Virtual Open Evening

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. 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.

Telephone: 01708 225 684
Email: office@hallmeadschool.com

We hope that you enjoy viewing the information and we look forward to hopefully welcoming you to our school in the future.


Subjects

Vision, curriculum and exam successes for each of our subjects.

Art

Teaching art at Hall Mead, we firmly believe in the ethos that everyone can learn to draw. Art is a skill that can be taught and is an exciting subject to learn about. Students will follow a sequenced KS3 curriculum building on an expanding knowledge of a range of artists, art movements, drawing, painting, and sculpture techniques, as well as developing an understanding of colour and how art links to the world we live in and its impact upon issues such as the environment.

The art department have exciting links with contemporary artists, such as Tori Ratcliffe who often runs a competition with our year 7 students, where one lucky individual has the chance to win a signed print of her work. Alongside learning about contemporary artists, we also learn about the history of art and how artists have changed through the ages. We study the divide between the representation on men and women in the art world, all while preparing our students with the fantastic skills and knowledge that they need to succeed.

GCSE art is a popular subject and results for the department are always in line with, or well above the national average for art, due to the solid foundation that students gain at Key Stage 3.

Business Studies

We would like all students to show an entrepreneurial spirit, combined with an excellent knowledge in business theory that would help them to either start a business or work for a business. The main themes of our curriculum include the Business Environment, Marketing, Human Resources, Operations, Influences on a business, finance and the Interdependent nature of business. For the past three years we have made a steady improvement in grades and expect continued improvement.

Computing

We would like all students to become good problem solvers, competent users of modern-day computer systems to help them meet current learning needs across the curriculum. The main themes of our curriculum include algorithms, programming, hardware and networking, data representation and information technology. We have achieved excellent exam results in the past few years and have performed very well compared to other schools, nationally.

Drama

Drama is an exciting, inspiring and practical subject which promotes involvement in, and enjoyment of, performing. In year 7, students study a wide range of topics from mime and narration to script work and historical topics. They gain transferable skills, such as presenting in front of others, creative thinking, problem solving, working with other people, resolving conflict, speaking eloquently and being able to articulate thoughts and feelings. 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 (GCSE). Our teaching at Key Stage 3 provides a solid foundation of the techniques needed for practical work at GCSE level, with experience of working in different drama styles. Every student at Key Stage 3 will be able to access and enjoy drama lessons. Every student will be challenged by drama lessons. Every student will be prepared for GCSE drama, should they wish to choose it as an option.

English

The English Department provide teaching that promotes high standards of literacy and equips pupils with a love of literature and a strong command of the spoken and written word. Our focus in Year 7 English lessons is the development of key literacy skills in preparation for a more ‘critical’ approach in Year 8 and beyond. We have a good record of examination results at GCSE, including a significant number of students achieving level 9 for English Language and English Literature over the past few years.

Food

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the greatest expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

The introduction of the new Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE, written by Heston Blumenthal, has given the subject greater gravitas, moving away from Design Technology at Key Stage 3. However, Food does still play a part within the delivery of Design Technology at Key Stage 3 but with a keener focus on preparing pupils for the new, in depth Food GCSE, with greater emphasis on making, knowledge of where food is coming from and a huge emphasis on healthy eating, nutrition and the science of food.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum has now been divided into 4 areas of learning:
• Nutrition
• Food Provenance and Choice
• Cooking and Preparation
• Skills: Preparation and Cooking Techniques

Leading on from Key Stage 3, with the skills and knowledge taught then, we are pleased to accommodate all levels of ability at GCSE. We celebrate a good success rate of an average of 70% grades 4-9 with many students leaving here to continue their study of the subject and their love of food. This includes pupils at Westminster College, working as product development managers with Sainsbury’s and pastry chefs at top restaurants in London.

Our overall aim is to create an environment where pupils want to experiment and develop their food knowledge with new ingredients, cooking skills and recipes so that they can become better and healthier consumers of food.

Geography

At the core of our departmental vision is the development of geographers of the future. Through our planning and teaching of a challenging curriculum, we try to address the many complexities and misconceptions of a diverse world. We believe that through geographical knowledge, concepts and skills our subject makes a major contribution to the intellectual, social and emotional development of all Hall Mead students.

Students will follow a journey through different topics throughout their time at Hall Mead. Whilst each topic is separate and stands alone, they are part of a wider scheme of learning with plenty of links. Students’ knowledge will be constantly expanding and building throughout the school. The topics covered in year 7 range from an exploration of ‘Fantastic Places’, an in depth look at ‘Incredible India’ to the ‘Making of a Geographer’ through the application of map skills.

