Subjects taught: Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, History, Geography, French, German, Business Studies, Music, Home Economics, PSHE, Drama, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, ICT, Physical Education, Art.
GCSE choices are made at the end of year 9, which affects the subjects studied.
In Mathematics, the emphasis is on a mixed approach with traditional and modern techniques used, where children are taught to their own ability. There is an emphasis upon mental skills and using these to solve problems.
French and German are studied, because competence in a European Modern Language is vital in many areas of work today. The department is equipped with specialised equipment, and computer programs to support learning.
In Years 10 and 11 the children have regular interaction with native language assistants.
All children study the separate sciences; Chemistry, Biology and Physics, within a fully equipped laboratory, which includes its own computer system and software; children also investigate scientific theories through practical lessons, and these are reinforced by visits to industrial and ecological centres.
This is taught to every senior child, where every child is equipped with their own keyboard or other musical instrument to allow them the best opportunity to learn.
The Information Technology room is equipped with the latest PC hardware and software. There is a PC for every child. All the children participate in ICT lessons throughout the Senior Department, but are taught beyond the requirements of a GCSE examination, to stand them in good stead for any future employment or university. This resource is used throughout the curriculum to further enhance learning. The internet is readily available and every child will be given an e-mail account when entering the school; this is to allow the work to be sent home directly.
In Art and Design, pupils are taught to develop skills in order to be able to explore new ideas. The children investigate different techniques from observational drawing to developing watercolour skills.
This is taken by all the children to allow a basic understanding and knowledge of food science. This is only taught to the end of Year 9.
This is studied within a traditional, formal framework, employing a variety of strategies, including didactic teaching, discussion, group work, debate, TV and theatre visits. Thus, children acquire the skills necessary for their GCSEs and wider lives.
Work within Drama is designed to complement, contribute and support the general aims of the school. Pupils of all abilities are encouraged to fully develop both academically and socially. The family values of caring and respect which are an important part of the school ethos are also important values within the Drama Department.
Personal, Social and Health Education
This is taught as an individual subject. The children have the opportunity to discuss relevant issues or design information leaflets. Many outside agencies help with the successful deployment of this subject.
History and Geography
Children learn to understand the consequences of social and cultural values in historical events. Interpretative and analytical skills are acquired whilst studying Geography. This promotes a sound basis for the knowledge and understanding needed in Year 11 for GCSEs and adult life.
From Year 10 onwards, the children participate in careers talks to help determine the occupation/vocation they may wish to pursue in the future. This is carried out by the careers advisor and Connexions. This process culminates in Year 11 with individual interviews. These are then followed up by parental consultation with the Head Teacher to ensure that the best result is achieved and that each child’s ‘Action Plan’ provides a clear focus for a successful future. The children also undergo a week of Work Experience in Year 11, where the main objective is to gain an understanding of the skills required for that given field.
Sport is enjoyed by every child, where the child takes part in skill based lessons, and gradual integration of competitive team games. Sport lessons are conducted in the sports hall and at our local sports fields, a few minutes walk from our main site. Swimming is taught throughout the school calendar for children from 4 years upwards. The children have regular games with other local schools as well as inter-house school competitions, which run throughout the school calendar.
Two major sporting events in the school calendar are the Swimming Gala and Sports Day, where parents are invited to attend and offer their support at these enjoyable events.
Teams; U11 Football, Netball and Cross Country; U13 and U16 Rugby; U13 and U16 Netball; U13 and U16 Basketball (Boys and Girls); U13 and U16 Football (Boys and Girls); U13 and U16 Tennis (Boys and Girls) Cricket.
Because Argyle House is the only school run by a family, each child is known to all the staff individually and cared for as if they are part of the school family. The system in place allows the staff to support and be sympathetic to every child’s needs. The staff are always readily available for consultation and advice. The children can ask any member of staff for help, but because this is such an important area for the development of the child, specific teachers have been assigned for this role to ensure that this is sensitively managed.