Curriculum

We provide a relevant curriculum, which is as broad and balanced as possible and which reflects that of a mainstream High School by being in line with KS4 of the National Curriculum.

All pupils are tested in English, Maths & Science on entry to Old Warren House in order to determine the most appropriate qualification route that will provide achievable challenge.

Qualifications are tailored to the needs of each child and comprise:

English

As a school, we aim to promote the highest standards of reading, writing and spoken language. We believe that giving our pupils a strong grasp of both the understanding and use of language is central to their academic and future successes.

The understanding and use of language is promoted across all curriculum areas through a variety of strategies including key words; model answers and shared reading and writing.
Each pupil will follow a bespoke English Curriculum which is designed to meet their individual needs. Pupils will work either 1-1 or in small groups to allow personalised lessons which are designed to fill gaps in their learning and promote rapid progress.

Pupils follow a range of accredited courses in English. Their pathway is determined by their own aspirations, baseline testing, information from previous settings and liaison with the careers leader. The English lead will review this regularly.

Baseline testing includes Hodder Access Reading test, Vernon Graded Word Spelling Test, BPVS GL Assessment and a teacher assessment.

Depending on how long a pupil is with us, courses studied will include:

  • AQA Step Up to Entry Level Certificate – this is achieved through coursework completed in school and is assessed by outcome at Entry Level 1, 2 or 3.
  • AQA Functional Skills English – this is offered at Level 1 (equivalent to GCSE grade 1-3) and Level 2 (GCSE equivalent 4-9) and is assessed through examinations taken throughout the year in reading, writing and speaking.
  • AQA GCSE English Language – this is an examination-based qualification. There are 2 exams: reading of fiction and non-fiction, and writing description and to express an opinion.
  • AQA GCSE English Literature – this is assessed through examination. Texts this year include: Blood Brothers/ An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol, Macbeth and a selection of poetry.

On each qualification route, pupils will study and produce a range of high quality fiction and non-fiction texts which aim to increase cultural capital and promote interest and understanding. A strong emphasis is put on the acquisition and practise of reading and writing skills.

We also believe that reading for pleasure is essential in improving academic outcomes and wellbeing for our pupils. It is clear that regular reading advances a pupil’s vocabulary, aspirations and ability. We have a well-stocked library which we are always finding ways to expand, a range of high quality magazines and newspapers which are read and discussed daily.

This year a key focus of the English department is to ‘close the vocabulary gap’ between our pupils and those meeting/ exceeding age related expectations. This means that as we continue to shape our curriculum, vocabulary and language will be developed as a central theme in all areas.

Mathematics

There are two qualifications offered by Old Warren House, again these will depend on aptitude, ability and length of time with us:

  • Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics – this is achieved through coursework or external assignment completed in school, resulting in a qualification at either Entry Level 1, 2 or 3.
  • GCSE Mathematics – this is a study of number; algebra; ratio, proportion and rates of change; geometry and measures; probability and statistics; and is assess through a series of three examination papers, which are taken at the end of Year 11; of which 2 are calculator papers and one is a non-calculator. Each exam makes up a third of the final grade.

For the last six years, every pupil has left Old Warren House with a least one qualification in Mathematics.

Science

There are two qualifications offered at Old Warren House, again these are tailored to meet the needs of each pupil.

  • Entry Level Science – this encompasses units from the three disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and is assessed through coursework completed at school.

GCSE Biology – this is, like English & Mathematics; a linear qualification; meaning that it is accredited through two examinations at the end of Year 11, each of which makes up 50% of the marks. The course covers cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis & response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology and key ideas.

ASDAN

ASDAN is a comprehensive, alternative qualification which aims to recognise and encompass all of the non-curriculum achievements of our pupils. At Old Warren House, we seek to develop our pupils as both learners and as competent, well rounded individuals by allowing them to expand on their experiences and skills outside of the academic provision.

The ASDAN qualifications are nationally recognised and can be tailored to suit the individual interests and needs of each pupil. The units can be academic, for example, number handling and communication, but can also offer credit for other skills such as life skills, cookery, health and survival and sports.

Achievement ranges from a single credit for an individual unit of 10 hours of working time, through to the Gold certificate which represents 180 hours of work, along with short courses and larger CopE qualifications depending on the needs of the individual pupil.