The knowledge throughout our whole school curriculum is sequenced and mapped deliberately and coherently to ensure that students’ learning becomes more sophisticated every year.
What we mean by this is that our curriculum is a journey where the beginning, middle and end are just as important as the final sprint. So, what is learned in each year group provides the foundations for what will be learned in future years. We have designed a curriculum which aims high; a challenging curriculum rich in vocabulary and a broad range of subjects, so that progressing through our curriculum means that a student is making progress in their learning.
We continually work on, and review our curriculum content and delivery, ensuring that we continue to develop our students’ access to knowledge. We leave nothing to chance.
Our curriculum journey
Key Stage 3 overall curriculum
Our Key Stage Three students experience a broad and balanced curriculum. Each week, their timetable consists of:
English - 4 lessons
Maths - 4 lessons
Science - 3 lessons
Geography - 2 lessons
History - 2 lessons
PE - 2 lessons
French - 2 lessons
Music - 1 lesson
Dance/ Drama - 1 lesson
DT/ Art - 2 lessons
IT - 1 lesson
Religious Studies - 1 lesson
Key Stage 4 Curriculum Options
Key Stage 5 Year 12 & 13 Curriculum
Our Key Stage 5 offer comprises a number of potential Pathways. Students can build a bespoke programme of study comprising A Levels, BTECs, Hospitality and Catering and Workability programmes.
Please click here to see the current 6th Form Subject Options.
English is often seen as the gateway to other subjects in the curriculum but English is so much more than that.
In the English classroom, students learn about themselves and the world around them; they have the opportunity to explore new ideas, many of which challenge their own thinking; they are often surprised in English - they find that they love a poem, or understand Shakespeare’s words, or find themselves moved by the death of Charlie Peaceful and Roger the Cat, outraged at the injustices suffered by Maya Angelou and Sojourner Truth, and downright shocked by Lady Macbeth’s words; they become masters at writing accurately; they learn about the power of language - both in the writing of others and in their own writing.
Simply put, life happens in the English classroom. And, it is our responsibility to open the door, break down the barriers and welcome our students in.
‘Reading the right books challenges students and arms them with cultural capital’ (Lemov).
In Reading Reconsidered (Lemov, Driggs and Woolway, 2016), Lemov discusses the decline of the Canon and urges schools to draw up their own list of ‘important’ texts that their students should read. He urges schools to arm students with cultural capital as it is our duty to enable a student, on hearing a reference to Shakespeare, Dickens or Golding to ‘be able to join the conversation’. He explains that there are aspirational effects of reading texts that are considered ‘great’ - as if a text is difficult then it becomes a ‘hurdle to be overcome by great teaching’ and cites the social critic Matthew Arnold’s belief that more students should be reading ‘the best which has been thought and said in the world’ (Culture and Anarchy 1869).
When choosing the texts, the following has been considered:
Does the text provide enough lexical challenge?
Does it allow for conceptual and philosophical thought on the human condition?
Does it introduce literary conventions?
Does it provide a cultural capital of useful knowledge?
Further to this, texts have been chosen because they are:
Pre-complex texts (to introduce students to the language of pre-1900 texts)
Texts with non-linear time sequences
Resistant texts - texts that are difficult to understand because the story can’t be told simply.
All schemes will interleave the threshold concepts and the portable knowledge taught in the previous units. Each unit will embed shorter non-fiction (essays/articles/excerpts) to both challenge the students and inform them about key topics to enrich their understanding of the key texts. All units will be taught at the same time and our CPD across the year will focus on how it should be taught. This will allow the students (and staff) to have a 'shared discourse' - the idea that part of the value of reading is to be able to read and talk about important books that almost everyone has read (Matthew Arnold).
In his blog, The essential ingredients of great English teaching (2018), Tharby describes English as an ‘interconnected body of knowledge’ where Key Stage 3 not only introduces students to this ‘strange and beautiful world’ but lays the ‘important foundations for Key Stage 4’ and beyond. He also recommends that schools put literature at the heart of every lesson and, like Lemov, that all English teaching is supported by ambitious text choices.
Towers’ English Curriculum:
The units chosen will explicitly teach students the key disciplines that underpin the study of English - literary genre, form, structure and devices.
KS3 English - The Human Experience (Diversity, love, power)
In Year 7, we look at a variety of texts which address the overarching question: How do writers explore other cultures? We start the year with our annual Grammar for Writing unit. This unit teaches students how to write accurately and is revisited every September until Year 11. Next, we move onto ‘Poetry from Other Cultures’, which explicitly teaches the form of poetry, poetic methods and introduces students to essay writing. In this unit, we study a range of poems from around the world, exploring themes such as multi-cultural Britain, the Partition of India, terrorism, racism and the impacts of British colonisation. Next, we move onto our pre-19th century text ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. ‘Oliver Twist’ introduces students to the Victorian era, Dickens and the concept of social change - all areas of knowledge that will be needed at GCSE. Our third unit is the Shakespearean comedy ‘The Tempest’. This unit introduces students to the Jacobean era, the idea that Shakespeare is a verse dramatist and Shakespeare’s written style. And, finally,we read the modern novel ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece’ by Annabel Pitcher. This is a text that looks at the aftermath of a terrorist attack on one family and explores the themes of prejudice, grief, multi-cultural Britain and friendship.
