Here at Saltash we are determined to improve the life chances of every single student on roll, developing happy and healthy citizens who make a positive contribution to our local community and to wider society. Our curriculum is firmly underpinned by our TEAM values of Tenacity, Empathy, Aspiration and Motivation; attributes that will enable our students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. 

All students follow a broad and balanced curriculum, studying a full range of subjects throughout Years 7-9. Students choose four areas of specialism at the end of Year 9 alongside the core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Games, Religion and Ethics and Personal Development. 

As a proud member of SMART, we have worked together as a group of primary and secondary schools to create a curriculum based on core concepts that are significant for each subject, carefully structuring our programmes of study so that students learn, remember and can apply more of what they know across a range of contexts. 

Business 

? 

Computing 

Our world is digital. An understanding of computer science will enable young people to make informed choices in their digital world. This is important for all our children, not just those who will become the graphic designers, games programmers or software engineers of the future. 

The Computing Curriculum is designed to equip students with knowledge, understanding, skills and a desire to learn more about the three disciplines within Computing: IT, Digital Literacy and Computer Science. 

They will learn IT skills that will help them use a computer well, create digital products and become effective digital citizens. 

They will become digitally literate including staying safe online, understanding the impact of computing, and learning the key moments that shaped our digital world. 

And they will study Computer Science: how computers work, how they communicate globally, why Computational Thinking helps us solve problems, and how to create algorithms and programs to achieve our goals. 

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for onward study of either Computer Science or IT, if they so choose, but also stands alone as a key element of their Secondary education, preparing all students to become effective creators of a better future. 

  

We aim to develop learners who: 

  • Understand the fundamentals of how computers work
  • Can use a range of hardware and software to complete tasks
  • Implement computational thinking techniques to solve problems
  • Are able to write computer programs using blocks and text-based languages
  • Can apply mathematical skills to data
  • Know how to use computers and the Internet safely and can weigh up the positives and negatives of our use of technology

Design Technology 

 

English 

 

Food and Nutrition 

 

Geography 

 

Health and Social Care 

 

History 

Languages 

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries. 

Maths 

 

Media Studies 

In Media Studies, we help students to become effective critical thinkers by inspiring curiosity and encouraging students to question the world around them through their exploration of media. 

We train students to be able to identify messages and assumptions encoded within media texts. We also teach them how they can question these viewpoints, exploring issues such as political bias as well as patriarchal and colonial ideologies. 

Media are ubiquitous and have a significant amount of power and influence in the world. Students will learn about the different ways media are produced and how these processes may affect the texts we consume. We will explore the roles media play in our lives, culture and society – including newspapers, television, film, radio, advertising as well as online media – and how our very identities and understanding of the world can be influenced by our media consumption.  

The course also fosters students’ creativity – through helping them develop the ability to communicate effectively by producing their own media texts.  

We start this journey by teaching students how to accurately describe media texts, introducing the concept of media language. After that, students will start to explore the meanings and messages encoded within texts’ use of media language, eventually exploring cultural meanings and ideologies through the topic of representation 

Students then explore a range of issues related to the production and consumption of media through analysing media industries and audiences – developing and deepening their understanding of these concepts as they progress through the GCSE course to A-Level, where we explore a range of theoretical perspectives. 

Performing Arts 

Our Performing Arts department seeks to achieve a high a profile as possible within the school as a whole, through engaging schemes of work, whole school productions, a plethora of extra-curricular and students led events. The philosophy of the department is to aim to develop a child’s self-confidence, communication skills and personal expression- enabling them to make positive contribution when they head off into society.  The Performing Arts department want to make it clear that the Performing Arts is for all regardless of gender, race, prior experience, or ability. Our motto is, for life, not school we learn, we aim to instil the key skills that can be transferable to any profession or further education as well as developing outstanding Performance Artists.  

Performing Arts subjects are concerned with the development of many aspects of a child’s personality: intellectual, perceptual, physical, emotional, and aesthetic. It offers enjoyment and recreation; emotional satisfaction; and opportunities for individual and group activities; therefore, promoting creativity and expression. 

Students will have a balance of theory and knowledge with practice and performance, enabling them to acquire a repertoire of skills in creating, analysing and performing. Every student has the right to learn and take part in musical activities. 

