The ability to write effectively is vital for communicating with others in school, in the wider world and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. However, many pupils arriving at New Heights lack confidence in their writing abilities and can be reluctant to put pen to paper. Therefore, in English we focus on building pupils’ confidence with writing in fun and engaging ways; ensuring that all the key skills are covered to prepare pupils for KS4.
In line with the English National Curriculum, pupils are taught to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information; through writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences.
Pupils receive teaching on the following topics:
- Sentences and punctuation
- Structure and paragraphs
- Tone and style
- Formal and informal
- Preparing and drafting
- Writing to inform and explain
- Writing to describe
- Writing to persuade, argue and advise
- Writing to review and comment
- Writing to analyse
- Creative and narrative writing
Every two weeks, pupils are given a writing stimulus and work towards an extended piece of writing through which they can showcase their newly acquired or improved writing skills.
Writing topics include: description of a jam doughnut; a spooky short story; a persuasive argument highlighting the positive side of video games; a formal letter complaining about the conditions at ‘Camp Green Lake’ (from the novel Holes); narrative writing inspired by the events in ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins.
Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively through writing, and to communicate with others confidently and effectively. By developing English skills pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers. Speaking and listening skills are important life skills, and discussion and group work is regularly incorporated into lessons to give pupils opportunity to develop in these areas.
Assessment and Feedback
When pupils arrive, they are given a baseline writing assessment to complete. After this, pupils are given an extended writing task to complete every fortnight which is used to track writing progression. Pupils are regularly encouraged to self-assess and peer-asses writing within lessons, and given individual specific targets to work on.
Relevance of Subject to Everyday Life
It is a necessity in most careers and walks of life to be able to communicate effectively and write with coherence; from passing exams to applying for jobs, basic writing skills form a crucial part in being successful.
As well as writing being an essential skill for everyday life, there is a range of vocational qualifications linked to an interest in English, such as:
- Travel and tourism
- Performing arts
- Media and marketing
- Graphic design
- Health and social care
Here at New Heights School, maths takes an important role that is evident both throughout the school and in all lessons. We follow the KS3 National Curriculum that covers all of the topics and skills required for our students to go on and sit their GCSE examinations, confident in the knowledge that they have acquired the skills necessary to achieve a grade.
Working closely with students, and providing teaching and resources carefully selected to each student’s individual needs, we aim to ensure that every student leaves our school with an improved knowledge and understanding of maths.
Topics covered in maths range from multiplication to constructing pie charts, from basic uses of calculators to solving multi-step worded problems, from mental arithmetic to lateral thinking. In doing this we hope to create a positive attitude towards all things mathematical and develop Student appreciation of how maths is both evident and used in our everyday lives.
The topics we cover ensure that each student can maximise their understanding and gain a deeper knowledge of how to make greater progress. Throughout the academic year students will focus on the core skills needed to progress in maths, focusing especially on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division which are all challenged through basic introductions leading to multi-step problem solving and worded questions.
These core skills are the foundation upon which all future knowledge and understanding will be based upon, and so it is fundamental to the student’s progress at New Heights that these skills are focused upon.
Assessment and Feedback
Students are assessed on entry with a baseline assessment that allows for a tailored approach to teaching, ensuring that work is both accessible and challenging. Students’ work is marked on a regular basis and verbal and written feedback is given to help promote continued progress and allay any misconceptions that may have arisen.
Links to Everyday Life
Examples of maths in the “real world” are used on a constant basis, with posters in the classroom depicting the maths skills necessary to work in different industries. Due to the nature of previous industry experience, teachers are able to give examples of how and when differing maths skills have been used, and the benefit that having a good knowledge.
There are a multitude of different careers that are associated with being confident in applying maths, including jobs in the service sector and administrative jobs.
Liverpool Counts is the Liverpool Learning Partnership’s response to the identification of mathematics as an issue facing settings, schools, academies and colleges across all phases in the city.
