Key Stage 3 Overview
Setting and resources
At Walton Hall Academy our Key Stage 3 provision is set in the main school building with access to their own library, the school hall for drama, dance and P.E, the Science Laboratory, an equipped fitness suite and Food Technology classroom. For our students with more complex learning needs, a personalised sensory curriculum is supported by a bespoke classroom and recreation area. All students in Key Stage 3 also have the opportunity to access the academy’s farm, horticulture enterprise and specialist music room set in the Old Hall. Away from the main building we also have our Oasis Centre provision that has been set up to accommodate a small group of students with specific needs.
KS3 students are currently divided into three year groups (Y7, Y8 and Y9) plus two mixed year group classes for students with more complex learning needs. The latter two classes benefit from the vertical pastoral setting and have a sensory or communication focussed curriculum. We also have a small group of students in our highly staffed Oasis provision who require a more specific curriculum.
When students arrive in Year 7 the focus is on completing the transition programme which started in Y6 (at our main feeder school), settling them in and ensuring that they feel safe, happy and confident. This is the foundation for their secondary education.
The main Y7, Y8 and Y9 students are divided among three teaching groups for mathematics English, science and. This is dependent on their current learning needs, but it remains fluid and flexible, enabling students to change their groupings if necessary. All other subjects are taught in tutor or peer groups which enables students the opportunity to work and learn together. This further develops their relationships, deepens friendships and develops empathy and the skills to support each other.
Students in Key Stage 3 have the opportunity to access a broad and balanced curriculum. All students across the Key Stage are taught maths, English, science, PSHE and ICT. Additional to these subjects, students also study history, geography, RE, PE (including swimming), cookery, music, drama and art & design. To support transition into Key Stage 4 students in year 9 also have the opportunity to select one vocational option from a selection identified in the option booklet.
Students have opportunities to experience sessions on the school farm and in the horticultural centre. This allows them to develop knowledge and skills that will help to inform their choices when selecting options in Key Stage 4 as well as underpinning the science curriculum.
In Key Stage 3 we aim to offer a curriculum that develops the whole child. Through all subjects we aim to enable progress in all areas of need including cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social, emotional and mental health and physical and sensory development. Emotional wellbeing is of utmost importance and students have the opportunity to access interventions with our Pastoral and behaviour manager and trainee health psychologist.
Independence, Citizenship, Student Voice and British values
KS3 students play an active role in the school council and contribute many suggestions and ideas for change. Through their PHSE curriculum and pastoral sessions they develop key skills in citizenship and British values as well as build knowledge of the types and effects of bullying and develop an understanding of positive relationships. Developing positive emotional well-being is also encouraged through these sessions.
As students move up through the key stage they are supported to take ownership and become increasingly independent learners ready for KS4. Students are taught, encouraged and supported in seeking help whenever they have any concerns throughout the Key Stage so that they remain positive and happy in their learning environment.
Students are encouraged and are keen to take part in the extra-curricular activities offered through our residential provision. This provides them with additional opportunities for social interaction as well as life and leisure experiences.
These courses, along with the academy ethos encourages students to be positive contributors to the local and wider community and society as a whole.