Key Stage 3 Curriculum

A broad and balanced curriculum is offered to all of our students: underpinned by the academic core of subjects (English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Languages), learning is enhanced by the study of the Arts, computing, technology and physical education, offering our students a course of study in which academic rigour fully prepares them for further education and university.

Years 7, 8 & 9 Students study English, Mathematics, Science, the Arts (Art, Dance, Drama and Music), Humanities (History, Geography, Religious Education), a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish), Design Technology, Computer Science and Physical Education. 

KS3 Curriculum by Year Group 2022-2023

Year GroupCurriculum MapCurriculum Rationale
Autumn 1
Curriculum Rationale
Autumn 2
Year 7Y7 Curriculum 2022-23Year 7 Autumn 1Year 7 Autumn 2
Year 8Y8 Curriculum 2022-23Year 8 Autumn 1Year 8 Autumn 2
Year 9Y9 Curriculum 2022-23Year 9 Autumn 1Year 9 Autumn 2

Year 9 Options

Options Process

Personal, Social, Health and Economic education

Through our program of assemblies and PSHE we explicitly teach the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

KS3 – removal of levels at Arts & Media School Islington

Assessment without Levels

Further to reforms to assessment at Key Stage 2 as well as the removal of National Curriculum levels, we now assess our students in Year 7 through to Year 9 according to how they are progressing within their Baseline Threshold.

Baseline Thresholds are the starting points; they are decided using data from a combination of Key Stage 2 Test Results, Reading Age Tests and *Cognitive Abilities Tests (CAT).

* The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) is an assessment of a range of reasoning skills. The tests look at three types of reasoning: words, numbers and shapes or figures, i.e. verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning.

Baseline Thresholds

ExcellenceAimed at students with the highest starting points from Key Stage 2.
These students should achieve a grade 8 or 9 at GCSE.
MasterThese students should achieve at least a grade 6 or 7 at GCSE.
SecureThese students should achieve at least a grade 4 or 5 at GCSE.
EmergingAimed at students with the lowest starting points from Key Stage 2.
These students should achieve at least a grade 1 or 2 at GCSE

The Baseline Thresholds are used as a guide for the teachers to be able to assess whether students are making expected progress from their starting point. We gather evidence from classwork as well as assessments to decide whether expected progress for a student working within the threshold is being made or not.

If students are not making expected progress, support is given to help them to improve. We want students to understand that if they are currently not making expected progress, it is not necessarily an indication of poor attitude or aptitude; it simply takes time and practice to grasp complex concepts and apply this knowledge successfully.  An important aspect of learning anything is to know what we are good at, but also what we need to focus on more, in order to improve.

When designing assessments for Year 7 and 8, our teachers mapped the skills and knowledge back from Year 11 to Year 7.  We are confident that we know exactly what their work needs to look like at Key Stage 3, in order for them to achieve their full potential by the end of Year 11.

Students very rarely move from threshold to threshold and only if a student excels within their threshold for three consecutive assessment points, will their baseline be raised in the subject. 

Tim Oates from Cambridge Assessment talks about the purpose of changes to assessment in the new curriculum and rationale behind moving away from levels.