Changes to the KS3 Curriculum

Dear parents and carers

I am writing to confirm that we will be moving toward a three year Key Stage 3 (KS3) by the end of this academic year. An extensive consultation process with curriculum middle leaders, governors, senior leaders and parents has been carried out. The overwhelming feedback I received was that this move is in the best interests of our students. Some of the main factors that were repeatedly voiced are as follows:

  • There has been a growing number of students making option choices that have not suited them. These are mainly due to a lack of experience in subjects, immature decision making, a lack of comprehension around the requirements of subjects at Key Stage 4 level and the narrowing of their potential future pathways.
  • The learning environment within our classes at The John of Gaunt School has become more focused and hence more productive. For this reason we are clear that students will benefit from a broader and more balanced KS3 curriculum over three years.
  • The altered format of the newly reformed KS4 linear examinations requires less time for coursework. There is a concern around the challenge of students retaining knowledge for three years instead of two.
  • The education agenda, being driven by government, expects a ‘broader and more balanced’ three year KS3 curriculum to support young adults in being well rounded citizens within our society when they leave the education system. The school is required to deliver on this matter.

These changes will not impact on your child at all this year. The only slight change is where they may have been expecting to make their option choices around this time, they will now complete them this time next year, in Year 9. The benefit to your child will be that they have another full year to experience subjects before choosing their desired learning pathways.

Thank you to all those who contributed to the process.


Mr Rhodes