Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of students at Buckler’s Mead Academy, including British Values.
The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of our students has always been at the heart of the education offered in Buckler’s Mead Academy. Our approach to SMSC is embedded in our ethos of mutual respect, partnership working and collaboration; an approach that we believe is fundamental to a full and positive participation in life in modern Britain.
Examples of how SMSC development, including British Values have been actively promoted across Buckler’s Mead Academy include:
- Academy ethos statements;
- Student Voice activities;
- Citizenship lessons;
- Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)programmes;
- Religious Education (RE) lessons;
- Healthy schools initiatives;
- Discussion within curriculum subjects;
- After school clubs;
- Charity work;
- Sporting events;
- Themes days or weeks; and
- Educational visits and other Learning Outside the Classroom.
We support the spiritual development of our students to enable them to develop their:
- ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values;
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them;
- use of imagination and creativity in their learning; and
- willingness to reflect on their experiences.
We support the moral development of our students to enable them to develop their:
- ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, and to apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions; and
- interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
We support the social development of our students to enable them to develop their:
- use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with students from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds;
- willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively;
- acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
We support the cultural development of our students to enable them to develop their :
understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others;
- understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain;
- knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain;
- willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities;
- interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity,
- tolerance towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.
Through the range of activities offered we aim to enable our students to develop their:
- self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- their acceptance of responsibility for their behaviour;
- their understanding of how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in with the Academy is situated and to society more widely;
- respect for their own and other cultures;
- respect for other people, with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010; and
- respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process.
These are the skills and attitudes we believe will allow our students to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain
Buckler’s Mead Art & Photography department has two large & spacious practical class rooms that are fully equipped with ample storage areas. The department also has a brand new computer suite which is used in lessons on a range topics at KS3 & 4 in both art and photography.
To our knowledge, Bucklers Mead is one of the last schools in the immediate area to still have its own kiln which gives our pupils the specialist knowledge required to work with such a versatile yet challenging material.
The purpose built dark room has all the equipment required to develop film based and pinhole photography and learn how to create photograms.
We have a courtyard that both classrooms have access to which is used for stone, wood, plaster carving and welding where we have been fortunate to have worked on projects with some of the communities local artists. As a result of our excellent facilities our pupils receive a broad and varied art experience and many pupils choose to opt to take their studies further by choosing art and or photography at GCSE, where our results are always some of the highest within the school.
Art & Photography
Students work on investigating the visual elements of line, tone, colour, pattern, texture and shape through a range of media including pencil, paint, print, clay, pastels, pen and collage. We cover art history by looking at the work of The Surrealists, Van Gogh and Hundertwasser.
Students continue to develop their practical skills further by working on projects linked to artists studied which include Pop Art, Chuck Close and Cubism. They extend their 3D knowledge into papier-mâché.
Year 9 Fine Art
Our pre GCSE students develop their skills through a series of workshops in term one which give them the confidence to work on GCSE projects with a real understanding of creative processes and GCSE techniques. Students work independently in sketchbooks exploring and developing their ideas and skills.
Year 9 Photography
Our pre GCSE students develop their camera skills by exploring the formal elements in photography through a series of workshops. They are introduced to Photoshop and tools which can support their development of ideas within the subject. Students then work from a theme which gives them an understanding of the requirements of GCSE assessment criteria.
Year 10 Fine Art and Photography
Our GCSE year 10 students work from set themes and explore their ideas in sketchbooks or in a digital portfolio. They respond to artist / photographers and develop practical skills in all areas led by their own ideas to create a final personal response.
Year 11 Fine Art & Photography
In their final year of GCSE the students complete their themed projects and during term two have individual tutorials to complete their course work folio which is worth 60% of their grade. From the 1st January they then begin their final ‘exam’ project. They will select a theme from the exam paper and develop their ideas over a period of 10 weeks, this is then followed by a 10 hour final piece completed as a final exam. This is worth 40%.
Beliefs and Values KS3
Beliefs and Values examines Religious and Secular beliefs and values about the world. Over years 7, 8, and 9 students will study a wide range of issues such as; ultimate questions, sources of authority, the environment, life’s special events and journeys, injustice and contemporary moral issues.
