Quality First Teaching at Pinetree School

SMSC at Pinetree School

Art

The Art space is a place to be creative. Pupils get to experiment with all sorts of different mediums and express themselves in a productive environment.

In September 2016, The Pinetree School became a centre for the Arts Award. The courses set up by Trinity College, London, encourage young people in educational settings to explore the many opportunities the colourful world of The Arts has to offer.

Pupils not only take part in a range of exciting projects such as tie-dying fabrics, making stencils for graffiti and photography workshops with experienced staff, but also get the chance to develop their leadership skills by sharing their own passions by passing them on to their peers.

Pupils document their personal development, taking ownership of the areas they would like to study. Some of the most interesting projects currently include large scale murals, creating fake scars and wounds for special effects make-up looks, as well as mastering the sewing machines for textile work.

So far, Arts Award has been a hit with all the pupils in the school! The Year 11s are working towards achieving their Bronze award, whilst the rest of the school are flying towards their Explore qualification.

Cross Curricular Projects

To enhance the learning of Key Stage three students cross curricular projects are planned for the last 6 weeks of term, which are linked to topical subjects. The aim is to present the students’ work to parents and other stakeholders at the end of each term to celebrate their achievements.

To enhance the provision already delivered in school a company called Laboratory Media Education work alongside the teaching staff to deliver these projects. Their role is to find and deliver new technologies to enhance the work of the students whilst completing the projects. The aim is to engage these students in their learning and to use this opportunity to develop their communication and collaboration skills, which is an area in their social development that needs to be strong in order for them to start making the progress of which they are capable.

Students have previously completed projects on designing new insects to live in our school environment and planning a mission to Mars.

Insect project

Students collected insects in science and used this data in Mathematics to draw many different styles of graphs and pie charts. They used their photography and art skills to design posters to show the impact of insect bites and produced and directed a film showing giant insects attacking a city landscape. They designed power points to explain the most deadly insects in the world and used skills in English to write and perform radio and television advertisements.

Mars project

The idea behind this project was for students to think about the issues behind launching a rocket, travelling through space, landing safely on the planet and how to rescue stranded astronauts. Work has been completed on discussing the ethical argument of who should be sent on the mission and why, calculations on how much food to take, how gravity affects weight and the forces acting on rockets when they take off. Students have built rockets and launched them, built electronic equipment to solve problems on the space ship, filmed themselves floating in zero gravity and navigated Mars rover vehicles and landing ships.

Design Technology

Key Stage 3    students will design and make varying products termly. At The Pinetree school Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.

They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and will become learn creative skills within Resistant Materials, Product Design, Textiles and Graphic Communication. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

Key Stage 4 students will study the AQA Three Dimensional Design GCSE Course. This includes two components, comprising a ‘Portfolio’ and an ‘Externally set assignment’, this qualification provides your child with a range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to develop and explore their personal interests in design.

Three-dimensional design is defined as the design, prototyping and modelling or making of primarily functional and aesthetic products, objects, and environments, drawing upon intellectual, creative and practical skills.

Areas Covered include:

  • Architectural design
  • Sculpture
  • Product design
  • Jewellery and body adornment
  • Environmental/landscape/garden design

This qualification allows for progression from Key Stage 3 whilst providing a strong foundation for further study at AS and A-level as well as vocational pathways/apprenticeships.

 

English

The English curriculum at Pinetree seeks to maximise the achievement of all our pupils.  It aims to provide a broad and balanced educational experience, which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and is also tailored to the specific needs, interests and aspirations of our students.  English lessons at Pinetree are engaging, varied and, above all, fun.  Success in public examinations at Key Stage 4 is important, but instilling into our pupils a lifelong love of learning is a priority.

Qualifications taken by pupils at Key Stage 4 are:

  • GCSE
  • Functional Skills Level 1 & 2
  • Entry Level 1, 2 & 3

The curriculum contributes to the good spiritual, social, moral and cultural development of students and promotes British values.  This is achieved through the taught curriculum and through a developing programme of enrichment activities. The curriculum provision is also supported by a strong commitment to careers information, advice and guidance.

