Curriculum Organisation: Merstham Upper School
The Upper School includes Years 9, 10 and 11 with the curriculum organised on a subject based model and pupils moving to specialist classrooms and teachers. In the last year at Key Stage 4, pupils are ‘streamed’ according to ability in some subject areas enabling more able pupils to be extended with additional assistance in place (via differentiated and targeted support) for less able pupils.
Accredited courses are followed in Maths, English, PSHE, ICT and Physical Education ranging from Entry Level (Functional Skills) to GCSEs. Pupils have a choice of participating in optional subjects such as History, Art, Science and Sports Leadership. Additionally, pupils are offered vocational courses in Car Mechanics or Construction. The School also offers qualifications in GCSE Environment Science and Food Technology. The introduction of Year 9 into the Upper School will allow for pupils to participate in a 3 year course of study for examination subjects and a transition to more independent study in Year 11.
Following the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), all tutors are responsible for creating Individual Learning Plans/Pathways which are centred on core subject targets to maximise learning. The EHCPs are developed following a multi-agency meeting to identify and establish those areas where pupils are likely to experience success and be better prepared for the responsibilities of adult life.
In Years 10 and 11 pupils engage in a ‘link day’ with a local further education college who provide vocational courses and a qualification in either construction or vehicle maintenance. These valuable sessions enable pupils to experience and develop a range of vocational skills in preparation for college as part of their post 16 education. The courses available to them, introduce pupils to an adult learning environment as well as promoting both their confidence and independent living skills.
The School has a specific Post 16 Co-ordinator who provides guidance and support to parents/carers and pupils in the transition to further education or employment. The Post 16 Co-ordinator will guide pupils through the application and interview process accompanying pupils to colleges where required. Pupils are then tracked for a further two years after leaving School and advice is available to help re-engage them in learning or progress on to the world of work. The aim is to provide a smooth transition from Chart Wood School and above all else, to develop their confidence to try new challenges; to make new friends and to develop as personable and impressionable young men.
In Years 10 and 11, pupils are given the opportunity to participate in work experience and the School will try to facilitate this wherever possible - even if this means providing additional adult support throughout the programme. For those pupils who opt to follow a more vocational role in later life, these experiences provide a true insight into the world of work.
Disapplication from the National curriculum will only be sought in very exceptional circumstances. In the 2017 to 2018 academic year, Governors have disapplied the Study of a Modern Foreign Language and Music so that pupils can focus on developing their English and Literacy skills.