Key Stage 3 is the level of education that a learner begins when they turn 11. This stage truly represents a journey from childhood into the early stages of adulthood. They build on and develop their academic and social skills, which allow for new learning opportunities, both in terms of subjects and working methods. Project management skills are taught and supported by the teaching staff at this stage.
BSL follows the guidelines of the Cambridge UK curriculum whilst incorporating key elements of innovation, global citizenship and project management, this is aimed at not only preparing students for further studies but also to make them into life long learners who can, and want to learn independently to achieve their potential.
Whilst in KS3 we also encourage our learners to experience a wide range of activities both in and out of the classroom to help them grow, this is achieved by a wide range of after school activities as well as a STEAM programme (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). This is also seen in the classroom where we offer various activities that help students develop their skills, as well as a weekly ‘Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education’ lesson which is aimed at teaching students about a wide range of social issues as well as improving their social skills.
During this three year period the focus remains on the core subjects; English, Mathematics, Science and French. However, learners will also attend lessons in History, Geography, Spanish, Physical Education, Art and Design, Music and Drama . This enables our learners to develop their learning styles, their natural curiosity and to explore the world around them.
The aim of Key Stage 3 is to provide a natural progression from primary school and to prepare the students for their IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). Although there are no external assessments (exams) in KS3, students sit 2 sets of formal assessments, once at the mid way point of an academic year (February), and once at the end of the academic year (May/June). These assessments are aimed at preparing students for the IGCSE exams as well as monitoring their progress.
The core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and French are each divided into different units throughout the year. Each unit is based on a particular topic within that subject, and aims to be interactive and fun for the learners while helping them to meet specific learning targets.
Below is a guide to examples of units and working methods covered in Key Stage 3.
While studying English there is a balance between fiction and non-fiction texts at this stage. Students are taught to read and write specific genres, e.g. articles, reviews, persuasive texts, formal letters, character analysis, short stories, poems, and the like. Our classroom texts reflect a range of topics and originate from cultures all over the world. Key Stage 3 students could be learning to read and write fables, or produce a persuasive advertising campaign for a charity organization. Students are encouraged to produce individual and group oral presentations, films and performances.
In Mathematics we aim to encourage and consolidate mathematical skills through practical discoveries, relatable examples and application of theory. Students are encouraged to explain and reason orally and on paper. Examples of concepts handled in this key stage include fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion. They will learn to express, among other things, formulae and functions in algebra. In geometry they will learn to draw and analyze 3D shapes and how to use bearings to solve problems involving distance and direction. Probability is also taught in this key stage, along with strategies for problem solving.
Science is a practical subject at BSL with plenty of opportunities to carry out supervised experiments in the classroom and in our science laboratories. The teacher encourages independent thinking and reasoning and supports and structures student enquiry and discoveries. Routines, rules and safety precautions are carefully taught and managed by the teacher in Key Stage 3. Science consists of four main subject areas: scientific enquiry, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Examples of units studied could be ‘cells and organisms’, ‘forces and motion’, ‘humans as organisms’, ‘the Earth’, ‘states of matter’, or ‘magnetism’.
While the main medium of instruction here at BSL is in English, we also provide a rigorous French programme that develops and challenges our Francophone learners and gives help and support to our Anglophone learners. From year 7 to year 9 learners study the following themes taught each year at different levels. Throughout the course students will develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing French. It will prepare them for the IGCSE French Second language. Advanced students (francophone) are able to be involved in analyzing types of text with different language registers. Topics studied are as follows: