Curriculum purpose and impact
The UHS Way ensures all colleagues are committed to educating, inspiring and motivating young people to become successful global citizens.
Our curriculum provides a rich balance of knowledge, skills and cultural capital to reflect the needs of our diverse students and local community. While academic study is at the core of our curriculum, it is enhanced and deepened by our exciting range of wider curricular, enrichment and extension opportunities. The impact ensures our students develop experience, understanding, creativity and curiosity.
We will prepare our students for life in modern Britain and as future global citizens. All aspects of life at UHS contribute to the personal development and education that our students receive. We provide comprehensive and impartial advice, so students are confident to choose routes in further and higher education, training and the world of work.
At UHS we are proud of our diversity and recognise that students join us with different starting points and needs. The design and delivery of the curriculum places students at the centre of their learning. We ensure that the curriculum challenges students to work independently, develop excellence and make connections across subjects and content. Thus emphasising character traits such as resilience, as well as encouraging ambitious attitudes and risk taking in order to become confident thinkers.
Equality of opportunity for all students is integral to our curriculum purpose. Those with gaps in their prior attainment or special educational needs will receive bespoke, additional support through our flexible learning centre, small group intervention and within quality first teaching in mainstream classrooms. We recognise that early intervention to address gaps in skills and knowledge during these foundation secondary years will ensure that no student is left behind.
Consequently, all our students will gain qualifications that open doors to their future. Coupled with this, our PROUD values: positive; respectful; open minded; unique and determined are central to the characteristics we aim to instil in all young people. Our curriculum has both academic rigour and challenge as well, equipping students with the qualities and attributes to give them choices and a sense of ambition. We draw upon our proximity to London to provide cultural engagement in the arts and beyond. Equally, Hillingdon is a borough which provide unique links to the world of work and travel, Heathrow airport is utilised as a means to introduce students to the diverse range of employment opportunities. Brunel university introduces students to the possibility of higher education. We extensively celebrate our diversity and foster opportunities for creativity, critical thinking, innovation, resilience, leadership and uniqueness. Fundamentally we recognise that all of our students have a right to experience success and we are proud that their educational experience embraces this ethos.
Charlie Wells – Year 7 Student – Stuart House
“I really am PROUD to be an Uxbridge High School student.”
Curriculum design and delivery
During years 7 and 8 students develop and build upon their learning from primary school. Their experiences are enriched across a wide range of subjects, all of which are considered to be of equal importance.
We recognise that students’ learning during these years provides the building blocks they need to be successful learners and confident thinkers. The design and delivery of lessons reflects abilities and starting points. The content covered provides challenge, breadth and depth to engage students and engender a passion for learning. We recognise that students will start to form interests in specific subjects and actively encourage them to harness their enthusiasm beyond the classroom. These foundation years will equip students with the ability to memorise key knowledge, use a variety of different skills to solve problems and make conceptual connections across subjects.
The school has a rigorous approach to the teaching of literacy and numeracy. The importance of reading and writing is placed at the heart of the foundation years across all subject areas. We recognise that some of our students may not have exposure to the vocabulary required to be successful. Therefore, we provide opportunities to pro-actively unlock literacy skills and knowledge so all students are able to access learning. Numeracy skills are embedded into lessons across the curriculum. The design emphasises the importance we place on actively teaching character and culture both during bespoke lessons and events and across the curriculum. The specific areas of study and character and culture taught during the foundation years are summarised in the table below:
|Knowledge, skills and concepts||Character||Creating our culture|
Citizenship and Personal Development
Design & technology
India Fawcett – Year 8 student – Windsor House
“When we first joined Uxbridge High School we were made to feel so welcome. We were no longer treated like children, but instead supported to make our own decisions and given a variety of opportunities across many different subjects. I feel challenged but I know that everything I do now will support me with my future.”
During Year 9 students follow a curriculum which enables them to transition towards mastering the knowledge and skills required to gain GCSE or vocational qualifications. Students specialise in a performing arts subject and technology to prepare them to make the final qualification decisions at the end of Year 9. This means that all students will continue to study a breadth of subjects covering the arts, languages, humanities, computing and design technology through to the end of Year 9, but also have the opportunity to begin to specialise and gain the depth of understanding required to gain future qualifications.
Sayef Abdus – Year 9 student – Lancaster House
“In year 9 I’ve had the opportunity to study a variety of subjects which, even if I don’t take on to GCSE, will equip me with important skills for whichever qualifications I decide to take. I’ve been supported to think hard about this decision and feel now that lessons are focused on the skills and knowledge I need to achieve in my GCSEs”.
Mastering Qualifications: Years 10 and 11
In Year 10, students master qualifications in specific subjects, the core academic curriculum consists of:
- Religious education.
Students will also continue lessons in:
- Physical education.
