At Ellesmere Park, we have five Learning Zones that are made up of different subject areas. These are:
- Communication - English & Modern Foreign Languages
- Culture - History, Geography, RE, Ethics & Philosophy, PSHE
- Expression - Art, Dance, Drama, Music, & Photography
- Innovation - Science & Technology
- Logistics - Maths, ICT/Computing, & Business Studies
To ensure that everything we do has a focus on helping students to meet and exceed their potential; academically, socially and emotionally.
The curriculum will always have sufficient depth and coverage to ensure students progress over five years.
To instil a passion for life-long learning and continuous improvement; so students are both creative and critical of the information they encounter in the modern world. For example, in Year 7 students study civil rights campaigns right through to modern social media campaigns. In Year 8 students learn about dystopian texts in a challenging and interactive way. In Year 9, there is a focus on disturbed voices poetry, which is modern, reflective, and relevant.
To develop creative and analytical communication skills so students can express themselves precisely, accurately, and in detail in order to prepare students for life and for potential later study. Also to encourage a breadth of cultural knowledge and understanding.
To focus on student development by providing exciting and challenging learning and extra-curricular opportunities and experiences.
In the English Department, we want to create an inclusive and inspiring environment where all students feel supported and empowered to succeed. We also want to fully embrace the vison, values, and aims of the Academy Trust.
Key Stage 3
During Key Stage 3, we want to encourage students to read as often and as widely as possible.
Research indicates that children who are very good and confident readers by the age of 15 are most likely to go on achieve well at high school, college, and university.
We also know students who read for just half an hour a day can be up to a year ahead of those who don’t by the time they turn 15.
Assessments in English are carried out each half term. We use a mix of tests and other assessments to develop an overall profile of each child, using ‘I can’ statements.
What will I study?
Each year is based around a different set of topics that provide a broad and balanced curriculum in English.
In Year 7, students will study:
- Novel (Including Maggot Moon and A Monster Calls)
- Newspapers - reading and writing
- An Introduction to Poetry
- Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’
- A 19th Century Text
In Year 8, students will study:
- Reading and writing non-fiction texts - Travel Skills Unit
- Writing skills - Argumentative and Persuasive Writing
- Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice
- Poetry - From other cultures
- Literary Text Analysis
In Year 9, students will study:
- Gothic - Literary Fiction and Imaginative Writing
- Blood Brothers
- Poetry - Disturbed Voices
- Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Reading Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing
Key Stage 4
Each year is based around a different set of topics that provide a broad and balanced curriculum in English.
At GCSE, students study the Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1), including:
- Fiction and Imaginative Writing
- Non-Fiction and Transactional Writing
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley or Blood Brothers by Willy Russell
- Poetry Since 1789 – Pearson Anthology
Modern Foreign Languages
At Ellesmere Park High School, the MFL department is committed to delivering a curriculum that is both engaging and challenging at all levels while celebrating and supporting academic achievement and progress.
Our key aims are:
- To engage students with our curriculum and promote the love of learning a foreign language.
- To engender the self-confidence needed to allow students to progress successfully in communicating in a foreign language for practical purposes.
- To increase the level of linguistic and cognitive demand through each academic year and key stage.
- For our students to be open-minded and adaptable to developing life-long linguistic skills.
- To equip students to become responsible world citizens who can make a positive contribution and be mutually respectful in our multicultural society.
At Key Stage 3, all students study Spanish.
In Year 7:
Students learn the basics to enable them to communicate with Spanish speakers and hold introductory conversations covering topics such as asking and answering questions about name, age, birthday, where you live, and so on.
Once the foundations for good pronunciation and confidence in speaking have been laid, we cover topics in more detail and explore talking about opinions, justifying those opinions, what you do in school, describing friends and family, and talking about what you do in your free time. Some students will move on to talk about past and future events.
In Years 8 and 9
Students will begin to explore some of the topics covered at GCSE level to give students an insight into the depth of work required at this level.
These topics include Shopping, Homelife, Health, Work, Festivals, Travel, Spanish Gothic Literature, The Environment, and Celebrations. Students will be expected to talk about past and future events with increasing confidence. As we approach option time, students will examine career choices, the advantages and disadvantages of different jobs and the qualifications needed.
GCSE Languages Years 10 and 11
All students follow the Eduqas Exam board qualification.
There are three major topic areas covered. These are Identity and Culture; Local, national, international, and global areas of interest; and Current and future study and employment.
