Curriculum Departments

English

Subjects : English, English Literature, Media Studies.

The work of the English and Media Studies Department is driven by a passion for the written word and inspiring our students to feel the same. We draw on a wide range of poetry, drama, media resources, fiction and non-fiction in order to stretch imaginations across all key stages.

We aim to equip students with the skills they need to be able to engage and communicate in an ever changing world of work, and further study through a relevant and engaging curriculum. As well as offering GCSE English Language and English Literature, students also have the opportunity to study Media Studies at GCSE and A-level, and the combined English Language and Literature A-level. A levels are also offered in Creative Writing and Film Studies.

All students are assessed at least once per half term and great care is taken to ensure students know how to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through reflection and practice. This approach allows all students to be able to achieve successfully in English, regardless of ability. Students who require extra support are provided with small group sessions, after school booster sessions and a Homework Club. We encourage creativity and independence in lessons, as well as through meaningful homework tasks and projects.

The English department is a lively place where competitions are organised; we run a group Spelling Bee in Year 7 and a poetry competition for National Poetry Day. There are also author visits and trips to see live poetry to enhance Year 10 and 11 students' understanding of their GCSE poetry texts. We also run a Scrabble club and an after school reading group.

 

Maths

Subjects : Maths.

The Maths department at Blatchington Mill School aim to ensure that all students enjoy Mathematics and are enthusiastic about learning Mathematics regardless of ability. We aim to equip students with both a conceptual and functional knowledge of Mathematics, as well as ensuring they leave with the best possible GCSE grade. To this end, we are developing and using a scheme of work that focuses on the use of investigations to connect the different areas of Mathematics. This helps promote a deeper learning and understanding of Mathematics.

We aim to provide extra support for all students who require it. Our ‘Thursday Maths’ after school support session is popular with all age groups and we look to provide small group and 1-to-1 tuition where we can. We also aim to provide opportunities for students to access extra-curricular Maths. Each year we go on a theatre trip to inspiring Maths lectures, we have students involved in both the individual and team UK Maths Challenge, and also run an after school Maths Challenge group for all students who want to try mathematical activities that extend beyond the curriculum.

We subscribe to a number of websites and resources that we encourage our students to use outside of school. The most popular of these are www.mymaths.co.uk, JustMaths, and CGP Maths tutor.

For those students who want or need to continue with Mathematics at KS5, we offer GCSE, Core Maths and A Level classes in Mathematics.

Science

Subjects : Science, Additional Science and Triple Science.

Why is Science so great?

Humans have made greater leaps forward in science and technology than in any other kind of human endeavour. An evidenced based approach to understanding nature has proved amazingly successful. To show our children and young adults the marvels that science has revealed must be a vital part of growing up. That so many aspects of tomorrow’s world will be driven by science is a further utilitarian reason for everyone to gain an insight into the basic principles governing the workings of our universe.

Science Department Aims

To provide a safe and secure environment for all students, and show we value them as individuals.

  1. To provide the best science education we can while covering the National Curriculum, regardless of any inherited or environmental differences between students, or barriers to education they arrive with, including ability, health, attitude, religion, family background, sex, ethnic origin.
  2. To answer their questions, and feed their fascination and curiosity about the world and how it works, and show science is interesting and fun.
  3. To explain the beneficial and detrimental impact science has had on our lives and our societies and our planet, and that wielding such power carries risks and responsibilities.
  4. To make them feel part of this technological age and enable them to take part in informed debate.
  5. To teach the value of carefully observing and thinking before doing, by demonstrating how easy it is to be misled, and how easily common sense lets us down.
  6. To develop future scientists.

KS3 Science

In KS3 all students will study the basic principles behind biology, chemistry and physics. This will prepare them for KS4 where all students will study all the 3 sciences in greater depth.

KS4 Science

A variety of courses are available to suit all needs. Our provision includes GCSE and BTEC qualifications. Students will study science for at least 10% and up to 30% of their time in school. Exactly how much will depend on their aptitude for science and their own preferences. Regardless of choice, all students will study biology, chemistry and physics until the end of KS4.

KS5 Science

As students wish, they can now specialise in just 1 science or continue to study all 3. GCE A level and BTEC courses are offered to cater for all interests and abilities. We will prepare all students for the next stage in their science development by the time they leave us, whether they will go on to university, a science career or just keep abreast of the fantastic developments in science that the future will surely bring.

 

Humanities

Subjects : Ethics & Philosophy, Geography, History, Law, PSHE, Religious Studies, Sociology.

Ethics & Philosophy

KS4 

This course is designed and delivered to feed the natural curiosity of our students. Our young people have endless questions about life, death and meaning; questions that this course taps into and develops into a meaningful narrative with measurable outcomes. Students of Philosophy and Ethics will gain not only a highly respected GCSE qualification but a real insight into the joy of discovery through learning.

GCSE Philosophy and Ethics will ask students to consider a range of philosophical issues, such as the problem of evil, how to cope with suffering, the nature of belief structures, the possibility of life after death, and questions surrounding the existence of miracles. In addition, the students will investigate a number of ethical questions surrounding our relationships with each-other and our environment, our responsibilities towards those more vulnerable than ourselves, and the development of moral codes in today’s society. A study of crime and punishment, racism and social injustice also forms part of the course.

Geography

“Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?” Michael Palin

Our Geography department at Blatchington Mill is composed of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and experienced teachers. We believe we are in an exciting position to inspire young people to investigate and explore the varied and fascinating world they live in. Geography is a dynamic, diverse and exciting subject. It exists in a unique position to teach core skills such as literacy, numeracy, the sciences and ICT as a means to study and investigate the world, giving them purpose and life through Geography.

