Our Key Stage 3 Mantra “Do your best and mind your manners!”
At Key Stage 3 we provide a broad and balanced curriculum working on the skills to prepare students for Key Stage 4 and life after St Joseph’s. When your child joins us in Year 7 for most subjects they are in set classes with students of the same ability, this allows them to be challenged whilst achieving.
End of Year Key Stage 3 Exams
Key Stage 3 curriculum
During year 7 and 8 pupils study in addition to the core subjects of English, Maths and Science:
Religious Education, Geography, History, French, Spanish, Art and Design, Food Technology, Music, Computing, Performing Arts, and Physical Education.
Additional literacy and numeracy lessons are provided for students who may need extra support in these areas.
To find out more information about each subject, please click onto the subject section on the website.
Year 8 Options
Here at St Joseph’s we operate a 3 year key stage 4 with option choices being made at the end of year 8. To help assist with option choices, St Joseph’s holds an Options Evening for both parents and students to attend. During the evening, there are presentations outlining the important choices that the students will make. In addition, Mr McHale holds individual meetings with parents and students to discuss options choices. This discussions will examine the course outline of each subject; what is required from the student; coursework and examination information; along with future career pathways with this subject.
Assessment for Learning (AFL) in KS3 takes place within both theory and practical lessons across the school. With our school system of ‘What Went Well’ (WWW) and ‘Even Better If’ (EBI), and ‘My Response Is’, (MRI) students are able to identify their strengths and through using the success criteria understand what they need to do to improve their performance further and act on the advice given. AFL is used via peer marking, self-assessment, marking of classwork, homework and assessments. At the end of each half-term students will be given a formal assessment of their learning to allow them to see if they are on target.
What parents can do to help their child’s learning
To help with your child’s learning, regularly check their planners and exercise books. Talk through their classwork/homework with them ensuring that they fully understand the teacher comments provided. Finally, ensuring that your child is not off school unless it has been authorised as attendance has a major impact on your child’s learning.
Setting at Key Stage 3
We want to ensure that all of our pupils are receiving the appropriate challenge and pace for their learning. As such we set all students according to their ability from the beginning of year 7. As part of the induction day in the summer term prior to joining St Joseph’s all year 6 pupils will take CATs tests. These are standardised tests that offer reliable results on the results on the pupils cognitive ability. Reviewing these results in combination with key stage two attainment data, we determine the beginning sets for year 7.
Throughout the key stage the sets are reviewed twice throughout the year with changes taking place at the start of January and then at the start of September each year. The changes that are made are based on a meritocracy where the highest achieving pupils are in the higher sets and those students requiring more support are in the lower sets which are smaller in number resulting in a more suitable teacher:pupil ratio.