GCSE students will be expected to have acquired knowledge and understanding of Spanish grammar during their course. In the examination, they will be required to apply their knowledge and understanding over four skills – Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. All four skills are examined at the end of Year 11.
At Ellesmere Park High School, we aim for a history curriculum that inspires students to be curious of Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
Students have a right to know about the world in which they live, about significant people in the past and what those people did and how we live with the consequences of what happened before we were alive.
Our teaching should equip students with knowledge of people who live in societies that are, and have been, divided in different ways by wealth, class, gender, and race. This in turn will allow them to be inquisitive learners who will ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, and develop an objective judgement as a result of their learning.
History will give students important communication and written skills, as well as analytical skills through dealing with historical evidence.
In Year 7,
Students study the chronology of British History from the Anglo-Saxon period, the Tudor Monarchs, English Civil War, Britain’s Empire, the Industrial Revolution through to Britain’s role in World War One and Two.
For Year 7 Extended Homework Planner click here
In Year 8,
Students will study history thematically, looking at important events in the wider world such as Slavery and Civil Rights in America, Significant women in History, Britain as a migrant nation, and the changing nature of conflict through the Vietnam War and War on Terror.
For Year 8 Extended Homework Planner click here
In Year 9,
Students will be focussing on Genocides that have happened across the world over various years, followed by an in-depth study of the Holocaust, then looking at the rise of the Nazi Party to explain why and how the Holocaust occurred.
At GCSE, students study the Edexcel History Syllabus topics include: Medicine through time, Weimar and Nazi Germany, Elizabethan England, and Superpower Relations and the Cold War.
For Year 9 Extended Homework Planner click here
Geography will inspire our learners to become global citizens, by exploring their place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people and the environment.
The curriculum aims to develop life-long learners, who through the study of current geographical issues, will enquire about global similarities, differences, and links between places at a variety of scales.
The curriculum ensures students develop geographical skills, embedding cartographic, graphical, numerical, statistical, and literacy skills, through wide-ranging and stimulating lesson topics.
The Geography curriculum is designed to support and challenge all students, appropriate to their age and ability and inspire and motivate the next generation of leading thinkers, scientists, geographers, and policymakers.
In Year 7,
Students follow a course that includes Planet Earth; My Place; Africa; Glaciation; Population and Urbanisation & Asia (including China and India).
In Year 8,
Students build upon the foundations laid in Year 7 and cover a range of topics, including Weather and Climate; Development; Russia; Economic Activity; Middle East; Rocks, Weathering and Soils, & Geographical Information Systems.
Students that choose to follow Geography at Key Stage 4 make this choice in Year 8.
Year 9, therefore, prepares the ground for the GCSE course, with students studying the topics that form the core of the GCSE specification:
- The challenge of natural hazards
- The living world
- Physical landscapes in the UK
- Urban issues and challenges
- The changing economic world
- The challenge of resource management
Students follow the AQA GCSE Geography Specification. The AQA website contains resources such as past papers and mark schemes and can be accessed here.
The curriculum in Expression aims to challenge, inspire, and enrich school life, enabling students to gain pride and self-confidence in their achievements.
We strive to deliver an accessible curriculum which students of all ages and abilities will find rich and exciting, a journey of diverse, new experiences, and the discovery of new skills, hidden talents, and the development of existing abilities and interests.
We seek to allow students to establish a sense of identity and ownership and to strive to reach the limits of their potential. We value the individuality of each student and help them value that individuality in others. The structure of learning aims to develop each student’s ability to express themselves in a variety of dynamic mediums and disciplines and to have the confidence to use this knowledge, not only as a means of communicating their ideas and feelings, but to also make sense of the events and elements of the everyday world.
Through the universal language of the expressive and performing arts and sport, we want to provide a vehicle through which the simplest to the most complex ideas can be expressed. We promote issues of equal opportunities by allowing for freedom of expression, the symbolic language of the arts knows no gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, class, or social bounds. It has the scope to meet the needs of all students.
Art is studied by all students at Key Stage 3.
It remains one of our most popular, and indeed successful, option subjects at Key Stage 4. We believe the teaching of creative subjects is a vital part of a broad and balanced curriculum. At Key Stage 4, students study the AQA GCSE Art Qualification.
Students studying Art can expect to encounter these topics and to develop the associated skills:
In Year 7:
Drawing skills in various media focus on observational drawing. There is often a thematic approach that serves as the vehicle to teach drawing disciplines through.
