In the first two years of education at Southend High School for Boys, all pupils follow a broad general course which builds upon the skills and experience of primary school (Key Stages 1 and 2) and prepares the ground for the more specialised studies that will follow (at GCSE and in the Sixth Form).
During Key Stage 3 the National Curriculum core and foundation subjects are studied together with Religious Education (RE), Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship. In addition, all pupils have time with their Tutor during the week.
During the academic year 2014-2015, in Year 7 the allocation of 1-hour periods to the various subjects per fortnight is as follows:
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Teaching takes place principally within a pupil's form group during the first two years. In addition, certain subjects are set at various stages.
Since September 2010, a revised curriculum has been offered for Year 9, allowing pupils to broaden their experience and study subjects that have not yet been available to them.
Our aim at school is to ensure an appropriate and balanced curriculum for each individual so that educational and careers needs are sensibly catered for during the Key Stage.
The Government has stated that the following subjects remain compulsory:
- English (which leads to GCSE entries in English and English Literature)
- Science (either Combined Science, leading to two GCSE awards or three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
The school has decided that in addition, pupils should study the following:
- At least one Modern Foreign Language (either French or German or Spanish)
- A short course in Religious Education (except for those taking the Religious Studies full course)
- A short course in ICT or Computing full course
- At least one Humanity (Geography or History or Religious Studies) is also strongly recommended
Pupils choose their non-compulsory GCSE subjects from the following list:
- Art & Design
- History Music
- Physical Education
- Religious Studies
- Economics & Business Studies
- Design & Technology
Some pupils follow additional courses such as GCSE further Mathematics.
In addition to the external examination courses, all pupils follow a programme of ICT, PSHE, Citizenship/RE and Games.
SIXTH FORM (YEARS 12-13)
Students study four, or in a few cases, three subjects to Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level.
AS is intended as a one-year course, the first half of an A2 Level course and qualification. The range of AS Level subjects offered to the current Year 12 is: Fine Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Design & Technology (Product Design), Drama & Theatre Studies, Economics, English Literature, English Language & Literature, Government and Political Studies, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Music, Music Technology, Physics, Physical Education, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish.
Both Sixth Form year groups have tutor time, elements of Religious Education and a programme of enrichment activities. In Year 12 there is also a session of Games.
RE AND COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
There is provision for religious education for all pupils; it is non-denominational and in accordance with the Essex Agreed Syllabus. There is a regular act of collective worship for all pupils, with a mixture of whole school, year, form and House assemblies. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE and collective worship if they wish. Any parent intending to exercise this right is invited to discuss the matter in advance with the Deputy Head.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL & HEALTH EDUCATION (including Sex & Relationship Education & Citizenship)
Much of what takes place in school can contribute to the personal and social development of pupils, from the subjects of the academic curriculum to the system of pastoral care, from the provision of assemblies to the programme of extra-curricular activities. However, schools also identify certain timetabled lessons where the emphasis is more specifically upon enabling pupils to develop essential knowledge and skills in preparation for adult life. In this school, such lessons are entitled Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE).
There is a programme of PSHE throughout the main school, whilst in the Sixth Form, the General Studies programme tackles similar issues in a more formal manner. Within the PSHE programme, there are modules on such matters as drug education. Careers education, sex and relationship education and Citizenship are now expected of all schools.
The school offers a broad programme of careers education and guidance, assisted by Careers Essex. Work experience for all Year 10 pupils takes place at the end of the summer term; while in the Sixth Form, A Level language students can undertake a period of work experience in Germany, France or Spain.
Sex and relationship education is considered to be part of health education which is in turn an element within the whole area of PSHE.
The school’s sex and relationship education programme is designed to present facts in an objective and balanced manner so as to enable pupils to comprehend the range of sexual attitudes and behaviour in present day society; to know what is and is not legal; to consider their own attitudes and to make informed, reasoned and responsible decisions about the attitudes they will adopt both while they are at school and in adulthood. Whilst largely relying upon informal and non-didactic teaching methods, sex education (including education about HIV and AIDS) will be set within a clear moral framework.
Human reproduction is a topic within the Science curriculum whilst aspects of sexual relationships arise in subjects such as English and RE as well as in the PSHE modules.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the school’s programme of sex and relationship education. Any parent intending to exercise this right is invited to discuss the matter in advance with the Headteacher.
Citizenship, which figures in the curriculum of all pupils in Years 7-11 is intended to enable pupils to become active, informed citizens.