- Intro to B and V – what do you believe?
- Religious around the world – sources of authority.
- Symbolic rituals.
- Life after death.
- Rites of Passage/Special Journeys.
- Multi-faith society/Beliefs about God.
- Beliefs that changed the world #1 Prejudice and Discrimination
- Beliefs that changed the world #2 Democracy around the world
- Knowing right from wrong – moral values.
- Evil and suffering
- War and peace
- Multicultural Britain
Beliefs and Values KS4
In Key Stage 4 all pupils follow the AQA GCSE full course. This course allows each pupil to express their ideas and opinions on a range of contemporary moral issues such as crime, the environment, and war and peace. Students also learn about Christian and Muslim faiths.
All students take two exams at the end of Year 11 to gain a full GCSE in Religious Studies.
- Crime and Punishment
- Crime and Punishment
- War and Peace
- War and Peace
- Christian beliefs
- Origins of the Universe and Life
- Animal Rights and Planet Earth
- Abortion, Euthanasia and Life After Death
- Muslim beliefs
- Muslim practices
- Revision and end of year exams
- Family and relationships
- Revision – Crime and Punishment
- Revision – War and Peace
- Revision – Life
- Revision – Religious beliefs and practices
- Study Leave
In Key Stage 4 ( Years 9, 10 & 11) all pupils follow the Edexcel GCSE course.The specification is structured into two themes, taking students from how entrepreneurs start businesses (Theme 1) through to growing and global businesses (Theme 2). There are two equally weighted exam papers, focusing on each specification theme.
Theme 1 concentrates on the key business concepts, issues and skills involved in starting and running a small business. It provides a framework for students to explore core concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business.
In this theme students will be introduced to local and national business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. Local contexts refer specifically to small businesses or those operating in a single UK location and national contexts relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK.
Theme 2 examines how a business develops beyond the start-up phase. It focuses on the key business concepts, issues and decisions used to grow a business, with an emphasis on aspects of marketing, operations, finance and human resources. It also considers the impact of the wider world on the decisions a business makes as it grows.
In this theme students will be introduced to national and global business contexts and will develop an understanding of how these contexts impact business behaviour and decisions. National contexts build on those in Theme 1 and relate to businesses operating in more than one location or across the UK. Global contexts relate to non-UK or transnational businesses.
Citizenship & Politics
Welcome to the Citizenship & Politics Department page. Our aim is when pupils leave Buckler’s Mead Academy they do so with an understanding of the political, legal and economic workings of society and with the social and moral awareness to successfully participate in it.
Our lessons are aimed to empower students with important information through interesting tasks so they feel able to make their own informed decisions and take responsibility for their own lives and their communities.
There are many elements of Citizenship that are covered in subjects like English, Science, Geography and History but Citizenship and Politics education is more than that.
Our country needs active, well informed and responsible citizens; people who are willing to take responsibility for themselves and their communities and contribute to the political process.
Through year 7 – 9 pupils are taught Citizenship and Politics in two ways. It is delivered discretely through topics studied in History and Geography lessons. These currently include:
- Poverty and Fairtrade
- Carbon Footprint
- War & Conflict
- International Development and Aid
- Impact of Climate Change
From September 2014, it will also taught during tutor time with focussed work booklets on specific topics. These include:
- What Makes a Successful Community? (planning, teamwork, public services)
- Identities in the UK (immigration, multiculturalism, ‘Britishness’)
- Politics in the UK (local & national government, democracy, political parties, elections)
- Human Rights (origins, difference between adult and children’s rights, conflict of rights)
- International UK (Commonwealth, UN, EU, global issues)
- Money Matters (budgeting, tax)
In year 10 & 11, pupils may choose to take a GCSE in Citizenship Studies as one of their GCSE options. We follow the Edexcel full course specification with a unit 3 focus on government and politics. The course is broken down as follows:
Unit 1 Citizenship Today (1 hour exam – worth 20% of final grade)
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Power, Politics and the Media
- The Global Community
Unit 2 Participating in Society (controlled assessment – worth 30% of final grade)
- Pupils can choose their own project title
- Pupils will be expected to research independently and in small groups