In Year 8:
Mixed media drawing disciplines which are thematic in approach; independent learning is encouraged. Three-dimensional work is also taught to cover national curriculum provision.
In Year 9:
The focus moves to painting skills, graphic design and illustration. An emphasis on how to communicate meaningful messages through artwork is present for much of the year. Work becomes increasingly self-directed to increase independence in readiness for GCSE qualifications.
In Year 10:
Projects are thematic and allow students opportunities for independently driven work and skills workshops covering a variety of media and techniques.
In Year 11:
Students work on the following areas of the subject: Enrichment of Drawing skills, artist research, material experiments, and the production of personalised final piece developments spanning different media and techniques.
Photography is offered as an option subject at Key Stage 4.
It continues to be a popular and very successful subject.
In Year 10, students understand the basics of photography including functions of SLR camera, composition, aperture, shutter speed, and lighting. Students are also introduced to photoshop and will learn basic editing techniques.
Also in Year 10, students complete two projects as part of the GCSE course:
Example projects are:
• Project 1: Experimental portrait
• Project 2: The urban environment (digital and darkroom)
In Year 11, students spend most of the lesson time working on their final coursework project based on a theme such as ‘rituals’ or ‘issues’. Students follow the AQA Photography syllabus and complete an exam project that runs over several months; they need a memory stick and use of a camera or camera phone for homework.
Masterclasses are available each month for Year 10 and extra support is available as part of our Year 11 Study Programme.
We run several visits and artist workshops throughout the year. You can see examples of our work here: www.ephsphotography.weebly.com
All students study Drama at Key Stage 3 and it is an optional subject at Key Stage 4.
In Year 7, topics studied include:
Introduction to Drama – students develop basic drama skills, explore the process of creating a performance, and how to improve their confidence to perform.
Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty – students explore the play, and express their own interpretations of bullying and how to deal with certain scenarios.
Melodrama – students explore the style of melodrama and silent film, developing skills of exaggeration and mime.
In Year 8, topics studied include:
Red – students will develop basic skills in drama while exploring the popular fairy tale and its contrasting versions.
Darkwood Manor – students will develop an understanding of physical theatre and the use of the body as an object to create non-naturalistic theatre.
Stones – students will discuss real-life issues and the consequences of peer pressure through drama conventions/ activities.
In Year 9, topics studied include:
‘Z’ world – students will develop their understanding of interpreting a script and devising from a stimulus.
Mock Devising Unit – students will create a performance using devising skills learnt throughout Key Stage 3 (this aids preparation for the GCSE drama component 2).
Exploring Plays – students will explore and interpret an extract of a play in order to perform this with the playwright's intentions realised (this aids preparation for the GCSE drama component 3).
Drama is an optional subject at Key Stage 4.
In Years 10 & 11, students follow AQA GCSE Drama course.
The Units studied include:
Component 1 – a written exam which comprises of three sections (roles and responsibilities, set text – Blood Brothers, live theatre review) this exam is worth 40 per cent of the final grade.
Component 2 – devised performance (a performance assessment completed in response to a stimulus 10 per cent & a logbook which details their devising process 30 per cent) this performance is worth 40 per cent of the final grade.
Component 3 – text in practice (a performance assessment completed for an external examiner of two extracts from a play text) this is worth the final 20 per cent of the final grade.
Students in KS4 will also have the opportunity to visit the theatre in order to review a performance in their year 1 written exam.
Music is studied by all students at KS3 and is an option at KS4.
At all levels, it is taught through the disciplines of composing, performing, and listening/understanding music. Lessons are as practical as possible with flexibility for individual student experiences. We are an incredibly well-resourced department, so students have access to keyboards, a suite of Mac computers running Logic Pro X, guitars, drum kits, and a recording studio.
Topics studied at KS3 include Blues Music, Dance Music, Arranging Music, Film Music, and Instruments of the Orchestra.
We currently follow the EDUQAS Music GCSE at Key Stage 4
We provide two hours of inclusive, quality P.E. lessons to all students in our care each week.
In Key Stage 3, students learn to compose, develop, and refine a number of skills and techniques across a range of team games and individual activities.
At Key Stage 4, students continue with compulsory P.E. lessons, choosing to specialise in the activities they enjoy and have developed a flair for. Students are also able to opt to take the Edexcel GCSE PE Full course.
All students change fully into P.E kit for every lesson and take on alternative roles as officials, organisers, or coaches if unable to physically take part for medical reasons.
