Students at Parmiter's experience a curriculum which contributes to a well-balanced education, developing the abilities and skills of individuals so that they take a valuable, positive and active place in society. The curriculum meets the need of each student, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability. Our primary aim is for each Parmiterian to be self-assured and caring, an active and well-rounded citizen with integrity, who respects others and contributes to society.
The curriculum demonstrates breadth, balance, cohesion and relevance. It is delivered through a variety of appropriate learning and teaching styles which create conditions for effective learning. This includes provision for students with specific needs and differentiated tasks for more able students. We equip each student to make informed and realistic decisions at each stage in their school career.
Confidence and fluency in numeracy, language and literacy are recognised as essential foundations for success in all subjects. As well as dedicated teaching, mathematical fluency and spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary, are developed in all relevant lessons.
Assessment and feedback are a key part of the curriculum. Summative assessment includes internal and external tests, and teacher-assessed class and coursework. There is regular communication with parents through a reporting system and parents' evening for each year group. Formative assessment is more diverse: it includes written feedback from teachers but it also covers verbal feedback, peer- and self-assessment.
Curriculum at Key Stage 3
In Years 7 to 9, all students follow a curriculum designed to develop essential skills and knowledge in a broad range of subjects. Each department offers a relevant, balanced and differentiated curriculum that has regard to the National Curriculum. The curriculum includes the discrete teaching of Drama and humanities subjects; the sciences are taught as discrete subjects from Year 9. A second modern foreign language (Spanish or German) is studied from Year 8.
In Key Stage 3 students are taught in mixed-ability form groups for the majority of their subjects. Academic setting is introduced in Year 8 for Mathematics and in Year 9 for the sciences. Mixed ability groupings (in groups different to their form groups) are used in Design & Technology (Years 7 – 9), PE (Years 7 – 9) and Modern Foreign Languages (Years 8 – 9).
In Years 7 to 9 all students follow the Life Skills programme, delivered through a fortnightly lesson. In Life Skills students cover a variety of topics including PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education), Citizenship, Careers and Financial awareness. The programme is supported by valuable visits from outside agencies. In addition, all Year 7 students follow a Resilience programme. This programme, delivered through a fortnightly lesson, aims to build resilience and promotes realistic thinking, adaptive coping and social problem-solving skills. The ‘resilience strategies’ are revisited during Life Skills lessons in Years 8 & 9. Sex and relationship education is delivered through the Science curriculum and the Life Skills programme.
Curriculum at GCSE (Key Stage 4)
In Years 10 & 11, students follow a curriculum designed to prepare them for GCSE examinations and post-16 opportunities. The curriculum includes compulsory (core) and optional elements; each element can be differentiated to suit the individual needs of students. Parmiter’s is committed to offering a broad range of optional subjects so students can pursue their areas of interest. The core subjects are currently: English Language; English Literature; Mathematics; the Sciences; Modern Foreign Language; Religious Studies. Detailed guidance is offered to students and parents in order to ensure each student follows an appropriate curriculum, particularly in light of the recent major changes to GCSE courses.
In Years 10 & 11 all students follow the Life Skills programme (non-examined), delivered through a fortnightly lesson in Year 10 and workshops in Year 11. The programme includes topics such as global issues, personal finance and political understanding. Again, outside speakers are arranged as much as possible to give the students as broad an understanding as possible of the subject. Sex and relationship education is delivered through the Science and RS curricula and the Life Skills programme. All students participate in four Games lessons per fortnight.
Curriculum in the Sixth Form (Key Stage 5)
Major changes (effective since September 2015) will impact the Sixth Form curriculum for the next two academic years. However, Parmiter’s remains committed to offering an extensive academic Sixth Form curriculum, with around 30 courses available at GCE level. All students have the opportunity to take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to further pursue a particular area of interest.
In Year 12, all students attend a weekly Liberal Studies session. As well as guidance on careers education and personal well-being (including sex and relationship education), a wide range of outside speakers introduce students to a variety of political, moral and social issues. In Year 13, all students attend a fortnightly pastoral period, providing further guidance on careers and higher education and preparing them for life after Parmiter’s.
Further details about the curriculum and related information can be found in the menu options on the left and in the Sixth Form area of the website.
Information about the teaching time allocated to each subject at Key Stage 3 and 4 is detailed here.
Beyond the Curriculum
The school provides a wide range of opportunities beyond the classroom. Extra-curricular activities enrich a student's experience and are an integral feature of the school's ethos. These include subject-enhancement activities, clubs and societies, visits and exchanges, community service, and a host of sporting, cultural, musical, house-based, public-speaking and dramatic experiences. Leadership opportunities are available to students in all year group at form group, year group and whole school level.
Further details about extra curricular opportunities can be found in the School Life area of the website.