Other Curriculum Matters

Other Curriculum Matters

Other curriculum matters

Approximately, 12% of students at SHSG are classified as disadvantaged and given the nature of the school all disadvantaged students are highly able. There is no simple curriculum policy designed to help overcome the barriers that disadvantaged students may face and there are no fixed barriers. All students, disadvantaged or otherwise, have the same opportunity to study the SHSG curriculum. Staff and students alike are just as ambitious for disadvantaged students as they are for those that don’t face the same barriers.

The school follows a simple disadvantaged first approach. This means that whatever activity, event or initiative is being planned, disadvantaged students are put first in the allocation of places and resources. This ensures that we maximise the opportunities for these students.

Beyond this, SHSG follows a disadvantaged plus strategy. This strategy supports disadvantaged students in 4 main ways. Firstly, through academic extension. This is offered in the form or a supervised afterschool ‘homework club’ and targeted intervention sessions delivered by highly knowledgeable and experienced staff, and well sequenced and structured lessons. This starts before students have even reached the school in the shape of the SHSG Launchpad (a programme of Saturday schools and afterschool 11+ familiarisation sessions which prioritise disadvantaged students from the priority area) and out admissions code which ‘ring fences’ a number of places for disadvantaged students from both inside and outside the priority area. In terms of cultural enrichment our very full extracurricular programme and clubs and societies are provided free/heavily subsidised for disadvantaged students. All disadvantaged students complete the Jack Petchy Speak Out competition which we have found offers a significant boost to their personal development. Similarly, the school works with disadvantaged students in terms of setting the appropriate trajectory for University or employment after SHSG ensuring that students benefit from the wealth of accessibility programmes available through leading universities. SHSG also provides disadvantaged students with financial support with equipment/resources that may be required in order to fully participate in the curriculum.

There is not a standard approach within the curriculum for SEND students.  Our SENDCO and PSOs work closely with SEND students and their parents to identify, remove or avoid any barriers that may present themselves within the curriculum. We are just as ambitious for our SEND students as we are for the non-SEND students. In a similar way we look to work with students with protected characteristics to evolve and develop our curriculum. An example of this is the work that our equality and diversity group are currently undertaking, reviewing aspects of our curriculum.

For further information please see our accessibility policy and plan ‘here’

RSE, PSHE and living in the wider world (including British Values) are delivered through dedicated Life Skills lessons, Form time, visiting speakers, curriculum drop down events and (where appropriate) within timetabled lessons.  For further information please see our RSE policy, PSHE policy and Life Skills Curriculum maps.

Remote learning continues to be a feature of our educational landscape. At SHSG we have developed the capability to deliver discrete live lessons and blended learning lessons and have delivered both with great success during the pandemic.  We use a number of IT platforms including: MSTeams, Show My Homework and SENECA. For further information please see our Remote Learning Policy.

All Sixth Form students start year 12 with a programme of 4 A levels, each receiving 9 hrs of lesson time per fortnight.  In addition, students receive a further 8 hrs of directed study time and 5 hours of tutor time per fortnight. In tutor time students follow the VESPA programme.

Most students drop down to a programme of 3 A levels in year 13. At this point they will receive 17hrs of directed study per fortnight along with the same time allocation for tutor time.

In year 12 have a 2 day dedicated careers event looking at next steps after A levels.

Sixth Form have the opportunity to undertaking work shadowing, this is negotiated on an adhoc basis.

Due to the entrance criteria for the Southend High School for Girls Sixth Form Sixth Form no students are studying GCSE English / Mathematics.

Options for year 12 – The A level Options process

  • Students make their options choices in year 11 to begin studying in year 12
  • Five Option blocks are created from student choices rather than the other way around. This ensures that the range of subjects on offer remain connected to the preferences of each year group. The subject offer is changed based on the changes in student preferences over time.
  • All students will start yr12 studying 4 A level subjects. This will drop to three no earlier than February of yr12 and (for most students) no later than the end of yr12.  There is a small ‘transfer window’ at the start of yr12 (4 weeks) within which students can change their courses (providing there is enough capacity in the subject they wish to pick up and it fits into the option blocks.
  • Students can choose from the following list of subjects:
    • Art and Design
    • Business Studies
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Classics
    • Computer Science
    • Theatre Studies
    • Economics
    • English Language
    • English Literature
    • French
    • Further Mathematics
    • Geography
    • German
    • Government and Politics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Media Studies
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Physics
    • Product Design
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Spanish

Year 12 Curriculum Overview

  • Subjects and time allocation
Subject No. of lessons per fortnight Learner Community
Option Subject 9 Option Block
Supervised Study 2 per A level studied Option Block
  • Learner communities – Sets are determined by the option block in which the student chooses the subject.

