Key Stage 3 – Years 7-9
Key Stage 3 is where our students learn the foundations of knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to become experts in their subjects.
Key Stage 3 is as broad as we could make it, with students having the opportunity to study 14 different subjects. We apply the following principles when devising and constructing our Key Stage 3 curriculum.
- Key stages 3 and 4 are equally important and we do not devote staff resources to one at the expense of the other.
- We liaise with our feeder primary schools to identify what students have already learned, to ensure we do not repeat unnecessary content and keep the curriculum challenging and engaging.
- To challenge students and measure achievement in Key Stage 3, we have robust, standardised, externally set and moderated assessments alongside our own Assessment for Learning departmental tasks.
- We place equal emphasis on literacy and numeracy.
- Intervention (ie extra teaching for students who need it) is as important for Key Stage 3 is as for Key Stage 4. We track each student and each class for progress and put in place further support where required.
- We have subject specialists teaching in all classes at both key stages.
Students have 25 hours of lessons and an additional 45 minutes each day for Co-Curricular work which is delivered through our Form Time programmes.
Transition from primary to Key Stage 3
At Harris Boys’ Academy East Dulwich, we believe that a successful transition from primary to secondary school sets the foundation for students' academic and personal growth. We are dedicated to ensuring a seamless journey for our Year 7 students. We have strong partnerships with local primary schools and comprehensive support to foster a smooth transition and empower our students to thrive.
Building strong connections with local primary schools: We believe that working closely with local primary schools is crucial for a smooth transition. We have strong partnerships with numerous primary schools in our area and have designed our Year 7 curriculum to build on what they learned in during Year 5 and 6. This helps us ensure that there are no gaps in students' knowledge and that their learning continues seamlessly as they move from primary to secondary school.
Supporting the decision-making process: To help families make informed decisions, we offer various activities and events before Year 7 enrolment:
- Presentations at primary schools: We visit primary schools to share information about our school's values and programmes. We want students and their families to understand what we offer and feel excited about joining our community.
- Prospective Parents' Evening: We organise an evening where parents can visit our school, meet our teachers, and learn more about our curriculum, support systems and extracurricular activities.
- Morning drop-In sessions: We invite prospective students to spend time at our school during regular classes. This way, they can experience our friendly atmosphere, meet current students, and get a sense of what learning is like here.
- Year 6 taster sessions: We organise special sessions where Year 6 students can try out different subjects and get a taste of secondary school life. They participate in interactive lessons and make new friends, which helps them feel more comfortable about transitioning to Year 7.
Supporting Year 7 students' transition: Once Year 7 students join our school, we provide comprehensive support to help them settle in and succeed:
- Induction Day: We dedicate a day at the beginning of the autumn term specifically for Year 7 students. They participate in fun activities, get to know their form tutors, and become familiar with our school layout.
- Extended break and lunch: During the first week, Year 7 students enjoy longer breaks and lunch periods. This gives them extra time to relax, socialise, and make new friends, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, whilst also giving them time to work out the layout and procedures of the playground and canteen.
- Baseline testing: We assess each student's skills and abilities at the beginning to understand their needs. This helps us tailor our teaching and provide appropriate support to ensure they have a smooth start.
- Nurturing relationships: We introduce Year 7 students to their Head of Year and members of the Welfare Team who will support them throughout their journey. These caring adults are always there to offer guidance, answer questions, and provide encouragement.
- Enrichment opportunities: We offer a variety of after-school clubs and activities to help students explore their interests and develop new skills. These opportunities provide a sense of belonging and encourage friendships among Year 7 students.
- Parental Support Evening: We organise an evening where parents can learn about important topics like literacy, numeracy, technology, and student well-being. This helps parents understand how they can support their child's learning and wellbeing at home.
By working closely with local primary schools and providing a range of support activities, we aim to ensure a smooth and successful transition for our Year 7 students, setting them up for a positive and rewarding secondary school experience.
These are just some of the steps we put in place to try and ensure a smooth transition from primary to secondary school.