At Rainhill High School our curriculum is designed to promote our ethos of high expectations, development of character and social responsibility through the knowledge and skills developed in and around lessons.
Our intention is to ensure that all our learners are happy, self-assured and independent individuals with a clear sense of social responsibility; they gain the knowledge, skills and qualifications to take their next steps confidently.
We want our learners to be compassionate and accepting of difference, to be able to express their own ideas and flourish as individuals. By ensuring that our learners have access to wider experiences that complement the formal curriculum, we know that they will thrive both in their local communities and in modern Britain as a result of their time with us.
All of our learners will experience a curriculum that is ambitious, broad, deep and knowledge rich. Our curriculum planning identifies and teaches the knowledge and skills in an effective sequence that allows our learners to make connections and consolidate their knowledge over time. The opportunities to recall and retrieve prior learning underpins teaching and learning in all areas, so ensuring that learners are able to make links within and across their curriculum.
We are clear about the high standards of achievement we expect all learners to achieve through their learning by the end of KS3, KS4 & KS5. Our curriculum is also planned and sequenced to develop self-confident, self-aware and resilient individuals who know how to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives. It is designed to be accessible and ambitious for all learners; we have the highest expectations and aspirations for each one of our learners and will support them on their journey towards success.
Learners will be literate and numerate. Our expert teaching and incisive intervention ensures that learners who arrive with ‘below expected’ reading and maths skills catch up swiftly. These skills are essential to access all subject areas and thrive in them as well as accessing the next stage of education, employment or training.
Our curriculum develops language and oracy as we understand how vital this is to build confidence in communication skills both at school and future destinations. We ensure that all learners have the opportunity to discuss ideas, challenge and build upon other points of view to develop their vocabulary and use of formal language so that they have the confidence to speak present themselves clearly and concisely to different audiences.
The way in which lessons and other experiences are delivered expects our learners to think confidently and express educated opinions. We want them to have access to the best that has been thought and said, and with this in mind our teachers think carefully about what to teach and how best our learners learn.
We ensure that our learners are exposed to a wide body of knowledge through a broad range of academic subjects. Reading and reading skills are prioritised to allow learners to not only access these subjects but to flourish in their enjoyment of them and their achievement in them. This knowledge in turn allows them to develop analytical and evaluative skills which best prepares them for their next steps, in education, employment or training.
We have high expectations of learners’ behaviour and achievement. The ‘Rainhill Standards’ clearly outline expectations in and out of lessons so that learners become enquiring, enthusiastic and engaged in learning. Our behaviour policy ensures that we all understand that actions have consequences and to accept differences between people, so developing into well rounded citizens.
We are committed to improving the life-chances and aspirations of our learners. To ensure that they develop in confidence and develop resilience, we ensure that all learners access the wider curriculum through our ‘Rainhill Experience’; this spans opportunities in sport, creativity, performing, the world of work, volunteering , leadership and contributing to the local community. All learners participate in a wide range of enrichment and extracurricular activities to develop their character, encourage resilience and develop a sense of social responsibility.
The culture at our school is built on a clear understanding of fundamental British Values. Learning delivered though our curriculum and including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs is put into action through house activities, focus days and encourages learners to be mindful of their role in the community, society and the global environment. Activities embody consideration, mindfulness and respect.
The school offers many opportunities for learners’ moral, social, spiritual and cultural development within and beyond the formal curriculum.
We believe that the experience of being in school is the curriculum. The way pupils learn, the wider school environment, behaviour and values all make up the whole experience of being in school. Together, they build to an end point where all pupils have the essential knowledge, skills and attributes they need to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life beyond school.
Key (essential concepts) are identified with an end point in mind on a subject or developmental basis. Inherent to this is that ‘we teach to the top’, to challenge all whilst equipping pupils with the skills to make sense of and think through unfamiliar content and problems along the journey.
The subject curriculum is to be planned and sequenced so that knowledge and skills build on what has been learned before but also prepares learners for what is to come next. Learners are to clearly understand why they are learning a topic and the wider context of how it may be important to them.