Practical activities covered at Ellesmere Park include football, netball, basketball, dance, trampolining, rugby, table tennis, badminton, HRF (Health Related Fitness), dodgeball, cricket, rounders, softball, short tennis, volleyball, handball and athletics.
Our aim is to encourage and develop teamwork, respect, and enjoyment through a variety of sporting situations which we hope will foster lifelong participation in physical activity in order to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. This year we are excited to be able to offer all of our Year 9 students a ‘Growth Mind set’ day delivered by ‘Inspired through Sport’ along with a visit from a GB athlete.
We offer a range of extra-curricular clubs on a rotational basis throughout the year and compete in a number of sports such as netball, football, basketball, and handball.
Students at Ellesmere Park High School have the opportunity to opt for the BTEC Tech Award in Performing Arts (with a dance approach) which is delivered over five lessons a fortnight.
This course requires students to study three different styles of dance and three contrasting choreographers, namely Ivan Perez, Bob Fosse, and Kenrick Sandy. Students study the work of the choreographers and reproduce existing repertoire from the musical Chicago and the moving dance film, ‘Young Men’, which is a contemporary piece based on the experiences of World War One soldiers.
The course is split into three components which mixes practical dance performance with written elements and students are encouraged to perform some of this work during our open evening, presentation evening, and at other end of term opportunities. Students also visit Pendleton College annually to watch the matinee dance performance of their Performing Arts students.
The final exam requires students to use the practical and theoretical knowledge they have developed to respond to a set stimulus from Edexcel in order to choreograph a 15-minute final performance.
Students require the usual Ellesmere Park PE kit for all dance lessons.
To deliver a bespoke curriculum that is personalised to all students and links to real-world applications in an engaging, enthusing, and creative way.
The curriculum is also designed to develop literacy skills and mathematical skills, as well as scientific skills and problem-solving and to embed these skills for life.
Time is spent studying in more depth on project-based and open-ended tasks designed to engage and enthuse students as well as using a variety of other teaching methods and styles. Learners are provided with opportunities inside and outside of lessons to appreciate Science and see how it links to other subject areas and daily life. It delivers an experience, which connects with other subjects such as Maths, English, Geography, Technology, and History.
We pride ourselves on our opportunities to develop STEM skills and knowledge and encompass these into lessons as well as through our STEM club and bespoke events which we have designed. A balance of all three Science disciplines is delivered to give students a broad understanding of the various aspects and concepts science has to offer.
Our vision is always to enthuse children about the subject we all have a passion for and to foster that same passion in the young people we work with; to develop life long learners who are curious about the world around them.
At Key Stage 3 learners explore the topics of;
Year 7 Topics
- Introduction to Science
- States and separating mixtures
- Periodic Table
Year 8 Topics
- Chemical Reactions
- Electricity and Electromagnetism
- Materials and the Earth
All learners study for at least two Science GCSEs at Key Stage 4. They either follow the EDEXCEL Combined Science pathway or, for some students, there is also the opportunity to undertake three GCSEs in Science following the EDEXCEL Separate Science, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics pathways.
Design and Technology at Ellesmere Park High School is divided into two areas; Food & Nutrition and Product Design.
This is delivered through a termly rotation system with students experiencing a range of projects in these areas.
Throughout all projects, a range of key skills are taught and revisited. These include research and analysis, specification, idea generation and development, 3d prototyping, and evaluation. The design process is delivered in a linear way in year 7 and evolves to a more focused approach as the key stage develops.
Where ever possible different contexts, cultures, and demographic groups are incorporated into various design briefs with the aim of encouraging students to solve relevant problems for consumers other than themselves.
As students progress, they encounter different material areas and experience a variety of making and manufacturing techniques. These increase in complexity and challenge and ensure the more traditional, but valuable, skills of measuring and marking out are given as much attention as the exciting and ever-changing disciplines of computer-aided design and manufacture. Due to the relatively limited amount of curriculum time spent in the subject, a practical and hands-on approach to learning is adopted as often as is practicable.
A resilient, risk-taking, independent, and team working approach is encouraged in all lessons and students learning is assessed via a pathway system with a practical and skill-based set of assessment criteria that clearly identifies the next learning steps.
We equip all our students with the Mathematical skills they will be using on a daily basis both at school and beyond.
