up to and beyond GCSE, including separate A Levels in English Language and English Literature and the provision of French up to GCSE and beyond.

Numerical and mathematical skills are a critical aspect of the curriculum. This will be provided through Mathematics up to and beyond GCSE level. Mathematical skills will also have a focus on the application of Mathematics in everyday life and functional skills as part of revisions to the new curricula. Numeracy will also be developed across the curriculum as a core skill that enhances employability and supports attainment. GCSE Mathematics will be delivered as a linear course, completed in Year 11. A Level Mathematics will also be studied by students in the sixth form, with Further Pure Maths offered to the most able learners at level 3. For students not studying A Level Maths at the Sixth Form, the School will also offer the Core Maths Qualification to enhance the learning of numeracy at post-16 level.

Science will be taught up to and beyond GCSE level, including A Level Biology and A Level Chemistry. At GCSE level, the Double Award Science course will be completed by all learners. The most able students will complete single sciences in all three disciplines at GCSE Level. There will be an emphasis placed on greater depth of knowledge and understanding in Science, the History of Scientific Thought and how everyday science is applied. Aspects of the sex and relationship education will be offered through the Science curriculum.

Beyond GCSE, vocational students will also be able to study a BTEC (Level 3) Extended Diploma in Applied Science instead of A Level Biology and Chemistry.

Humanities, Faith and Relationships Education

The Humanities provision will underpin the School’s drive to develop exemplary citizens who hold an appreciative understanding of British history, promote fundamental British values and challenge all forms of discrimination and extremism.

At Key Stage 3, all learners will have separate specialist teaching of History, Religious Studies, Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and Geography.

The teaching of History up to and beyond GCSE level will allow students to undertake an understanding of modern world History, with a specific focus on British History and culture over the last millennia.

The PSHE curriculum at Key Stage 3 and beyond will include a focus on healthy body and healthy life; self-awareness; risks such as sexual exploitation, unsafe use of the internet and extremism; as well as learning on careers, money, industry and economics. The curriculum will also develop knowledge of the public institutions and services in England and abroad, and an understanding of different cultures and faiths. Students will be taught about parliament, about how laws are drafted and approved, about how the democratic institutions function and about the role of media and voluntary bodies.

Other areas, such as distinguishing right from wrong; respect for the law; tolerance for, and respect for the rights of others and their cultures and faiths; freedom of choice; freedom of association; freedom of thought; risks of religious and political extremism; accepting personal responsibility within their communities and the concept of ‘civic society’ will be delivered through Citizenship lessons, as well as the School’s PSHE programme, assembly and ‘Leadership’ specialism. Aspects of Sex and Relationship Education (including awareness of issues such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages and sexual exploitation) will also be delivered through the PSHE.

At GCSE, all students will study three subjects related to Humanities and Faith education. All students will complete a GCSE in Religious Studies. All students will also study either GCSE History or GCSE Geography.

The school’s Sixth Form is planned to open in 2019. At post-16 level, students will study A Level Psychology, A Level Sociology, A Level History, A Level Religious Studies and A Level Politics.

Religious Education up to GCSE level and beyond will include an understanding of the beliefs and practices of major world faiths, such as Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as understanding the nature of faith itself and respecting those of all faiths and none.

Parents and carers may ask that a student should be wholly or partly withdrawn from Religious Education. Parents wishing to do so should contact the Principal to discuss this request as the School remains responsible for supervision and for ensuring that the request does not impact on a child’s attendance at school.  As all subjects within the curriculum contribute to developing students spiritually, morally, socially and culturally there will be occasions when spontaneous enquiries made by students on religious matters arise in other areas of the curriculum. Circumstances will vary, but responses to such enquiries are unlikely to constitute Religious Education within the meaning of the legislation and a parent would not be able to insist on a child being withdrawn every time issues relating to religion and spiritual values were raised.

Technical and Creative Education

Aesthetic and creative education will be provided through Art and Performing Arts (which includes Music/Nasheed and Drama lessons) at Key Stage 3. Art & Food and Nutrition lessons will allow learners to explore and develop artistic and technological learning.

Students at KS3 will also study Computer Science, with more able learners being able to progress to studying GCSE Computer Science at KS4. Alternatively, students will study the Edexcel Level 2 Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) as part of their creative and technical curriculum at KS4.

