Students on stairsThe Nobel School curriculum is inspirational, interconnected and evolutionary. As a community we value highly each subject discipline and seek to instil in all Nobelians an intrinsic love of learning. Our curriculum has 4 key areas of curriculum intent which are specific to The Nobel School as a learning community:

  • Long-term learning over short term performance
    We have a curriculum which clearly identifies what knowledge we want students to take away with a focus on permanent learning rather than just regurgitating at the next assessment so teachers have long term plans that focus on sequences of learning and long term memory support.
  • High challenge to support social mobility
    We have a curriculum that prioritises high challenge content and vocabulary, supporting students in becoming articulate, informed young people who can participate with and compete against the very best in whatever their chosen field is.
  • Quality cultural experiences to enhance life
    We have a curriculum that actively seeks to promote high and popular cultural experiences that will provide Nobelians with a greater appreciation of the world around them, enriching their experience of life (building cultural capital in our community)
  • The human angle in every subject
    Our curriculum focuses on enabling Nobelians to be the people they want to become –good friends, good neighbours, good co-workers and good leaders of the future. To develop the character and resourcefulness necessary to ensure a life lived well.

Our subject experts have developed clearly sequenced and logical units of work based on the following principles:

  • Memory is the residue of thought (therefore activities must be carefully considered to ensure students are thinking about subject content).
  • Working memory is limited (therefore lessons need to be chunked with new material introduced in incremental stages)
  • The vocabulary gap is the disadvantage gap (therefore tier 2 and 3 vocabulary is carefully mapped out before a unit is taught and explicitly taught across all subjects)
  • Practice makes permanent (therefore units must have modelling, guided practice and deliberate practice)
  • Transition to long-term memory is challenging (therefore units have spaced learning and all do now activities are retrieval practice)
  • Feedback is crucial for progress (therefore students receive frequent feedback and teachers adjust whole units and their lessons in response to the data they receive from students).

Each unit of work is planned to include within the teaching sequence the use of:

  • Knowledge organisers, which lay out the core knowledge that is within each unit
  • Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, to explicitly help our students to become word rich.
  • Do now activities, which provide retrieval practice and allow for spaced learning
  • The core knowledge and resources students need in lessons in manageable chunks
  • Guided practice and modelling, to support students in developing their responses
  • Deliberate / Independent Practice, to ensure that students focus on the right things and are able to apply their knowledge in a range of contexts
  • Exemplar answers, so that students are able to understand what a good answer would look like
  • Explicit self-reflection and other formative assessment, to provide students and teachers with immediate feedback and a clear indication of where further teaching or support is needed
  • Low-stakes tests, to allow for retrieval practice

KS3

At the Nobel School we recognise that every part of our curriculum has an intrinsic value in itself as well as equipping students to make informed choices at the end of each key stage.

We provide a full three year KS3 for our Nobelians so that they are able to experience varied range of subjects across the arts and humanities, engage with technology, develop confidence in another language, discover the sports that they enjoy and be enriched through the opportunities and possibilities that this opens up for them.

We follow the National Curriculum for KS3. Teaching hours for individual subjects across all key stages can be seen here.

Year 7

  • Students study English, maths, science, history, geography, RE, PSHCE/ SRE, a language, music, drama, art, DT (food, resistant materials & electronics/CADCAM), IT and PE. We follow the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE.
  • In Year 7-8 and, from 2021 Year 9, students who are not secondary ready in terms of their reading ability receive additional reading and grammar lessons and a pared back MFL curriculum that allows them to still study conversational French and Spanish.
  • Most subjects are taught in mixed ability groups, usually form groups. In languages in the current Year 7, students in one half of the year group study French and those in the other study Spanish. The choice of language is alternated so that next year it will be French and German that are taught. Students continue to study the same language for the whole of KS3
  • In Maths, students are taught in mixed ability groups, with extra provision for the highest and lowest attainers.
  • In PE students are taught in ability sets across a half year.

Year 8

  • Students study English, maths, science, RE, PSHCE & SRE, history, geography, languages, music, drama, art, DT (systems & control, food, and engineering), IT and PE. We follow the Hertfordshire agreed syllabus for RE.
  • In Year 7-8 and, from 2021 Year 9, students who are not secondary ready in terms of their reading ability receive additional reading and grammar lessons and a pared back MFL curriculum that allows them to still study conversational French and Spanish.
  • In English, science, languages and PE, students are taught in ability sets across a half year; students may move between sets during the course of a year. In maths, students are taught in mixed ability groups, with extra provision for the highest and lowest attainers.
  • In languages in Year 8, students continue with the language that they studied in Year 7.

Year 9

  • As in years 7 & 8, students study English, maths, science, RE, PSHCE & SRE history, geography, languages, music, art, DT (food, systems & control and resistant materials), IT and PE. We follow the Hertfordshire agreed syllabus for RE.
  • In English, science, languages and PE, students are taught in ability sets across a half year; students may move between sets during the course of a year. In maths, students are taught in mixed ability groups, with extra provision for the highest and lowest attainers.
  • In languages in Year 9, students continue with the language that they have studied in Year 8.
  • The year 9 options process involves all stakeholders via interviews with all students and their parents; these are preceded by presentations, assemblies and work in PSHCE and tutor time on making good choices.

KS4 (Years 10 & 11)

  • Our KS4 curriculum encourages Nobelians to value everything that they learn across the key stage as well as equipping them to make informed choices about what to study at KS5.
  • In order to raise achievement and support student progress, our KS4 curriculum offer is comprised of 5 pathways: Purple, Lilac, Green, Yellow and Blue. Students are placed on a pathway based on their aptitudes and ability, with each pathway allowing students the opportunity to achieve their best grades from a choice of subjects which is both broad and balanced.
  • All students study GCSEs in English language, English literature, maths, science & RE). All students study two science GCSEs. The most able students in KS4 are offered the opportunity to study triple science. Citizenship is taught through GCSE RE and PSHE.
  • The Yellow pathway, through a reduced number of option choices, provide students with the opportunity to complete the Prince’s Trust Certificate in Personal development and Employability Skills which supports their studies in other subjects.
  • There is an extensive and varied offer of GCSE and level 1 & 2 technical/applied courses. For the full range of subjects click here.

KS5 (Years 12 & 13)

  • A similar pathways model exists for transition into KS5 to raise achievement and to support progress. A student’s pathway is determined by the APS of their best 6 GCSEs, and their English and maths GCSE results; this is set initially based on target grade data, and then reviewed once after the mocks based on teacher predictions, and a second time after final teacher predictions at the end of the spring term.
  • The Year 11 options process involves all stakeholders. There is a Post-16 evening in the autumn term, followed by interviews with all students and their parents at the beginning of the spring term, during which students share their initial choices and future aspirations.
  • We offer a full range of A level and level 3 applied/technical courses across the pathways, as well as resit maths and English GCSEs (or a level 2 equivalent) for those who did not achieve them at the end of Year 11. For the full range of subjects click here.
  • The extra-curricular offer at KS5 includes the EPQ and Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
  • All Sixth Form Nobelians also complete a number of volunteering hours across the key stage and experience responsibility and leadership through the Student Leadership Team and mentoring opportunities.

Enrichment activities & SMSC

  • • Students have access to a wide range of enrichment and extension activities offered through extra-curricular activities. These include lunchtime & after school clubs, house activities, sporting activities & competitions and residential & day visits. For details of the full extra-curricular offer, click here. These contribute to the highly effective promotion of SMSC across the school.
  • We encourage all students and their families to complete super curriculum activities designed to enhance and extend classroom learning. Further details about our super curriculum offer can be found here.

For further information on our curriculum offer, please contact Naomi Rose, Deputy Headteacher, via naomi.rose@nobel.herts.sch.uk

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