- Pupils will be expected to contact people of ‘power and influence’ for their expertise
Unit 3 Citizenship in Context (1 ¼ hour exam – worth 20% of final grade)
- Option C: Influencing and changing decisions in society and government
- Develop Power, Politics and the Media theme from Unit 1
- Pupils will focus on identifying and evaluating facts and opinions on issues
Unit 4 Citizenship Campaign (controlled assessment – worth 30% of final grade)
- Pupils can choose their own project title
- Plan and participate in the campaign
- Evaluate the outcome of own action
Benefits of studying GCSE Citizenship & Politics:
- Develop confidence
- Promotes teamwork
- Widens pupil’s knowledge of how the UK and wider world works and why
- Promotes taking initiative
- Encourages pupils’ analytical skills
- Encourages students to acknowledge and appreciate opposite view points and opinions
- Complements English, History, Geography and B&V
Careers and future:
- Plenty of skills and knowledge everyone will find useful in later life
- A Levels, apprenticeships, university
- Legal profession
- Police and military
- Career in politics and local government
- Charity work
Design & Technology – Curriculum Provision and Organisation
Key Stage 3
We enable students to learn Design and Technology in Year 7 and 8 through a range of full design and make activities, focused practical activities and disassembly tasks. These are carried out in teams and individually where appropriate. Design and Technology is taught through Food Technology, Textiles Technology, Graphic Products, Product Design, Resistant Materials and Systems and Control. Students move to work in different materials areas during the year.
At the start of each module pupils are given an outline of the course requirements and we discuss the assessment scheme and targets. Design folios are generally in an A4 format with evidence of the product produced featuring in the pupils folder either by photograph or using an annotated drawing. Work is assessed according to the department policy. We reward effort and excellence through the whole school rewards system. Homework is set according to the whole school policy.
KS4 GCSE Design Technology
All students who choose to will study a full GCSE course in Design and Technology. This subject will be taught through four different material areas which you can select. These are Catering, Product Design, Resistant Materials Technology and Textiles Technology.
Students will be required to build on their experiences of the subject at Key Stage 3, developing a core of knowledge and understanding through designing and making activities. Coursework accounts for a significant part of all four courses.
Years 7 & 8
Drama is not about putting on plays; although students will have the opportunity to do this, it is to help develop confidence in speaking to others and saying what you think. Drama will also help students to understand how others’ feel and why they do things.
It is a subject which is both fun and hard work, during which students will have to be responsible, learn to cooperate with others, and use their imagination and common sense when developing characters and dramas.
Brief Course Outline
The subject content for Year 7 and 8 is divided into three components:
Group work and involvement (Devising drama)
Knowledge and Understanding of drama (Responding)
These components are assessed through the completion of three modules.
Introduction to Drama
Component 1 & 3
Introduction to performance Skills
Component 3 & 2
Developing performance skills: Characterisation
Component 1,2 & 3
Introduction to Style & Form
Component 1 & 3
Introduction to performance Skills
Component 3 & 2
Developing performance skills: Characterisation
Component 1,2 & 3
Structure of assessment:
Completion of module booklet, performance work and homework.
Year 9, 10 & 11
Currently students are entered for AQA Drama GCSE Specification 8261
“Whatever the future holds, students of GCSE Drama emerge with a toolkit of transferable skills, applicable both in further studies and in the workplace”. AQA Drama
Drama GCSE encourages students to collaborate with others, think analytically and evaluate effectively. They gain the confidence to pursue their own ideas, reflect and refine their efforts.
This specification ensures clear progression to AS and A- Level Drama/Theatre Studies.
Brief Course Outline
The subject content for GCSE Drama is divided into three components:
Texts in practice
In the practical components students may specialise in performing, lighting, sound, set, costume and/or puppets.
Structure of assessment:
Written Paper: (1 hour 45 mins) 40% of the GCSE – Externally set and marked.
Practical Work: 40% Devising Drama – Internally marked (external moderation).
20% Texts in practice – Externally assessed by a visiting examiner.
The written paper is split into three compulsory sections:
Where appropriate, you may support your answers with sketches and/or diagrams.
Section A: Four multiple choice questions on roles and terminology (4 marks)
Section B: One two part question on a set play (44 marks). There are 6 set texts available but you will only study one during the course.