KS3

In Key Stage Three, students study a wide range of topics. Initially students study Geography through ‘Combined Humanities’ but in Year 8 and 9, students study China, Brazil, Coasts, Retail, Extreme Weather, Globalisation, Development, Plate Tectonics, Tourism and Climate Change. The skills and content we study link closely to topics studied at Key Stage 4. Students complete regular formal assessments at the end of each topic, totalling six in each year. More information on these assessments can be found on our department blog at http://blatchgeography.edublogs.org/

KS4 

At Blatchington Mill we follow the OCR B syllabus. There are two tiers of entry – Higher (grades A* to E) and Foundation (grades C to G). The syllabus blends Physical Geography (the natural environment) and Human Geography (people and their interactions).

The course comprises four themes, Rivers and Coasts, Population and Settlement, Natural Hazards and Economic Development.

Trips and out of class learning includes a fieldwork trip in the local area, as well as an optional one week residential course, which has been based in Barcelona or Iceland in recent years. It allows students to practice a range of Geographical skills and topics covered in the course, and is always extremely well received by students.

Homework is set weekly and involves a minimum of one hour of study per week, although this may vary from time to time. Students are encouraged to take a close interest in events on the news and/or documentaries of geographical significance. Our blog at http://blatchgeography.edublogs.org/ is designed to support students with this. Homework may involve research, written short or extended questions, preparation for a presentation or extended tasks such as revision. Work will often involve ICT either for research or for writing up.

KS5  

Students choose to study A level Geography because they have an interest in how the physical and human world is interconnected. Many students will have previously studied GCSE Geography but this is not an essential requirement. Students should have an interest in current affairs and an enquiring mind. We want our students to think for themselves and be able to ask questions about the world

Geography is assessed through written exams and a fieldwork skills paper. Therefore a key skill will be to express ideas in writing and to be able to develop arguments. An ability to critically evaluate evidence and utilise contemporary examples to support ideas is crucial to higher grades, especially at A level. It is useful if students are able to keep abreast of current Geographical events and research. These will be explored in lessons, in discussions and class contributions but will need to be supported by written work.

Exciting fieldwork opportunities are integral to the course. In previous years this has included an extended version of our popular urban regeneration study to Bristol and Weston Super-mare, a visit to the Olympic Stadium site in Stratford in East London, as well as a residential visit to a partner school in Brazil. In addition, there will be day visits to focus on specific themes together with the opportunity to attend exhibitions, conferences and evening lectures run by prestigious Geographical organisations such as the Royal Geographical Society and the Geographical Association.

Students will find that Geography directly benefits a range of degree courses. Geography can be taken on its own or as a combined honours degree at many leading Universities. Many of our ex-students have progressed onto such courses or have used the skills they have acquired from studying Geography elsewhere.

History

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

The history team at Blatchington Mill strive to use an enquiry based approach to the subject that, in addition to fuelling a passion to understand past events, encourages students to think for themselves, to ask questions, to form their own opinions and challenge the ideas of others in an informed way.

KS3

History is taught in Years 8 and 9. Subject content is varied with a mix of British and global topics. In Year 8, these topics include the study of Native American peoples and British history between 1500 and 1750. In Year 9, students will investigate the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the development of the civil rights movement in the USA. In addition, we cover 20th century European history and focus on issues such as the causes of World War One, the reasons men ‘joined up’ and an examination of whether British ‘Tommies’ really were “Lions led by Donkeys.” We also cover 20th century history and examine concepts such as the use of propaganda, democracy, dictatorship, communism and fascism.

KS4

GCSE history is an optional subject in Years 10 and 11. We follow the Edexcel ‘A’ Modern World specification. This has four units that cover a range of topics from the 20th century.

Unit 1 : The era of the Cold War 1943-91

Unit 2 : Russia 1914-39

Unit 3 : The transformation of British society 1951-79 (Sources based enquiry)

Unit 4 : Civil Rights and Protest movements in the USA 1945-70 (Controlled Assessment task)

KS5

Modern history is also offered at AS and A2 level. We follow the Edexcel ‘GCE in History’ specification. The units covered offer students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of some topics whilst also offering new areas of inquiry. The full A-level course has four units in total. Alternatively, students can choose to follow the course for just one year and gain an AS qualification made up of two units.

AS

Unit 1 : This unit comprises two modules that examine Russian history. The first module covers the period 1881 to 1924 from the fall of the Tsars to the Bolshevik takeover of power. The second module analyses the nature of Stalin’s dictatorship from 1924 to 1953. It is assessed by one essay-based examination.

Unit 2 : This unit examines the nature of British rule of India and the emergence of Indian nationalism in the period 1900-47. It is assessed through one sources-based examination.

A2

Unit 3 : Superpower relations 1944. This unit examines the origins and development of the Cold War and the causes of the “end of history” when communism collapsed throughout Eastern Europe and the USSR in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is assessed through one written examination.

Unit 4 : In this unit students will complete a two part coursework assignment totalling 4,000 words on a topic of their choice. Part A is an extended essay with a specific, individual focus. Part B is an essay that sets a selected event in a wider historical context. Both pieces carry an equal weighting of marks.

Law

Why is Law so Important?

Law affects almost every aspect of our daily lives, and at Blatchington Mill we try to engage students in understanding the English legal system and how the law applies in a range of practical situations.

Our students study the institutions and individuals that make up the legal framework, but they also acquire problem – solving skills and study the relevant case law in the civil and criminal justice system. The work they do is enriched by visits and outside speakers.

