Ralph Allen School Curriculum Aims
How we organise student learning
We organise student learning around Curriculum Areas – subjects - which are listed below.
5. Computer Science
6. Design Technology
10. Modern Foreign Languages
12. Philosophy and Social Sciences
13. Physical Education
The various Curriculum Areas are taught by teachers who are grouped into Curriculum Teams.
For an overview and details of what is studied in Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, see the Ralph Allen School Prospectus by clicking here. For the Sixth Form curriculum details in the Sixth Form Prospectus click here.
Other important aspects of learning at Ralph Allen School
Although learning is organised into separate subjects on the lesson timetable, cross-curricular learning is also a feature of the curriculum in different year groups. For example, in Year 7 all students have a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics) lesson in addition to the lessons they have in these individual subjects. During this STEM lesson, students work on six projects which include Lego Robotics, Rocket Science, Virtual Bridge Building, Upcycling, and the Dyson Challenge. As they work on their projects, students draw on all the STEM subjects.
Not all learning at Ralph Allen School takes place in a traditional way in lessons. For example, in our unique Wednesday Windows programme, students can choose from a whole host of activities which are not formally part of the school curriculum. Many of the activities have been suggested by students and they range from Archery to Zumba and from Baking to Yoga. Some of the activities are led by students.
After-school clubs and activities
We have a very varied range of after-school clubs and activities. These include many different sports, music, drama and science activities. This year we are very excited to be offering students two new activities, Latin and Creative Writing.
Learning by the staff at Ralph Allen School
At Ralph Allen School we are clear that all staff at the school – especially those who work directly with students – should be learners. Teachers are expected to develop the already high level of their subject knowledge and their practice as teachers. We continually work to enable all the staff to develop their own capabilities.
In conclusion, Ralph Allen School is above all a ‘learning organisation’. Everyone at Ralph Allen, be they staff or student, is considered to be a learner. Very importantly, we regard learning not only as the transfer of knowledge, but as a complex process where students have to learn to learn and be inspired to learn. Teachers have a crucial role to play in inspiring learners, but we also recognise that inspiration comes also from other sources - including family and friends. Our aim is to bring about inspirational learning opportunities which meet the needs of all students to enable them to both do well in public examinations and to prepare them for the future.
English, Maths and Science
Purpose of study
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach students to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, students have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables students both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; students, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
Purpose of study
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Purpose of study
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural (SMSAC)
Throughout our curriculum at Ralph Allen School, Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural (SMSAC) aspects of learning are delivered across a range of different subjects.
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John Chantry, Deputy Headteacher