A Knowledge Rich Curriculum is at the heart of Learning and Teaching at KEVI Handsworth Grammar School. We want learners who are:
- creative and imaginative
Our Students will grow to be ambitious, aspirational and resilient lifelong learners who are intellectually curious. Our curriculum will provide the opportunity and challenge where there are no limits to learning.
KEVI HGS offers an intellectually rigorous academic programme that includes traditional approaches and ‘hard’ subjects, yet is also exciting, creative and innovative.
Our results in examinations at GCSE and A-level are high by the standards of both the state and independent sectors; they have played a part in KEVI HGS being graded by Ofsted as Outstanding in every category.
However, impressive as such attainment is, our ambitions for our students go much further. We seek not only to ensure that KEVI HGS students gain a thorough mastery of the requirements of the curriculum, but also to cultivate in our students’ effective habits of independent learning and of deep academic curiosity. In short, we are committed to free-thinking scholarship.
We work progressively with all our students throughout their school careers in order that they:
- Acquire all the knowledge, skills and perseverance needed for success in examinations
- Become ambitious thinkers
- Develop habits of reflection, resilience and determination
All of this is achieved through excellent teaching by staff who are themselves highly accomplished in academic terms and are well-trained in the best pedagogic practice. Our staff are dedicated and thoroughly committed to the success and welfare of the students in their charge.
Secondly, it is achieved through our programme of enrichment activities and support, which extend through all year groups of the School. These are tailored to further students’ understanding beyond the confines of the day-to-day curriculum, inspiring them to stretch themselves, to collaborate in exploring new areas, and to dig deeper into topics that interest and stimulate them intellectually.
Our aim is that, by the time they leave school, our students will have acquired a substantial measure of intellectual poise and have become confident, able and responsible. Moreover, we hope that they will then be equipped to flourish at university, to excel in interesting and rewarding careers, and to live a fulfilling life becoming a force for good.
Key Stage 3 – Years 7 to 9
Students enter the School at eleven years of age and are placed in one of five tutor groups according to information from their primary school and their performance in the eleven plus test. In Years 7 to 9 all students follow a common Curriculum based on the following subjects Art, Computing and Multimedia (C&M), Design and Technology (DT), English, French, Geography, History, Literacy/Study Skills, Mathematic, Music, Opening Minds; Physical Education (PE); Personal, Social, Health and Economic studies (PSHE); Religious Studies (RS); and Science.
The Opening Minds Project and Literacy/Study Skills lessons provide support to all other curriculum subjects in particular Citizenship, English, History and Geography.
The same curriculum structure as year 7 is followed with a slight change for students in year 8. The differences are:
- No lessons in Literacy/Study Skills or Opening Minds
- 1 extra lesson in each of Computing and Multimedia, Geography and History.
In year 9, students follow the same general curriculum plan as year 8. Students will begin elements of the GCSE courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and RS.
During Year 9, students attend an options evening with their parents in order to help them make appropriate choices regarding GCSE option subjects. Students are asked for the choice of subjects they would like to study for GCSE. Every effort is made to enable the preferred choice of course requested by students to be timetabled however this is limited by staffing availability and class sizes. Extensive support is given to ensure that choices are made which are realistic and appropriate for likely career pathways.
Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11
In Years 10 and 11 all students study a core of subjects made up of English (leading to GCSE English and GCSE English Literature), Mathematics and separate Sciences, Computer Science, plus three option subjects chosen from Art, Business Studies, Design and Technology, French, German, Geography, History, Music and PE. While every effort is made to enable students to take the subjects of their choice, this is not always possible if the course is oversubscribed or indeed under-subscribed. In addition students continue to study PSHE (incorporating Careers Guidance). PSHE is delivered in a whole day of Enrichment five times a year.
Students in year 11 will continue with the subjects that they studied in year 10.
During Year 11, students attend an information evening with their parents in order to help them make appropriate choices regarding Post 16 opportunities. Students are asked for the choice of subjects they would like to study for A-level. Extensive support is given to ensure that choices are made which are realistic and appropriate for likely career pathways.
Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13
The school has a very successful Sixth Form, offering excellent academic opportunities alongside Personal Development. The vast majority of our students stay at King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys to undertake their A-levels before going on to higher education. External students including young women are able to join our sixth form and they bring a new dimension to our school life.
Students will study three A-level subjects (or possibly 4 with Further Maths), chosen from a wide range of possible subjects and PSHE. Every effort is made to enable the preferred choice of course requested by students to be timetabled but where an option is not viable in terms of numbers and/or staffing, the Governors reserve the right to withdraw the subject option offer. Students will have to meet the entrance criteria for the sixth form and for their chosen subjects.
All Year 12 take several Enrichment Studies options from a broad offering and these run every Wednesday afternoon. The options available include ECDL, EPQ, Philosophy & Ethics, Personal Finance, Martial Arts, Community Work and Sport.
Students are supported through tutorial and careers advice, directed private study, access to our Learning Hub and extensive ICT facilities, a variety of study trips and visits, high quality help with higher education applications, work experience and the opportunity to continue with or experience new sport and leisure activities. An active school council representing students’ views is well run by members of the sixth form. There are also many opportunities for extracurricular activities and taking on leadership roles within the school.
Throughout the school career of our students, we recognise our responsibility to ensure that they are adequately prepared for adult life and regard the work of the school as complementary to and supportive of the role of the parents.