KS4

At GCSE, students study the AQA specification.  In their first year, they study The English Legal System, which focuses on making and upholding UK law including legal professionals, juries and magistrates.  In the second year, they move on to Law in Action, which sees them study two topics from four including Criminal Law, Tort, Rights & Responsibilities and Family Law.

Exploration and discussion of the law plays a large part in the lessons and students are encouraged to keep abreast of relevant cases and legal developments in the media.  We undertake a mock trial in a classroom setting, and have visits from magistrates and the probation service.  Although not a pre-requisite, many students choose to continue their studies through to A Level, having successfully completed the GCSE.

KS5

At A level, students follow the AQA syllabus. At AS level, this covers topics such as law-making and the concept of liability, which includes civil and criminal law. At A2, the syllabus deals with offences against the person and property offences, as well as key concepts such as justice and morals, and how they affect the law.

Students are encouraged to question opinions and discuss issues, and they learn to apply the law to specific problem scenarios. There is often lively debate, and they take part in an annual mock trial, as well as a number of court visits and a trip to Parliament. High numbers have gone on to study law at university, but some have simply taken the subject out of general interest, to complement their other studies. 

PSHE

The PSHE department has a planned programme of learning through which our young people can acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. Our aim is to provide the students with knowledge and skills to prepare themselves to keep healthy and safe in their lives as confident individuals and productive members of society.

PSHE provides a relevant, realistic and up-to-date curriculum, and deals with many real life issues facing young people as they grow up.

Aims

To provide pupils with accurate and relevant knowledge, using the Safe and Well at School Survey.

To provide opportunities to turn knowledge into personal understanding

To provide opportunities to explore, clarify and challenge values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities.

To provide opportunities to learn and practice the skills and strategies in order to live healthy, safe, fulfilling , responsible and balanced lives.

To provide pupils with the ability to be able to signpost places that can provide help and advice.

KS3

  • In Year 7 and 8 PSHE is taught once a week in mixed ability groups.
  • In year 7 we cover settling in / moving on, anti-bullying and anti-racism, friendship, SRE (Sex and Relationship Education), Healthy Eating, body image and First Aid.
  • In Year 8 we cover Alcohol and cannabis/risk, SRE (sex and Relationship education), cultural diversity, smoking/risk, emotional health and well-being and personal safety.
  • In Year 9 we have PSRE which is taught twice a week in mixed ability groups and includes RE elements.
  • RE and Relationships
  • SRE/Contraception
  • SRE/Choices
  • DATE (drug and Alcohol)
  • Medical Ethics
  • Disability
  • RE and the Mass Media
  • PSHE and the Media
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • RE Mock Trial
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Emotional Health and Well-being ( inc. Young Carers)

KS4

In Year 10, PSHE is taught in mixed ability groups once a week.  This is new for Sept 2014. Topics include Date (Drug and Alcohol) ,STI’s , Parenting , Mental Health, domestic violence, personal finance and coping with change.

In Year 11, PSHE is taught in mixed ability groups once a week. Topics include SRE (Sex and Relationship Education, First Aid, Pornography, Addictions, Mental Health and Parenting (some of which will be changing next year when the new Year 10 course is introduced).

Curriculum Enrichment

There are a wide variety of speakers in PSHE. We have PC Jones in all years, speaking on all issues from Personal Safety to Sexual Consent.

We also welcome Talking Testicles (testicular cancer awareness), AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), Mind (mental health), Allsorts (LGBT youth group),YAC (Youth Advice Centre), NHS (sexual health), Fire Service, BEAT (self-esteem) and Bella Murdoch (sight disability) to name a view. Where possible, we also welcome theatre performances in PSHE, recently these include a PSHE comedian and a road safety awareness performance .

In addition, we are always involved in awareness days. Recently these have included World Aids Day, No Smoking Day, Time toTalk (mental health), Anti-Bullying Week, LGBT month, Webcam Safety, Road Safety awareness, alcohol awareness and Black History Month.

Religious Studies

KS3

In an expanding world where empathy and understanding of different cultures and beliefs is becoming increasingly important, the Humanities Department aims to bring diversity to life. From questions surrounding the origins of the universe to the study of animal ethics, students are encouraged to explore, question and reflect on a number of religious and non-religious approaches to the big questions in life. We want all students to leave KS3 with a passion for learning and a keen sense of compassion for others. This course aims to give students the ability to articulate their own beliefs and priorities whilst respecting the diverse views of others.

KS4

The GCSE Religious Studies course is RE with a difference! This course will ask students to consider key questions such as ‘is there life after death?’, ‘How could a loving God allow us to suffer?’ and ‘Is it ok to be gay?’ The focus of this course is the student – what do they think? Can they justify their own opinion? Can they recognize why others might hold a differing opinion?

Most students enjoy nothing more than a good debate and this course is all about justifying opinions and listening to the opinions of others. In a classroom where no one can be wrong, students have the opportunity to develop a keen sense of self whilst expanding their understanding of human nature. Only open minds need apply!

Sociology

Why study Sociology?

Sociology helps students develop a wide range of knowledge and understanding about society, and how sociologists study and understand its structures, processes and issues. Sociology is exciting, interesting and relevant to students' lives.

The aims of sociology are to study and explain behaviour and how things may influence both individuals and society. We study the major parts of society and how they fit together and show the links between different aspects of the world in which we live. We aim to encourage students to understand the complex nature of society and to be curious about the world around them.

The major sections we study are: methods, family, work, education, health, youth, crime and deviance. We also aim to develop skills of analysis and evaluation so that students feel confident in making comments about behaviour, events and also evidence.

