In Years 7 & 8 students follow a curriculum based on their KS2 assessments and our own baseline assessments.
Students are placed into one of the following groups Accelerated, Focus+, Focus or Enhanced.
Accelerated – Students that have achieved above national expectations at KS2
Focus + - Students that have achieved well in Mathematics but many need additional literacy support
Focus – Students that have just achieved national expectations or just below national expectations at KS2
Enhanced – Students that have achieved below national expectations at KS2. These students will receive extra Literacy and Numeracy support.
In Year 9 students begin to make choices about the subjects they will study at GCSE level, taking core subjects and a choice of Ebacc and arts/technology options.
In Years 10 and 11 students study a core curriculum and up to 3 options. All students have an interview with a senior member of staff to make their option choices. This helps to get the right course for the each student. It is also possible to take course with other local providers eg Exeter College.
There is also the opportunity for some students to follow a personalised skills-based programme which could lead into further studies or employment with training.
If you would like to discuss your options with a member of staff please speak to your tutor in the first instance.
Isca believes that students should develop good habits of learning outside the classroom in order to:
• Be successful at school
• Be successful in the work place in their lives beyond school
• Become happy lifelong learners.
Home Study at Isca is designed to extend and enrich students’ learning experiences and support the curriculum. It can:
• Give students opportunities to learn, practise and improve the skills necessary for successful independent study
• Give students time and place to think
• Encourage students to be participants and independent learners in preparation for future studies, the work place and the community
• Provide students with experiences that will develop a love of learning.
Home Study can happen in a variety of places outside of the subject curriculum and not always at home – for example in tutor time, lunchtimes and in Study Club or Study Support interventions after school.
Home Study is designed to teach students to manage their own preparation towards exams, manage their own deadline pressures and plan their use of their extra-curricular participation.
Our approach to Home Study covers three main strands:
- Study Skills
The intention is that by learning to use their own time to complete independent learning projects, manage their own study and become an active participant in their own community, our young people become more engaged, independent learners.
In Years 7 and 8, Home Study comprises:
• One study skills based task per week in English, Maths, Science and Modern Foreign Languages
• Two study skills based tasks OR one independent learning project per term in Humanities
• One independent learning project or study skills task per Art/Drama/Music/Dance rotation
• One independent learning project or study skills task per Technology/Computing rotation.
In Years 9, 10 and 11, Home Study becomes more focused on revision and preparation skills and should mean students doing at least one hour of Home Study, 4 or 5 nights a week. This is composed of:
• 1 task a week from Core subjects English, Maths, Science and from Modern Foreign Languages
• 1 task per fortnight from Options subjects
• Attendance at Period 6 revision sessions
However, there are points throughout the KS4 courses when external deadlines and examinations lead to increased workload for students. Students are taught through Study Skills how to managed these periods.
Students are trained in Study Skills (which are identified by Faculties) by their tutor and there is an expectation that throughout Years 10 and 11 they organise their own Home Study towards exams using these skills. It’s important that students understand that the one hour per evening set Home Study work in a minimum, not a ceiling. Students are also provided with a reading list.
Support from School
Isca supports Home Study in a variety of ways:
• Morning Club - students can receive support in organising the day ahead of them, including organising and prioritising Home Learning tasks
• Study Club – students can work on Study Skills and Home Learning tasks in an ICT suite supported by a member of staff, after school four days a week
• Tutor Time – tutors allow time once or twice a week to teach students Study Skills, to monitor Home Learning tasks and support students to complete tasks set
• Show My Homework – students, tutors and parents all have access to Show My Homework via the school website, an electronic homework diary that is constantly updated and replaces the school planner
• Study Support Interventions – students identified by tutors or teaching staff as having difficulty meeting deadlines/keeping up their independent study will attend after school support sessions designed to support them to manage incomplete tasks.
Students with SEN who may find organising Home Study challenging receive support:
• Accessing Show My Homework
• Using a variety of means of recording tasks
• Through a reduced menu of tasks
• Participating in Dream Scheme.
On a rolling programme, students identified as having difficulty accessing or engaging with the Home Study programme will participate in Dream Scheme, a programme teaching students the value of participation and Community work. When participating in Dream Scheme, students will only complete Home Study tasks for the Core Subjects and MFL.
Support from Parents
It is an expectation that parents of students at Isca support their children to be successful by:
• Providing a calm and supportive environment where students can work
• Using Show My Homework to help students track their tasks and completion rate
• Using Show My Homework to help their child develop organizational skills (meeting deadlines, managing workload)
• Encouraging a regular independent reading habit.
To encourage students to develop the habits of happy, successful, lifelong learners, it is an expectation that every student at Isca participates in The Edge programme. This programme, run by PiXL and certificated by the NCFE examination board, aims to encourage students to become active participants in the world outside of the classroom.
As part of their tutor time programme, students track their own progress through Apprentice, Graduate and Masters level awards by taking part in a variety of activities – these activities can be any one of a number which students may already be involved in outside of Isca. The intention is that students see the value of these activities and recognise that Isca, and future employers, also value the skills they develop by taking part.
Students, with the support of tutors and The Edge coordinator, record and evaluate their own participation in events and activities outside the classroom.
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