Our department’s 5-year journey builds towards the undertaking of the WJEC Eduqas A Exam Board. We have an inclusive approach to geography education and believe it is a subject that facilitates learning for all abilities.
Our department achieves consistently high results above the national average.

History

As young historians, students at Hall Mead gain an overview and depth knowledge of political, social and religious history on both a national and international scale: studying time periods including The Norman Conquest, Medieval Africa, The Tudors, Age of Revolution, The Rise of Dictators in the Twentieth Century and The Holocaust. We actively encourage 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.

The Hall Mead history team are passionate about the study of history and both enthuse and challenge our students as they explore the past 1000 years both in the classroom and at home. To help support students’ understanding of world history in recent years the history department has run visits to Hampton Court Palace, The Imperial War Museum, Berlin and The World War I Battlefields in Belgium and France.

Our GCSE students follow the interesting and exciting Edexcel Syllabus, where students study the following units: Medicine Through Time, Elizabethan England, The Cold War, and Weimar and Nazi Germany. We have experienced great GCSE success in recent years with 89% of our students achieving a grade 4 or above this year and consistently over the last three years almost 10% or more of our cohort achieving the highly commendable Grade 9.

We look forward to welcoming our new Year 7 students in September, and beginning their first historical enquiry into Anglo Saxon England!

Mathematics

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.

At Hall Mead, students will be taught by specialists, who are both talented and dedicated, but, most importantly, absolutely passionate about their subject. Lessons are purposeful, developing good mathematical aptitude and delivering necessary mathematical content. Our curriculum fosters a love for the subject at the same time as learning the vital skills students need. Strong professional relationships between teachers and students ensures that learning will be productive and tailored to need. At Hall Mead GCSE outcomes within Mathematics are consistently high. Pupil performance is significantly above national average at all levels, with the majority of pupils exceeding their expected outcome. Many pupils choose to study mathematics at A level at prestigious sixth forms both locally and wider afield. Exceptional mathematicians may be offered the opportunity to sit their GCSE qualification at the end of Year 10. Their evolving mathematical understanding is enhanced by studying Further Mathematics in Year 11.

Through the study of mathematics, we endeavour to develop pupils who have the passion, intrigue, confidence and resilience necessary to solve problems in the world around them; essential qualities and attributes to thrive wherever life takes them.

Media

Media studies is a GCSE option subject that pupils will have the chance to select for study in years 10 and 11. During the course of study, we teach students to view all media that they encounter with a critical, analytical eye, while simultaneously supporting the skills of the GCSE English curriculum. Pupils will be assessed on their understanding of how the media conveys meaning, engages an audience and represents different social groups. The course covers a wide range of media topics, including film, TV, advertising and social media and video games. Media studies is always a very popular option choice, and our good results in recent years reflect the enthusiasm that our students have for the subject.

Music

Students will take music in a purpose-built new music department. Our vision stems from our belief that music learning works best when young people are making music, and when their existing passion for music is reflected and built-upon in the classroom. We want to help more young people to be able to access music making and encourage them to keep playing more music and for longer. In year 7 class-music lessons, students will learn how to play the keyboard, drum kit, bass guitar and 6 string guitar. They will sing. They will create their own music using music apps (MuseScore, Cubase, BeepBox, Bandlab) They will use music notation. They will listen to a broad range of music and explore its musical features.
They will explore music’s relationship to society, the other arts, history, and culture. Students who take music at KS4 are passionate about music, our KS4 results are always above the national average.

Physical Education

We aim to teach all pupils in an inclusive environment to meet the needs of all learners and their abilities. We provide opportunities to participate, create enjoyment and fulfilment through sport, develop the ability to work both individually and as part of a team, develop appreciation of the concepts of fair play and sportsmanship, develop their creativity and above all promote the importance of maintaining a healthy active lifestyle. We strive to achieve this through the use of Social Me, Theory Me and Physical Me. This allows us to incorporate all aspects of oneself within PE lessons. The theory of PE is important to understand and we aim to teach this through a practical medium at Key Stage 3 and, wherever possible, at GCSE level also. The Key Stage 3 curriculum consists of the following practical activities;

BoysGirls
BadmintonBadminton
BasketballBasketball
FootballFootball
RugbyRugby
FitnessFitness
TrampoliningTrampolining
SoftballNetball
TennisTennis
CricketCricket
AthleticsAthletics

Lessons will include aspects of health, fitness, skill development, competition and theory application. Pupils also have the opportunity to take part in a host of clubs and practices in these sports, all of which have inter school and house competitions linked to them.

