We strive to achieve with each student the very best of which he/she is capable. Clearly, much can depend on the attitude of the student but the co-operation of parents is constantly sought to ensure that the climate for learning is appropriate and students are supported to thrive and achieve. Homework is an integral aspect of the curriculum and opportunities exist for students to participate in numerous after school activities or supervised homework clubs.
KS3 LOWER SCHOOL (YEARS 7 TO 9)
A common curriculum exists throughout the first three years which complies with National Curriculum requirements. During this time subjects studied are:
English, Science, a Modern Language, PSHE, Mathematics, Creative Arts (Art and Design, Music, Drama, Dance), History, Geography, Religious Studies, Technology (Resistant Materials, Food, Textiles, Graphics and Information Technology), PE and Citizenship.
Year 7 are taught in sets for Maths, English and Science with regular health checks re potential and aptitude. There is flexibility to arrange groups in the rest of the curriculum. Year 8 and 9 groups are organised as sets and by mixed ability depending on the subject area and the key stage profile of the student. A degree of curriculum choice is now available in Year 9 and plans to extend “Pathways” into KS3 are underway. Our whole school assembly period in KS3 has proved a huge success in developing a Year group team spirit which re-enforces the Bitterne Park School ethos.
KS4 UPPER SCHOOL (YEARS 10 TO 11)
A choice of approximately 43 GCSE, Applied and Work Related options are offered for KS4 and a Pathway and advice booklet is provided to offer guidance. There is a “core” curriculum which delivers various routes and accreditation through English, Mathematics, Science, RE/Citizenship and Physical Education. In addition, students are required to select up to 3 further courses of study from a range of options but we are offering more specific guidance in relation to EBacc options and continuity into post-16 and university choices. Students are very aware of their individual curriculum needs. Our option process continues to develop even further flexibility for larger groups of students in order to meet the challenging achievement targets we set ourselves (and achieve).
KS5 SIXTH FORM (YEARS 12 TO 13/14)
The Bitterne Park Sixth Form opened in 2011 and is well and truly up and running! Our conversion into being an 11 – 19 school took place as from 1 September 2011. The mixed ability/diverse interest Sixth Form cohort of 150 students have signed up and are following a menu that offers 17 AS/A2 subjects, 7 Applied BTEC subjects and 2 retake GCSEs.
The potential for this provision to reach over 250+ students will develop in their new state of the art £6.3 million Sixth Form centre.
YEAR GROUP ORGANISATION
Students are placed in mixed ability tutor groups and, where possible, remain with their tutor through Years 7 to 11. Students are restructured as they move into the Sixth Form with a dedicated Sixth Form guidance team.
Each year team of tutors is led by a Head of Year and a Pastoral Manager and Academic Manager who are responsible for overseeing the welfare, development and achievement of their students. Assemblies are held weekly. A Senior Manager is attached to each year group. The standard format is 12 tutor groups working in two or three panels per year group. We encourage a competitive approach in all tutor and year group activities with each year viewed as a mini-school with a character of its own.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Students are encouraged to benefit from the school’s resources beyond that of the central curriculum and guidance system, through extra school activities of various kinds and involvement in the local community. In addition to an extensive programme of Physical Education activities, opportunities exist for students to participate in numerous school visits, Gardening, Young Enterprise, School shop and Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme to name but a few! The school enjoys an excellent reputation and tradition in music and a number of our students have obtained places in the Southampton Youth Orchestra. Visits abroad have featured European Music Tours, Kenya, France, Germany, Barcelona, New York, trekking in Morocco and ski-trips. Our whole school productions are also marvellous ethos builders. In sport, the school has won a number of Hampshire cup finals and is poised to build upon this success in the coming year. “X Factor” and “Stars in their Eyes” events are also huge fun for all who get involved – including teachers! Surfing in Cornwall is the latest addition to our exciting menu as well as exchange programmes with schools in Spain and Las Vegas! We encourage all teachers to build appropriate trips and visits into their teaching programmes or even just for fun! Relationships are enhanced massively via these activities.