Physical Development

The physical well-being of students will be encouraged through the provision of Physical Education for all students. Students will also develop an understanding of issues such as drugs, exercise and good nutrition. Sports Leadership will be delivered for all learners across the School. A GCSE in Physical Education will also be delivered as an optional course.

Careers Guidance, Work-Related Learning and Enterprise Skills
Careers guidance will be provided in three major strands. In the first strand, the school will commission an external agency to facilitate impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG). This will allow all students to receive advice and guidance on career progression at regular intervals throughout the year. The second strand is the provision of careers guidance and development of work-related skills in the Citizenship curriculum.

In addition to the careers guidance and work-related experiences, Enterprise Skills will also be developed through the Life Skills curriculum and the delivery of ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Leadership’ theme days for all students.

Leadership Specialism & the Curriculum

Eden Girls’ School, Slough has a ‘Leadership’ specialism.

The choice of ‘Leadership’ complements our faith ethos and aim to develop confident women who can play a positive role within modern British life.

Our Leadership Framework is designed to instil the three interdependent Star leadership virtues of Performance Leadership, Moral Leadership and Civic Leadership – characteristics that together ensure our students not only ‘do their best’ but ‘do the right thing’ and play a full role in society.

The Framework sets our focus for leadership development, laying out the key competencies required to develop as well-rounded, ethical and accomplished leaders of tomorrow.

By developing an aptitude for Performance Leadership, we equip our students with the skills to realise their potential for excellence in any performance-related environment. Programmes in sports, creative arts and entrepreneurship offer powerful opportunities to build resilience, cultivate ingenuity and develop leadership potential. Our careers and universities offer focuses on the skills, experience and qualifications required by leading employers and prestigious universities. Through this rounded Performance Leadership programme, students learn that success is largely contingent on effort, diligence, perseverance, a strong work ethic, mental toughness, self-discipline and an enduring ability to maintain a positive attitude.

An effective leader does not, however, rely on results alone and – by emphasising the importance of Moral Leadership – our students grow to value the traits of integrity, justice, equity, caring, respect and cooperation; all of which are needed for successful interpersonal relationships and ethical conduct.

Our focus on Civic Leadership develops a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability and accentuates the importance of citizenship, charity and social action. Students experience the merits of community volunteering from a young age. Students take on increasingly responsible leadership roles that culminate in Civic Leadership Projects in which they identify a community concern, and then plan, execute and evaluate a project to address it. “Giving something back” is fundamental to our philosophy and all of our students, from the youngest to the oldest, also enjoy planning innovative ways to raise money for charities in the UK and beyond. Together, these opportunities for civic and charitable activities seek to nurture a growing sense of agency and connect our students constructively to their community.

Our Leadership Framework recognises students’ accomplishments and accredits the leadership skills, knowledge and attributes sought by top universities and employers, feeding directly into our vision of nurturing today’s young people and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders.

Curriculum time will be allocated to the Leadership Specialism in a number of ways:

    • through timetabled periods;
    • through cross-curricular working;
    • through the project-based learning involved in the service to communities element of the School’s offer.

Leadership development will also be a focus in every faculty and subject:

    • Every faculty in the School, and every subject offered, will make a contribution to the achievement of the Star Leadership Competences.
    • A key feature of the delivery of the GCSE core subjects will be the application of their knowledge and understanding to the specialism where the connections are meaningful.
    • Relevant qualifications in leadership, which have currency and recognition with higher education and employers, will also be utilised to support progression.

Careers Guidance, Work-Related Learning and Enterprise Skills

Careers guidance will be provided in three major strands. In the first strand, the school will commission an external agency to facilitate impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG). This will allow all students to receive advice and guidance on career progression at regular intervals throughout the year. The second strand is the provision of careers guidance and development of work-related skills in the Citizenship curriculum.

In addition to the careers guidance and work-related experiences, Enterprise Skills will also be developed through the Life Skills curriculum and the delivery of ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Leadership’ theme days for all students.

For more information on our main school curriculum, please click here.

For an overview of the topics taught in each subject in each year group, please click here.

For more information about our curriculum, please contact Mr Antikhab Aslam, Deputy Principal, antikhab.aslam@egslough.staracademies.org

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