We are extremely proud of our 2020 exam results.

Religious Studies and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education with Citizenship

Welcome to the SMSC Faculty! If you are wondering what SMSC stands for, it is: Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education! We see that as being all the things we want to teach students that will help develop into responsible, tolerant and respectful citizens of the 21st Century!

We hope that means that students will have some understanding of the different faiths, cultures, beliefs and values of the people that they will meet and work with later in life. We also want students to know how to make their own decisions, explain them reasonably and know how to keep safe in a whole variety of ways. Students will take part in two subjects that we are responsible for: Religious Studies & PSCHEE and students will study these all the way through their journey at Hall Mead.

Religious Studies is a popular, innovative and successful subject right up to GCSE, where students consistently exceed their target grades to show outstanding progress: in the 2019 exams, 41% of pupils achieved Grades 7-9. In Year 7 you will be taught once-a-week by Mrs Fanning or Mr Cashman – we are both RS specialists who love our subject and enjoy teaching and getting to know the new Year 7! RS will be very different to the RE students have studied at primary school as we get students exploring a whole range of beliefs (religious and non-religious), what matters to us, some philosophy (thinking about the big questions in life) and world faiths. Year 7 units include: An introduction to RS and the major world religions, Christianity in the 21st Century and the teachings of Buddhism.

PSCHEE stands for: Personal, Social, Citizenship, Health and Economic Education! It is a really important subject as it covers topics students need to know about in order to keep safe, succeed, stay healthy and work well with others. Students will have one lesson a week. By the time students leave Hall Mead, they will have been taught about issues such as: drugs, alcohol, careers, diet, Parliament & democracy, voting, friendships and relationships, sex education, first aid, smoking, keeping safe online, diversity, equality and many more!

Science

Science is about understanding the world in which we live.
At Hall Mead, we strive to make learning relate to pupils’ lives, with scientific concepts taught in context wherever possible. Lessons include practical work to engage pupils in learning, allow pupils to experience science in action and enable them to develop and practise their practical skills.

Pupils learn how to describe observations using correct scientific terminology, explain scientific concepts in detail, analyse data critically and use models to understand abstract scientific ideas. Learning also exposes pupils to assessing risk, and consequently carrying out experiments safely using accurate practical skills.

Our curriculum is structured to ensure learning is sequenced logically, where pupils have the prior knowledge and understanding to access new scientific ideas. Linking these new ideas to both prior and future learning will help pupils to see the ‘bigger’ picture and provide a deeper understanding of the world in which they live.

We have consistently achieved impressive results in GCSE combined science and now offer pupils the option to choose a triple science course of study which leads to the award of three separate science GCSEs.

Spanish

The Spanish department firmly believe that by teaching students the key concepts of phonics and building a strong grammatical foundation and developing their cultural knowledge it will set them on a path to be able to communicate their thoughts and ideas successfully. We provide teaching that promotes high standards of literacy and equips students with a love of Spanish and Hispanic culture as well as an eagerness to use their newfound knowledge in the world when travelling or at work. Our curriculum is designed so students build their knowledge year on year so by the end of Year 11 students are able to listen, read, speak and write in Spanish about a variety of different topics. The Spanish department have a strong history of pupils achieving the top grades of 7, 8 and 9s.

Technology

Design and technology provides young people the skills and abilities to engage positively with the designed and made world and to harness the benefits of technology. They learn how products and systems are designed and manufactured, how to be innovative and to make creative use of a variety of resources including digital technologies, to improve the world around them.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to help students develop a broad range of subject knowledge that is both practical and technical. Students are required to use their imagination and creativity to design and make products that are based in a variety of design contexts and are user centred, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Students have the opportunity to design and make with paper and boards, timber, textiles and electronics.

At Key stage 4 pupils can choose to study GCSE Design and Technology or WJEC Construction. In GCSE Design and Technology students continue to build their knowledge and skills of a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. Students also gain awareness and learn from wider influences on design and technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic factors. In Construction students learn about the construction industry from a build perspective. The course provides a broad introduction to the different trades involved in the sector and the range of career opportunities available.

Our students regularly go on to further design related study such as A-Level design and technology, BTEC courses and apprenticeships. Students of all ability levels succeed on courses and well celebrate their achievement through our displays which are up dated each year.