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Curriculum

“Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought”

Matthew Arnold

At Mercia School, we believe all pupils, whatever their background or ability, have a right to access the best that has been said and thought. This includes a variety of writers, from all parts of the world, and thinkers from all the ages.

Strategic Intent:

To develop and refine a whole school curriculum which:

  • Supports pupils to develop their understanding of the world we live in. The curriculum is designed to allow pupils to accumulate huge amounts of knowledge that allows them to thrive in modern Britain.
  • Enables pupils to encounter a broad and balanced curriculum in each and every subject. Every subject seeks to cover a wide range of content in Key Stage 3, before we specialise for a 2-year Key Stage 4 and 5. 
  • Provides all pupils with access to the academic EBACC suite of subjects – these subjects make up a significant part of the school’s curriculum and it is our intention that 100% of pupils are able to study EBACC GCSEs. This will ensure all doors are open for them as they move in to higher education and in to valuable careers of their choosing. We also recognise the need to make careful curriculum choices for a very small number of SEND pupils. 
  • Enables pupils to make well-considered links across subjects. For example, during the study of the Norman Conquest in history, pupils consider the exploits of Guillaume le Conquerant in French. This intention helps pupils to solidify and remember key knowledge in both subject areas.
  • Provides opportunities for pupil to commit knowledge to their long term memory through carefully planned opportunities to practice. 
  • Develops a love of learning within each subject. We are ambitious for our pupils and work tirelessly to develop the next great historians, geographers, writers, mathematicians, linguists, scientists, musicians and artists.
  • Designed to be remembered, not merely encountered. Pupils have not learnt anything unless they can remember it. Our intention is to ensure all pupils can remember a lot and then apply it to the disciplines on offer.

Curriculum Implementation: 

The school is relentless in its ambition that all pupils can learn and enjoy every single subject. The curriculum seeks to embed a significant amount of knowledge, whilst ensuring pupils are highly proficient in a skillset that is specific to the learning of each subject discipline on offer. Subject departments will often overlap content to help pupils remember and consolidate their learning. Pupils receive numerous opportunities to apply knowledge to larger, subject specific concepts on a regular basis. 

The implementation of the school's curriculum is aided by:

1. Reading every single day. Pupils begin the day with 30 minutes of reading, a time when the encounter the very best novels and texts of our time

2. Excellent behaviour. Pupils are able to work in a calm, motivating environment and pupils are explicitly taught character traits that help them develop as valuable citizens and good, honest people. 

3. High-quality pastoral care. All pupils are supported in their learning by a Mastery Tutor, Head of House and Head of Year. Every child has the capacity to learn and grow, we support all to do just that every single day. 

4. Superb enrichment. All pupils participate in high-quality electives that help to develop pupil creativity, expression and athleticism. We run educational visits, university trips and a wide variety of careers days to help break down any barrier to pupil achievement. 

5. An inclusive environment. Whilst we expect the very highest standards in terms of behaviour and academic performance, all pupils are supported to thrive in the school. We support our SEND pupils through exceptional teaching and tailored, timely teacher-led intervention. Extra support is always on hand for our most vulnerable pupils.

6. Mastery Time. This is a time in the day where pupils learn about a wide range of subjects such as; religious education, British Values, PSHE, careers education, classical music, LGBT education and much more. This time (30 minutes every day) helps us to ensure we meet our statutory obligations. 

Curriculum Subjects (lessons per week):

Please note that the curriculum choices for 2020-21 have been amended in some cases, in response to the loss of learning time caused by the  Covid-19 pandemic. 

English (5)

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1  Ancient Literature  Shakespearean Tragedy  The Late Plays 
Unit 2 Homer - Ancient Poetry Gothic Fiction  War Poetry 
Unit 3 Tragedy 19th Century Novel  War Literature 
Unit 4 Comedy Dickens  Modern Text 
Unit 5 Romantic Poetry Victorian Poetry  Modern Drama 
Unit 6 Romantic Novel  Victorian Novel  Representations in Literature

Mathematics (5)

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1 Number 1: four operations, place value, negative numbers Working with ratios and percentages Algebra 3: inequalities and simultaneous equations 
Unit 2 Number 2: powers, roots, order of operations, rounding and estimation Circles and formulae Number: standard form and surds 
Unit 3 Fractions  and types of number Introduction to statistics and data Shape: Pythagoras and constructions 
Unit 4 Two dimensional shapes Introduction to probability Quadratic equations 
Unit 5 Algebra 1: equivalence and manipulation  Sequences and Graphs  Similarity, congruence and trigonometry 
Unit 6 Algebra 2: solving linear equations 3D shapes and transformations Direct and indirect proportion and non-linear graphs

Science (4)

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1 The Scientific Method  Respiration and Photosynthesis Biology 1: Cell Biology
Unit 2 Organelles to Organisms Energy  Biology 2: Photosynthesis
Unit 3 Matter and Mixture Periodic Table and Reactions Chemistry 1: Atomic Structure and The Periodic Table 
Unit 4 Forces Electricity Chemistry 2: Structure and Bonding 
Unit 5 Reproduction and Genetics Waves Physics 1: Energy and The Particle Model 
Unit 6 Metals and Reactions Earth  and The Universe Physics 2: Electricity in Action 