Liverpool Counts is based on the successful model of Liverpool: City of Readers and aims to raise standards in numeracy and mathematics by changing attitudes and perceptions through the delivery of the Liverpool Counts quality mark and the promotion of the importance of numeracy as a life skill through business links and cultural opportunities.
The agreed priorities of Liverpool Counts are as follows:
- To raise standards in mathematics and numeracy with fun and joy of number at the heart of all aspects of the strategy
- To challenge perceptions and change attitudes towards number and mathematics
- To raise the profile of numeracy through a range of activities, events and resources with an emphasis on the application to real life contexts
- To bring relevance to numeracy through problem solving set in local contexts
- To enhance the delivery of the new national curriculum at all key stages and the early years foundation stage
- To secure a shared understanding between the phases of education with an agreed common mathematical language and transition projects
- To promote the use of technology to engage learners
- To involve parents and the local business and cultural communities
- To creating a sustainable legacy of a love of numbers
Free Maths Courses (Parents / Carers)
Please see the link, below, to access local courses in the Liverpool area to develop your Maths and numeracy skills.
The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance across England to help you make decisions on learning, training and work. The service offers confidential and impartial advice and is supported by qualified careers advisers.
Their website has career tools to help you make decisions about careers, learning and work. Click here to read more. You can save your results from these tools in an account. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. You’ll need to be aged 13 or over to open an account.
Science is the curiosity and search for knowledge of how concepts work and why they work in this way, using observation and experimentation. Science works alongside many different subjects, such as, Maths, English, D.T. and Art to support the development and understanding of our world today. During science lessons, our students will develop skills in communication and working with others to test concepts for themselves.
The topics covered in science will cover a wide range of concepts in the three science disciplines Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These include:
- Biology – cells, body systems, reproduction
- Chemistry – particle model, elements, acids and alkalis
- Physics – forces, sound, light
The principle focus of Science at New Heights is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Our young people will begin to see the connections between these subjects and become aware of some of the ‘big ideas’ underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. The order of the units has been chosen by thinking about the connections between topics in each subject area of biology, chemistry and physics. This has been mapped through a two-year plan to ensure significant opportunities for progression by all students. The flexible content aims to deepen scientific knowledge, ensuring key concepts are understood.
Assessment and Feedback
Students complete a baseline assessment on entry. The results of which are used to create individual learning pathways. Pre-topic questions are used to identify individual starting points for each new topic and work produced in books is marked and fed back to students. Summative end of topic questions are used to identify any gaps in learning and targeted intervention is put in place to ensure students progress from their starting points.
Links to Everyday Life
Science is an important core subject. At New Heights we want our students to understand how important scientists and engineers are really are, as they literally shape the world around us.
Science career pathways are endless and range from archaeologists to veterinarians and ‘everything else’ in between. If your future ambitions lie outside of the mould of traditional careers, there are some alternative options that fuse together science with other areas for a really unique career including; scientific illustrator or even a politician!
Art is a vital part of everyday life, bringing opportunities to be creative and introduces a variety of creative concepts not offered in other subjects.
Students will learn in 2-3 week ‘project’ chunks. Each will focus on an Artist, Process, Art movement or Theme and the work they create will be their individual response to each. Students will have a focused skill or method within each project but have freedom to use it in different ways that suit their abilities and needs.
The order that topics will be taught is subject to change, projects can be re-scheduled to fit the cohort as they all span 2 weeks, if groups do not respond positively to a theme or disengaged it can be moved on from and revisited with a different focus or method that better engages them. There are also occasions when there are opportunities inspired by current events or pupil ideas when the SoW can be suspended and changed to more appropriately fit with current issues or events
- Lettering Project
- Still Life and 3D
- Lino Printing
- Graffiti and Sculpture
- Eyes Project
- Stop Motion
- Natural Disasters
- Picasso/Cubism and Dali/Surrealism
- Alternative Artworks and Marbling
- Cultural/City Art
Students will learn a variety of practical skills, methods and processes that are then further adapted according to any learning or special educational needs. Some of the methods and processes that are planned for this academic year are: Expressionism, 3D construction, Cultural Art, Still Life, Sculpture, Historical Art, Painting, Drawing and more.
