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Overview of the curriculum

The Sir John Lawes curriculum is innovative and flexible. It is underpinned by the desire to maximise achievement whilst allowing students to enjoy learning. In addition to providing enrichment and excitement our curriculum also allows us to provide extra support for those that need it. We allow for maximum flexibility so that students can play to their strengths.

Across the whole curriculum we run enrichment days such as our Learning to Learn days held in the autumn term every year where students have the opportunity to think about themselves as effective learners. In the spring term we hold an International Day where students consider and explore international development and sustainability issues.

Key Stage 3 curriculum

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is broad and balanced including English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Languages, Arts, Technology, PE and Life Skills. Curriculum options are available from Year 7 onwards and most students follow a two-year Key Stage 3 which allows increased flexibility and choice in Year 9 and beyond.

To supplement our Key Stage 3 curriculum we also provide a series of immersion days, designed to give students the opportunity to develop a real enthusiasm for subjects by spending a whole day on exciting projects for which there might not otherwise be space in the curriculum. These days also emphasise the links between subject areas to give a more holistic approach to the world in which we live. For example in the recent Design and Technology day, Year 7 students spent the day looking at the way the Romans used design technology - including building their own ballistae and practising Roman military formations under the guidance of a visiting Roman Centurion.

Key Stage 4 curriculum

In Key Stage 4 all students follow a core offer which consists of:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • PE
  • RS
  • Lifeskills

Even within the core offer there is considerable scope for personalisation. For example:

  • In English most students complete GCSE English Language and Literature, although a few may do one English qualification only.
  • In Science many students will study the triple Sciences of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, whilst others complete the dual award GCSE.

Guided options and alternative curriculum pathways

As well as the core offer, students can choose a number of academic, applied and vocational courses. For a complete list of subjects on offer visit our Options Process section to download the latest Options booklet. Choice and diversity is maximised through collaboration with other schools and colleges in Harpenden and St Albans (see Partnerships).

Key Stage 5 curriculum

Information about the Key Stage 5 curriculum and the wide range of courses on offer can be found on the Sixth Form website.

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