KS4

Sociology is the study of society and behaviour.  The GCSE course aims to help students study and understand the way we behave and live together in a society. The main areas of study are:

  • Investigating society
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Identity
  • Crime and Deviance
  • Mass Media
  • Socialisation
  • Work
  • Youth
  • The Family
  • Collecting and using information
  • Conducting a sociological study

Sociology is concerned with finding out about people and so is useful for students who have an interest in the world around them. The course is based on the OCR GCSE sociology syllabus.

ICT/Computing and Business Studies

Subjects : GCSE Business Studies, GCSE ICT, GCSE Computing, BTEC Level 2 Award in Business, ECDL, BTEC L3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business, BTEC L3 Subsidiary Diploma in ICT(ICT), BTEC L3 Subsidiary Diploma in ICT(Computing).

Why study, ICT/Computing and Business Studies at Blatch?

The Computing and Business Studies department at Blatchington Mill provides a broad and balanced curriculum throughout Years 7 to 13. We aim to provide students with all the necessary ICT/Computing & digital skills and understanding required to be effective in the digital age. We regularly review the ICT/Computing and Business curriculum to ensure that all our students develop up to date knowledge and skills fit for the 21st century workplace, and that they leave Blatchington Mill school and 6th Form ready for the next steps in their lives, whether that be work, further or higher education.

The aims of the ICT/Computing and Business Studies Department

  • To stimulate interest and enjoyment in the study of ICT/Computing and Business Studies.
  • Ensure that all students have a broad and balanced ICT and Computing curriculum at KS3 and clear pathways through KS4 and KS5.
  • To develop the knowledge, understanding and capabilities of ICT and Computing.
  • Encourage students to develop an understanding of the wider applications and effects of ICT and Computing.
  • Encourage students to solve problems through the use of information systems and associated principles and techniques.
  • Provide students with a broad and balanced view of the range of applications and information systems, and an understanding of their capabilities and limitations.
  • To provide an opportunity for all students to achieve their potential through differentiated programmes of study, and access to extracurricular visits and speakers.
  • To provide experiences which are challenging, stimulating and, where appropriate, directly relevant to the present and future needs of the students.
  • To provide learning activities that are varied in nature including: Practical tasks, Formal teaching, Interactive teaching, Project work and Group work.

KS3 ICT & Computing

In KS3, students will have two lessons per fortnight. These will cover a range of topics that will help to develop their ICT skills and introduce them to computing concepts. Within KS3 ICT & Computing lessons, students are introduced to ICT & Computing through a clear framework of lessons that will reflect the new Computing Programmes of Study. In Year 7, students will identify and describe a range of computer components and distinguish the difference between hardware and software. They will also cover the topic of E-safety and learn more about this important area to create their own webpages. Students are introduced to data collection, modelling and animation through enjoyable schemes of learning. Students will also use Scratch and Kodu to develop fundamental programming concepts.

In Year 8 and 9, students are further challenged to implement their ICT skills to use a range of software and are also introduced to the theoretical side of the subject. This will involve students learning and using a range of computer programming languages, algorithms and computational abstractions. The units of work will develop students’ ability to use their ICT & Computing skills in a range of different contexts to solve more complex problems. Students during Year 8 and 9 will use a range of programming languages including Scratch, Kodu and Python, as well as the Appshed where students are designing and creating Apps to be used on smartphones created with a real local community need.

KS4 – GCSE

The Computing and Business Department offers three courses at Key Stage 4; catering to a wide range of student interests and learning preferences. The GCSE ICT course places a strong emphasis on using computer applications to solve problems. The GCSE Computing course moves that emphasis to understanding and developing new software and goes to the heart of how a computer functions from the lowest level. The IT practitioner’s course is more hands on and provides emphasis on the vocational and technical side to IT.

GCSE ICT (Edexcel)

Students study GCSE ICT over Years 10 and 11 as a way of developing practical skills in ICT applications, alongside a thorough knowledge and understanding of ICT concepts. The course is composed of 60% controlled assessment tasks that are completed in class. These tasks require students to demonstrate ability in spread sheets, web publishing, desktop publishing, graphic design and use of relational databases. The remaining 40% of assessment comes from an exam sat at the end of Year 11 where students are tested on their understanding and application of key ICT concepts. This course would be a solid foundation for students considering further studies or a career in ICT, with the possibility of studying ICT or Computing at A-level/Level 3 at Blatch 6.

GCSE Computing (OCR)

Computing is a subject distinct from ICT in that the focus is on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding to create computer systems, including software and applications in use on computers and mobile devices. This course teaches students to understand the fundamental concepts of computing and develop software applications to solve a range of problems. Students with a keen interest in solving abstract problems and logic will find this course highly engaging. The course is assessed through two controlled assessment tasks completed throughout the two years of study (contributing 60% of the marks) and a written exam (weight at 40% of the course) undertaken in Year 11. Topics covered include practical programming projects using the Python programming language, computer memory and data storage, networking, hardware and software components and logic. Students should consider GCSE computing if they wish to pursue further studies in computing or programming, or a career in software or game development. This course would be a solid foundation for students considering further studies or a career in ICT, with the possibility of studying ICT or Computing at A-level/Level 3 at Blatch6.

European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Level 2

The aim of this qualification is to recognise the application of a range of IT user skills and knowledge in the workplace, meeting employer workforce demands. ECDL Extra is a fixed combination, and promotes the efficient use of popular office application software including word processing, spread sheets, and presentations. The achievement can be used towards a flexible Level 2 Diploma or towards a higher level qualification, such as a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma.

BTEC First Award in Business (Edexcel) Level 2

The BTEC Level 2 First Award in Business will develop and recognise your skills, knowledge and understanding of business functions, environments and operations in a practical way that is relevant to today’s work environment. In order for students to achieve the Award in Business they are required to accumulate a total of 120 GLH = 1 GCSE. This consists of two mandatory units, Enterprise in a Business World (30 GLH) and Finance for Business (30 GLH) and 2 optional unit Principles of Marketing and Promoting a brand.