Subject choices are equally offered to all students allowing them the opportunity for specialism as they move towards the advanced phase. We offer a wide range of subjects to ensure all students’ interests are catered for and they will usually study 8 or 9 subjects:
- Art & design;
- Business studies;
- Engineering or design and technology;
- Computer science;
- Music or music technology;
- Physical education or sports studies;
- Health and social care;
- Hospitality and catering.
Our options guidance programme ensures that students and their parents are fully aware of the availability and value of certain choices, for example in selecting subjects that contribute to the academic EBacc, vocational subjects and in choosing our highly valued creative subjects, such as art, music, drama and design technology.
During foundation and transition phases students are offered a wide range of careers education and independent advice and guidance to assist them in seeking and securing appropriate pathways Post 16. We aim to accommodate the vast majority of Year 11 students within our sixth form, but appreciate that for some, opportunities at colleges or in training, present a more appropriate route.
Klea Tobli – Year 10 student – Tudor House
“Our teachers push us really hard and are very persistent, but also always have the time to talk to us one on one to help if you need it. We do a lot of work revising things we have done before so that we remember it and practice the skills we will need for the exams. They push us hard to reach our targets, but also sometimes expect us to fail as we know that success is not a straight path.”
Post 16: Years 12 and 13
Our advanced programmes of study, include a wide range of academic A-levels and a suite of vocational qualifications at both levels 2 and 3. Students are able to mix and match academic and vocational qualifications to suit their strengths and aspirations for university and college education, training or employment when they leave us. The sixth form curriculum provides students with academic and vocational qualifications that are challenging and valued in life beyond UHS. We currently offer the following pathways:
- Business studies;
- Health and social care.
- English language;
- English literature;
- Government and politics;
- Business studies;
- Religious education.
Level 3 courses
- BTEC sport;
- BTEC business;
- BTEC performance studies;
- BTEC digital music production;
- LIBF finance diploma;
- Cambridge Technical in ICT.
As an inclusive school, students are able to study level 2 courses for one year and then move onto A-level and level 3 courses. This bridges the gap between GCSE and level 3 and also allows students to re-sit English and maths, if they did not achieve a grade 4 in year 11. Students can opt for four A-levels with the option of reducing this to three in year 13. All students applying to our sixth form go through an interview process to ensure they receive appropriate advice to make an informed decision. Students are also encouraged to undertake the Level 3 extended project qualification, beginning in Year 12 and completed in Year 13. This is a research-based project on a topic chosen by the student themselves, and is highly valued by universities and employers alike.
The opportunities students are offered outside their academic subjects are extensive. They have opportunities to develop a wide array of skills through experiences they may not have encountered before. Awareness of the local community and the ‘wider world’ is relentlessly encouraged, ensuring that students develop into well rounded, open minded, determined and knowledgeable young adults who can engage with the world around them. Through a comprehensive enrichment programme, impartial careers advice, work experience and an exhaustive list of employability programmes, our learners develop personal, social, employability and independent learning skills.
Our students are also encouraged to undertake voluntary and charity work and participate in projects that will encourage such qualities as perseverance, initiative and leadership. Each year for example the sixth form take a lead role in assisted Christmas shopping for the elderly. The sixth form also offer a range of awareness courses and briefings including sessions on mental health amongst young people, Safe Drive Stay Alive workshop – (Hillingdon Council, London Ambulance Service, MET Police, London Fire Brigade and Transport for London).
Each year a large proportion of our students apply to university. Students are encouraged to aim high and are guided through the application process early in year 12. Our Oxbridge programme aims to provide bespoke and tailored support to Year 12 students who are looking to apply to Oxford, Cambridge, medicine or dentistry. The programme involves 6 sessions spread across the year to equip students with the skills, experience and knowledge of applying to these universities/courses. Each session has its own focus and build on from each other to ultimately leave students ready with a full UCAS application fit for purpose. The initial sessions look at how to find good work experience relevant to the students course and signing up to taster courses at the various Oxbridge ad Russell group universities. Following sessions include emphasis on writing an outstanding personal statement and then lead into preparing students for interviews. We endeavour to take students to Oxford and Cambridge directly and attend local conferences. It is a chance for candidates to ask questions of current students, to have the application process explained by members of the university’s admissions team and attend talks by tutors and undergraduates from subject specific faculties.
For students who wish to enter employment or further training we encourage them to complete level 3 to obtain higher level apprenticeships.
Thomas Beament–Greening – sixth form student – York House
“Our sixth form is both professional and personal. We have a real sense of school community and our teachers are approachable, not just for academic support but with our interests outside of school. Through their guidance we feel that there are no limits and are encouraged to aim for the very best. I am myself on the Oxbridge programme and have had support writing my UCAS application to study history and law. There is not only an academic focus however, we are encouraged to take leadership roles in the wider school and take part in other activities from work experience to Christmas shopping for the elderly in the local community. I feel that the Uxbridge High School sixth form experience that I have had will really open doors for me in the future.”
