Nurturing the growth of the oft-quoted “whole child” is at the heart of our curriculum, which, when actively embedded into the pupils’ diet of learning, results in rapid academic progress. This is demonstrated in our most recent pre-COVID-19 GCSE results: 87% of our pupils met their target, 77% met their aspirational target and 51% achieved grades that were above their aspirational targets. In 2020/21, our pupils continued this form with progress scores that were even more impressive. While we are proud of these achievements, we endeavour to provide an education that goes beyond the pursuit of grades. Our aim is to foster an inclusive culture that celebrates our pupils’ diversity of thoughts and experiences and inspires them to become life-long learners.
In Year 7, the first term is dedicated to bridging the gap between the primary and secondary phases, in which the pupils are recognised - and are encouraged to see themselves - as champions. Their learning is specifically designed to be fun, building on each individual’s confidence, positive wellbeing and intellectual curiosity, all of which complement our drive to raise academic achievement. Our Year 7 pupils look forward to a contemporary education in which they have opportunities to sing, dress up in costumes and engage in many creative collaborations.
Our curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 is designed to promote our pupils’ academic growth while challenging their understanding of the world around them. Each year, pupils read non-fiction texts, novels, short stories, plays and poetry with reading that spans the globe and that is set throughout history - from the Philippines in the 1890s to Liverpool in the 1970s. We empower our pupils to use all of their learning to draw their own conclusions and to freely express themselves in a safe, caring environment. Our collective sense of fellowship ensures that we all listen to and respect one another.
In Years 10 and 11, GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature are compulsory courses of study. At HSW, our pupils follow the AQA curriculum for both qualifications. There is one tier of entry, which covers the complete ability range of grades 9-1.
In GCSE English Language, pupils read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and develop their written voice through creative and persuasive writing tasks. In GCSE English Literature, pupils cover a range of texts from different periods of time. They are currently studying Macbeth, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, An Inspector Calls, and AQA’s Power and Conflict anthology of poems.
Extracurricular opportunities offered to pupils will include a junior drama club, opportunities to take part in school shows, and the chance to achieve Lamda qualifications.