Students who gain an overall merit/distinction grade may progress onto a level 3 qualifications such as the Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business subject to meeting the necessary entry requirements. Students would also be able to gain entry to employment at an appropriate level within a business.

KS5 – BTEC Certificate and Subsidiary Diplomas

BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in ICT (Edexcel) Level 3 – ICT Units

This course gives a broad knowledge and understanding of the world of ICT. During the course, students will study 6 units. As well as studying core units in Communication and Employability Skills for IT and Computer Systems, you will also study 4 optional units such as Client Side Customisation of Web Pages, Computer Networks, Managing Networks and Information Systems. This course is equivalent to 1 A Level and carries the same UCAS points. Students have gone onto to study Information Technology, Computing/ Computer Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Gaming design at Universities locally and also enables students to enter the world of work with a broad knowledge of how IT systems, Networking and use of Information Technology operate and work at senior levels in the IT industry.

BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in Business (Edexcel) Level 3

This course gives a broad knowledge and understanding of the world of business. During the course, students will study 6 units. As well as studying core units in Business Environment, Business Resources, Business Communication and an Introduction to Marketing, you will also study 2 optional units such as Financial Accounting and Creative Product Promotion. This course is equivalent to 1 A Level and carries the same UCAS points. Students have gone onto to study Business Management, Law and International Business at Universities locally and also enables students to enter the world of work with a broad knowledge of how businesses operate and work at senior levels.

BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in ICT (Edexcel) Level 3 – Computing Units

This course gives a broad knowledge and understanding of the world of ICT. During the course, students will study 6 units. As well as studying core units in Communication and Employability Skills for IT and Computer Systems, you will also study 4 optional units such as computer systems architecture, java programming, computer networks, and system security. You will learn how to write program code in java, how to manage networks, and how computers and their internal components work.

Performing Arts

Subjects : Drama, Dance, Music, Music Technology, Performing Arts Production, Extended Day.

Drama

The drama curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 is currently structured in half-termly blocks. In Year 7 the emphasis is largely on improvisation and ensemble building exercises, during which essential foundations are laid for further work. The work at this level encourages the development of trust and co-operation, clarity and control in vocal and physical expression and a basic understanding for stage space and performance disciplines. In Year 8 these foundations are strengthened through further exercises in improvisation at more advanced levels. The principle of status in drama is explored through improvisation and script work with a focus on ‘Blood Brothers’. In Year 9 the Drama curriculum focuses on specific texts, such as ‘Romeo and Juliet’, through which further drama conventions and strategies are introduced during work on theme and character. Some contrasting styles of theatre are introduced, providing a broad awareness of genre. The skills and knowledge developed in the KS3 curriculum form a perfect transition into GCSE Drama as well as a basic knowledge for the Level 2 BTEC Stage Management course.

GCSE DRAMA

We follow the AQA GCSE Drama syllabus (3241).

Students taking Drama at GCSE can expect a course which is varied and stimulating as well as challenging. The syllabus tests a number of skills: besides acting ability students must demonstrate that they can research a role or topic, work well in a group, manage their time effectively, reflect upon and evaluate their own work and that of others, and analyse live productions. Because the course is so varied no two lessons are the same and homeworks will be similarly diverse – writing up practical work, researching a character, learning lines, finding props and costumes, developing ideas, and so on.

A Level Drama

Students will study the Edexcel course at A Level as it gives opportunities for sustained practical, production work. Opportunities are provided for working with a range of styles and genre related to the ideas of the most influential theatre practitioners. At AS level there is a strong emphasis on the practical work of play production. Three plays are studied, the third of which is developed for final performance. Additionally, students prepare a monologue or duologue for their final practical exam. At A2 level students draw on their accumulated experience at AS to perform a piece of original devised drama. A study of one play, prescribed by Edexcel, from the point of view of a director and a further play in production from a specific historical period, form the focus for the final exam.

Dance

All students study dance at Key Stage 3 in Years 7 and 8, with the option to take the subject further within PE in Year 9. The emphasis is on physical skills, creating dance pieces and evaluating work. Dance styles studied include contemporary, capoeira, street dance and jazz.

At Key Stage 4 both BTEC Level 2 and GCSE Dance are offered. These courses focus on the artistic qualities of dance and the use of movement to express and communicate ideas through performance, choreography and critical appreciation. During the course, students develop skills of aesthetic development, physical fitness, confidence and self-esteem through performance, team-working, problem solving and creativity. Again a range of dance styles are studied. Students can also choreograph dances in whichever dance style they are most comfortable or specialised, for example tap or freestyle. The GCSE option includes a written exam at the end of Year 11.

In Blatch6 (Our Sixth Form), the BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma in Dance is a Level 3 offered. This is an engaging programme of study that covers the key knowledge and practical skills for learners wishing to pursue careers in the performing arts. The 6-unit course encompasses a range of skills that will develop participants’ competency in the practical and theoretical study of dance. The course includes contemporary and jazz technique, dance performance, choreography, dance appreciation and a performance project. The course is the equivalent of one A2 Level.

Music

KS3

In KS3, all students study Music three times a fortnight in Year 7 and once a week in Year 8 and 9. The KS3 curriculum covers a wide range of styles of music from different eras and different parts of the world. The skills developed throughout the course are based around performing, composing, writing about music, aural recognition and reading staff notation. All students sing in lessons, perform and compose on the keyboard, ukuleles, Samba drums, African drums, as well as using iMac computers. In addition, in Year 8 and 9, students are allowed to choose from a wider range of instruments including acoustic and electric guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and using their own instruments in lessons. Through Music, students also develop essential skills such as analysis skills, group work, leadership skills, cooperation, determination and a cultural awareness of eras and traditions new to them. The skills and knowledge developed in the KS3 curriculum form a perfect transition into GCSE Music, BTEC Music Technology L2.

