The aim of the curriculum in Year 9, in common with the Prep School, is to keep a wide variety of options open for the students. New students into the College are given the opportunity to try a variety of subjects to identify strengths for GCSE.
A distinguishing aspect of the curriculum for Year 9 is our two carousels: two lessons every week that roll between different subjects. Our Creative Carousel offers a weekly lesson on rotation. This is specifically designed to give students the opportunity to try out creative subjects and extra-curricular activities which they may not have tried before. Aside from developing a student's curiosity, creativity and life-skills, before they focus on their GCSE subjects in Year 10, it may help them discover a passion for areas on the rotation that they wish to take further. In recent years, subjects have included Self-Defence, Catering, Drama, Yoga, Cookery, Fencing, Dance Fusion, Music Technology, and Dog Handling. Some of these, such as Cookery, Drama, and Dance, can be continued through certain GCSE options.
Similar to the Creative Carousel, the Academic Carousel is a weekly lesson on rotation, designed to enrich our curriculum and develop skills in Year 9. All students rotate round activities including Politics, Asian Culture, European Culture, Health & Wellbeing, and IT skills, to name a few.
We set the core subjects and MFL in Year 9. This is done on the basis of CAT tests on entry, and considers Common Entrance. All students sit MidYIS at the start of Year 9. Option subjects are made up of mixed ability groups.
Any lessons for students who have learning support are arranged on a one to one basis, and never take place in core lessons or in place of a lesson much loved by our students..
Homework will amount to approximately 1.5 hours each evening. Students have the option to opt in to supervised homework clubs or other activities from 4.30pm–5.30pm every evening. Staff are on hand to provide support and guidance with homework and any work not completed in school should be done at home that evening.
At the start of the academic year, students spend the first week off-timetable. The focus in Year 9 is about team bonding and building relationships, all students attend the Year 9 camp. In Year 10 and 11 students attend a seminar and workshop programme which includes outside speakers on PSHE topics, study skills, motivational speakers, and careers. This forms part of our Personal Development Programme that runs throughout the year and includes ongoing lectures on bullying and cyber bullying, alcohol and drugs, sexual health, and relationships.
All students in the Senior School are given the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. In Year 9 the School offers Bronze Award, and successful completion of this can lead to the Silver Award. In Year 10, all students join one of the CCF services (RAF, Army, Royal Navy), which focuses on outdoor education and development of leadership skills.
Sport plays a prominent role in the life of the College, with Games time built into the curriculum and matches played on a Saturday. All students are expected to play an active role in the School's sporting provision, relative to their strengths and interests.
At Seaford, all students take Mathematics, English, and Science. Mathematics and Science are offered at both higher tier and foundation tier level, and the decision as to the best tier to pursue is taken over the duration of the GCSE course with your teachers. Science can be studied as a Combined Science course or as a Triple Science course to enable a student to achieve the highest attainment. In English, most students study English Language and English Literature within their normal lessons but there may be some students who only study English Language. This is again advised towards the end of Year 9 and the start of Year 10.
Each student then has four option subjects. One of these choices we would expect to be a modern foreign language, and we advise another should be a humanities subject.
We encourage balance in a student’s range of subjects and so advocate choosing a humanities subject (Geography or History). We would expect most students to also choose a modern foreign language (French or Spanish), and it should be noted that if you are likely to wish to apply to a Russell Group university in the future, a modern foreign language is a requirement.
This then effectively leaves two option choices. We would encourage students to weigh up the amount of coursework a subject may have (Creative Arts, Design & Technology, BTECs) in helping to achieve a balanced curriculum. For example, choosing two heavy coursework subjects may prove too much, and three almost certainly will.
Ultimately, we want students to choose subjects that they’ll enjoy and be passionate about. Sometimes there is tendency to select an option because there is a career aspiration in mind but actually the subject is not a good fit. Whilst we recognise career aspiration is important, we would also suggest that a lot can change in the years ahead, and that choosing subjects that students love should be a guiding priority.
The most important thing is to talk your choices through with subject teachers and Tutors who are here to help students. We encourage students to take their time with this and choose the best fit for them which enables them to succeed and achieve their personal bests.
At GCSE students study these core subjects:
IGCSE English Language
IGCSE English Literature
GCSE Combined Science
GCSE Triple Science
Students then need to choose four subjects from these options:
One from humanities
We recommend students study one humanities subject for a balanced choice
One from languages
We recommend students study one language if planning to apply to Russell Group universities
Two from these subjects
BTEC First Award in Business
BTEC First Award in Information & Creative Technology
GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Design & Technology
GCSE Fine Art
GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition
GCSE Graphical Communication
GCSE Physical Education
GCSE Religious Studies
GCSE Textile Design
GCSE Three-Dimensional Design
To find out more information about the subjects on offer, visit our Subject Booklet Page.
I got a 9 in Biology because of the revision sessions. Mr d’Agar was great in these sessions. He went over things we weren’t sure about. The teachers are great, when you think you’re not that good there are always people telling you that you are – they give you confidence. I said to Mr Green before our exams that, 'You couldn’t have done any more to prepare us for our exams, you’ve given us everything, it’s now down to us!'"