Our Wider Curriculum
We have a responsibility to ensure that we create opportunities beyond timetabled lessons. Students at our school will take part in a variety of activities which will form life long memories. All aspects of life at UHS contribute to the enrichment of our students’ character. The opportunities that students experience beyond the classroom are valued by all. We pride ourselves on ensuring students have an understanding that qualifications they gain open doors, but it is a person’s character that will ensure they shine bright and stand out from the crowd.
We are fortunate to have a beautiful school site with extensive grounds, The Orsino building for the creative arts, the sports dome to harness potential and talent and a history that dates back to 1923. This provides the leaders in the school with a unique privilege to enrich the lives of all the young people that embark on their education with us.
Throughout their life at UHS, students are offered a wide range of extra-curricular, enrichment and personal development opportunities. These are delivered through subjects, our citizenship programme, assemblies, tutor time and the day-to-day life of school. They include a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities, trips and visits, special events and opportunities offered through our extensive spiritual, moral social and cultural curriculum. As a London school, we embrace the opportunities presented by this vibrant and cultural city. We particularly promote wider participation in sport, artistic and performance opportunities, cultural events and reflection and opportunities for meaningful employer engagement. This offer is carefully planned to ensure introduction at the appropriate time as students move through the main school and into our sixth form.
The whole curriculum contributes to our students’ wider skills, knowledge and personal qualities. These include for example, working effectively in teams; study skills; developing students’ literacy skills and their love of reading; critical thinking and practical skills. Our students become socially aware, support and respect each other’s differences and harmoniously embrace our PROUD values. Equally, students develop a strong awareness of how they can stay safe online, safe within school and in the wider community. Our students enjoy the challenge of assuming leadership opportunities such as representing the student body through school council membership or captaincy of the school, houses and sports teams. We are proud of our students’ achievements both in school and in the wider community.
As a school we observe Internet Safety Day and follow the theme outlined by them. Slides on how to stay safe online are displayed on the screens around the school all year round. The school website also syndicate content from 'ParentInfo' which have all the latest and most up to date safeguarding themes surrounding e-safety This information is also communicated to parents via the school newsletter and in the curriculum for students:
Year 7 - e-safety looks at the difference between personal and non-personal data. They identify how to stay safe online and what they would do if they saw something they weren't comfortable with online. In the autumn 2 term we revisit the theme again, where students create a leaflet after watching one of the CEOP videos. When studying the internet and web awareness students also look at safe and responsible ways to use the internet, who could be watching you online and security risks.
Year 8 - students follow the unit - Computer Crime and Cyber Security. This unit aims to teach students about the risks of email scams, hacking, protecting personal data, issues with copyright and health and safety when using a computer or electronic device.
Year 9 - as part of their 'Technology of the Future' project students must think of the social problems and ethical issues that occur with the advancement of technology. For example, what impact will there be if we use our phones too much.
In the foundation lessons we use the NSPCC/ThinkUKnow Band Runner game and TeachICT E-Safety quizzes as starters.
Our students enjoy the challenge of assuming leadership opportunities such as representing the student body through school council membership or captaincy of the school, houses and sports teams. Student leaders from year 10 and 11 also have an opportunity to become prefects and through this role they can lead whole school events as well as give back to their school community. In addition to leadership, our carefully planned character education programme encourages all students to continuously build upon selected character traits. Students learn the value of good communication; life-long resilience; how to organise themselves and others and the importance of taking an initiative, all of which, are delivered through termly assemblies and weekly form time sessions. Students are then given the freedom to reflect and plan which attributes they would like to focus on throughout the year. Individual students' successes are documented through their self-evaluations on the ‘Pixl Edge’ programme as well as their participation and their organisation of a wide range of activities, such as ‘UHS take-over days’; charity events; house assemblies and competitions. Many students also volunteer to take on additional roles within the school. Together with our mental health ambassadors, our anti- bullying ambassadors lead a daily reflection space and are armed with the confidence and skills to promote a positive school environment. We are proud of our students’ achievements both in school and in the wider community. Students are rewarded for their commitment to developing their character regularly through the achievement of PROUD badges, certificates and prizes. Students who excel also earn entry into rewards lunches and trips. In addition to this, students who complete the character education programme earn a formal qualification which can also be uploaded to their CV as a digi-badge.
Hebah Malik – Year 10 student – Stuart House
“I know that academic progress is really important but for me school is about so much more than that. In citizenship we talk about interesting topics and current affairs, on drop down days I get to see the school from a different perspective, when I play in sports teams I represent the school and when I meet with the student council I get to talk about and see positive changes made. I’ve been working hard to achieve my LORIC awards, reading with year 7s, going in to play games with the elderly in local care homes and performing in the music showcases. I’ve even performed on stage at The Barbican in the RSC’s production of Romeo and Juliet which has boosted by confidence and given me real world experience. All of this has really raised my aspirations and the belief that nothing is impossible; I can do anything”.