Gumley House School FCJ

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We offer a rich and extensive curriculum

Our Curriculum Intent
At Gumley House School FCJ, we have a curriculum which aims to enable our students (all students) to achieve personal and academic excellence within a caring Christian community. 

As a Catholic school, the curriculum at Gumley House is inspired by the teachings of the Gospel and Religious Education is at the heart of our curriculum.  This intention is central to the FCJ vision of education, motivating and enabling our students to make progress from one stage of their education to the next whilst also developing an awareness of the world in which they live.  This focus on keeping our curriculum relevant, broad and as balanced is a key feature of our school Vision and Values.  To this end we intend to develop the potential of every student, particularly disadvantaged and students with SEND (ensuring that our curriculum is fully accessible for all, regardless of need).

Explore more about our Curriculum intent

Coupled with our intention of providing academic excellence, our curriculum seeks to allow girls to develop their individual strengths, talents and passions. We regularly review and update our curriculum to meet the evolving needs of our pupils and Sixth Form students.

The FCJ model of personal and academic excellence encourages us to consider our curriculum regularly to ensure we are serving the needs of the students to, not only successfully progress into further education, training or employment, but to also give them a broad understanding of the world and the key issues which, we believe, make them into well-informed, well-grounded adults.  Our fundamental belief is that all students are entitled to an individually tailored and holistic education.

Our Curriculum Leaders seek to create an ambitious and aspirational curriculum which uses the National Curriculum as a minimum expectation, ensuring their content is well-sequenced and is built on prior learning.  Accompanying our ‘timetabled’ curriculum is a varied extra-curricular enrichment offer to provide a rounded learning experience.  This gives Gumley House a unique curriculum offer which we are very proud of, which prepares our students to be the best they can be in school, as citizens in their community and in their future.

As such, we seek to provide a curriculum which:

  • is ambitious, broad, balanced and coherent within and across subjects
  • is coherently planned and sequenced
  • focuses on the national curriculum and places importance on students gaining the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) 
  • ensures that all pupils build their character and develops socially, morally and mentally as Catholics while also understanding fundamental British values, appreciating the breadth of cultural diversity and values within Britain.
  • is enriching and engaging for all students so that they achieve regardless of their background or prior attainment
  • ensures that all pupils are prepared for higher education and the world of work, so that every pupil leaves Gumley House school with a clear plan and strategy for their progression
  • prepares students for future learning and employment, including the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
  • equips our students to be active citizens within the local and international community in order to overcome social disadvantage.

Curriculum Allocation
You will find below further details of our curriculum structure across each year group.  Please refer to our subject pages for content delivered in each of the subjects studied.  

Curriculum Allocation for Key Stage 3 and 4 (2023-2024)

How do we deliver our Curriculum? (THE 'Gumley 8')

Each year, the teaching staff at Gumley House get to know our students exceptionally well.  We meet regularly to ensure the quality of our teaching meets our highest expectations of personal and academic excellence.  The 'Gumley 8' has been devised which considers what we feel should be key features of every lesson - every day.  By striving to meet the Gumley 8, we know we can deliver a world-class education.  We meet every year to consider whether the Gumley 8 is still relevant, still research informed - and still effective in delivering the best for our students.

The 'Gumley 8'

How do we assess Students' work?

We assess student progress regularly and monitor progress made over time.  The links below will lead to further research and clarity.  More information can be found on our dedicated page assigned to monitoring achievement.

In-Class Assessment:
Student work is regularly assessed in class skilled teaching techniques such as:

  • high-level questioning.  This is an integral part of our 'Gumley 8' which teaching staff test and evaluate as our best practice and aim to deliver in every lesson, every day. 
  • 'no hands up' - so all students may be called upon (which leads to increased student focus)
  • Verbal Feedback (such as 'live marking' and Walking Talking Mocks).
  • DIRT (Directed Improvement and Reflection Time) where students will reflect upon and improve their own performance (and each others) in green pen based on feedback from their peers and teachers. DIRT shifts student involvement from being passive to being actively engaged. 

Students know what they need to be learning through 'I Can' sheets (or Personalised Learning Checklists (PLCs).

Learning Snapshots:
Every three weeks or so (depending on the mid-point in a half term), students take part in a Learning Snapshot which is a knowledge test aimed at addressing any misconceptions or 'gaps' in knowledge gained during the period.  The style of the learning snapshot may or may not be formal (in an exam format, for example) and may be a short quiz-style testing, or mini-assessment which enables to teacher to assess whether the class have understood the topic and content.  