All units studied will allow our students to develop an understanding of other cultures, the treatment and reaction to these both historically and in the modern day, and teach how diversity should be embraced by all.
In Year 8, we look at a variety of texts which address the overarching question: How do writers explore love and relationships? We start the year with our annual Grammar for Writing unit. This unit teaches students how to write accurately and is revisited every September until Year 11. Next, we move onto the modern novel ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo and World War One poetry. This unit revises the form of both the novel and poetry, consolidates essay writing skills and deals with themes such as of the realities of war, brotherhood and growing up. Next, we move onto the pre-19th century novel ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson; this unit recaps the Year 7 learning of the Victorian period and explored the themes of duality of nature, science and the Gothic; Our final unit is the Shakespearean tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’. We challenge the idea that it is one of the ‘greatest love stories of all time’ but consider how this Elizabethan play is overshadowed by grief, feuds and fate.
All units studied have allowed our students to develop an understanding of love and relationships, whether familial, romantic or platonic, and how love and compassion is a driving force for good.
In Year 9, we look at various texts with the overarching question: How do writers explore the world around them? We start the year with our annual Grammar for Writing unit. This unit teaches students how to write accurately and is revisited every September until Year 11. Next, we move onto the dystopian allegorical novel ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell. This unit revises the form of the novel, consolidates essay writing skills, considers themes of tyranny, power and control and equality and teaches students the context of the Russian Revolution. Next, we move onto the pre-19th century play ‘A Doll’s House’ by Henrik Ibsen. This unit consolidates student understanding of drama texts and considers the themes of traditional gender roles, reputation and power and control. Our final Literature unit is ‘Women in Literature’. In this unit, we study a number of speeches, poems and short stories written by female writers from the Victorian period to the modern day. This unit considers why the female voice was silenced for many years, the importance of hearing stories from a female perspective and the significance of gender equality for both boys and girls. The remainder of the year will be an introduction to the GCSEs with creative and rhetorical writing.
All units studied will allow our students to develop an understanding of the world around them and how those in positions of authority can - and often do - abuse their power. We consider how a truly fair world is an equal one and how, as individuals, we can contribute towards that.
KS4 English Language and Literature GCSEs
Students study for two GCSE English qualifications at Key Stage 4: English Language and English Literature and in their first year of the English GCSE students will have completed over 60% of the GCSE curriculum. We start the year with our annual Grammar for Writing unit. This unit teaches students how to write accurately and is revisited every September until Year 11; it is of vital importance as writing accounts for 50% of the GCSE English Language grade. Students are then introduced to two of the three chosen Literature texts: the Dickensian pre-19th century novella ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the Shakespearean tragedy ‘Macbeth’. As well as these, we will study the ‘conflict’ and ‘nature’ poems from the ‘Power and Conflict’ cluster and study the whole of English Language Paper 1 which includes creative writing. Across the year, students will build their knowledge of key literature texts, practising writing detailed and thoughtful analysis, considering how to give perspective interpretations and perfecting their writing skills. Our aim is for the students of Towers School to challenge themselves in their essays writing and stand out amongst the national GCSE cohort of 2023.
In Year 11, we start the year with our annual Grammar for Writing unit. This unit teaches students how to write accurately and is revisited every September; it is of vital importance as writing accounts for 50% of the GCSE English Language grade. We then begin finishing the content of the English GCSE. We explore William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ and end the year with Unseen poetry. Entering into the new year, we will study the whole of English Language Paper 2 which includes rhetorical writing. The rest of the year is spent revising for the exams using interleaved revision.
KS5 English Literature A-Level
In Year 12, students will study for Paper 1 ‘Love through the Ages’. We begin the year with Shakespeare’s domestic tragedy ‘Othello’ and Bronte’s convention defying ‘Wuthering Heights’ before moving onto unseen poetry and Pre-1900 love poetry. Students finish the year with an introduction to their independent critical study, a 2500 word assessment that asks them to compare Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ with a text of their choice, and a three-hour PPE that tests both student knowledge and essay writing stamina!
In Year 13, we move onto Paper 2 ‘Texts in Modern Contexts (1945 to present day)’. We begin with Duffy’s ‘Feminine Gospels’ and Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ before moving onto unseen prose and Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. We interleave our Love through the Ages texts throughout the year and students will also hand in their independent critical study in February 2023.
The purpose of the Towers School Geography curriculum is to allow all students to understand the physical environments of planet Earth and how humans interact with them. The fundamental underpinning ‘big idea’ (concept) of Geography is Space and Place.