Section C: one question on a live production seen. (32 marks) You may select to answer an acting or technical question
Practical Work – Devising Drama 40 %
For this component students will develop and demonstrate competence in a range of practical, creative and performance skills. They are required to produce an individual devising log documenting the devising process and contribute to a final performance (minimum group size of 2).
During the three year course students will participate in several devised tasks but only one/ the best grade will be submitted.
Each student can chose to be assessed as a:
Lighting designer or
Sound designer or
Set designer or (set designers may choose to include design of props)
Costume designer or (Costume designers may include make-up and/or hair and/or mask)
Practical Work –Texts in practice 20%
Each student is required to perform or create realised designs for two extracts from one play.
Set designers must create one set design per extract
Performance extracts may be a monologue (1 performer), duologue (2 performers) or a group piece (3 or more performers).
Extract 1 may be a monologue, duologue or a group piece.
Extract 2 may be a monologue, duologue or a group piece.
Monologues must be between two and five
Duologues must be between three and ten
Group performances must be between four and twenty
English at Buckler’s Mead Academy
Key Stage 3
In Year 7, all pupils take part in the DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) programme. The aim of DEAR is to enthuse a love of reading in pupils; encouraging and motivating pupils to read widely and often. DEAR helps pupils to improve their reading ages as they move through a challenging curriculum.
To further support pupils’ reading, Year 7 will also take part in the Bedrock Vocabulary programme. This is a computerised programme that teaches vocabulary explicitly, whilst encouraging academic reading. Bedrock helps pupils to improve and widen their academic vocabularies which is essential for progress in academic achievement.
The Year 7 English curriculum is designed to progress and challenge pupils’ skills and expertise in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Diagnostic testing is used to determine pupils’ reading and spelling ages, thereby allowing pupils to clearly focus on improving areas of development whilst building on their strengths. The pupils study engaging and challenging texts including modern and 19th century novels as well as Shakespeare plays. Knowledge of the literary canon is fundamentally empowering and as such pupils will consistently develop their cultural capital as they explore a range of meanings and contexts in their studies. Throughout the year pupils are taught about different styles of writing and how to tailor their own work to suit the selected purpose and intended audience.
The Year 8 curriculum builds and expands upon the learning in Year 7. The DEAR programme continues in Year 8 with various departments within the Academy leading reading weeks throughout the year. Bedrock will also continue to further pupils’ academic vocabulary.
In English classrooms, pupils will further the six core skills in preparation for GCSE study: structure and coherence, SPaG, awareness of impact, understanding context, using evidence and analysing techniques. An interleaved learning approach allows pupils to link the texts they have previously studied to be able to make strong relational links in their learning. Therefore, pupils will study a second modern, 19th century and Shakespearean play in Year 8. With a literature text as a focus point, pupils will have the opportunity to explore and learn in many different forms including: poetry, creative writing, media and formal speaking and listening.
Throughout KS3, at least one reading, writing or speaking and listening assessment is carried out every half term.
Key Stage 4 (from September 2018)
In Year 9, students begin their full GCSE English Language and Literature programme of study and final examinations are with the AQA examination board. The main focus in Year 9 is on Literature and students begin with Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, their 19th Century text. Anthology poetry is interleaved throughout Year 9, with poems being studied from the ‘Power and Conflict’ section of the AQA Anthology. In the Spring Term, they move on to their modern text which is “An Inspector Calls” by J B Priestley. Throughout the Summer Term, knowledge and understanding of the Literature texts is consolidated and tested, as well as practice on the Unseen Poetry element of the specification. Each half term, there is a formal assessment, marked on examination criteria, set by the Head of Department and moderated by the English team.
Year 10 and 11
Year 10 begins with focus on a Shakespeare play. Teachers of Year 10 will choose from three Shakespeare plays: “Macbeth”, “The Merchant of Venice” or “Romeo and Juliet”. They will revise the Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology and their 19th Century and modern texts, using past exam papers and half termly assessments, set by the Head of Department and moderated by the English team. At the end of Year 10, they will begin to focus on the AQA English Language specification and will undertake their Speaking and Listening assessments, which are a required element for this course.
In Year 11, the main focus is on GCSE English Language, following the AQA syllabus. Students will be required to demonstrate reading and writing skills across two examination papers, each of one hour and forty-five minutes duration. Paper 1 is based on an extract from a fiction text, where students need to extract information, analyse language and structure and comment on a viewpoint. They will then produce an extended piece of creative writing, either narrative or descriptive. In Paper 2, they will read two non-fiction texts which have a linked theme. They will be required to extract information from these texts, compare them, analyse the language techniques used and then comment on writers’ perspectives. They will then produce an extended piece of writing which argues for or against a viewpoint on a particular topic.
Revision guides on all topics are available and can be ordered directly via Wisepay. It is recommended that these are ordered after the topic has been studied in class. Revision resources are also available via Seneca and GCSE Pod.
GCSE Media Studies
Media Studies is currently offered as an option subject at KS4, using the WJEC Eduqas syllabus. Students begin the course in Year 9, with final examinations at the end of Year 11.
The English Department
The English Department is based in the main block of the Academy, over three floors and eight classrooms. There is access to two full computer suites in the block and the Department also has a set of laptop computers for its exclusive use. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and desktop computers. There is a Study Centre on site with a full-time Literacy Assistant, a huge range of fiction and non-fiction texts and desktop computers; students in Key Stage 3 have a fortnightly lesson in the Study Centre.
The teaching staff in the English Department have a wide range of expertise and experience. The current team is as follows:-
Mrs Diane Stevens Head of English
Miss Zoe Egan English Development Leader
Mrs Victoria Willson Assistant Head/Teacher of English
Ms Kara Bignell-Bird Teacher of English
Mrs Justine Paul Teacher of English
Mr Simon Jarvis Teacher of English
Mrs Kate Vella Teacher of English
Mrs Ella Horsington Teacher of English
Mrs Samantha Walls Teaching Assistant
Mr Gareth Ingersent Administration Assistant
Geography KS3 Programme of Study
At Buckler’s Mead Academy, the students look at a range of topics that cover all the key aspects of the curriculum which in turn will help prepare them if they choose this subject at GCSE. The main aim of the department is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn about the world beyond their own town and country. We do our best to meet the needs of all pupils, using a range of strategies to ensure that every student achieves their potential. Within the department we have 4 specialist teachers and we all use a variety of teaching methods, including whole class discussions, group work, fieldwork and the use of ICT within our lessons.
Year 7 (4 lessons a fortnight)
- The World and Me- map skills.
- Exploring Settlement- why people live in different places around the world.
- Crumbling Cliffs- coastal processes, landforms and management.
- Climate Change- looking at the causes, effect and solutions to Global Warming.
- Risky World-earthquakes and volcanoes, the management of these hazards.
Year 8 (3 lessons a fortnight)
- Rivers- processes, landforms and how people use them.
- Flooding- where floods happen in the UK and around the world and how they can be managed.
- Population- where do people live and why do people live in certain areas.
- Who wants to be a billionaire?- Development of countries, why are there rich and poor places.
- Tourism- locations in the UK and abroad as well as the impacts it has on the environment.
- India- physical and human features of the country.
Year 9, 10, 11 GCSE (5 lessons a fortnight)
We will be starting to study the new AQA specification .Content is based on real life case studies to enable students of all abilities to learn and develop. At the end of Year 11 they will sit 3 exams:
Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment
The themes include Natural Hazards, Rivers, Coasts, Tectonics, Climate Change, Ecosystems such as Rainforests and Deserts. This is worth 35% of the overall GCSE grade.
Paper 2: Challenges in the Human Environment
The themes we focus on are Population, Settlement, Development and Resource Management. This is worth 35% of the overall GSCE grade.
Paper 3: Geographical Applications
In this section there are three parts assessed:
1.Issue Evaluation: This has a problem solving element within it. The topic will be decided by the exam board in Year 11.
2.Fieldwork: Students need to undertake two fieldwork trips. The two trips must be carried out in contrasting environments and primary data must be collected.
3.Geographical Skills– this part is where students will be assessed on a range of geographical skills, including cartographic, graphical, numerical and statistical skills.
This paper will be worth 30% of the overall GCSE grade.
Fieldtrips and visiting speakers include:
- Visiting a local sustainable farm- Magdalen Project
- Bristol Zoo- looking at the different ecosystems found in Kenya
- Living Rainforests
- Visit a local river and look at the processes that occur within it and the impacts flooding has on the local community
- Visits to local places such as Cheddar, Glastonbury, Lyme Regis looking at the impacts of tourism
- Joint trip with History to Cadbury Castle
Computing at Buckler’s Mead aims to provide pupils with the skills required to become autonomous users of computing technology in an ever changing world. During their time at the Academy, pupils are introduced to a wide range of hardware and software packages and are taught the basic concepts of programming. The Computing department works hard with pupils to ensure they make good progress and that they are ready for the challenges of the 21st century workplace.
Key Stage 3 – Students study a range of individual units that is designed to give them the skills, knowledge and understanding to be successful at Key Stage 4 not just in Computing but across a range of different subjects.
Image and Photo Editing
Pivot Stick Animation
Desktop Publishing Software
Input and Output Devices
Programming in Scratch
Stop Frame Animation
In Key Stage 4 for students opt to take Computer Science at GCSE. This course is split into three units, 2 examinations each worth 40% of the qualification grade and a NEA worth 20% of the qualification. The year 9 curriculum allows students to develop the vital knowledge and understanding which will allow them to transistion into the GCSE course with greater success.
Hardware and Software
Learn to Program in Python
Organisation and Structure of Data
Principles of Programming
Security and Data Management
Ethical, Legal and Environmental impacts on digital technology on wider society
Algorithms and programming constructs
Data structures and Data types
Security and authentication
Mathematics Key Stage 3
At Buckler’s Mead, we aim to complete Key Stage 3 for most pupils by the end of Year 8. We follow the National Numeracy Strategy which covers the four areas of Maths:
Handling & Data
With the forthcoming changes at GCSE, we are emphasising ‘functional Maths’, previously problem solving, within our work in years 7 and 8, as well as helping the pupils to develop their Oral work and reflection skills through whole class interactive teaching.
Mathematics Key Stage 4
We begin the GCSE course in Year 9 and follow the AQA modular GCSE Maths specification. The course is currently split into 3 modules as follows:
Module 1, 18%, Handling Data/Probability
Module 2, 27%, Number and Algebra
Module 3, 55%, Shape, Algebra and some Number
The modules are examined at Higher or Foundation tiers and are only available at certain times of the year. Therefore, we try to fit them into the programme of study that is best for the pupils.
The modular course also enables the pupils to receive feedback of the grade they’re working at and to identify if they’re on track to achieve their target grade.
Welcome! Bienvenue! Willkommen!
English is just not enough. Believe it or not, not everyone speaks or wants to speak English. A language will always be useful, no matter what you do. Languages mean business and speaking a language will make you really stand out. Speaking more than one language increases your brain capacity and improves your memory. They’re good for you!
Languages are a life skill and one which is highly valued by employers. They can help you to develop your problem-solving skills and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative. Languages are a social skill too. Learning how to meet and greet people from other countries and cultures is a valued skill. Learning a language really improves your communication skills. The skills learned in a language lesson can be transferred to other curriculum subjects. Here at Buckler’s Mead Academy we are fortunate enough to have a languages assistant who can work with students in small groups or 1-1 to reinforce and support the learning taking place in the classroom
Students currently have the opportunity of studying French in year 7 and French and German in year 8. In class you will study a wide range of topics all about different people and cultures, not just how to speak. You will read books and magazines, watch films and listen to songs in their native language and amazingly enough you will be able to understand them too! You will be able to communicate with people if you choose to go abroad and that is a real achievement. For French we follow the “Allez” course and for German we follow the “Zoom” course
Languages at KS4 are optiona but necessary for students who wish to achieve the EBACCl. We follow the AQA specification in both French and German. The course aims to develop students’ language skills within a variety of contexts, relating to their own lifestyle and that of other people, including people in countries/communities where the target language is spoken. The course builds on KS3 study and prepares students for further study.
At GCSE students are examined in Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing across a range of topic areas. Each of these components is worth 25% and these are examined at the end of year 11.