Food Technology

Year 7 & 8

The students follow the ‘License to Cook’ journey. The students work with fruit, vegetables and salad in the first instance. Students are taught how to use knife skills safely, how to use the cooker safely, measure and weigh accurately. Students also learn about aspects of healthy living using the ‘Eatwell Plate’. They regularly use the school garden to collect produce to cook for various events within the school.

Year 9

OCR Food Studies

The students produce work and learn about healthy packed lunches. They also  learn about how to cook using different methods and to adapt recipes for healthier options. The students visit a local superstore to collect their ingredients for their assessment.

Year 10 & 11

OCR Food Studies

Students work on ‘Task One – Healthy Packed lunches’ and ‘Task Two – Healthy Dinner’ and then progress on the final assessment ‘Task Three – Celebration Cakes’

We make a visit to ‘Nadine’s Cakes’ at Charles Burrell Centre to pick up some tips on how to decorate cakes to a high standard. The students then be choose their final design and cake flavour for their assessment.

ICT

Key Stage 3 Entry Level 1-3 ICT  Key Stage 4 Level 1-2 ICT.

Students will be awarded with a qualification in Functional Skills ICT ranging from Entry Level, through to Level Two. Your child will have shown that they have the knowledge, skills and understanding to use ICT for life, learning and work.

This qualification provides students with ICT skills which are most useful in everyday contexts and the world of work. Your child will learn how to use a computer, use the internet to find information, share photos, communicate using email and be fully knowledgeable of the programs used within Microsoft Office. This qualification promotes the development of transferable skills and encourages a teaching approach that is enriching and engaging for all learners.

E-Safety

At The Pinetree School we are also passionate that all students in KS3 & KS4 receive relevant E-Safety lessons, to ensure they are all knowledgeable of the risks relating to social media (like Facebook and SnapChat).

The topics we cover are:

  • Understanding the risks that can exist when using the Internet.
  • To Know how to safeguard self and others when working online.
  • Understanding ways, we can take precautions to maintain data and identity security.
  • To know how to avoid bullying/grooming/harassment online.
  • To know how to effectively report bullying/grooming/harassment online.

 

 

Key Stage 4: Preparation for Working Life

The Preparation for Working Life Short Course Certificate is equivalent, in the size and demand placed on students, to a GCSE short course.

It is an inter-disciplinary course which covers aspects of careers, health, personal safety, employment opportunities, applying for jobs and personal finance. Preparation for Working Life is a practical course in which students learn skills such as how and where to find employment opportunities, how to apply for jobs and courses, and how to prepare for an interview, how to obtain personal and economic well-being and financial capability.

The qualification will help students build the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to prepare them for working life, now and in the future, as confident individuals and members of society.

The qualification enables students to:

  • gain a knowledge of finance, enterprises, working practices and how businesses are organised and run.
  • gain employability skills, such as the ability to problem-solve, to communicate effectively and to work well in a team.

This course allows us to invite in businesses to provide students with practice interviews, to ensure your child succeeds within the work place once they leave The Pinetree School.

Maths

Maths is a subject that pupils often find difficult before they come to us, so we try to make their transition into the Maths classroom as painless as possible at The Pinetree School. The Maths curriculum has been put together to allow all pupils to find success and enjoyment in the subject, whilst still following the new National Curriculum, eventually leading to a nationally recognised qualification. We aim to raise the mathematical literacy of our pupils whilst making the subject enjoyable and engaging.

We cover 12 different topics at Key Stage 3 and 4 which combine Number, Algebra, Shape, Space and Measures, Probability and Statistics, and Handling Data. We deliver Maths to lead to a functional understanding that will be of benefit to the pupils once they leave school.

At Key Stage 3 we focus on developing key skills in the subject and preparing them for their qualifications at Key Stage 4. We try to fill any gaps which have appeared during their learning journey, and build upon the knowledge and understanding they already have in Maths. As part of this, we run an intervention programme for pupils which helps to fill these gaps. In some cases, we also offer intervention as an aid to really pushing and challenging our pupils. At Key Stage 3 we also take part in a range of cross-curricular projects which run over the year or terms, and try to make the maths involved as functional as possible. In Key Stage 3 pupil have 4 lessons of 45 minutes per week.

