The School Curriculum is modelled on that of the United Kingdom and our National Curriculum is closely in line with that in force in England and Wales. All members of our teaching staff have qualified in British universities and colleges.
The curriculum of a comprehensive school has to be broad, balanced and relevant. It is intended to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all pupils at the school and to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. As such, the curriculum is subject to constant re-appraisal and development.
Students of the first two years in Bayside (Years 8 and 9 of Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum) will follow a common course where learning is organised in either mixed ability groups or, in some subjects (e.g. English), in groups within two broad bands that are related to levels of ability.
For English, Spanish and Mathematics there is withdrawal of those students who have been identified as having special needs, and these are taken in much smaller groups. The following subjects will be taken by the students throughout their first two years:
English; Mathematics; Spanish; Religious Education; Physical Education; Personal Social and Health Education; French; History; Geography; Art & Design; Music; Drama; Information Technology and Design Technology (which includes Graphics, Food and Resistant Materials).
GCSE & FUNCTIONAL SKILLS
Most students in Year 10 and 11 follow examination courses leading to a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). However, there are students who find a full set of GCSE courses too demanding for them.
The ‘GCSE & Functional Skills’ package is provided as an alternative to a completely academic options programme. It incorporates a reduced package of GCSE subjects together with the opportunity to qualify in various applied short courses such as ‘Food Hygiene’, ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Basic First Aid’ which could be an advantage when applying for a job. These courses are validated by UK institutions and are generally recognised by employers.
The ‘GCSE & Functional Skills’ package provides students with the opportunity to develop numeracy, literacy and ICT skills which are essential for entry into the world of work. At the same time it also allows them to follow some courses at GCSE level so that they may begin to develop a mixed and varied portfolio of Academic and Skills based qualifications.
English, Mathematics, Spanish, Religious Education, Personal, Social and Health Education and Games/PE.
Apart from the basic subjects, and in order to ensure a broad and balanced education, all students in these years will also be required to take: Science (either a Core or Additional award).
It is also recommended that students take: at least one Humanities Subject, which can be Religious Studies or one selected from Geography, History, French, Italian, Sociology or Business Studies. at least one Practical/Aesthetic Subject (selected from Art & Design, Music, Drama, Physical Education, Design & Technology, Home Economics or Information Technology). Some students who show the required aptitude and ability are selected to take a GCSE in English Literature as part of their English studies.
Students who obtain good enough grades in the GCSE examinations will be encouraged to continue their studies into a fifth and sixth year in school in order to follow a two-year course leading to Advanced GCE examinations.
Entry to any particular course would normally require a C grade in that particular subject and a minimum of four A*-C passes overall in the GCSE examinations.
Subjects offered at Advanced GCE are: Mathematics, English, Spanish, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Music, Art, French, Sociology, History, Geography, Design & Technology, Business Studies, Religious Studies, Sports Studies, Italian, Performance Studies, ICT and Psychology.
In the new Advanced GCE courses, students normally take from two to four subjects at AS Level in their first year (Year 12), and continue with two or three of them in the second year (Year 13). In this way the student will have a broader education in Year 12 before concentrating on a narrower range of subjects in Year 13 to obtain the A Level.
All students following Advanced courses in Years 12 and 13 will also be required to attend courses in Liberal Studies and in Religious Education.
In Year 13, Bayside students join with their counterparts at Westside for the Liberal Studies course which consists of a varied and flexible series of talks and discussions focusing on issues of local importance such as the environment, the economy and the political system. Many prominent members of the community, including the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Minister, contribute to these sessions.
The school believes that all students should have equal access to the whole curriculum. It recognises that special educational needs provision plays an important role in ensuring that this curriculum is delivered to the best of the school’s ability. It is committed to meeting the needs of individual students by various means. These involve classroom support, individual attention and individual programmes of study.
Some students benefit from limited withdrawal for specific help and, following an assessment by the Educational Psychological Services, these students are encouraged to attend Specific Learning Difficulty Classes.
Care is taken to identify the specific needs of new students through an effective transition process from middle schools to Bayside. There are strong links between the SEN Coordinator at our school and SENCos in our Middle Schools.
Students whose needs are such that they are better served by working in our Learning Support Facility enjoy specialist facilities and resources. We believe that these students benefit from working with their peer group; for practical lessons, they join their form groups.
For those students who have social and/or emotional difficulties the facilities in the Alternative Learning Centre offer opportunities for addressing these needs with the aim of ensuring that students are quickly re-integrated into mainstream classes.
The school believes that parental involvement in making provision for these students is imperative. Parents are key in ensuring the success of Individual Education Plans, Individual Behaviour Plans and/or Pastoral Education Plans.
We work closely with the Behaviour Education Support Team in the belief that an inter-agency approach to helping students improve benefits all.