Assessment and feedback
This year the students will maintain their own sketchbook that will include a year’s project tracker. This allows them to track and maintain details of projects and processes, receive comments and end of project assessment marks, constructive feedback and also an opportunity to write comments back in response to marking. Students are also expected use their sketchbook to review their progress and reflect on their learning and the skills they need to develop and refine.
Relevance of subject to everyday life
Projects can be inspired by current events or pupil ideas and can be subject to change if there is a word event or topic that can be commented on by our classwork. Our scheme of work can be accessed online through Google Classroom and allows Students an opportunity to learn about the wider context of what we are studying in school rather than having a heavy emphasis on just the practical aspects – as cultural context can be vitally important as to why some art exists. Out scheme is structured t appropriately fit with current issues or events that may affect our young people, so that they are constantly engaged and learning relevant topics or skills.
Students are constantly reminded of the importance that Art holds and creative subjects when in the Art room. It is made clear that creative ability is important to everything; they are reminded that cars, clothes, technology and everyday objects would not exist without a creative mind at the heart of its design and engineering. Students often instigate conversations about how art is ‘unimportant’ and as staff we constantly challenge this viewpoint, highlighting its immense value. Creative thinking and design plays an important role in the following career pathways:
Literacy is about developing the skills, and enjoyment, of reading!
In this subject, students are introduced to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts; focusing on a variety of topics throughout each term.
Within their first two weeks, students have the opportunity to practice key reading skills using short snippets from a variety of smaller fiction and non-fiction texts.
Students then move on to studying larger texts which link both historical and modern essential reading, including (in recognition of Black History) To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and The Hate U Give (2018). Students progress onto gothic fiction, exploring texts such as: Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau; focusing on the key themes and ideas presented by each writer.
As the year progresses, students are introduced to the work of Shakespeare and, from there, progress onto poetry – exploring language and structure.
During our final term, there is a focus on modern plays and also dystopian fiction, looking at texts such as Blood Brothers and Lord of the Flies.
Students are taught vital reading skills and strategies to support their understanding of texts and the social, historical and cultural context in which each piece of literature was written. Students explore how the language, form and structure of a text links to the writer’s ideas, themes and setting. Students are encouraged to respond to texts critically and imaginatively – selecting relevant quotes from the text to support their views/ideas.
Following the reading aspect of the English curriculum, Literacy is a core subject that supports students on their journey towards GCSE.
Assessment and Feedback
Student comprehension and inference skills are assessed when they arrive by taking a reading baseline assessment.
Students are assessed through a combination of work they have completed in class and also classroom-based tests (assessments) at the end of each topic.
Relevance of Subject to Everyday Life
Developing confident reading and literacy skills is a key part of life. Reading for fun and reading with confidence is both personally and culturally enriching.
As reading is ingrained in our daily lives, Students are encouraged to adopt a positive attitude towards reading and develop an understanding of language and also the world around them through the texts they study. English proficiency links to many career pathways such as in media and journalism, teaching (UK or abroad), advertising and marketing and even law.
Physical Education at New Heights offers a broad curriculum of sporting activities to our Students. A safe and motivating environment is created to ensure pupil engagement and progression.
All our Physical Education lessons strive to include the following holistic principles:
- Develop resilience
- Improve self-esteem
- Promote health, fitness and well-being
This academic year Students will participate in the following sporting activities:
Students work towards the Liverpool Trampoline Gymnastics Awards. The awards are used to given our Students the opportunity to develop skills and routines, from basic to advanced level. Furthermore, Students have been able to analyse their performance in lessons and demonstrate improvement to achieve their best.
Students develop a range of attacking and defending skills which they can apply to play. These games give many opportunities for our students to improve their teamwork, sportsmanship and communication skills.
Students have developed a range of skills which enables them to participate in class tournaments. Students have learned to apply tactics to overcome opponents during play. Short Tennis has given the opportunity for our students to take on the role of the umpire.