 

Personal Development (PD) 

 

Physical Education (PE) 

 

Religion and Ethics (RE) 

What’s the purpose of RE? We subscribe to the answers given by the Religious Education Council: 

  • Religious Education offers pupils the opportunity to explore their own beliefs and reflect on the challenges of serious commitment. 
  • …it gives them space to talk, think, discuss, assess and reflect on a wide range of issues in a safe environment. 
  • It supports pupils in making moral judgements, dealing with misfortune, death and loss. It helps them reflect on the importance of an inner life and can enhance their personal well-being and social identity. 
  • Growing up in a diverse society, pupils learn the importance of being able to get on with those whose viewpoints and values differ from their own. They see the value of RE in equipping them to deal with issues arising not just in school or college, but in their neighbourhood and future workplace. 
  • …it engages them with questions and issues that matter to them. 
  • “…we can ask questions and talk about what we think.” 
  • “We discuss issues that make me look inside myself and think very deeply about the world, behaviour, my personality, my beliefs.” 

What makes someone good at RE? They show emotional intelligence, they empathize, they express how they feel about their place in the world and how they feel about what others do and say when expressing how they feel about their place in the world. 

The new Cornwall agreed syllabus for RE states the principal aim is: 

“…to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.” 

This encapsulates the following purpose statements: 

  • Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
  • In RE pupils learn about religions and beliefs in local, national and global contexts, to discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions.
  • Pupils learn to weigh up the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response and to agree or disagree respectfully.
  • Teaching therefore should equip pupils with systematic knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and beliefs, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities.
  • RE should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in our society, with its diverse religions and beliefs.
  • Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They should learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.

 

Science 

We want our young people to leave Saltash Community School with a love of science and learning, and the knowledge and skills to question the world around them. 

Our curriculum is designed to create engaging lessons and promotes learning for understanding. At Key Stage 3 (years 7 and 8) we will follow the AQA Big Ideas Science Syllabus. This builds on knowledge and skills acquired at Key Stage 2 and uses Big ideas and Mastery to prepare our young people for Key Stage 4 AQA trilogy or separate science with a level of proficiency. By having a 2 year KS3 we keep the pace and engagement high and still have plenty of time to teach a fun, practical, yet purposeful curriculum. When students take their GCSE options in year 9 they have already started the science course and so are better equipped to make the decision on combined or separate science.  

We want our young people to “think like a scientist” 

  1. Observe a problem 
  1. Predict what you think will happen/make a hypothesis 
  1. Experiment/test hypothesis 
  1. Analyse results and evaluate 

To do this we have several core concepts which we apply throughout our curriculum: 

We have our “disciplinary knowledge” (knowledge of how scientific knowledge is generated and grows) and from the AQA GCSE assessment objectives we want all students to work scientifically: 

  1. Identify a question/problem to be solved or scientific phenomena to explain 
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas and develop a hypothesis 
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific techniques and procedures to investigate/test the hypothesis 
  1. Analyse experimental and secondary data to make judgments, draw conclusions and evaluate 
  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, techniques and procedures to new scenarios 

Ofsted have completed further research into disciplinary knowledge through scientific enquiry and given 4 content areas: 

  1. Knowledge of methods that scientists use to answer questions 
  1. Knowledge of apparatus and techniques, including measurement 
  1. Knowledge of data analysis 
  1. Knowledge of how science uses evidence to develop explanations 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/research-review-series-science/research-review-series-science 

Disciplinary knowledge is embedded within our substantive content of biology, chemistry and physics and practical work is a fundamental part of learning science, connecting concepts and procedures to phenomena. 

Our “substantive knowledge” (knowledge of the products of science, concepts, laws, theories and models), is our core knowledge and understanding content, which is then split into five core concepts we base our learning episodes on throughout KS3 and KS4. These concepts also prepare our students for KS5 options where they continue: 

  1. Particles 
  1. Cells 
  1. Interdependence 
  1. Forces 
  1. Energy 

We start with smaller ideas to more abstract ideas to then applying these concepts to unfamiliar topics. The curriculum spirals so no repetition but topics build in complexity. 

In years 7 and 8 we teach “learning episodes” where we have “know”, “apply” and “extend” learning objectives. 

We teach in mixed ability tutor groups to give all students, particularly disadvantaged and those with SEND the knowledge and cultural capital they need. 

In year 9 we then split the groups into higher and foundation tier groups to provide better support, but still teach to the top and don’t stream. Here we start the GCSE course, teaching all content included in the separate science options before students make their options choices. 

After GCSE options are taken we create two separate science groups for years 10 and 11. We then teach the combined trilogy syllabus to mixed ability, but higher or foundation groups. 

We also offer an Animal Care BTEC in year 10 and 11. 

Our curriculum is ambitious and designed to meet all students’ needs. We want our young people to be working with increasing fluency and independence to then move onto Key Stage 5 where we offer A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and a BTEC in Applied Science.