Subjects: Music GCSE, Music Technology BTEC L2, Music A Level, Music BTEC L3, Music Technology A Level.

The Music department is committed to offering all students access to courses that best suits their musical needs, catering for both the more traditional music route through the study of GCSE and A level Music, and the more practical based courses; for example BTEC Level 2 and 3.

All courses draw from a wide range of musical genres, concepts and techniques aiming to provide our students with a well-rounded musical education and opportunities to explore music in creative ways.

We aim to ensure that all students who study music have the relevant skills to pursue their future aspirations within this field.

All students are assessed at least once per term and the feedback is not only detailed but based on the requirements of their chosen course. The feedback includes details to ensure students know how to make improvements in analysis, performance and composition.

Additional support for students who require it is provided through intervention groups which are carried out after school. These are aimed at supporting students who may find the written elements of the courses more challenging. Additional composition time can also be allocated when required.

Homework is meaningful and set consistently across all courses. We believe that this supports students’ progress and is an integral part of their learning and understanding of key concepts. In music-specific courses, students are expected to play at least one instrument and instrumental lessons would be a benefit. Within Music Technology courses, students would benefit from a working knowledge of music programmes and keyboard skills.

We have a very active music department offering students opportunities to get involved in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and events.

Music GCSE

This is a Level 2 course which provides the more traditional route and consists of the following Areas of Study: Performing, Composition and Listening and Appraising.

Performing: This is split into solo performing and ensemble performing, and should be completed on the student’s strongest instrument (instrumental lessons are recommended to students who take this qualification).

Composition: Candidates will compose two pieces or arrangements; these will be chosen from the styles of music studied throughout the course. Each composition must be from a different area of study and accompanied with a written commentary. Composition is carried out using musical instruments and computer sequencers (Garage Band and Logic on new Apple Imac G5 computers).

Listening and Appraising: This is examined through a 1½ hour exam. Candidates will answer questions based on 12 Set Works within 4 Areas of Study.

Students will be expected to have a basic knowledge of music theory (e.g. note values, note names, basic understanding of reading music). Throughout the course candidates will develop these skills, which will enable students to gain confidence when understanding the set works and completing the listening paper.

Music BTEC level 2 (Music Technology)

This is a Level 2 course where students will learn how different job roles affect the music industry and what you need to experience in order to reach specific job roles.
Students will reflect on their own abilities, plan for their own individual development and work towards personal targets they have set themselves.
The course includes various approaches to composition and arrangement and students will complete pieces of original music as part of their assessment.
Students will develop their understanding of Music Technology software (specifically Logic), and hardware, used to create and manipulate sounds and music. There will also be opportunities to record live music using the department’s working music studio.

Music BTEC Level 3.

This is a Level 3 vocational course which is BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music (Performing) it is a 60 – credit qualification that contains 6 separate units completed over 2 years. (This course can also be completed as a certificate which will require 30 credits completed over 1 year).

The course is designed to equip students with practical skills needed in the area of music performance and will develop a range of musicianship skills in the following disciplines: solo performance, ensemble performance, composition, planning and coordination of events / working within the wider school community to arrange a musical event and studying either classical music or popular music by completing musical research.

Music AS and A2.

This is a Level 3 course which includes performance on a student’s main instrument as an emsenble or on an additonal instrument, composition activities and listening and appraising.

As part of the course students explore a wide range of listening genres which include: Jazz, Classical, The Beatles, Queen and many others.These will be studied and students are expected to be able to analyse musically and write confidently about the music content of pieces within these genres / from the specific composers chosen.

The composition coursework is aimed to develop theoretical and arrangement skills, with the opportunity to compose in a style of the student’s choice, using a range of musical techniques learnt within the theoretic element of the course.

For the performance element of the course students are expected to play at a good standard (Grade 5) and many students find lessons in their first instrument are useful in order to support progress on this course.

Music Technology AS and A2.

Music Technology is a Level 3 qualification that focuses on studio recording, analysing sounds, performance using technology, music production and the history of popular music since 1910. Students complete several tasks as part of their coursework including re-creating a recording using music technology, studio recordings and an arrangement of a popular song. Music Technology A2 is more advanced, aiming to embed and enrich the learning from AS. Students will undertake extended tasks such as reproducing a popular recording using both music technology and live recording. Students will complete a more extensive studio recording and compose an original piece using a variety of sound production techniques and musical devices.

Additional Information.

In addition to each of these courses, there are many enrichment opportunities that make full use of the facilities available in Blatchington Mill School, including:

  • Involvement in a range of ensemble activities
  • Supporting and planning musical events both within Blatchington Mill Theatre and other venues within Brighton (for example The Dome)
  • Involvement in a range of visits to musical performances within Brighton and the opportunity to take part in musical workshops lead by external music practitioners.
  • The opportunity to perform in several shows and full scale musicals (singing, acting or playing in the pit band).

 

PE

Subjects : Physical Education.

The PE department has an ethos of ‘sport for all’ as well as developing excellence. Our work is designed to support, contribute to and complement the aims of the school, by providing a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum with opportunities for every student to develop physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.