Key Assessed Work:
In addition to the regular feedback and assessment practices, teaching staff will also spend their time marking key assessed pieces of work properly.  This could be one key piece each half term which contributes to the students' monitoring reports.

Formal Assessments:
All subjects will hold formal assessments either once every half-term, or when they are nearing the end of a specific topic or unit of study.  These tests capture the application of knowledge and are marked and recorded - and contribute to the Monitoring reports which are sent home periodically.  The formal reports, alongside the End of Year assessments, create trackable data from which we can increase support for students either through additional intervention, academic mentoring or boosted classes, if required.

When in Key Stages 4 and 5, students will receive a Gap Analysis of their mock examinations - which highlights the gaps shown in their papers and what needs to be done in order to achieve even greater success.  Year 11 and 13 use the Diagnosis Therapy Test and Review (DTTR) method where students identify their gaps in knowledge or skills and receive specific guidance to improve through verbal feedback, in class support or booster sessions.

End of Year Assessments or Examinations:
All year groups will have formal examinations in the summer term which will assess skills, understanding and knowledge gained throughout the year.  The formality surrounding these exams is also good practice for their GCSE's and A Level's - so the experience is well rehearsed when they arrive.

Year 7 and 8 Curriculum

Gumley's KS3 and KS4 curriculum is designed as a 5 year spiral curriculum where key concepts are presented repeatedly through the curriculum but with deepening layers of complexity.  The curriculum is delivered in 50 minute slots, and there are 30 periods in the taught week.

For an overview of what is studied across each term within subjects, please visit our subjects page.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

Year 9 Curriculum

A Transitional Curriculum

Year 9 is an important year as pupils finish their KS3 studies and begin to prepare for the demands of GCSE.  Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups for most subjects.  In Maths pupils continue to be taught in sets.  Pupils also have the opportunity to choose one subject to study in a little more depth, choosing from Drama, Design and Technology, Computer Science and a second Modern Foreign Language.  In Science, pupils begin to study GCSEs in three separate sciences.

Students begin to explore their option subjects in year 9, with this year serving as a foundation to GCSE/BTEC.  Acquiring the learning skills and attributes to become an independent learner underpins the curriculum experience for study in Key Stage 4.  Lessons prepare for outstanding success at GCSE and for the demands of the further studies in the Sixth Form.  This gateway year allows a curriculum that is rich and one which focuses on building up the acquisition of skills and love of learning the subject.

Year 9 Curriculum Overview

For an overview of what is studied across each term within subjects, please visit our subjects page.

Year 10 and 11 Curriculum

In 10 and 11 we provide an even more personalised curriculum, with all students studying Religious Studies, English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science and core Physical Education.  Options are structured in such a way to allow students a free choice.  This ensures equity of delivery, with all students having equal access to subjects. 

Students are offered a mixture of practical and academic subjects from different accreditation routes (including academic and vocational options) aiming to maximise the outcomes achieved by each individual.  

A choice of option subjects is offered including Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, Food & Nutrition, Geography, Health and Social Care, History, MFL (Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish), Music, Photography, Physical Education, Textile Technology and Triple Science.  

Our Key Stage 4 is also geared towards students’ individual aptitudes and skills, and some students have the opportunity to study additional subjects such as Latin and Statistics.

For an overview of what is studied across each term in your daughter's subjects, please visit our subjects page.

Year 10 Curriculum Subjects (and lessons allocated) Year 11 Curriculum subjects (and allocation)

Year 12 & 13 Curriculum

We have three established pathways in our Sixth Form which aims to prepare our students for the transition from school to university or further study of choice.  Our bespoke pathways offer a wide range of A Level and BTEC courses which last two years.  In year 12 students select at least three subjects plus a selection of enrichment courses, therefore affording breadth of study whilst also ensuring they benefit from the new linear specifications, which now allow more time for specific subject skill development.  Individual students may be advised to select four A Levels, or follow an EPQ as part of our Scholars Programme, owing to their academic achievement at GCSE and their ambitions to pursue highly competitive courses at university. (e.g. Oxbridge courses).  

In Year 13 all students will continue with at least three full A Level subjects plus a selection of enrichment courses, with some students continuing to study four A Levels if taken in Year 12.

We also invite guest speakers to enrich our students' experience of Sixth Form life.  Our students are privileged to welcome key speakers from industry, politics and key public services amongst others.

Students are also allocated enrichment lessons as part of their experience, which explores sport for well-being, food for university, conversation languages and financial management.   

 Academic Sixth Form subjects studied at Gumley House