Taught by specialist teachers
Y7 to Y11 are taught by specialist teachers in classes with a maximum size of 12 pupils, except for PE where larger groups are an advantage.
Y7 to Y9 are referred to as the lower seniors; Y10 and 11 as the upper seniors.
Pupils are taught in most part in their separate year groups with some lessons mixing two year groups.
The KS3 curriculum includes English, Mathematics, Science, Core Skills, Art, Music, Drama and Media Studies, French, Spanish, Geography, History, RS, PSHEE, Citizenship, Computer Science, PE, Sewing, Cookery, Horticulture and Technology.
Y7 and Y8 pupils have weekly swimming lessons at a local pool.
In KS4 almost all students will take GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, two or more Science qualifications, a modern foreign language and Religious Studies. Pupils can supplement these core GCSEs with subjects chosen from Geography, History, a second Modern Foreign Language, Level 2 Further Maths, all three Science subjects, Music and Art.
Computer Science is taught throughout KS4 and pupils may take a GCSE in this subject.
We are proud of the standards achieved by our pupils in art and music. We have very dedicated music and art staff who help their students to produce excellent work for their GCSE examinations.
We hold two concerts or musical performances each year where we enjoy the musical abilities of students in the school.
The KS4 curriculum also includes PE, Life Skills (Citizenship and PSHEE) and Careers Education.
As pupils progress through the senior years we teach them to take responsibility for their work and to use opportunities for personal study responsibly and fruitfully. They are supported in this by a tutor system. Y11 are given leadership roles in a school House system, are part of the School Council and one member of this year group is chosen to take the position of Head of School. We have high standards and expect that pupils are courteous, that their work is completed and given in on time and that they arrive promptly and with all their books and equipment to each lesson. In the Upper Seniors they have study sessions where they learn to work independently. Some tell us later how much they come to value this preparation for study at KS5.
In class, all pupils are active participants. The small class sizes mean that individual needs can be catered for and each child is helped to achieve the best that they can.
We believe that teaching is much more than delivery of content. We want our pupils to acquire learning, questioning and problem-solving skills that will stand them in good stead for their further studies. We want our pupils to have an appreciation both of their abilities, gifts and weaknesses, and to show respect for the abilities, gifts and weaknesses of other people. Behaviour and progress are monitored and reported on using an online management system.
We make use of local sports areas to allow us to include a variety of sports and athletics across the age range. Pupils are taught by a PE specialist who joins us one day a week.
Y7 and Y8 pupils have weekly swimming lessons at the Great Dunmow Leisure Centre throughout the year.
Most years we run a residential trip for Y6 – Y9 pupils where they have the opportunity to try a range of outdoor activities such as rock climbing, team building tasks and canoeing.