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Teaching & Learning

We have an average of 24 pupils in a class. This ensures that teachers give more time to individual pupils, build even better working relationships, and encourage collaborative work amongst the pupils.

Small teaching groups allow more emphasis on personalised active learning which makes lessons more fun and, therefore, pupils work harder and achieve higher standards. Our pupils spend two instead of three years studying the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

This allows pupils to spend three years studying for GCSE examinations, with some pupils studying additional GCSEs and starting A Levels.

In order that pupils are academically stimulated and encouraged to achieve their individual best from the moment they join us, we place them in banded sets. Year 7 pupils’ allocation to banded sets is based on their performance in Key Stage 2 SATs exams, information from primary schools and scores achieved in the tests taken in July at St Martin’s School.

Banded setting is a system of grouping pupils which gives them an appropriate level of academic challenge and support. Their individual progress will be continuously monitored and limited movement to a higher or lower banded set will be made when appropriate.

The 280 pupils in a year group are divided into 12 teaching groups but because the ability of pupils overall will vary slightly from year to year, the number of ability bands will also vary. In Years 7 and 8, for example, we have a lower performing band comprising two classes each of approximately 16 pupils and four “top” sets, each of 27 pupils. Between these upper and lower groups there are six banded sets, each comprising 20-23 pupils.

Homework makes an important contribution to acadmic progress. Pupils will receive various amounts of homework depending on their stage and age. This is recorded by the pupils in their School Planners. Through homework, pupils learn to work independently, develop organisation skills and take responsibility for their own learning. Homework is used to consolidate previous, extend current and prepare for future learning.

Every pupil is issued with a homework diary which parents inspect and sign weekly to confirm the pupil is accurately recording the time spent on homework. Parental concerns about homework (or class work) can be recorded in the diary and the teachers can then work in partnership with the parents to help pupils gain even more from their lessons and homework.

The diary is also used to record achievements and to set targets. Homework’s are set in 2 or 3 subjects per night and, as a guide, we expect pupils to spend 40 minutes per subject in years 7 to 9 and 60 minutes per subject in years 10 and 11.

Teaching And Learning Principles 

These can be viewed by downloading the following document:

Examination Courses 

Details of all examination courses followed at KS4 and 5 and can be found here.

Additional Information 

The content of the school’s curriculum in each academic year for every subject can be found here

Details of the curriculum being followed by the current year 10 can be found here.

The current schedule for school assemblies can be found here.

The School Day  
Start of School 8:25am
Tutorial Period 8:30am
Period One 8:55am
Period Two 10:00am
Morning Break 11:00am
Period Three 11:25am
Period Four 12:30pm
Lunch Break 1:30pm
Period Five 2:15pm
End of School 3:15pm