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Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

All students study English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, ICT, Spanish, Design and Food Technology, Art, Music, Drama, Physical Education, and Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE). In addition, we run a programme of literacy support for students who need it.

Grouping and Setting of Students in Key Stage 3

Tutor Groups (Pastoral)

When they join the school all students are placed in a Tutor Group. These groups consist of around 25 students and are carefully planned to ensure that the gender balance and the ability range reflects the profile of the year group. In addition, in Year 7, we ensure that groups contain a mix of students from different primary schools. These groups remain reasonably constant for the 5 years, allowing students to build good relationships with their peers and with their Tutor. Each Tutor Group is in one of 3 Houses (Eaton, Grosvenor and Westminster).

Teaching groups (Academic)

For teaching purposes, we create mixed ability teaching groups. Again, these groups are carefully chosen to ensure that each represents the profile of the Year Group. These groups are re-evaluated each year to ensure that they remain mixed ability and that the gender balance is maintained. Students are taught in these groups in some subjects throughout the Key Stage.


Students are placed in ability groups for some subjects. These groups will be reviewed on a regular basis and changes made where appropriate. The subjects where some setting occurs are:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science

During Year 9 students will make their GCSE choices, known as ‘options’. Full details of courses available can be found in the Options Booklet, released each year and available to download at the bottom of this page.

Assessment at Key stage 3

We use a flexible, school based assessment system which focuses on looking at student progress and mastering skills in subject areas, so that teachers can easily see specific progress made by students and report this to parents. Students are assessed as to whether they are ‘working towards’, ‘meeting’, or ‘exceeding’ our expected standards which we refer to as ARMs – Age Related Milestones.

Students will be regularly assessed by staff against these benchmarks and data is regularly recorded and analysed by Curriculum Team Leaders and senior staff responsible for monitoring achievement at the Key Stage. Parents receive three interim assessments each year. These are sent out each term.