Education relies on communication and relationships between teacher & learner and learner & learner. The teacher is the main catalyst in creating dialogue and a relationship with what is being taught. Their pedagogical approaches are critical in promoting engagement, understanding and fluency within a subject. Learning is to be deep, structured and profound to enable retention.
Teachers must use their professional judgement in teaching, assessing and responding to learning. They should be clear about the milestones required to reach ambitious end points and must ensure feedback mechanisms are successful in continuously improving learning and developing expertise.
The language of learning must be consistent across subject areas and widely understood by all learners and teachers. Subjects use language structures and vocabulary that promote scholastic excellence and this is understood and employed well by pupils.
It is critical to work with primary partners to ensure there is a clear understanding and appreciation of what has been taught at KS2 and what needs consolidating rather than re-teaching in early KS3 learning.
Curriculum Instruments, including questioning, mastery, intellectual architecture, stimulus, knowledge organisers and rich vocabulary are all critical in effective learning that lasts and can be reused in time and at will.
There should be an understanding and familiarity of content, expectations and language across curriculum subjects that encourage learners to transfer their learning to other areas of the curriculum. ‘Powerful knowledge’ is mapped across the curriculum.
Activities, including visits to or out of school are an integral part of the planned sequences of learning. They are planned in a way that enhance and enrich the formal curriculum and the development of our young people.
The curriculum at Rainhill spans experiences both inside and out of the classroom. There is a clear focus on building key knowledge and skills, within and beyond subjects, pupil personal development and cultural capital over time within our own context.
KS3 – Years 7 to 9
Year 7 to 9 pupils are broadly grouped based on their KS2 exam performance. PE is organised on quarter-year groups and split into gender-specific classes. Any pupil who arrives in Year 7 below the expected level of literacy will receive help and support through our literacy intervention programme on either a one-to-one or small group basis. From Year 8 all pupils access a second language in addition to the subjects studied in Year 7.
Our pupils follow the national curriculum and are taught the following subjects in Year 7 to Year 9 – English, Mathematics, Science, Languages (Year 7 are taught French, Year 8 and Year 9 are taught French and either Spanish or German), History, Geography, Philosophy & Ethics (RE), Citizenship, Computing, Art & Design, Design Technology (including Food), Music and PE. In addition, all pupils study Drama and Dance through Years 7 to 9.
KS4 - Years 10 & 11
The Core Curriculum comprises of GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Maths, Trilogy Science, Core PE/Recreation, RE, Citizenship, Health Education and Careers as well as an arts options and three further options subjects that include:-
- GCSE Art Graphics
- GCSE Art Textiles
- GCSE Trilogy Science
- GCSE Computer Science
- GCSE Drama
- GCSE DT Resistant Materials
- GCSE Fine Art
- GCSE Food and Nutrition
- GCSE French
- GCSE Geography
- GCSE German
- GCSE History
- GCSE Music
- GCSE PE
- GCSE Photography
- GCSE RE
- GCSE Spanish
- GSCE Separate Science – Biology, Chemistry and Physics
- L2 Technical Award in Constructing the Built Environment
- L2 Technical Award in Business Enterprise
- L2 Technical Award in Digital Media
- L2 Technical Award in Performing Arts (Dance)
- L2 Technical Award in ICT
Please refer to the Rainhill Sixth Website for the courses which are offered for Year 12 and Year 13 students (KS5).
Our KS5 curriculum meets the 16 to 19 study programme requirements in that we offer:-
- Substantial qualifications at A-level and Level 3 Applied general and Technical level that stretch students and prepare them for education at the next level or for employment;
- English and maths where our students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4;
- Work experience in February of Year 12 to give our students the opportunity to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions; and
- Other non-qualification activity to develop our students’ character, broader skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support progression through our Tutorial and PSHE programme and our Super-curriculum.
The full content of our curriculum can be found on the Half-term overviews for all subjects taught from Year 7 to Year 13 (where applicable). Please click here
Should you wish to find out more about what we offer at the school please contact Mr Cunningham – Deputy Headteacher – Director of Studies