Physical Education at BMA
KS3 CORE PE
In year 7 students will develop their performance and knowledge and understanding of skills and in a variety of sports. They will also develop their leadership skills through sport, taking on roles and responsibilities within lessons, for e.g. coach or official.
A wide range of sports will be delivered during year 7. These will include individual sports such as Trampolining, Athletics and Fitness and team sports, including Hockey, Football, Netball and Rugby Union
KS3 CORE PE
In year 8 students will further develop their skill level, knowledge of tactics and strategies within a broad range of sports throughout the year. They continue to have opportunities to develop their leadership skills and are delivered a theory element within each unit covering aspects of the GCSE PE course.
KS3 CORE PE
In year 9 all students continue to follow a CORE PE programme. Lessons focus on tactics and strategies, performance of more advanced skills, as well as decision making and problem solving. Where students are delivered the more creative activities for e.g. Trampolining and Gymnastics, students have a huge amount of independence to create and choreograph sequences and routines.
KS4 – CORE PE
In years 10 and 11 all students continue to follow a Core PE programme. This focuses on a range of sports across the year whereby students are physically active, improve their fitness and continue to develop their knowledge of skills and tactics through game based activities. Students have greater responsibility in lessons and lead each other through roles such as an official and coach.
KS4 Examination PE Subject – GCSE PE – Years 9 to 11
Students will develop their theoretical knowledge and understanding of the factors that underpin physical activity and use this knowledge to improve performance. They will learn and understand how the physiological, and socio-cultural factors affect performances in physical activity and sport. Students will understand the contribution which physical activity and sport make to health, fitness and well-being. They will understand key socio-cultural influences which can affect people’s involvement in physical activity and sport. Students will be required to perform to a high level in different physical activities by developing skills and techniques and selecting and using tactics, strategies and/or compositional ideas. They will develop their ability to analyse and evaluate to improve performance in physical activity and sport.
Students will study a range of topics which affect their daily lives, covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students work individually, in small teams and as a class to recognise problems and investigate solutions. Work enables pupils to become more confident and capable citizens in a technological world. Revision guides for the Key Stage 3 course are currently available from the science prep room at break time.
Most students will follow the AQA Combined Science: Trilogy syllabus. This will result in the students being awarded two GCSEs, or if they choose to follow the Triple Science route, three GCSEs. Students will begin preparation for their Science GCSEs during their year 9 specialised curriculum year.
Each of the three units – Biology, Chemistry and Physics – are divided into equal sections and are examined in six separate written exams. Each exam for the students following the Trilogy route will be 75 minutes and students following the Triple Science route will have six exams each lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. The students will be made aware of the content that will be in each paper. All exams will take place at the end of year 11.
To develop their understanding of working scientifically, students will undertake a series of ‘required practicals’, which could be questioned in the final exams. Over the 3 year course, key skills will be focused on to enable students to develop their investigation skills and understanding of Science in the wider world.
In line with the new governmental changes students will be awarded a grade ranging from 1-9 and, through discussions and recommendations from teachers, students will be selected to be entered for either the higher or foundation paper.
Revision Guides are available through the Science department and we strongly advise that every student purchases a book, which we can buy in bulk and offer at a discounted price. One revision guide is required for the Trilogy GCSE, which covers both GCSEs for £5.70. Students completing the Triple Science route need one book for each GCSE, which are £2.95 each. These revision guides are a valuable source of information when revising for topic tests, final examinations and to help when completing homework. Currently revision guides are being sold from Wisepay and the science prep room at break time.
The AQA Combined Science: Trilogy qualification aims to provide the opportunities students need to enable them to progress to A-Levels in Science and many other subjects. They will also be able to relate their work to the world around them and understand various scientific concepts from a wide range of topics.
Whichever route is taken, students will develop skills, such as investigative skills, evaluation skills, communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team as well as an individual, which will help to prepare them for their future.
There are also useful websites that can be used for revision and to help with homework. The website links are below;
- Use past papers from the AQA website. Then use the mark schemes to identify areas to improve.
- Highlight the specification – use code 8464. (everything that you need to know!)
- Youtube video links for ALL topics!
- Use the BBC bitesize activities and tests. Testyourself!
- Another useful revision website. Revise topics and test yourself.
- Use the Seneca Learning website to revise all the topics and practicals.