Hall Mead School Open Evening Introduction
Welcome to the Hall Mead School Virtual Open Evening. Unfortunately, we are unable to welcome prospective students and their parents to our school in the traditional way. This difficult decision has been taken in order to prioritise the health and safety of our staff and students and consideration of the risk to the wider visiting public and their children, many of whom would have been returning to their primary schools the very next day after attending.
We have provided some information to help parents decide if our school is the right school for your child.
Please feel free to contact us at the school if you have any questions at all.
We hope that you enjoy viewing the information and we look forward to hopefully welcoming you to our school in the future.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh
We want our students to be inspired and challenged in art. We aim for our students to develop a confidence in drawing and a greater level of proficiency when using materials. This is achieved through developing students’ core drawing skills, teaching them HOW to draw using shapes. Our philosophy is that art is a skill that can be taught and is something that all our students can learn. Students will start to understand the work of some contemporary artists and how they impact on the art world and the world around them. We aim for students to be able to form an opinion on art and an appreciation of artists and artistic techniques.
Technology is everywhere and will play a pivotal part in students’ lives, so it is vitally important that students can use it for good. Therefore, we want to model and educate our pupils on how to use technology positively, responsibly, and safely. We want our pupils to be creators, not consumers, and our broad curriculum encompassing computer science, information technology and digital literacy reflects this. We want our pupils to understand that there is always a choice with using technology, and as a school we utilise technology to model positive use. We recognise that the best prevention for many issues we currently see with technology/social media is through education. We recognise that technology can allow pupils to share their learning in creative ways. We also understand the accessibility opportunities technology can provide for our pupils. Our knowledge-rich curriculum must be balanced with the opportunity for pupils to apply their knowledge creatively, which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists. We want our pupils to become fluent and master the following strands of the Computer Science curriculum, programming, algorithms, data, hardware and software.
Quite often, people mistake drama as something that only ‘actors’ study. Certainly, it is a useful subject for those wishing to perform or work for an arts organisation. It is also, however, a subject that provides students with many different ‘transferable skills’ that are useful in a variety of careers and social situations. Studying drama enables students to work as part of a team, to solve problems, to persevere and be resilient. We believe that the best approach to teaching our subject is through practical work, with links to the vocabulary and style of writing needed for later study at GCSE level. Our teaching at KS3 provides a solid foundation of the techniques needed for practical work at GSCE, with experience of working in different dramatic styles. Every student will be able to access and enjoy Drama lessons. Every student will be challenged by drama lessons. Every student will develop skills that will be useful in their everyday lives.
Design and Technology
Design and technology aims to develop creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Students learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Design and technology uses knowledge, skill and understanding from a wide range of sources, including science and mathematics.
We love English and we want our students to love it too! We want our students to become lifelong literary explorers who delight in the written word and appreciate its power to empower, enlighten and enrich. We intend to develop students’ reading, writing and oracy skills enabling them to articulate themselves eloquently. Our knowledge-rich curriculum develops students’ cultural capital and appetite for academia. The range of texts studied opens students’ minds and expands their horizons, ready for GCSE and beyond. In year 7 our students will be introduced to our curriculum and will learn how to read as a writer and write as a reader.
In year 7, students start by learning the necessities of safe working practices in the kitchen. This includes both theory and practical elements such as the science behind the development of bacteria as well as correct and safe food storage and preparation skills. Practical and theory elements of the curriculum build progressively in depth and complexity throughout the year, culminating in confident and independent student chefs.
In year 7, we aim to develop students’ understanding of their place within our diverse and dynamic world. To create a sense of awe and wonder, students not only explore the wider global context, but are also actively encouraged to draw upon their own, localised experiences of their everyday geography. Through this, students are provided with a unique lens to explore the processes and people that continue to shape the wider world that they live in.
We believe that a high-quality history education will help students gain an overview and depth of knowledge of political, social and religious history on both a national and international scale. We want students to be curious about the past, understand the complexity and diversity of past societies, develop a sense of identity and understand the challenges of their time. They will become enthused, will be challenged and will feel invested in their study of the past 1000 years.
We believe history develops students’ knowledge and skills to ask questions, weigh evidence and develop critical perspectives and judgements. We want students to know how history as a discipline works and model this in their own studies, research and visits to historic environments.
At Hall Mead our mathematics curriculum is designed to develop strong mathematical attributes and behaviour. We believe in gaining a secure mathematical understanding that is intrinsically satisfying and everyone having the opportunity to succeed. At Key Stage 3, our delivery is grounded in the National Curriculum with a specific focus on essential mathematical concepts and ideas. Within this critical thinking, exchanging questions or ideas, investigating and developing curiosity all contribute to a rich mathematical learning experience.