French (3)

  Year 7

Year 8

(Rennes and Bordeaux)

Year 8 

(Marseille)

Year 9
Unit 1 Present Tense (-er, irregular) All About Me 

Conditional tense

Si j’étais maire …
Present tense (-er, irregular) All About Me

Transactional speech

Planning a trip to Réunion
Unit 2 Present Tense (-er, -ir and -re, irregular) All About Me

Conditional tense

Si je gagnais à la loterie
Present tense (-er, -ir and –re, irregular) All About Me

Transactional speech

Staying in Paris

Work experience
Unit 3

Imperfect Tense

All About Me

Present tense reflexive verbs

School, all about me
Imperfect tense
All About Me

Conditional/Conditional Perfect

Work
Unit 4

Imperfect tense

Jeanne d’Arc, Guillaume le Conquérant, Le Trésor de Tikoulou, l’environnement

The near future tense

School, holidays

Conditional tense

Si j’étais maire

Si je gagnais à la loterie

Simple future tense

Pour sauver la planète
Unit 5

Conditional tense

Si j’étais maire …

Perfect tense (avoir)

La revolution francaise, Napoléon Bonaparte

Present tense reflexive verbs

School, All About Me

Narrative speech/passive voice

Deuxième guerre mondiale

Charles de Gaulle
Unit 6

Conditional tense

Si je gagnais à la loterie

Perfect tense (avoir and être)

All about me, Local area

The near future tense

The near future tense

School, holidays

Mixing tenses

School

Aspirations

History (2)

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1 Ancient Rome The English Reformation First World War 
Unit 2 Anglo-Saxon England Crown and Parliament  World between Wars: USSR and USA
Unit 3 Norman England Empire, Slavery and Abolition World between Wars: Nazi Germany 
Unit 4 Islamic and Christian Worlds Age of Revolutions Second World War and Holocaust
Unit 5 Medieval Kingship Industry and Reform Civil Rights in the USA
Unit 6 Reformation and Discovery The Victorian Empire  Post-War Britain 

Geography (2)

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1 Locating Place Tectonics Cities 
Unit 2 Settlement  Global Inequality Climate Change
Unit 3 Weather and Climate Rivers UK Economy 
Unit 4  World Trade  Population Environments 
Unit 5 Oceans and Glaciers  Coasts Food and Water
Unit 6 Ecology  Cities  Sustainability

Art and Design (1) 

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1&2 Formal Elements Futurism and Printmaking Architectural Drawing
Unit 3&4 Aerial Perspectives and Landscapes Cardboard Sculptures Mexican Folk Art and Ceramics
Unit 5&6  Portraiture Textural Painting  Human Figure

Music (1)

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1 Musical Elements Celtic Music Minimalism 
Unit 2 Notation  Programme Music Programme Music
Unit 3 Fanfare and Instruments Gamelan and Indian Music Film Music
Unit 4 Music and Mood African Music Popular Music
Unit 5  Programme Music Blues Music Celtic Music
Unit 6 Musical Theatre Blues and Jazz Blues and Jazz


Physical Education (2)* 

*Where there are 2 options, boys' PE is emboldened, girls' PE is not. 

    Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
HT 1 Sport 1

Basketball 

Basketball 

Basketball/Netball 

  Sport 2 Football  Football  Football 
  Sport 3 Hockey  Hockey  Hockey
  Sport 4 Rugby/Netball  Rugby/Netball Rugby 
HT 2 Sport 5 Table Tennis Table Tennis  Table Tennis 
  Sport 6 Rounders Rounders Volleyball 
  Sport 7 Cricket Cricket  Rounders
  Sport 8  Dance Dance Cricket/Dance 
HT 3 Sport 9 Gymnastics Gymnastics Gymnastics
  Sport 10 Trampoline  Trampoline  Trampoline 
  Sport 11 Athletics Athletics Athletics
  Sport 12 Cross - Country Fitness Components  Fitness Components
 
Religious Education (1)
 
  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Unit 1 Judaism - History and Belief Buddhism - History and Belief  Christianity - History and Belief 
Unit 2 Judaism in the Modern World  Buddhism in the Modern World  Christianity in the Modern World 
Unit 3 Christianity: The Old Testament (Genesis) Christianity: The Old Testament (Exodus)  The Philosophy of Religion Part 1
Unit 4 Christianity: The New Testament  Christianity: The New Testament (The death of Jesus Christ) The Philosophy of Religion Part 2
Unit 5 Islam - History and Belief  Hinduism - History and Belief Sikhism 
Unit 6 Islam in the Modern World  Hinduism in the Modern World  Ethics
 

Drama (1)

  Year 9
Unit 1 Theatre Conventions 
Unit 2 Theatre Practitioners
Unit 3 Performing Text 
Unit 4 Style and Performing Text 
Unit 5 Devising Drama
Unit 6 Devising Drama Performance