This holistic context will frame students’ understanding and questions of the Earth’s surface of which they live: the landscape, the oceans, flora and fauna, the atmosphere, global and regional hazards, people, human culture and population, UK settlement and the built environment.
An understanding of place and space and how these two fit together is fundamental to the study of geography, so the curriculum starts with an intensive and in-depth overarching study of the Earth’s geography. This study will blend the human and physical: for example, students will learn of the major oceans, mountains and rivers, and they will also learn of countries, cities and geopolitical associations. This study will also blend the local and the global: Students will study the geography of the seven continents but also the geography of Kent, London and the UK. Throughout this study, students will also develop their understanding and ability to use such important geographical tools as maps, compasses, globes, atlases and GIS. This in-depth understanding of space and place will equip students to go on and study the more advanced and specific aspects of human and physical geography.
Throughout the study students will learn using case studies based on the UK as well as other relevant global examples to further strengthen their newly gained knowledge. All of the later units of study will also serve to reinforce, emphasise and expand the space/place knowledge acquired in this first year.
In addition to the importance of space and place, each year of the Geography curriculum will seek to introduce important aspects of procedural knowledge. As well as being able to use the spatial tools such as maps and GIS that have already been mentioned, students will also develop their ability to collect data, analyse data and evaluate its findings. Frequent practise of these methods in different contexts will allow students to master these techniques, as well as deepening their understanding of the material they are studying.
Other geographical ‘big ideas’ (concepts) that KS3 students will engage with are; Earth processes, the Natural environment, the Human environment, Hazards, and Climate change.
The 6 Geography ‘big ideas’ (concepts) will be prevalent throughout the KS3/4/5 curriculum and will be taught through different units of study outlined below.
Year 7: Map and Atlas skills; Oceans on the edge; Tropical rainforests; Development; UK Physical geography, and Geography in the News
Year 8: India: Its people and country, Rivers, The World’s Cities, Climate and change, and the Taiga Forests.
Year 9: Earthquakes and Tsunamis, Volcanoes, Coasts, Deserts and Sustainability.
KS4 GCSE Geography: This course will deepen understanding of geographical processes, illuminate the impact of change and of complex people-environment interactions, highlight the dynamic links and interrelationships between places and environments at different scales, and develop students’ competence in using a wide range of geographical investigative skills and approaches.
Component 1- Global Geographical issues
Component 2- UK Geographical Issues
Component 3- Making Geographical Decisions
KS5 A Level Geography: This course will enable students to be inspired by their geographical understanding, to engage critically with real world issues and places, and to apply their geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them. Students will grow as independent thinkers and as informed and engaged citizens, who understand the role and importance of geography as one of the key disciplines relevant to understanding the world’s changing peoples, places and environments.
In Year 1: Physical Geography:
Topic 1 - Tectonic Processes and Hazards:
Topic 2B - Coastal Landscapes and Change
NEA - Independent Investigation
In Year 1: Human Geography:
Topic 3 - Globalisation
Topic 4 - Shaping places
Topic 4A - Regenerating Places
In Year 2: Physical Geography:
NEA - Independent Investigation
Topic 5 - The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
Topic 6 - The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
In Year 2: Human Geography:
Topic 7- Superpowers
Topic 8 - Global Development and Connections
Topic 8A - Health, Human Rights and Intervention
Towers School is alive with the Arts
The Arts at Towers School will awaken the ambitions of all pupils; we will teach a curriculum that is knowledge-driven, that is diverse and that will make them appreciative of all art forms for the rest of their lives. All pupils have the right to explore each discipline of the Arts: to consider how humankind has found expression, to appreciate the beauty in crafted work or performance, to understand different cultures and behaviours, to have opinions on what has been created and to make their own artistic and imaginative choices. Pupils will go to the theatre, to galleries, museums and they will learn from practitioners and artists so that their experience of the arts is authentic. They will understand how all art is connected. They will feel inspired to be curious, encouraged to be kind and empowered to be brave.
Our students will experience a rich and challenging curriculum which teaches them about performance, critical analysis, artistic difference and also methods of production.
The Performing Arts at Towers School changes lives by offering students a place to belong and a sense of ownership over the work they create. We are a vehicle for social mobility and cultural capital, presenting our students with an insight into the world around them, beyond the limitations of their economic background or home town.
We are proud to provide authentic experiences of the arts, working in partnership with the arts industry and institutions, such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company, Marlowe Theatre and National Theatre, to immerse students in cultural opportunities and experiences.
We are in the unique position whereby we deliver a curriculum that sees students out from behind a desk, working with peers, as part of a collaborative and shared experience. It is our duty therefore to deliver a curriculum that is inclusive, diverse and full of opportunities for students to find their own forms of self-expression and identity. Furthermore, it is within the Performing Arts where students learn skills of rigour and self-discipline; we have an integral part to play in fostering a positive culture and climate within school.
Children who study the arts do better; they are more likely to attend university, and are more employable (CLA, 2017) Studying the arts can improve a young person’s cognitive abilities by up to 17%, and contribute to raising young people’s attainment in Maths and English – particularly for children from low-income backgrounds (CLA, 2017).
Performing Arts subjects are a vital part of a balanced curriculum. They are academically rigorous, and of equal weight, status, value and importance to other subjects. They are as essential as literacy and numeracy in equipping children with the skills for life, and the creativity to contribute to the building of a successful nation.
Our students are deserving of a knowledge rich curriculum, spanning artistic movements, styles and eras so that they leave understanding how all art forms are intrinsically linked and with a lifelong appreciation of the arts.
The personal value:
Our Performing Arts curriculum provides students with a creative outlet to explore and express emotions, affording them with ways of coping with life’s challenges. Drama, Dance, Music act as anchors for our existence, an affirmation of our humanity. We believe that we owe it to our students to ensure that they experience an education that offers them the whole of the arts and culture. To make them happier, healthier and equipped with a strong values system which is engaged with the world. Within the Performing Arts, our curriculum makes students cooperate with each other, think hard, ask questions and collaborate; they learn teamwork, independence and leadership.
The social value:
Every student should have access to the benefits that arts and culture bring. The arts are a positive force in society; young people who feel ownership of the arts feel more confidence in their ability to create, challenge and explore, to be part of society, and to make change happen. We want them to leave our school ready to make a difference and positive impact on the world.
Equality of access should be unaffected by income, ethnicity, gender or additional learning need. Access to the arts is a social justice issue and it is our role within the whole school framework to ensure that all students, regardless of economic background, have access to a curriculum which fills any arts deficit that students may come to us with.
Across Year 7, in Drama, students deepen their knowledge of performance and use this to develop their fundamental performance skills which they will use as they continue through the school. Our introductory unit Performance Skills strengthens students’ understanding of how to enhance performance through vocal and physical techniques. Students also learn to work with their peers in small groups, developing friendships and confidence. The unit teaches students to focus on different elements of performance each week, through scripted work, often culminating in performances to the class.
Following this, students immerse themselves in Elizabethan Comedy through our unit of work on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare’s famous comedy is a fantastic introduction to a classical text, encouraging students to develop their performance skills further whilst also challenging them with Shakespearean language. Within this unit, we often see students thrive, enjoying the timeless comedy of the script and using their skills of characterisation to present the roles. As a Royal Shakespeare Company Associate School, we are able to deliver an outstanding curriculum which uses rehearsal techniques and practices of this prestigious institution to develop our own students’ understanding and knowledge of Shakespeare even further.
Our Year 7 Drama curriculum ends with the study of Dennis Kelly’s DNA. This contemporary play is a perfect end to the year as students are able to use their knowledge of performance and understanding of characterisation to convincingly perform as the dynamic characters within the play. Through the exploration of the theatrical movement Realism, and practitioner Stanislavski, students understand how to create authentic and believable performances. Group work is encouraged to teach physical skills such as use of proxemics, which sees students improve the subtlety of their individual performance skills.
Across Year 8, our curriculum focuses on ensemble and choral performance, encouraging students to work with their peers and whole class to develop collaborative and engaging performances. The academic year begins with a unit entitled The Chorus, which teaches students about the origins of this theatrical convention and how it transformed throughout history, beginning with the Ancient Greek Chorus before moving on to the Renaissance and Contemporary use. Students learn about the foundations of theatre and how different theatrical movements and styles influenced changes in the artform, as well as external factors such as historical events. Weekly, students perform in groups or as a whole class, using skills which they developed across Year 7 in vocal and physical performance. Students are taught about conventions of a chorus, including how to perform in canon, unison and using choral gestures.
To extend on this, our second unit of Year 8 is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime which is a playtext created by physical theatre company Frantic Assembly. Students learn about the origins of physical theatre and the practices which underpin this artform. They then learn how to apply physical skills to a performance text, using their own physicality to establish character, location and mood. This wonderful play explores themes of social difference, identity and belonging so is a fantastic vehicle for some challenging and important conversations and discussions too.
To end the academic year, students are taught the play A Monster Calls produced by The Old Vic Theatre. This final unit of work extends their prior learning by using ensemble, physical performance and script work. Using The Rylance Theatre, at Towers School, students have the opportunity to take to the stage and create whole-class performances of the play’s most important scenes. Knowledge of choral performance is extended within this unit to encourage students to push their creative ideas further. They are challenged to consider the art of storytelling, using devices such as choral voice and tableaux to create original and exciting performances.
As part of our Year 9 curriculum, students undertake their Bronze Arts Award. This nationally recognised qualification demonstrates a person’s ability to be creative, work collaboratively and take part in the arts.
Within Drama, students evaluate live theatre and have had the opportunity to watch a streamed performance of the National Theatre’s Wonder.Land. Their reflections on this production complete their Arts Award evidence and will hopefully gain them the qualification following the moderation process.
Students began the year learning about Stagecraft, gaining knowledge about the production process from what it means to be a designer, stage manager and director. Following this, students explore the creative process further by undertaking a unit in Devised Theatre. Through the study of different practitioners and companies, students gain knowledge in how to create original performance pieces, inspired by a variety of different stimuli.
Our Year 9 Curriculum in Drama prepares students for their next steps into GCSE and for those not pursuing the arts, it leaves them with a deep knowledge and appreciation of theatre.
In Year 7 Dance, students follow a unit of work that focuses on Performance Skills. This unit introduces students to new movement material, safe dance practice and how to accurately replicate and develop dance work repertoire. Students explore physical, technical and expressive skills through a variety of practical tasks; they collaborate with others, learning how to lead and compromise in group work. The unit teaches students to reflect on their performance skills, using these to inform future improvements.
The next unit of Dance introduces students to Choreographic Skills. We explore a variety of stimuli, from the ‘car parts’ Honda advert through to ideas of conflict and resolution. Students develop movement material and use a variety of choreographic devices. Choreographic tasks are related to a selection of themes and ideas; these are then explored in groups using dance actions, relationships, dynamics and space. Students rehearse and refine their own choreography and then perform. They use and build on movement material from the performance skills unit to inform their choreography. This unit gives students the opportunity to take on a leadership role in the group and contribute to the final choreography that is then performed.
The final unit for Year 7 Dance focuses on Dance Appreciation. Students immerse themselves in Jasmin Vardimon's dance work Pinocchio. Pinocchio is a familiar story to many told through the form of physical theatre. The dance work is physical, humorous, characterful and great fun for Year 7 to study. Students learn, replicate and develop company repertoire. Lessons often start with watching an excerpt of the work, identifying key features, themes and ideas and then using these to instigate a response. Analysing and working practically on a professional work helps the students to gain a better understanding of the world of dance. As the Lead Jasmin Vardimon Company Associate School, we are able to deliver an outstanding curriculum which uses choreographic processes and practices of this international Dance company to develop our own students’ understanding and knowledge of Vardimon’s work even further.
In Year 8 Dance, students begin with a unit of work that focuses on Performance Skills. This unit builds on skills and knowledge students learnt in Year 7. A series of short phrases are taught to challenge their physical, technical and expressive skills. There is an emphasis on accuracy, rehearsal and refinement. Students learn and apply performance specific vocabulary to movement material. We emphasise safe dance practice and encourage students to work collaboratively. They use self-evaluation, peer and teacher feedback to inform their progress and set relevant targets.
The next unit of Dance introduces students to Choreographic Skills. We explore a range of stimuli that include art, poetry, quotations and an event. Students develop movement material through improvisation and the use of a variety of choreographic devices. Choreographic tasks are related to a selection of themes and ideas; these are then explored in groups using dance actions, relationships, dynamics and space. Students choreograph their own group piece at the end of the unit, choosing from five stimuli. This is rehearsed, refined and then performed. They use and build on movement material from the performance skills unit to inform their choreography.
The final unit for Year 8 Dance focuses on Dance Appreciation. Students learn about traditional and contemporary Indian Dance. We analyse the work of Dance practitioners Shobanah Jeyasingh Faultline and Akram Khan Rush. These dance works are rooted in traditional Indian Dance, fusing contemporary movement and themes within the work. There is an emphasis on the features of Indian Dance, it’s history and how this is referenced in the work. Students have opportunities to learn and replicate company repertoire. This movement material is then developed and explored using a variety of techniques. Collaboration and reflection is encouraged throughout the unit culminating in an understanding of what they need to improve.
In Year 9 Dance, students begin the year with a unit focussing on dance appreciation. They immerse themselves in the dancework ‘Charge’ by the highly acclaimed physical theatre company Motionhouse. We delve into the historical, social and cultural contexts of the work and how it informs the choreography and intention. The work draws on ‘the connection humans' have with energy’. Themes and ideas are explored through practical lessons, accurately replicating repertoire and applying choreographic techniques to develop the work. Inspiration for the work includes Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, Luigi Galvani’s 1780’s experiments on electrical impulses in frogs, the strobing effect of an ancient animation device ‘zoetrope’ and how we use energy in the 21st century. Students reflect on what they have learnt and set relevant targets to improve their understanding of the dance work.
To follow for Dance the students learn about traditional and contemporary Indian Dance. We analyse the work of Dance practitioners Shobanah Jeyasingh ‘Faultline’ and Akram Khan ‘Rush’. These dance works are rooted in traditional Indian Dance fusing contemporary movement and themes within the work. There is an emphasis on the features of Indian Dance, it’s history and how this is referenced in the work. Students have opportunities to learn and replicate company repertoire. This movement material is then developed and explored using a variety of techniques. Collaboration and reflection is encouraged throughout the unit culminating in an understanding of what they need to improve.