We aim to -

  • Inspire our students to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities.
  • provide an enjoyable programme of activities and promote active healthy lifestyles.
  • Develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and confidence to help encourage a lifelong commitment to physical activity.
  • Provide opportunities to help embed the values of fairness and respect.
  • Introduce students to a broad variety of physical activities and remove barriers to participation.
  • To develop an understanding of the importance of regular physical activity for maintaining a healthy life.

KS3

All students have 2 x 1 hour lessons each week. – Girls and boys are taught in mixed ability groups with some mixed and some single sex groups.

In year 7 and 8 activities include - Orienteering, Invasion Games, Gym, Trampolining, Health Related Exercise and Hockey in the winter terms and Athletics, Net Games and Striking Games in the summer terms. In year 8 Badminton, Basketball, Rugby and a Leadership course are introduced into the programme.

In year 9 an element of student choice is introduced into the activities programme and students follow a pathway of activities suited to their preferences.

KS4

All students have a 1 hour core PE lesson a week and there is a further element of choice in the activities available for students. All students follow a 6 week exercise programme at Corals Health and Fitness Club.

In year 10 students can opt to do a Sports Leadership qualification as part of their core PE lessons.

The department also offer examination PE. There are two types of course available - GCSE PE and Level 2 BTEC in Sport.

Both courses are a level 2 qualification worth 1 GCSE or 1 GCSE equivalent.

GCSE: The course is split - 60% practical and 40% theory exam.

Theoretical aspects - students study the following topics: - Healthy Active Lifestyles, Your Healthy Active Body. As part of the practical aspect of the course students are assessed on their ability to analyse performance as well as being assessed in 4 performances. Students can also opt to be graded as an official and/or leader (coaching role) in one of their 4 performances. Students must also complete and evaluate a 6 week personal exercise programme.

BTEC Level 2 First Award in SPORT - This is mainly assignment based with coursework representing 75% of the total marks. There is also a written exam in the form of an onscreen multiple choice test and short answer style questions which makes up the remaining 25% of the marks.

Units of work studied: Health and Fitness for Sport and Exercise, Practical Sports Performance, Training for Personal Fitness and The Sports Performer in Action. As part of the Training for Personal Fitness unit, students are required to design, carry out and review a personal fitness training programme.

The qualification is graded as a Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction or Level 2 Distinction* equivalent to one GCSE at grades A*- D.

Both courses provide excellent preparation for entry to Blatch6 where students can study a Level 3 BTEC in Sport course.

KS5 at Blatch6

BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Sport.
The Certificate is a 1 year course equivalent to an AS level with the option of completing a second year to achieve the Subsidiary Diploma which is equivalent to 1 A Level and carries the same UCAS points. Units of work studied in the first year - Principles of Anatomy and Physiology in Sport, The Physiology of Fitness, Assessing Risk in Sport and Fitness Testing for Sport and Exercise. Year 2 units - Sports Development, Sports Coaching, Fitness Training and Programming.

This is coursework based with a number of assignments to complete for each unit of work with no formal examination.

Sports Facilities

  • 4-Badminton court sized Sports Hall with 2 indoor cricket nets
  • 2 floodlit ‘All-weather Hockey pitches
  • 2 gymnasiums (one with 4 trampolines)
  • Dance studio
  • Rugby pitch
  • 2 grass Football pitches
  • 5 Netball courts
  • 5 Tennis courts
  • Athletics track
  • Long jump pit
  • Outdoor gym

Extra - curricular provision

  • Facilities and equipment are made available for students to use at break and lunch times.
  • All students have the opportunity to be physically active during lunch times and after school. There is the provision of both non-competitive and competitive opportunities for all students.
  • The emphasis is on participation and enjoyment and the opportunities are open to young people of all abilities.
  • Badminton, Basketball, Tennis and an outdoor gym are available for use at lunchtimes. After school activities include Football, Rugby, Hockey, Netball, Badminton, Trampolining and Basketball in the winter and Cricket, Striking Games, Tennis and Athletics in the summer.
  • A variety of teams from across the year groups compete in the Brighton and Hove Schools leagues and are also entered into County and National competitions.
  • Inter-form activities are organised throughout the year to promote physical activity and help encourage active healthy lifestyles.
  • Through the Young Leaders and Sports Leaders programme, students have the opportunity to be involved in the planning, organisation, and administration of the activities on offer.
  • The school has links with Brighton and Hove Hockey Club, Brighton and Hove Cricket Club, Hove Rugby Club, Coral Health and Fitness Club and Brighton and Hove Golf Club.
  • An annual PGL residential outdoor activities trip is run in the summer term on offer to year 9 students.

 

Design

Subjects : Art and Design, Applied Art and Design (Double Award), 
Food Technology, Graphic Products, Resistant Materials Technology, Textiles Technology.

The Design and Technology Team at Blatchington Mill School believe that our subject provides a variety of skills to enable our students to think creatively, critically and independently.

We use a wide range of materials and processes to equip students for life and become the designers of the future through exciting and challenging projects. We offer a wide range of projects and courses throughout all three Key Stages which are designed to build on designing, making, analytical & evaluative skills. Design & Technology is fun and exciting. It’s a challenging subject and we put projects into contexts that make them relevant to life.

KS3 projects:

All students complete projects in a variety of materials:

Food – Students cook mostly savoury recipes. They learn about food safety, use of equipment, healthy eating, nutrition, choice of ingredients and environmental and current food issues.

Textiles – Students complete several practical projects using a variety of materials and equipment. Students learn to sew by hand and with the sewing machine, using a range of progressively more complex techniques. They learn about fibres and fabrics and look at topics such as fabric decoration and fashion.

Design - students are taught about safe working in a workshop environment. They work with plastic, metal and wood. Project involves design work drawing in 2D, 3D, and using computer aided design software. Students learn model making, planning, as well as developing an understanding of materials and equipment.

