Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 the school covers the National Curriculum and additional statutory requirements by offering a broad and balanced curriculum.  It covers cross-curricular skills, competencies and attributes of Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication (LORIC) which are a close match to the four UNESCO (IBE) competencies, self-respect, others and the community, Careers Information, Advice and Guidance.

UNESCO (IBE) Competencies

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • ICT Literacy
  • Social and Cultural (Including Citizenship)

Lessons are 50 minutes long with 6 periods a day operating on a two-week timetable.

Core Subjects of English, Maths and Science have 10 periods
Core PE and Games have 4 periods
French, Geography and History have 4 periods
Philosophy and Belief, Drama, Art, Music, Computing, Technology and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) have 2 periods


Key Stage 3 Flight Paths

What are ‘flight paths’?

A ‘flight path’ is an estimation of the progress students should be making across Key stage 3, leading to successful outcomes at Key stage 4.

Every student will be placed on a flightpath when they join the school, based on the following information:

  • Key stage 2 SAT scores
  • Primary school transition information
  • Observation and assessment by teachers at Writhlington school in their first term

Students are expected to work at the level of their flight path, as a minimum. 

Staying on the same flight path means that students are showing very good progress in their work. Therefore, if students are to stay on their flight path through 7, 8 and 9, the knowledge and skills that students are expected to attain will need to increase. Simply put, the work becomes more challenging as students progress – so staying on their flight path shows that they are managing this extra challenge, and should be celebrated for it.


How are students assessed?

Students will experience a range of assessments during each term. These include:

  • Knowledge tests – these are low stakes tests, usually out of 10, or as a percentage
  • MRAs – known as ‘Most Recent Assessments’ – these apply the knowledge students have learnt over the term

Students will receive a grade in the form of the ‘Flight path’ language, shown below. This will clearly show students if they are making the expected progress, at any point in the term.


Please click here for the Assessment overview by subject area in Key Stage 3. 


Character and culture of students are developed through learning experiences in all lessons and dedicated PSHE/SMSC and Careers Education lessons and assembly and tutor programmes with a weekly calendar of events and activities.  Every day during tutor time students take part in DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time to improve literacy skills, this is based on longitudinal studies proving regularly reading for pleasure is the most effective way of improving literacy skills of reading and comprehension which are key to success in all subjects.

The curriculum is continuously reviewed and adapted to ensure all students make excellent progress, whether through supporting those with lower prior attainment, or those who should be achieving the very highest grades by Year 11.

Literacy is a key competency in the school’s Curriculum and Teaching and Learning policies. It underpins the learning in every subject area. Emphasis on the development of reading (widely and often), oracy and quality of writing through extended writing.

Our focus on extra-curricular education is also an important element of the curriculum at Writhlington School, as it makes the school community cohesive, develops confidence, teamwork and leadership skills, and provides an opportunity for students to be seen as individuals.

Extra-curricular activities are delivered in the main through several key areas:

  • Combined Cadet Force which also includes a Navy Section
  • The Orchid Project
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Sports teams
  • Outdoor education which operates alongside the CCF offering Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Gold, Ten Tors
  • China Exchange with links in partnership schools where students host students from partnership schools and have the opportunity to visit them where they deliver lessons to Chineses students and take part in a Model UN conference with schools from China and Bath.
  • History and Politics students regularly take part in the Model UN Conference run for local schools in BaNES