Finally, the students follow a series of dance workshops that focus on communicating meaning through choreography. We study a variety of styles and dance works. These are used as a springboard for students to create meaningful choreographic intentions that raise awareness and demonstrate how to effectively communicate with the audience. We explore the themes of ‘what it means to overcome trauma and offer support to others’ with reference to the plight of migrants; how to represent fearlessness, courage and being heroic; and we consider political, social and cultural references and how they can inform choreography. Students then use this knowledge and understanding to create choreography that is ‘all about them’ which they then share with their partner. This helps them to develop their independence and leadership skills.
Our Year 9 Curriculum in Dance prepares students for their next steps into GCSE and for those not pursuing the arts, it hopefully leaves them with a deep knowledge and appreciation of Dance and the performing arts industry.
Our curriculum aims to provide students with knowledge of music performance and production, learning through use of a variety of instruments and industry standard equipment. We believe in authentic experiences of the arts and through our Music curriculum hope to teach students to play a range of instruments from different cultures, styles and genres. As this is the students' first year with us, we lay down the main foundations that will allow them to progress in year 8 and 9, from a technical and theoretical perspective.
Students are first introduced to music technology with the use of Garageband. They learn to utilise loops, record and edit MIDI as well as developing their editing skills, balancing volumes and panning and applying FX. They learn to sync music and sound FX to videos, choosing appropriate sounds and developing their understanding of timing. This will then lead on to the students moving onto Logic Pro X next year where they will have access to a wider range of tools and features. The equipment and facilities which we use are industry standard and therefore sets up our pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a professional setting.
Performance schemes include students learning keyboard skills, developing their understanding of basic music theory, chords and melodies. They also explore music performance within other cultures through a unit on Samba. They learn about the wider contextual and historical background of the style and then develop their percussion skills, whilst working as a group. They also participate in singing, learning knowledge about the science behind the voice and then performing as a class as part of a choir.
Students have been taught Music Tech projects which have introduced Logic Pro X, building on their skills learned on Garageband throughout Year 7. They have looked at Foley sound FX for film, radio and TV and have learned to sync sound FX and music accurately to silent movies. Students acquire knowledge of music mixing, through their Africa Toto unit, broadening their understanding of balancing, applying FX and choosing appropriate sounds. Overall, within Music Production, they have also built skills such as MIDI editing, automation, audio manipulation and much more.
Performance schemes have been designed to further students' instrumental abilities as well as building other core attributes of performance. The Genre Swap unit enables students to choose instruments to learn and to understand the elements that genres are built from. They then perform a song, in musical bands, in a different style from the original.
We extend their knowledge of different cultures by studying African Drumming which educates them about African music as well as some important cultural and historical context. Finally, Scary composition is a unit that encourages students to express their own creative ideas, composing music utilising a stimulus; in this case, a photo depicting a scary scene. Overall, in performance units, the students work on their understanding of the musical elements, music theory, playing a variety of instruments, group work, communication and confidence in performing to each other.
Students are taught Music Tech projects which have further enhanced their skills within Logic Pro X, industry software within our two computer suites. Projects have included working with film, developing and implementing skills such as spotting, placement accuracy, texture, audio manipulation, automation and effect.
Similarly, students are taught to create a tension based soundscape piece, which gives the opportunity for independent creativity and the implementation of different musical/foley features, audio manipulation/editing, effects and musical elements.
Performance schemes increase students’ knowledge of instruments by working in musical bands; they have learnt to play an instrument of their choice. They have had the challenging task of learning to perform cover versions of popular songs, working as a group to create an engaging and dynamic performance. We have also delivered a unit of work on Songwriting which has taught students the knowledge that they need to create their own original music. Students are also taught an Independent Research Project and Skills Sharing scheme for their Bronze Arts Awards in conjunction with their work in the other Performing Arts subjects.
KS4 and 5
At GCSE and A-Level we offer a rich curriculum which provides students with clear pathways into working in the arts industry. We have regular opportunities for students to experience workshops opportunities with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company, Kent Music, The Marlowe Theatre and National Theatre as well as regular theatre visits and performances within our school theatre.
The importance of History
The study of History encourages students to develop a wide range of different skills – some of a purely historical nature, and some skills relating to general study.
Obviously, literacy is one of them. In History students will be encouraged to read a wide variety of source material from many different periods; students will be expected to write fluently and communicate their responses clearly. Numeracy should also play a part in the History curriculum; students will often deal with graphs and statistics that they will be expected to handle accurately.
The study of History also encourages and develops an appreciation of different cultures; students recognise similarities and differences between and with cultures over time. History provides opportunities to promote spiritual development through helping students to appreciate the achievements of individuals and past societies. The moral development of students is developed by helping students to recognise that actions have consequences.
History lays an important part in promoting citizenship through developing knowledge and understanding about politics, government and parliament.
