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Alderwood School

KS3 Pupil Support

As an 'All Through' school we are in a very fortunate position as we have a much deeper understanding of what the pupils have covered in Key Stage 2 and we are able to make sure that there is no repetition of learning and that lessons are challenging our new Year 7 pupils and moving them forward right from the start.  At the same time we have employed Key Stage 2 specialists in both Maths and English who are responsible for helping those pupils who are still cementing the foundations of their Key Stage 2 learning so that they have a solid base to move forward from into their secondary education.

Whilst most of our pupils make a smooth transition we are skilled and able to support those pupils who find the move to secondary school more difficult and we have a very experienced pastoral team that work with pupils and their parents to overcome any barriers faced.  

The curriculum at Key Stage 3 offers far more breadth than the pupils have experienced in Year 6 and this creates a challenge for all of our pupils.  Our Head of Year 7 is an expert in developing resilience in our pupils by working on them having a 'Growth Mindset'. This focuses on the pupils becoming used to learning from their experiences, both positive and negative, so that they are more prepared and able to cope the next time they face a similar situation.

Moving into Year 8 we expect our staff to continue to challenge the pupils and we monitor and report on their progress 3 times during the year.  Our pupils select the subjects that they wish to continue with into Key Stage 4, during the Spring of Year 8, and all of our staff are adept in guiding the pupils through this process.  Pupils and parents are supported through this pathways process so that all pupils are able to continue with the subject areas that they most excel in and enjoy.

Alongside our curriculum and pastoral support we are also able to offer pupils a wide range of enrichment opportunities that add additional breadth to the pupils' experiences.  These include numerous trips and opportunities to take part in a whole host of extra-curricular opportunities.  These range from Art, Music and Drama clubs to Cooking, Science and Geography as well as an extensive range of both competitive and non-competitive sporting opportunities.

Some people have labelled Key Stage 3 as the 'Forgotten Years', in the British education system, but at Alderwood we believe that our unique status as an All Through school gives us an advantage and makes sure that our learners are pushing forward and progressing from Year 7 to the start of Key Stage 4 in Year 9.