KS4: Students can choose to study a specialist design subject at KS4

GCSE Courses:

  • Graphic Products, Textiles, Resistant Materials, Food Technology & Child Development

BTEC Course:

  • Jamie Oliver Home Cooking Skills Level 1

KS5: Students can continue their studies at KS5. Many of our past students have gone on to University to Study Food, Nutrition, Design

  • A levels in Design & Food Technology
  • BTEC in Art & Design
  • BTEC Level 2 Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills

Extra curricular activities & trips include:

GCSE ‘Help’ sessions.

After school clubs including – Textiles club, Cake Making Master Class, KS3 Design Making a Long board.

The Clothes Show Live trip.

Design Trips to the Booth Museum in Hove, the Design Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum.

Competitions: Fashion, Cup Cake Competition, Master Chef, STEM inter school Design Competition.

Art & Design

The Art department at Blatchington Mill School provides an inspiring and supportive environment in which each student can explore their own ideas and develop their creativity. Students will experiment with a wide range of 2D and 3D media and processes, and be encouraged to create ambitious outcomes.

We are a creative, enthusiastic and imaginative department encouraging students to experiment and take risks with their artwork. To add to their growing confidence, artworks created by pupils of KS3 age are displayed on walls around the school and work is also hosted on a popular interactive online gallery.

If students wish to study further with the subject at KS4 and KS5, artworks are displayed in an end of year public exhibition, which always attracts a lot of interest and never fails to impress visitors.

Historically our results have been well above the national average and to note over the last three years our G.C.S.E results have reached over 90% A*-C. This excellence is partly due to the commitment of the students and their enjoyment of the course.

KS3 Projects:

All students complete projects in a variety of materials, and will create both 3D and 2D artwork. We work within three themes thought KS3, these are: Animals, Environment and Expression.

KS4: Students can choose to study a specialist Art subject at KS4.

Art and Design- General Art and Design course.

Art and Design- Digital Art Course.

KS5 study: Students can continue their studies at KS5. Many of our past Art students have gone onto study a variety of different Art and Design disciplines at University level.

BTEC level 2 and 3 Art and Design

A level Art and Design

Extra Curricular and Trips include:

It is a common thing to find Blatchington Mill students work displayed in the local community and for their work to be found in the local press. Southern Rail has used students' digital artwork as part of their litter campaign. Posters were displayed across all South East train stations. The opening of the work was attended by a local MP and appeared in local newspapers.

Students have decorated the city as part of the Brilliantly Brighton competition.  Blatchington Mill students' work was transferred onto banners and was part of a vibrant and exciting display throughout the streets of the city.

Students have produced Jewellery designs for a local jeweller. One of the designs was made by the company in solid silver and featured in local newspapers.

We encourage ambitious outcomes and to support this we operate an open door policy. Students are able to use the art rooms after school most days of the week to either ‘catch up’ or to extend their studies. In addition to this, we run KS3 after school workshops which change yearly according to demand.  For example: Digital Photography Club, Doodle Club, Clay Workshop, Printing Workshop.

We visit a number of local and national galleries. These include visits to the Tate Modern, V & A museum and the National Portrait Gallery.  Students consider and respond to artists, craftspeople and designers' work first hand. Students are encouraged to appreciate and consider historical and contemporary contexts for artwork, alongside developing their own practical skills.

Modern Foreign Languages

Subjects: French, Spanish, German.

Modern Languages make an important contribution to a broad and balanced curriculum for all students. Here at Blatchington Mill School our courses are designed to develop the practical aspects of communication and we aim to develop students’ skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. These practical skills are very useful when travelling abroad, whether on holiday or for work. Students will also learn about the basic structure of language. This will strengthen and improve their knowledge of English, as well as providing the foundations to learn other languages later in life. Study of a foreign language also helps students to understand and appreciate different countries and cultures. This is essential in the modern world, with its emphasis on international trade and communication.

In the classroom, the modern languages team makes frequent use of smart-board technology and we also subscribe to a number of websites. The most popular is Linguascope, which students use to support their learning at home.

Key Stage 3

Students take one main foreign language, either French or Spanish throughout Key Stage 3.  Students with a strong aptitude in their first foreign language are given the opportunity to take a second foreign language (either Spanish or French) in Years 8 and 9.

Key Stage 4

Currently students take GCSE courses in French, German or Spanish. We also offer NVQ Spanish, which is a portfolio-based course tailored to the world of work and business.  From September 2015 we will no longer be offering German at Key Stage 4.

Key Stage 5

We offer NVQ courses in French and Spanish.

Student Support

At Blatchington Mill we have a strong commitment to meeting the needs of all our students; to support the acquisition of the skills and values in order to live a full, flexible and rewarding life.

Interventions

There are currently a range of interventions led by our special educational needs (SEN) teachers and specialist TAs, which include:

  • Literacy interventions for students working below national expectations.
  • Mathematics interventions for students working below national expectations.
  • ‘Sound Blast’ phonics to develop phonological awareness.
  • Rapid Plus reading scheme to increase known sight vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Circle of Friends.
  • One-to-one sessions following programmes devised by outside agencies, such as a Speech and Language Therapist.

The planning and delivery of interventions at Blatchington Mill are closely matched to research on what makes a successful intervention, namely:

  • Assessment information is carefully used to design programmes that match what individual pupils need, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
  • They have a ‘little and often’ approach to promote mastery learning.
  • Opportunities for multi-sensory learning are planned for.
  • They have carefully selected objectives, focused on one or two small steps, to address fundamental underlying misconceptions of gaps in skills.
  • Assessment opportunities are then embedded in the learning; to inform planning and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.