The curriculum at Saxmundham Free School is set by the Trust Board. It is a broad and balanced, academic and traditional subject-based model which leads to students taking GCSEs at Key Stage 4. The combination of GCSE subjects students are expected to take is designed to challenge and to enable students to achieve:
- the broadest range of skills that will provide a foundation for the rest of their learning and working lives;
- a high level of literacy and numeracy that will underpin the rest of their learning;
- a rounded education which will prepare them for life.
Our combination of subjects means that our students can achieve highly within the framework of current national measures (% English and maths (Grade 5+) / EBacc) and in the up-and-coming national measures (Attainment 8 / Progress 8) at aged 16.
Our Curriculum Model
The curriculum is delivered by a one week cycle of 30 lessons in 5 year groups (Years 7 to 11) that are arranged into two Key Stages (Key Stage 3 being Years 7 – 9 and Key Stage 4 being Years 10 and 11). The weightings given to each subject in can be found in the chart below:
|Number of periods per week|
|English (and drama at KS3)||5||5||4||4||4|
|Philosophy and ethics||1||1||1||With PSHE||With PSHE|
2 ‘open options’
2 ‘open options’
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Our KS3 curriculum is focussed on building rapidly on the achievements in primary education and scaffolding knowledge ready for GCSE study. As a Free School, we are not obliged to follow the National Curriculum. However, as our students are prepared for GCSE examinations at aged 16, we follow a curriculum plan which closely tracks the National Curriculum where it needs to in order to ensure students are prepared to achieve at the highest level in their GCSE examinations.
Over the coming months, we will be adding subject overviews to this part of the website to provide information on curriculum coverage.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Our KS4 curriculum is focussed on study towards traditional GCSE subjects. Our motto, “providing a foundation for life”, sets in a clear statement our belief that GCSE study provides our students with the range of skills necessary for them to go on to do whatever they want in post-16 institutions and beyond for the rest of their life.
Our expectations of our students and the way that our curriculum is structured, means that students take almost all subjects through to GCSE. Therefore we do not have formal ‘options’ process in anything other than the creative subjects, as there are no options to choose. At a suitable point in Year 9, parents / carers and students will receive a preference form to indicate which creative subject (Art, Drama, Food Technology, Music or Resistant Materials) they would ‘prefer’ to take from Year 10. The student is informed shortly afterwards which subject they have been allocated.
More information on the KS4 curriculum is available from the links below:
- KS4 Specifications from September 2018
- KS4 Specifications from September 2016
- KS4 Specifications from September 2015
- KS4 Specifications from September 2014
- GCSE Revision Booklet 2017 – 18
- Exam Fees Information for Parents
Curriculum Coverage (please click on the below links)
- English and Literacy
- MFL (French)
- Philosophy and Ethics
- Study Skills
PE and Sport Provision
We provide a range of PE activities for students in lesson and plenty of extra-curricular options as well. We believe taking part in physical activities promotes a healthy lifestyle and aids achievement.
We understand that sometimes, for medical or reasons of injury, students may not be able to take part or may need medication to allow them to safely participate in PE activities, e.g. an inhaler.
In these circumstances please ensure our staff have been notified of any medical condition which may affect participation in PE and sports and that they have been informed of the correct use of inhalers. A signed note must be provided if students cannot take part in a practical PE. They will either be given written work to complete or invited to take part in the lesson in a different way.
Further information on specific aspects of our curriculum can be downloaded from the Key Documents section of our website. If you have any other questions or queries, please use the contact information on our Contact Us page to direct a query to the school.