Dereham Neatherd High School

Dereham Neatherd High School

A Specialist Language College

Year 7 Curriculum Change Letter

 

Dear Parent / Guardian,

I am writing to you to explain a change we are looking to make with the current setting model and curriculum provision for Year 7 students in maths, science and computing (ICT).

We are always vigilant in reflecting on the progress of our students to ensure we have the best provision in place for them. Every cohort is, of course, different to the one that came before and we therefore try to adapt our setting model in order to reflect this. When students first arrive at Neatherd in Year 7, we use SATs results and Year 6 teacher comments to set them, but this is only provisional. Within the first few weeks, we gain a great deal more knowledge about our students and can then review setting half way through the autumn term.

This year, we have identified a clear need to give more pupils in Year 7 exposure to the upper level content of the work we are teaching them. So far we have been delivering arithmetic practice, but have decided, in order to continually teach to the top with all of our students, we would better be able to do this with two classes following an upper scheme of learning and two following the middle scheme of learning, rather than the current one to three split.

This table should help outline the changes we will be making:

Current Setting Structure                                              New Setting Structure

Set

Scheme

Target GCSE Grades

 

Set

Scheme

Target GCSE Grades

 1

Accelerated

7 – 9

 

1A

Accelerated

7 – 9

2A

Core

5 – 7

 

1B

Accelerated

7 – 9

2B

Core

5 -7

 

2A

Core

5 -7

2C

Core

5 - 7

 

2B

Core

5 - 7

The target GCSE grades shown here give an indication of the “flightpath” our schemes of learning take over the next five years. These are the new style GCSE grades, where 9 is the top grade, a grade 7 is equivalent to an old grade A and a grade 5 is equivalent to the top end of an old grade C / lower end of an old grade B. As you can therefore see, these plans are highly aspirational and will enable all learners to access the very highest grades in five years’ time.

This review will mean the classes your son/daughter is in for maths, science and ICT will change, but there will be no changes in any other subjects as a result of this particular plan.

We will be putting these changes in place during the week beginning 31st October, which would be the same time we usually have set changes with classes. We will use all data we have including SATs scores, teacher comments and our own assessment results. We will also consult closely with the science and ICT departments to ensure that students are placed in the “best fit” set for all three subjects.

While we recognise that this is another change for students, we do feel this will offer all our students the best opportunity to achieve their full potential during their time with us at Neatherd High School, and that the academic benefits far outweigh any short term concerns over moving classes at this stage. We will naturally give students every support in settling into their new classes. We would also like to reassure you that we review each student’s setting several times per year and make set changes as and when required. Students will certainly not be “locked” into the same set for the rest of their time in the school.

We appreciate your support with these changes. If, however, you should have any concerns, please do contact us, so that we can work together to resolve these.

Yours sincerely,

Mr C. Daniels                                                  Mr J. Mallett

Acting Head of Mathematics                          Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum)