A student’s learning journey at Kingsmead is mapped in 3 ways:
The Subject Curriculum Journey where the subject specific knowledge of each curriculum area that students will study is planned and documented as a long and midterm learning plan and then mapped for each year group highlighting cross - curricular common golden threads
The Personal Development Journey which covers the statutory strands of RS, LIMB, Prevent and SMSC
The Kingsmead Vision Journey including mapping of ‘The Kingsmead Edge’, Leadership opportunities, XP rewards system, innovation days, employability days, futures days and cultural capital passport, as well as a wealth of opportunities to develop character and take part in culturally enriching experiences
The Vision Journey from Primary to Secondary
Learning starts at Kingsmead before students arrive with us in Year 7. We have a carefully designed and crafted programme of experiences designed to ensure that students’ experience of transition is both academically rewarding and character developing. From Year 4 students start visiting curriculum areas including Mathematics, English, Science, Art and Cookery to attend a variety of master classes taught and developed by experts in their subject area.
Students have the fantastic opportunity to take part in the ‘Arts Project’ where they work with Year 7 students at Kingsmead and perform on stage as part of their transition experience. The Arts project allows students to develop their oracy and confidence as well as build resilience.
Students also have the opportunity to take part in the ‘Fire Child’ project. This gives them the literary experience of reading ‘The Fire Child’ and visiting Kingsmead to make a unique pottery ‘Fire Child’ learning about the creative design, making and firing process. This unforgettable experience culminates in the children’s work becoming part of an exhibition in the Hednesford area celebrated by the local town council.
There is also an opportunity to work with volunteers from the Fireworks project who support students making transition from primary school through a variety of creative and mindful projects aimed at increasing resilience and offering supportive coping mechanisms within their primary school.
The Peer to Peer mentoring scheme as part of SAS (Shield and Shelter) starts in Year 6 with students from Year 7 visiting primary partner schools to offer a point of contact for new Year 7s when they join Kingsmead.
In July students are invited to a week of transition lessons where we will start to set the expectations of what it means to be part of Kingsmead School.
There is also the ‘Transition Ball’ where there are opportunities to practice team building skills, reaffirm friendships and enjoy school.
The ‘Vision Journey’ in Year 7
Students study a broad curriculum from Year 7, covering all aspects of the National Curriculum by the end of Year 8, which is then consolidated and mastered in Year 9.
In Year 7 students study English, Mathematics, Sciences including Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics, PE, French and or Spanish, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Art, Technology, Music, Drama and ‘The Arts Project’ which is a magical experience allowing students to develop oracy, performance and team work as they plan and execute their first school production.
Students follow a personal development journey including aspects of life in modern Britain, prevent and social, moral and cultural development as well as the ‘Kingsmead Pledge’, numeracy and literacy.
Students set out on their ‘vision journey’ where they have the opportunity to take part in an ‘Induction Week’ in September. Students take part in an exciting first day, including their welcome assembly and competing in physical team building challenges, building rapport and friendships. Students are introduced to their knowledge planner which has been created in conjunction with the mid- and long-term schemes of learning by the talented staff at Kingsmead. Knowledge planners are a valuable content source covering all subjects taught in Year 7. They will be utilised by staff as part of flipped learning activities, homework and within lessons.
Once students are fully equipped with their knowledge planners they are introduced to the school values of resilience, innovation, mindfulness and employability during a fun packed Induction Week. The aim of this is to ensure that students understand the expectations that we have of them for the next 5 years giving them a sound grounding for Year 7. Students will take part in workshops building resilience, team building, extended writing and debate developing their critical thinking and communication skills.
The Year 7 Celebration Evening is an opportunity for students and families to come together with staff and celebrate the positive start that our students have made. Awards will be made to students for achieving an excellent start in one or more of the 4 core values of Kingsmead and special awards will be given for students who have started to unlock their special talents in a variety of ways. The whole evening is designed to recognise and celebrate potential as well as reward hard work and dedication.
We launch our annual Year 7 Reward Card at the celebration evening, an aspirational, challenging programme where students work to earn signatures from all of their subject teachers and for taking part in wider school life for doing something outstanding and demonstrating our RIME Values. This reaffirms our highest expectations whilst fostering a ‘hard work pays off’ ethos. All students successful in completing this card are invited to our ‘Year 7 Movie Night’ in January.
The launch of the Kingsmead Edge, cultural capital passport, student leadership, shield and shelter and XP happens in early September once students start to settle into their ‘normal’ curriculum routines. These are systems and strategies that are in place to help guide young students full of potential to take every opportunity offered to them and grow as a person, developing their character.
Kingsmead Edge – A nationally recognised qualification where students develop the skills of Leadership, Resilience, Innovation, Employability and Mindfulness
Cultural Capital passport – Is a way of students recording their participation in opportunities and experiences that are offered to them whilst at Kingsmead. The more they participate in, the faster their passport will fill up (and their character develop). Full passports unlock XP rewards.
Student Leadership – Kingsmead has a full and rewarding set of opportunities for leaders of the future and supporting the school as a leader will help students to quickly achieve the Kingsmead Edge which is a nationally recognised qualification.
SAS – Shield and Shelter – A group of students led by the student well-being mentor Mr Stephens who have one simple aim – to completely eradicate intolerance in Kingsmead by 2021. In practice there are 7 students in each year group who are trained to act as peer mentors to both those who are identified as needing support in developing their beliefs in a positive way and those who feel as if they have been treated in an intolerant way. Intolerance can be because of race, religion, sexual orientation, sex or appearance. We want Kingsmead to be an all accepting and supporting environment where everyone no matter how diverse can flourish.
XP – Experience points are rewarded to students who demonstrate the values of RIME. They can be used to unlock positive, exciting experiences throughout the year and premier activities during ‘activity week’ in July.
In October students and parents visit Kingsmead to meet with staff and reflect on the time that they have been at Kingsmead so far. Students set their goals at this point and embark of the journey that will see them graduate at the apprentice level for the Kingsmead Edge. Leadership opportunities are abundant throughout October and November as students start to feel confident and look at how they can lead the way at their new school. They may take the opportunity to be a form rep or a lead learner at this point.
In November there is an opportunity to attend a Parents Evening and look with form tutors at the progress made so far on your goals.
During the RSE drop down day students have the opportunity to learn about relationships, tolerance and reflection with further links and support from external agencies and the SAS team.
The Escape Room (in French) is an incredible opportunity to be immersed in a target language, developing a love of learning a language or 2 (students at Kingsmead have the opportunity to be bi-lingual if they choose).
During November, Year 7 take part in the remembrance service with local dignitaries. The whole school come together to reflect on the sacrifice of those in service as well as create a poppy waterfall in the hall. At the Christmas Fayre Year 7 also have the opportunity to run a stall with their form tutor practising their employability and enterprise skills so that they can build on this next year. Throughout December visiting churches to develop students understanding of belief and a carol service to offer new character building experiences we are continuing to develop our Kingsmead Edge.
Throughout the academic year, the KS3 Intervention Programme offers tailored support to identified groups of students who may need support and guidance to be the best that they can be. This intervention happens across English, Maths, Science, Languages and Social Sciences. This is a co-ordinated programme delivered by passionate, subject specialists, enabling our students to go the extra mile.
January starts with an XP reward day for students who have demonstrated high levels of effort towards the RIME values and a day filled with learning about how we learn, developing an understanding of metacognition, making learning stick and beginning to understand how revisiting work helps in examinations.
The Junior Mathematics Challenge is an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their extraordinary talents in quick thinking in January followed by the Homework Showcase where golden threads of learning across multiple subject disciplines are demonstrated, celebrated and rewarded.
The cross - curricular theme is further developed during an innovation day in February which brings subjects together again in delivering an extravaganza looking at what is means to be proactive.
During the mid-term assessments in March students have the opportunity to put their understanding of what they have been taught into practice. Knowledge planners, revision strategies and effective class notes are all put to excellent use as students experience secondary school examinations for the first time. The hub teams are ready and waiting should the pressure prove too much and lunchtime sessions with the animals in the quad will be arranged for Year 7 throughout this time.
In April students have the opportunity to go on an XP reward day to celebrate their hard work and in recognition of their focus on developing RIME as part of the Kingsmead Edge.
The Save Water project and week is a chance for students to develop mindfulness in helping to reduce the amount of water waste that they produce. The project run by Waterwise is a national scheme, which enables pupils to evaluate the individual contribution that they make towards current eco-problems within society. The Kingsmead value of innovation is clearly embedded as pupils work with eco-leaders across the school to tackle the eco-issues across the school community.
There is another opportunity in June during the Homework Showcase where golden threads of learning across multiple subject disciplines are demonstrated, celebrated and rewarded.
July starts with the opportunity for the whole year group to visit Shugborough camping during ‘plastic free month’. This is an incredible opportunity to develop RIME values, reinforce friendships, have fun and grow as people returning to school to put their ideas and beliefs into action and build their ‘plastic sculpture’ in the Summer classroom.
The year ends with a graduation ceremony for the Kingsmead Edge (apprentice level), with parents, staff and students coming together to celebrate the journey that young people have been on in Year 7. We remember through stories and photographs where they came from and reflect on where they will go to over the next 12 months. The steps for success are set for Year 8 this week with progress tutors and finally all students are rewarded through an activity week with some premier rewards like water zorbing and wall climbing unlocked through hard work during the year.
The ‘Vision Journey’ in Year 8
Students start the year by creating their steps to success with form tutors. This is where students reflect on their first year at Kingsmead, creating realistic yet ambitious targets to help focus their energy drive as they enter their second year at Kingsmead. Furthermore, students will take part in ‘Progress Reviews’ three times a year, observing their strengths from their last term and identifying areas for improvement and setting SMART targets to improve upon areas for development that they will work on in their lessons over the following term. They will revisit these targets and analyse their progress towards achieving these.
Students then have an incredible opportunity to attend Read / Write Camp and participate in a variety of experiences designed to develop a love of reading as well as improve extended writing skills through practicing and honing these skills which will be critical in English and other subjects across the school going forward. Extreme reading is on the menu, with each day concluding with students having the opportunity to get stuck into a good book as well as verbalising their experiences.
In October students visit a Sikh temple and develop their understanding of diversity. They reflect on differences and similarities between people and with support from SAS challenge some of their preconceptions to develop their Kingsmead edge.
During the month of November students have the opportunity to practise their young enterprise skills through designing and running a stall at the Christmas fayre. This is co-ordinated by the business department and gives students a chance to understand the impact that they can have on their local community, raising money and seeing its impact on a charity.
Further training and coaching around how we learn happens in January, supporting students on their journey to become independent learners. This day builds on the skills and knowledge first delivered in Year 7 so that students can start to see how effective strategies for revision, making their learning stick, can help them in retaining and applying knowledge gained in their subject lessons. Students have the opportunity to reflect on how they revised in Year 7, what worked for them and using new skills taught, how they might plan to revise for the end of Year 8 exams.
The Junior Maths Challenge is an exciting opportunity for students to compete and showcase their mathematics skills. The challenge of Year 8 increases on that in Year 7 so that students can feel that they are making progress.
The cross-curricular innovation day looks at ‘finding things fascinating’.
Futures Day provides an early opportunity for students in Year 8 to start considering their future pathways so that by the time they reach Year 11 they have a clear idea of what they want from their future. This builds on the time spent in Year 7 setting goals and creating the steps to success.
The International Day of Forests is an opportunity to further embed climate education within the Year 8 Learning Journey, already building on social awareness from the Water Week in Year 7. The International Day of Forests raises awareness of sustainability and biodiversity conservation with our community. Being a school situated on the edge of Cannock Chase this is of even more importance to us, in educating our Year 8 pupils to be responsible and active citizens who contribute positively to society.
Resilience Day in April is an opportunity for our students to adapt and grow in response to changes and adversity. Pupils will develop key resilience based skills such as tenacity, adaptability and composure which will facilitate school experiences and life after school. During Resilience Day students will enhance their ‘bounce-back-ability’, gifting them with ideas and a mindset to rise to challenges and rectify setbacks.