In year 7, we learn about music through ‘doing’ music. Students learn to play a range of instruments including, guitar, keyboard and drum kit. They make up their own music using instruments, their voices and music apps. Students listen to a broad range of musical styles.
It is expected that pupils will arrive in year 7 having had experience of performing, composing and listening and will be able to read a simple melody.
The work in year 7 is based on various themes, bringing together the integration of musical cultures and music traditions worldwide, from 1600 to the present day. This course provides complete coverage of the national curriculum. The music curriculum develops a positive attitude towards different cultures, notions and ideas, and helps to contextualize music and the trends associated with it. Music is an enjoyable and motivating course. It develops creative skills, improves self-motivational skills, interpretation, critical awareness, performance, presentation skills and performance techniques. The teaching and learning of music is enriched by developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the stories, origins, traditions, history and social context of the music they are listening to, singing and playing. Listening to recorded performances is complemented by opportunities to experience live music making in and out of school. These could include performances by other school ensembles or year groups.
In year 7, we deliver a curriculum which goes broader and wider than just teaching students how to perform in different sports. It is no secret that leading a healthy and active lifestyle are key to future success, so we teach students the vital role that sport can play in ensuring every learner has the tools to be mentally and physically healthy and is equipped with the skills and knowledge to be individuals who always strive to beat their best.
The aim of PSCHE (personal, social, citizenship, health education) is to equip pupils with the information, knowledge and skills needed to be able to be active citizens and make good decisions about their own lives. We aim not to lecture students nor offer neat or simplistic advice to simply not do things deemed risky but rather to empower them to manage risk and develop their own strategies to promote their own wellbeing. We provide a safe space, where neither teacher nor peers are judgemental of others’ choices and lifestyles. Lessons are designed to explore contemporary issues and are built around frank, accurate teaching combined with room for discussion and disagreement to reflect the diverse nature of modern Britain and its values. We aim to instil mutual tolerance, understanding, openness and an appreciation of diversity and thereby increase pupils’ cultural capital. Our subject deals with milestones of life and encourages them to think critically and creatively and respond with sensitivity. As such PSCHE has a significant role to play in creating more-rounded students who will be positive contributors to future societies.
Throughout the PSCHE journey, the four knowledge and skills strands recommended by the PSHE Association of: Building Knowledge, Identifying and Managing Risk, Working with Others, and Advocacy and Representation deepen in an age-appropriate way each academic year. Our PSCHE curriculum ensures full coverage of what students need to know by the time they leave secondary education as stipulated in the new statutory guidance for Health, Relationships and Sex education from 2020.
The aim of the Department is not to prescribe a personal faith in any belief system but to nurture each student’s own self-identity – whether religious or secular – and to provide an opportunity for them to explore and consider perspectives other than their own. We practise an ‘outsider’ approach, with each religion being studied from an objective, unbiased approach which never seeks to preach or proselytise. We hope that whilst pursuing challenging academic study, we are also providing opportunities for a sense of awe and wonder, a love of enquiry and desire to both appreciate and challenge the teachings and conventional wisdoms of the major faiths. We aim to engender mutual tolerance, understanding, openness and an appreciation of diversity and thereby increase pupils’ cultural capital. Our subject deals with ultimate questions and milestones of life so encourages them to reflect personally and respond with sensitivity. As such RS has a fundamental role to play in creating more-rounded students, with an established sense of self, who will be positive contributors to future societies.
Academies must teach RE within the requirements for a locally agreed syllabus. The requirements are that a syllabus must ‘reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are, in the main, Christian while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain’. Religious Studies at Hall Mead is seen as a five-year journey, front-loaded for all sudents into years 7, 8 and 9 with year 10 & 11 offering the opportunity for further, deeper study through the GCSE course and/or continuation and retrieval through core study. Therefore, the curriculum provides yearly study of Christianity but with all six major world religions studied along the journey.
Science is about understanding the world in which we live. We want our students to appreciate the historic discoveries that shape the modern world, whilst inspiring them to make their own discoveries that may influence the future. We aim to instil a passion for science through investigative learning, allowing students to ask questions, explore problems and search for solutions using their own ingenuity. We deliver a broad curriculum that enables our students to explore, progress and master key knowledge in the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Engaging Science experiments are embedded throughout the course, to teach practical skills and encourage critical thinking. experience science in action.
Our mission as a department centres on languages inspiring students’ curiosity and fascination about the Spanish speaking world, its people and the understanding of unfamiliar and diverse places. In a global community, understanding the principles of different languages and how to apply them to learning new ones is a vital skill a young person develops, and enables students to have a better understanding of their own culture. We promote a positive language-learning experience that we hope leaves a life-long enthusiasm of language and a willingness to explore new horizons.