At Key Stage 4 pupils follow the pathway that is appropriate to their level and expected outcomes. The pathways are all focussed around preparing pupils for the qualification they will take throughout Key Stage 4, at the end of Year 11. Pupils have 4 lessons per week in Maths. There is also the opportunity for pupils taking exams to have extra revision sessions after school or at break and lunchtime.

The qualifications we offer are the AQA GCSE in Mathematics for all pupils to aspire to. We also run Functional and Entry Level qualifications across the different entry stages to ensure that all abilities are catered for, and that all pupils have a realistic chance of reaching the best outcome for them in Maths.

Our main aim as a Maths department is to ensure pupils leave The Pinetree School with not only a qualification in Maths, but also a sense that they are capable of using Maths in everyday situations. At The Pinetree School, we believe that Maths is a subject that every pupil can engage with and succeed in, and that with the right environment and support, all pupils can flourish.

Outdoor Learning

Here at The Pinetree School, we value outdoor learning highly and believe it has enormous value in promoting positive learning for pupils. We use outdoor learning as a pathway to success across various subjects and are always exploring new ways of engaging pupils in a broad curriculum, outside of the classroom. All of our offsite learning has to follow our offsite visits policy. We are passionate about the learning opportunities offered in an alternative environment and we will continue to enhance our pupils’ education in this way.

Pupils across all year groups are able to access activities and learning in outdoor situations both at school as well as off-site. Such activities include:

  • Various sporting activities –e.g. trampolining, orienteering
  • Working within the Community – e.g. Art and Food inspired learning
  • A wide range of trips and visits linked to areas of the curriculum
  • Using the school vegetable garden produce to create meals
  • Self-esteem and confidence building activities – Thorpe Woodlands and High Lodge
  • Charity work
  • Educational film visits
  • Food and nutrition based learning at professional catering outlets

 

PE

At The Pinetree School we offer a broad and balanced PE curriculum that aims to educate pupils of all ages and give them the ability to succeed. At KS3 and KS4, our focus is to improve the development of fundamental skills throughout a variety of different sporting challenges and activities.

We aim to educate our students about the different changes that occur in the human body during exercise also, and how they can lead healthy active lifestyles. At Pinetree, we value and try to embed the key benefits of physical education – Physical, Social and Mental benefits –  these are why P.E. and sport are important for all.

At KS4 we offer an Entry Level GCSE qualification. This allows students to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in Physical Education gaining a qualification which is primarily, practically based assessments. It also helps students to identify their strengths and weaknesses, giving them opportunities to discuss tactical ideas and apply them in sporting situations.

We offer a diverse range of extra-curricular activities including football, basketball, table tennis, use of the gym and archery, which can all be offered as after school and lunch time clubs. Any other after school clubs can be arranged according to the interest of the pupils through a conversation with the PE staff.

Activities we offer as part of the KS3 and KS4 curriculum:

  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Dodgeball
  • Exercise, Health and Fitness
  • Football
  • Handball
  • Hockey
  • Outdoor Adventurous Activities
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Swimming
  • Squash
  • Table Tennis
  • Volleyball


PSHE - Personal, Social, Health Education

PSHE at the Pinetree School is split into three broad areas which are taught on a termly basis.  These are:

  • Emotional Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living In The Wider World

Each lesson pupils are given the opportunity to learn about and discuss issues which are relevant to them and their development as individuals and as members of society.  Should they display the necessary level of commitment to their studies, they are then able to pursue the AQA qualification in Personal and Social Education at either Entry Level or Level 1 or 2.

Pupils are encouraged to discuss and debate issues and question assumptions and commonly held beliefs.  With this in mind, half termly assessment will often focus on the skill of Speaking & Listening and reward pupils who are able to convey their thoughts and opinions in a clear, considered manner.

Weekly themes and issues are also discussed through tutor time and are chosen according to the calendar.  Recent examples include a study of the traditions of Chinese New Year and reflecting on the life of Martin Luther King.

 

Further details regarding our Curriculum can be obtained from the Headteacher, The Pinetree School, Staniforth Road, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 3LH

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