Year 13 Curriculum Overview

  • Subjects and time allocation
Subject No. of lessons per fortnight Learner Community
Option Subject 9 Option Block
Supervised Study 2 per A level studied plus 11 for 3 A level students. Option Block
  • Learner communities – Sets are determined by the option block in which the student chooses the subject.

Hopefully, you will find the information available in this section of the website useful in terms of understanding the content and structure of the curriculum at Southend High School for Girls. Should you require any further information please contact Mr L P Boney, DHT.  lboney@shsg.org

Students make their option choices in March of Year 9 to begin studying the courses in September of Year 10.

The Year 9 options process:

  • Goal of the options process is to help students move from the broad and wide-ranging curriculum of lower school into a more personalised curriculum for middle school before they embark on the specialised curriculum of the Sixth Form.
  • The process includes:
    • A dedicated section of the website that has courses outlines and information for each of the subjects offered.
    • An information evening for parents and students
    • Subject talks by current GCSE students and Subject Prefects about life in each subject at GCSE
    • A careers event based around different career pathways
    • Subject presentations by Heads of Department
    • A parents evening focused on a discussion regarding current performance and suitability for GCSE study
  • Four option blocks are created from student choices rather than the other way around. This ensures that the range of subjects on offer remain connected to the preferences of each year group. This also informs staffing decisions.
  • All students study a minimum of 10 GCSE courses, these are:
    • English Literature
    • English Language
    • Mathematics
      • Plus, for top set only
        • GCSE Statistics taken in year 10
        • GCSE Further Mathematics taken in year 11
      • Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
        • All students study triple science in year 10
        • Most students continue with triple science in yr11 however we find at the end of year 10 some students are more suited to core and additional science and therefore follow this alternative pathway in year 11
      • At least one humanity subject from the following:
        • Geography
        • History
        • Religious Studies
      • At least one Modern foreign Language from the following:
        • French
        • German
        • Spanish
      • And two subjects from the following list of GCSE subjects:
        • Art and Design
        • Business Studies
        • Computer Science
        • Drama
        • Food Preparation and Nutrition
        • Geography
        • Graphic Products
        • History
        • Media Studies
        • French
        • German
        • Spanish
        • Music
        • Physical Education
        • Physics
        • Religious Studies
        • Textiles
      • Plus the following enrichment subjects
        • Middle School Enrichment – This course developed a student’s independent learning and academic skills in order to assist their success at GCSE and to prepare them for the rigours of A level study in the Sixth Form. It consists of three phases:
          • Academic skill development
          • Completion of an extended enquiry
          • Directed silent study
        • Life Skills – This is a broad and wide ranging PSHEE curriculum with particular emphasis on developing a strong moral compass, British values and financial literacy. This course also includes independent, impartial careers education, Religious Education and relationships and sex education.
        • Get Active – This is core PE.

Policy Summary – Key Points

  • SHSG believes that effective sex and relationship education is essential if young people are to make responsible and well-informed decisions about their lives. It should not be delivered in isolation. It should be firmly rooted within the framework for PSHE and the National Curriculum. It should teach young people to understand human sexuality and to respect themselves and others.
  • SHSG believes that Relationship and Sex Education must be fully inclusive of all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations and all types of families.
  • Sex and relationship education should contribute to promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at SHSG and of society and preparing students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
  • SHSG believes it is essential to work in partnership with parents, consulting them regularly on the content of sex and relationship education programmes.
  • The school recognises the need for teachers to be trained to deliver high quality relationships and sex education.
  • The school has set a framework for establishing what is appropriate and inappropriate in a whole-class setting and how to deal with individual questions.
  • Safeguarding procedures will be followed at all times.
  • The school recognises the importance of working with external agencies and healthcare professionals.