In Year 9 our pupils will start to think about their GCSE options, with advice from staff in the School and outside speakers. Some students will commence their studies for the GCSE syllabus in Y9 where it is felt to be appropriate.
“We were absolutely delighted that Holme Grange made the decision to go to G.C.S.E. and feel very privileged that our child will be part of this adventure.”
The year 9 curriculum offers, in equal measure, challenge and experiment, breadth and extension, and a certain amount of essential consolidation. In addition to the usual academic subjects, Holme Grange has developed a Personal and Social, Health, Cultural and Citizenship syllabus that encompasses religion and spirituality, health and social issues, citizenship, financial awareness, and careers. This begins in year 9 and extends through into higher year groups.
Independent Learning Projects
Holme Grange is developing a different way of supporting students to improve their independent learning skills and become more effective, lifelong learners. Building on the Eaton Grange Experience in Y7&8, In Y9 students will be participating in the completion of a range of Independent Learning Projects. This forms part of our programme for preparing students for GCSE courses and later stages in their education.
The Independent Learning Projects are designed to:
- Develop personal learning and thinking skills and promote independence and self management of tasks
- Encourage a ‘love of learning’ by engaging project content and style
- Promote a greater depth of understanding of particular subject areas
- Prepare students with the skills that they will require for courses they may embark upon at GCSE
Each week, Year 9 students have a timetabled slot allocated for working on a project. The projects will be structured and guidance given but they provide the opportunity for students to plan a piece of work over a period of about six weeks, thus developing time management skills. Students are also asked to take the initiative in seeking and using information. A different subject is responsible for setting the project each term.
The style of these projects differs from subject to subject but ranges from presentations, written reports and model making to films or mini movies with the emphasis on doing things that it is not always possible to achieve in a normal classroom situation. This allows students to develop their skills in creative thinking, team working, effective participation, enquiring and reflecting on their learning. Each project will focus on a particular Personal, Learning and Thinking Skill.
- Term 1 – Mathematics
- Term 2 – Religious Education
- Term 3 – Second Modern Foreign Language
- Term 4 – Revision for exams
- Term 5 – History
- Term 6 – Science
Each project should be the product of 3 – 3 ½ hours’ work. While the requirements of each project will be explained to students in lessons, instructions are also available in the Year 9 Independent Learning Project booklets
At the end of each project, students are graded and a 1 to 4 scale (1 indicating an excellent approach to independent learning and 4 only a limited attempt at the project). An average of their grades appears on their Year 9 report for Independent Learning.