History makes students curious about the past. Students consider how the past influences the present. They see the diversity of human life, and understand more about themselves as individuals and as part of the wider community.
The Ancient Greeks; Anglo-Saxons; the Normans; the Crusades; The Renaissance; Henry VIII
and The Reformation.
Elizabethan England; The Stuarts & the Civil War; The Restoration & the Georgians; The Industrial
Revolution;Victorian social Reform; Empire and Slavery
The Cold War; USA & Civil Rights; Gangsters; The Middle East
Health & Medicine bc 500- ; Germany in transition 1919 - 1933
Development of the UK 1919-1990; Conflict & Upheaval 1331 - 1381
Purpose of Science Education
Science education is to empower through the sharing of knowledge and guide all students to ask the big questions; fostering curiosity in the world around us now and for the future.
Science education seeks to describe and explain the natural world, to uncover the hidden pieces, principles and processes that make up the world and that make things happen in it.
Science seeks to explain why things are as they are, to find, name and relate the things that make other things up and to discover the patterns that lie beneath.
How does Science at Towers serve this purpose?
Provides in-depth knowledge of both context and application provided by teachers with extensive subject understanding.
Practical lessons which provide skills and enable students to visualise abstract concepts.
Using the scientific method, allows students to gain critical thinking and investigative skills which have real world applications.
“Be the Best Version of Your Cells”
Year 7: Cells; Structures and functions of the body systems; Reproduction; Particles; Reactions; Acids and Alkali; Forces; Light; Sound; Space.
Year 8: Health and Lifestyle; Ecosystems processes; Adaptation and Inheritance; Periodic table; Separation techniques; Metals and Acids; The Earth; Electricity and magnetism; Energy; Motion and Pressure; Retrieval of Year 7 topics.
Year 9: Key concepts in Biology; Cells and Control; Genetics; States of matter and Methods of Separating and Purifying Substances; Atomic structure; The Periodic table; Ionic bonding/Covalent bonding/Types of Substances; Motion and Forces; Waves; Retrieval of previous topics.
Year 10: Health Disease and Development of medicines; Plant structures and their functions; Acids and Alkali; Light and the electromagnetic spectrum; Animal Coordination and Homeostasis; Exchange and Transport in Animals; Electricity and Circuits; Electrolytic Processes; Retrieval of previous topics.
Year 11: Exchange and transport / Ecosystems and material cycles; Groups in the periodic table, Rates of reaction, Heat exchanges in chemical reactions; Electricity; Magnetism and Electromagnetism; Retrieval of previous topics.
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The study of belief through time.
The RS curriculum is based on the idea that there have been no human communities in the past and few in the present, without religions or worldviews. It’s a chronological study of religion. From an Anthropological evolution of homo sapien over time, it seems as though religions and worldviews have been an intrinsic part of human life. Our curriculum ensures that our students hold the power of knowledge of past and present religions and worldviews to ensure a preparedness of an understanding of others for life.
Our curriculum focuses on students building informed opinions surrounding recurring themes such as beginnings, life and death. It is an exploration into past and present human life.
Interleaved RS Themes:
Aetiology of major religions
Ancient religion and mythology
Stories and Parables and meanings, rather than realities
Year 7: RS What is religion? The beginning; RS: The Ancients beliefs; RS: Beliefs through time- Hinduism and Judaism
Year 8: RS: Beliefs through time- Buddhism and Christianity; RS: Beliefs through time- Islam; RS: The Holocaust; Citizenship: Democracy
Year 9: RS: The use and the abuse of the world; RS: Matters of life and death; RS: Matters of life and death; RS: Crime and Punishment; Revision of KS3
Year 10: Buddhism Beliefs and Teachings; Buddhism Beliefs and Teachings & Peace and Conflict; Peace and Conflict & Relationships and Families; Relationships and Families; Revision of KS4
Year 11: Christianity Practices; Buddhism Practices; Buddhism Practices & Revision
Year 7: Who am I? What do I think of that?; Town, region and country; School; Daily life: Food and drink; Daily life: Hobbies; Holiday and travel.
Cultural understanding of: Key people from the French speaking world over time. Where in the world is French spoken? Traditions surrounding food, recipes etc. Music from the Francophone world. Planning a trip to a French speaking country.
Year 8: Daily life: daily routine; Future ambitions + work; Cultural life; Daily life: Hobbies; Daily life: Lifestyles; Campaigns and good causes.
Cultural understanding of: What is daily life like in different French speaking countries? Why are languages useful for work? Festivals in the Francophone world Literature - authors, poetry Sport in the French speaking world Charities and causes in the French-speaking world.
Year 9: Town, region and country; Global issues; Who am I?; What school is like; Holidays & travel/ tourist transactions; Cultural life.
Cultural understanding of: Tourist guides to cities, advert. Environmental campaign. Promoting positive role models from the French speaking world? Or people who speak French as a second language? School, teachers school subjects. Holiday disasters - reviews Festivals revision - persuade someone to go.