The curriculum will take students on their Mathematical journey at a stage appropriate to them, building upon a good solid foundation from their prior learning and offering them the support or challenge to thrive and grow. They will learn a range of topics within Mathematics in a variety of ways in an informative and purposeful environment in order to prepare them for success. All of our students are encouraged to be independent, resilient, and proud of their successes.
During the academic year, students work through various Mathematical topics, which are set out in our long terms plans. Students will look at key Mathematical vocabulary regularly, celebrate Maths week England, complete regular sticky knowledge assessments, and have opportunities to consolidate their prior learning through our ‘blast from the past’ weeks.
All our staff are committed to teaching Mathematics in ways that will help children to appreciate the beauty of the subject. We strive to help students understand Mathematics rather than memorising it. We feel this approach better prepares young people for a world where an ability to solve problems, manipulate figures, and use the day to day skills associated with money and time is invaluable.
All students are taught in sets throughout their five years. Years 7 to 10 students do a fortnightly sticky knowledge assessment and keyword spellings/definitions activity.
During Key Stage 3, students follow a staged curriculum that is best suited to the progress of our students.
Topics covered include:
- Expressions & Formulae
- Coordinates, Lines & Angles
- 2D Shapes, Perimeter, & Area
- Symmetry & Transformations
- Averages & Range
- Charts & Graphs
- Multiples, Factors, & Negative Numbers
- Ratio & Proportion
- Fractions, Decimals, & Percentages
In Mathematics at Key Stage 4, students follow the Pearson Edexcel GCSE Mathematics syllabus and examinations. Each year is based around a different set of topics that provide a broad and balanced curriculum in Mathematics.
Assessment will cover the following content headings:
- Ratio, proportion, and rates of change
- Geometry and measures
Maths staff are available every Wednesday, Period 5, for any students wishing to attend the drop-in session in order to support their learning and engage with the resources that we have on offer, such as Mathswatch, which students can also use from home. There is also a Logic club on Tuesdays after school up in the Maths department.
ICT & Computing
To prepare students for life beyond school including the world of work – equipping them with a range of computing and employability skills to support them in whichever pathway they choose
To give students a rich understanding of the principles and practice of a range of computational techniques and theory
To develop students entrepreneurial skills and enable them to develop these skills via a growth mindset.
Key Stage 3
In Computing at Key Stage 3, students learn how to be responsible users of technology, understand how computers work, how to program them, and how to use a wide range of ICT skills.
- Python programming
- Office applications
These help students prepare for the world of work, where increasingly employers are expecting their staff to be confident and effective users of technology.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Computer Science
Computer science is all about problem-solving. Analysing and modelling problems, designing solutions, and then evaluating them.
You’ll learn about:
- how and why computers work
- data and how it is transferred
- designing and developing applications
- project management techniques
You’ll learn how to program, apply algorithms, use networks, and code your own video games and mobile applications, and skills and techniques that will help you in your career, whatever you go on to do.
You will learn skills that you’ll find useful every day in every career, not just in the IT industry and gain an understanding of modern technology – not just how to use it but how to create it.
There are three parts of the GCSE Computer Science qualification –
1. Principles of Computer Science – assessed through an exam and worth 40 per cent of your overall grade
2. Application of Computational Thinking – an exam based on a Computer Science scenario and worth 40 per cent of your overall grade
3. A Computer Science Project – you will design, test, and improve a program (this is worth 20 per cent of your grade)
To be successful in Computer Science, it is important you have good levels of Numeracy and Literacy as this will help you understand and write the code you will need to use to make the programs.
Cambridge Nationals in Information Technologies
This qualification is offered as an option subject at Key Stage 4.
It is designed to develop students to become effective users of ICT – a key skill that many employers look for in prospective staff. The qualification is made up of two units:
Understanding tools, techniques, methods and processes for technological solutions - students will learn how various ICT tools are used to solve real-world issues and gain an understanding of how the project life cycle is used to support this.
Developing technological solutions - students will create a solution to a problem, applying their knowledge of the project life cycle and ICT tools
Business Studies is an option subject available at GCSE level.
The subject helps in developing a range of skills and knowledge which will support you in further studies and/or employment.
The course will cover a wide range of business topics including:
- Spotting business opportunities
- Putting business ideas into practice
- Understanding the effects of changes in the economy on new and existing businesses
- Understanding and meeting customer needs
- Effective financial management
- Global effects on businesses
Business studies will equip you with the knowledge of how and why businesses startup. It will help you appreciate how businesses function and understand the relationships they have with the wider community.