In Fitness Students are learning the importance of leading a healthy and active life style. Students will learn to work independently in the school’s fitness suite, whilst working hard to improve their stamina. Using our modern sports hall facility, Students will participate in fitness circuits and multi-stage fitness testing. These activities have enabled Students to take responsibility for improving their own fitness levels.
Assessment and Feedback
When Students first enter the Physical Education setting they are assessed and given a baseline grade. This allows for individual learning experiences and ensures the needs of all students are met. Students participating in PE are regularly assessed and regular discussions regarding their progress are undertaken.
This academic year Students will be graded in line with the current 1-9 GCSE levels. This will support students in their transitions into mainstream or alternative provisions following their time at New Heights.
In our department, we believe that pupil participation in assessment is very important in assisting with progress and learning. During lessons, students are given several opportunities to assess their own and others’ performances thus giving them an understanding of their next steps for learning.
Links to Everyday Life
Staying healthy and fit has never been more important. We use our time with the students to show them how much fun physical activity can be and impress upon them the importance of maintaining good health and the links between health and maintaining a good, balanced diet.
Participation in PE lessons allows Students to develop transferable skills which will be useful in further education and future careers. Leadership and communication are promoted whilst participating in team sports; self-confidence is built whilst officiating and coaching their peers. Additionally, students are made aware of the potential pathways in education to achieve qualifications in PE which can lead to employment in sporting roles such as coaching and youth work.
Focusing on safe and hygienic kitchen practice, Food Technology is the subject that teaches the essential skills needed in everyday life.
This year the topics vary from making bread, salt and pepper chicken, cooked breakfasts, homemade kebab and flatbreads, cheesecake, pizzas and sausage rolls.
Food Technology is not just about following recipes you will learn how to adapt recipes to make it suitable for a variety of people, including those with food intolerance.
Throughout the year a range of inter-linking essential food preparation skills is taught, for example, students learn how to knead bread which will enable them to make dough which may be used in a variety of pastry dishes. Other skills being taught include; marinade, fry, roast, purify and tenderise. By the end of the year, students will be equipped with a multitude of skills and have developed the confidence to cook for other people and showcase their skills and knowledge. We use our subject to discuss the importance of healthy food choices and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
Assessment and Feedback
Assessment in this subject is continuous and ongoing. Students planning, weighing, preparation, cooking and presentation is evaluated and assessed. Students receive verbal and written feedback on their work and are encouraged to critique their entire process of each complete recipe.
Being able to safely and hygienically prepare food and cook it remains an essential life skill. Cooking brings people together and it can give a sense of self-satisfaction.
You can take your passion for cooking further and attend catering college and train to be a cook, chef, or apply for work in other sectors of the hospitality industry.
At New Heights, Relationship, Health and Sex Education is an integral part of our morning classroom routine. The first part of the morning is dedicated to student welfare and discussions about families, relationships, healthy living, drugs and alcohol, sex and relationships and online safety.
We intend to prepare our students for the outside world and advise them about keeping safe and how to manage risky situations and behaviour.
We continually check student progress against new guidelines and standards. It is our goal to offer all of our students a rounded, safe and empathetic view on life that will enable them to cope with challenges they come across in their own future personal and professional lives.
Upon entry to New Heights High School, all students complete the following assessments:
- Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT4). This covers: reading, spelling, comprehension. Maths
- LASS Dyslexia screening assessment. This covers: working memory (visual and auditory), non-verbal intelligence, reading, spelling. This assessment identifies areas of need relating to dyslexia and problems in learning.
- Resiliency scales. This covers: mastery, relatedness, emotional reactivity. It Identifies areas of strength and weakness in resiliency, and a person’s ability to cope in difficult situations; bounce back from setbacks, and overcome problems.
Within the first 3 weeks at New Heights High School, baseline assessments data is collected in all subject areas. A snapshot of their progress is taken every two weeks and measured in small incremental steps. This allows us to plot progress in a short period of time. It also allows teachers to identify if a child is not making the expected progress and to look at the reasons why this may be.