Our Curriculum

At Carisbrooke College we provide a broad and balanced curriculum because we understand that students need to be engaged in their learning and able to follow courses in which they are interested if they are to achieve their potential.

Carisbrooke College works very hard to give our new students a smooth, positive transition to secondary school life. We work closely with primary schools to get to know their pupils and to understand their academic and social needs and abilities.

This personal and proactive approach will ensure the teaching is responsive and tailored to the individual. Year 7 tutor groups are based together. From the start, our focus on pastoral care encourages form tutors to forge strong relationships with their new students. During the summer term, parents of pupils who will be joining the College the following September are invited to attend a meeting to discuss our expectations and to begin to establish the crucial two way partnership between home and school. This will be followed up in the autumn term with a parents’ evening.

Students with special needs benefit from a range of intervention programmes and receive additional support from teaching and support staff.

The College screens and assesses pupils for Access Arrangements for both internal and public examinations. The SENDCo will liaise with parents/ carers if their child requires this support.
Our most able students are also well catered for through challenge in lesson with a wide variety of curricular and extra curricular opportunities to stretch them academically and ensure they reach their full potential.

Key Stage 3:

An academic and vocational curriculum, which is broad-based with a combination of setting and mixed ability groups, is offered. Core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science are set according to ability. Modern Foreign Languages, ICT and Humanities subjects have a broader setting arrangement, whilst Music, Drama, Dance, PE, Art and Design Technology are taught in mixed ability groups.
Personal, Social and Health Education includes a Citizenship programme which incorporates the equalities act and is delivered through Cultural Literacy lessons.
The Year 7 curriculum consists of a statutory 25 hours per week of study following a wide range of courses, allowing students to enjoy a broad and balanced programme of study prior to confirming option choices in Year 8.

Excellent lesson planning, with an emphasis on personalisation, ensures that each student makes good progress and is suitably challenged in all lessons.

Regular and consistent assessment tracks students’ progress across the curriculum and identifies those who need additional support and guidance. Our rewards system, Vivo, encourages students to work towards even greater success.

Key Stage 4:

In Year 9, students continue to study the core subjects of English, Maths and Science plus Cultural Literacy and PE but will also have the opportunity to study further option subjects from an extensive choice, so that students can individualise their curriculum to meet their interests and future career paths. The choices for these subjects are made in the Summer term in Year 8. Our latest curriculum offer can be found here.

We encourage students for whom it is appropriate to choose option subjects which will enable them to gain the English Baccalaureate (EBacc.) The EBacc is awarded to those students who gain five GCSE passes at grades A* to C in English, Mathematics, Science, a Modern Foreign Language and History or Geography.

Key Stage 5:

Our VI form offers two Pathways, either a full range of A levels or level 3 / vocational courses.

A Levels

The A level Pathway is a natural choice for students who have enjoyed and been successful at GCSE. A levels offer the chance to focus on a smaller number of subjects, building knowledge and understanding in the areas in which they have proven strengths and strong interest. Students normally choose four subjects from a wide range of available courses and any combination should be possible. Over 50 courses are available, including a range of vocational options, and our course advisors will help them choose the ideal combination. To succeed on an A level programme students need to achieve A*-C grades in at least 5 subjects at GCSE. Most A level students have several A*/A/B grades, especially in the subjects they want to study at A level.

In the first year students complete modules of the course, which result in an AS qualification. If students decide to continue their course they will undertake further modules in their second year in order to complete a full A level.

Students may also be able to undertake an Extended Project in an area of their choice to develop their learning. Most A levels involve a combination of examinations and coursework and some students take their first examination as early as January in their first year.

Level 3 / Vocational Courses

The Advanced Vocational Pathway is a natural choice for those who have done well at GCSE but now wish to move on to a course related to their career plans. Some Advanced Vocational courses can be combined with an A level course. Vocational courses are usually assessed through assignment work rather than exams. These courses suit students whose coursework grades are better than their examination marks.