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 the school hall for drama, dance and P.E, the Science Laboratory, an equipped fitness suite and a 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 and the specialist ICT and music rooms in the Old Hall.
Our KS3 students follow one of 3 pathways: the seekers pathway, the explorers pathway or the navigators pathway. 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 Y7, Y8 and Y9 students in our navigators pathway are divided among three teaching groups for mathematics, English, science and ICT. These groupings are dependent on the current learning needs of each student, but they remain fluid and flexible, enabling students to change their groupings when necessary. All other subjects are taught in tutor or peer groups which gives 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.
The Y7, Y8 and Y9 students in our explorers and seekers pathways are taught in ability set mixed year groups and have a more communication or sensory focused curriculum. Having one teacher for the majority of the time provides more consistency for these students, however the flexibility remains for students to access specific lessons within the navigators pathways where this is appropriate.
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, PFA Growth, PE and ICT. In addition to these subjects, many students also study history, geography, RE, PE (including swimming), cookery, music, drama, art & design and have the opportunity to engage in sessions on the school farm. Accessing this wide range of subjects allows them to develop knowledge and skills, and gain practical experience, that will help to inform their choices when selecting options in Key Stage 4.
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 welfare support officer, behaviour manager and school counsellor when this is needed.
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 PFA curriculum and pastoral sessions they develop key skills in citizenship and British values as well as building knowledge of the types and effects of bullying and developing 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.