In May students have the incredible opportunity to take part in Community Day. On this day students have the chance to become involved with local business people, councillors, voluntary organisations and residents from the local community that they will one day join, and contribute to, as working adults. Students gain the opportunity to give back to their community, shape it and their future.
A visit to a mosque at the end of Year 8 allows students to experience a different faith and understand others.
In July there is the opportunity for students to graduate at the apprentice level of the Kingsmead Edge, reflect on their successes and challenges from Year 8 and create their steps for success for Year 9. Before students undertake end of year examinations to measure their progress throughout the year. Practice questions are available in the Key stage 3 Hub and staff are well briefed in offering appropriate support for students throughout the examination period. The well-being team are based in the animal quad after school and lunchtime when Year 8 have exclusive access during the exam week.
The year ends again with all students enjoying an activity week with some premier rewards like water zorbing and wall climbing unlocked through hard work during the year.
The ‘Vision Journey’ in Year 9
In Year 9 there is the opportunity to further develop your leadership skills as a prefect. This will provide an exciting and challenging opportunity that will allow access to quickly completing some of the key components to the Kingsmead edge at the graduate level.
There are also opportunities for speak to visitors from Oxbridge Universities to identify a pathway towards the Russell group universities at the end of Year 13.
The D of E launches at the start of Year 9 and offers an amazing array of challenges and experiences which will help to create a resilient, innovative, employable and mindful individual. Students are supported and coached in survival, camping and orienteering helping to grow their independence and self-confidence.
The opportunity to lead as a SAS lead mentor is also offered to Year 9 at this point. In previous years students may have supported peers as a peer to peer mentor, in Year 9 they have the opportunity to lead and train others as well as coaching those referred to them through the SAS program.
The Diwali visits are an unforgettable experience of another culture right on our door step helping students to develop their cultural capital, mindfulness and acceptance of others.
The opportunity to further grow their skills as young entrepreneurs is offered as students have the opportunity to not only run a Christmas stall but make the product that they sell. All stages of the design, production, marketing and sales are supported by the school ‘Enterprise lead’ and students have an unforgettable experience that offers them new skills in so many ways.
Year 9 is a time for leading and in December students have the opportunity to lead on the Christmas food bank to support families in our local area through the ‘Hednesford helping hands’.
Lead learners are created in January and students have the opportunity to take part in a staff training event and really develop their understanding of the brain and how we learn. Students work with staff to ensure that schemes of learning, homework and teaching strategies really help them to ensure that knowledge sticks.
March is a time for reflection on past goals and thinking about the future as students consider and choose their option subjects for Year 10.
During the mastery of metacognition students reflect on past experiences of revision, work in lessons and goal setting. They consider carefully what did and didn’t help them to recall facts that they apply in examinations. Experts in helping to make learning stick support students in identifying a personalised set of strategies that are tried and tested to work for them.
The cross – curricular innovation day is an opportunity for ‘taking an interest in experience’. The challenges will be around doing and feeling new things.
Students are supported through a week of exams with the Key Stage 3 Hub providing practice papers and well-being support throughout the exams week in June. Students who would benefit with some quiet time with the animals are encouraged to go at lunchtime or after school where the well-being team will also be present to offer support. Students are also taught how to revise in an active manner, undertaking a week-long tutor time programme developing active revision techniques, exam stamina and the importance of well-being during pressure scenarios.
June has a huge focus on the community and working with others during the community day and to further enhance eco-learning, there is an opportunity for reflection for Year 9 to take part in the International World Oceans Day in the middle of June. This is a chance for pupils to develop an understanding of the importance of the ocean on our climate and for pupils to lead on climate action events across the school. This continues our promise to educate pupils not only with academic knowledge, but to holistically educate them of their place within the world as whole.
There is the final chance at the end of Year 9 to graduate at the apprentice level of the Kingsmead Edge and all students are able to celebrate their achievements at the Festival of Achievement as they graduate from Key Stage 3 and move on to their GCSE years in Key Stage 4.
Again the year concludes with activity week where students enjoy some special and incredible experiences with the staff that have nurtured and coached them throughout the year.