Year 10: Bringing the world together; Daily life; Town, region and country; Education; Ambitions and work; Environmental issues.
Year 11: Who am I? Global issues Revision
At Towers School, the Visual Arts aims to encourage and develop a love of the arts and to inspire students to be creative. Through our knowledge rich curriculum we teach a diverse range of topics, looking at different cultures, art forms and skills. In the Visual Arts, students rotate every 6 weeks, but this year they have had 1 lesson of art and 1 lesson of either D&T or Food.
Over the three years we cover several topics with the three subject areas. We aim to give them a broad range of skills including life skills, setting them up for the future.
Design and Technology
CAD/CAM - Mobile phone holder
Timbers - Design Movement Clock
CAD/CAM - USB Lamp
Timbers - Bagatelle Board
Textiles - Felt hand puppet
Timbers - Passive Amplifier
Design Engineering - Concept Car
Natural Forms - Art Key elements, tone and Shading techniques.
Portraits - Clay, proportion and mixed media
Seaside Tastic - looking at the artist Andy Tuohy
Day of the Dead
Food/Hospitality and Catering
Where food Comes from.
Basic Cooking Skills
Basic food Hygiene
Food poisoning bacteria
Continue with Basic Cooking skills
Developing a recipe
Independent cooking skills
At Key Stage 4 we offer BTEC Art and Design, OCR Engineering Design and WJEC Hospitality and Catering. We offer vocational courses so that students are learning skills that are directly linked to industry. These courses also allow creativity, problem solving and are hands on, with practical elements.
Visual Arts is a well equipped and resourced faculty, we have 3 Art Studios, a darkroom, a large workshop with 3D printer, laser cutter and a range of tools and a large kitchen set up for 20 students.
Purpose of Maths Education
To give all pupils a fair and equal chance.
To develop thoughtful and problem solving minds, who are prepared for the real world.
To develop the skills needed to access everyday life.
How does Maths at Towers School serve this purpose?
The faculty will ensure that though high quality curriculum planning and excellent teaching students will:
Become fluent in the fundamental concepts and processes of maths
Develop the ability to reason
Be able to problem solve by applying fluency to new problems in systematic ways using procedural knowledge effectively
Be confident in the use of calculators to check and explore mathematically
How will the curriculum serve this purpose?
The maths curriculum will cover the following Core domains and Core concepts across KS3,4 and 5
Place value, calculations, operations, directed numbers, notation, units, integers and roots, standard form, decimals, percentages, fractions, rounding, sets, using calculators
Manipulation, substitutions, notations, solving, graphical representation, relationships, interpretation, quadratics, nth term, sequences
Ratio, proportion and rates of change
Units, scaling, ratio, notation, percentage increase/decrease, inverse proportion, compound units
Geometry and measures
Visualisation, measurement, estimation, use of tools, co-ordinate, formulae, perimeter, area, construction, derivation, angles, polygons, Pythagoras, 2D and 3D shapes, trigonometry
Recording, analysing, describing, frequency, randomness, probability scale, sets, combined events, independent and mutually exclusive events
Describe, interpret, compare, discrete and continuous, grouped data, averages and range, charts and diagrams, relationships between data, scatter graphs
Purpose of ICT Education
To make students computer literate.
To develop learners' understanding of a variety of computer programmes and uses.
To develop the skills needed in further study using ICT and employment.
How does ICT at Towers School serve this purpose?
The faculty will ensure that though high quality curriculum planning and excellent teaching students will:
Have an up to date understanding of computer programmes and software used in educational settings.
Develop the ability to research, dissect information and make informed choices.
Be able to problem solve issues in computing and use technology available to promote learning.
How will the curriculum serve this purpose?
The ICT curriculum will cover the following core topics.
General use of ICT in schools. Covering topics ranging from Google Work Packages, Email and Web Browsing.
Use of presentation software focussing on embedding videos, links and pictures. Focussing on editing and research into topic areas.Developing students ability to research online. USingthis information to collate a coherent presentation addressing a social cause important to them.
ICT Safety and Security
Ensuring students are equipped to go online safely and securely. Looking at conversations with people online, bullying and security. Ensuring students are able to safely work online, feel safe in online relationships and protect themselves online.
Spreadsheets and Tracking Documents
Developing students' understanding of spreadsheets, including the use of formulas and chart creation tools. To develop students' ability to understand Data and its uses. To ensure students can discern against unreliable data sets.
Programming and Programming languages
To develop an up to date understanding of different programming and software engineering packages available. Starting with Scratch working our way up to Python and other relevant programming applications.
To ensure our students are computer literate in a variety of different tasks ranging from general use to specific programming languages. To ensure our students leave Towers with a competitive advantage in terms of ICT.
If you have any questions about the curriculum, please contact Mrs McVey - firstname.lastname@example.org