Senior

Years 7-11

Ackworth provides a broad academic curriculum allowing young people to gain solid foundations and to discover and develop their talents. In the first three years pupils follow a wide-ranging programme which includes, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology, Drama and Music, English, Food and Nutrition, French, Geography, German, History, Information Communication Technology, Mathematics, PE and Sport, Physics, Religious Studies and Spanish.

Most pupils study 9 subjects at GCSE. English, English Literature, Mathematics, Science (2 or 3 GCSEs) are compulsory, and then an additional four option subjects are taken. All pupils also take PE and Games and Personal and Social Education.

Art plays an important role within the curriculum followed by pupils at Ackworth. It is our firm belief that Art stimulates creativity and imagination, as well as enabling pupils to acquire skills which are transferable to other subject areas and to life beyond school. Implementing this belief has served to enrich our students’ lives through developing their sensory perceptions and analytical skills. Art increases our students’ self-confidence as they exercise their ability to make judgements and to express opinions. In doing so, they can then form their own individual ideas and perceptions. Our pupils’ experiences are enhanced by the access they have to the studios during evenings and at weekends and by visits to both local, national and international galleries. Art at Ackworth provides students with the opportunity to enjoy interacting with and creating art in a stimulating and supportive environment.
Biology continues to make a tremendous contribution to our society revolutionising medicine and agriculture. We explore the great variety of life and how structures are related to functions. During years 1-3, we study life on many levels from molecular to ecosystems and gain an insight into how science works. We also consider the moral and social issues raised by new biological technologies. At GCSE level, we study the AQA Biology and AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) specifications. There are seven topics: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.  Throughout the course, we develop our understanding of the nature, processes and methods of biology, analysing and evaluating evidence from investigations. In the Sixth Form, we follow the AQA A-level specification, developing competence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills as we study the biological concepts. A separate endorsement of practical skills is taken alongside the A-level. These transferable skills include identifying and controlling variables; analysing and evaluating data; and researching and reporting. The practical endorsement also recognises the successful use of a range of apparatus and techniques, some of which are practised during our Ecology field trip in the Lake District.
So you want to eat steak? Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak. Jay Leno We would argue this is the most relevant subject you will ever experience! Not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur and nor do they need to set up in business. However, wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be surrounded by and/or working for a business. So why not get ahead of the game? Our course analyses UK business operations, but the scope of learning is global: from China’s management success to the credit crunch of the Western world, from the BP oil spill to the exploding market of online dating. We are absolutely current. Reinforcing our global perspective, we have a strong contingent of international students. Business Studies is a dynamic subject and our diverse Business Studies department has energetic, experienced practitioners. So 3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, Pound Shops have invaded British High streets, smartphones have become the go-to device for the internet, the tax-payer feels short-changed by the sale of the government stake in RBS. Our course analyses UK business operations but the scope of learning is global.
Chemistry is an independent science which offers itself as one of the mightiest means to elevate the culture of the intellect. As a result, Chemistry has proven to be an extremely successful subject at Ackworth. The aims of the Chemistry Department are to stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment for Chemistry; encourage each individual to achieve to the best of their ability; equip students with a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject; facilitate them to use chemical concepts in different situations, as well as ensuring they obtain safe and efficient practical skills. The first three years of secondary school at Ackworth, not only involve studying the National Curriculum, but also much wider material to provide a solid foundation for pupils to study Chemistry at GCSE and beyond. At GCSE we offer the AQA Chemistry syllabus, which provides students with a strong foundation for continuing with Chemistry into the sixth form. The learning experience for students at A-level is enhanced by offering the AQA linear course. The course covers Chemistry in an academically demanding manner and provides students with an excellent foundation for higher level study.   As a diverse department, we offer students with the chance to develop their chemical knowledge further by participating in several national competitions such as, RSC Chemistry Olympiad, RSC Analyst Competition and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.
Design & Technology at Ackworth is a forward-looking department, committed to the development of the subject from Year 7 to Year 13 (A2 level). The teaching groups are small in all years, enabling high standards of design and manufacture to be maintained. In Years 7, 8 and 9 all students experience Design & Technology, so that by the end of Year 9 (Third Form) they are equipped to make an informed choice, should they wish to go on to a GCSE course. In Year 10 (4th Form) students study the AQA GCSE Design & Technology course which builds on skills and knowledge that has been learnt at KS3. Students study a variety of material areas and appreciate how integral design is in the world of today. Students are encouraged to focus on their problem-solving skills as well as their ability to innovate both practically and through sketches. We also run an iGCSE course for our international students which gives students an opportunity to study Design & Technology in a single year. If Design & Technology is selected for A-Level, the students look to develop their design and innovations skills when developing new products at a commercial level. For this course, we follow the AQA syllabus for Product Design. The teaching of the subject is approached through a design base, encouraging students to apply their knowledge and experience to solving set problems which are then realised at a practical level which not only develops skills and an awareness of materials and processes. The department is fully equipped in both traditional wood and metal working areas including heat treatment and machine room, as well as a dedicated CAD/CAM suite which includes a laser cutter and CNC mill. The School has an excellent reputation in Design & Technology and four of our students have won Arkwright Scholarships as part of the prestigious national award scheme. Many of our pupils go on to university to study degrees with a technological bias, including various Engineering degrees, Architecture as well as through the design route which include Product, Industrial and Graphic Design.
Drama at Ackworth School allows students the opportunity to develop their performance skills while at the same time encouraging confidence and self-belief. During the First to Third Years, students explore a range of dramatic styles and techniques to give them a broad insight into the world of Theatre and Dramatic Arts. The students experience the excitement of performing on a purpose-built stage and develop a clear understanding of how to evaluate and enhance their performance work. In the Fourth and Fifth Forms, students can opt to take a GCSE in Drama, following the Cambridge IGCSE. The students are assessed through practical coursework, responding to a variety of drama texts. A written exam concludes the course at the end of the Fifth Year. We offer Drama and Theatre Arts A level in the Sixth Form and follow the WJEL course. This is a diverse and exciting specification which allows the students the opportunity to become part of a theatre company and follow the process through to performance as actors and theatre makers. The students explore two contrasting plays whilst developing their theatrical knowledge and their performance skills. At Ackworth, we encourage students to get involved with extra-curricular drama, whatever the nature of their interest happens to be. Opportunities exist for people to work backstage or with the technical elements of theatre as well as performance. During the course of the school year there will be one major school production held at Christmas, often in conjunction with the Music Department. During the Spring term, the inter House Drama Festival is held where each house produces a 20-30 minute piece of theatre. This could be an original piece or a published play. Towards the end of the Summer term, the younger students (1st 3rd year) perform sketches which they have produced as part of the drama club. Students are able to take graded LAMDA examinations in Speech and Drama. At the end of the Summer term we arrange for students to be able to perform their examination pieces as part of the Open Day celebrations.
A cooler, richer you. That’s Economics We give our students the tools to understand the world around us, from the actions of governments to the decisions of people in the supermarket biscuit aisle. Are the Government’s policies helping or hindering economic recovery? Are bankers worth it? Are footballers? What about doctors? University tuition fees – too high or too low? Is the liquidity trap the place to be? What exactly is ‘trickle down’? Is the axis of global economic power shifting? So what? Does free trade between countries bring prosperity or cost jobs? Why are some nations richer than others? Is a richer society a happier society? Whatever the problem (and there seems to be a never ending list of them) it is clear that Economics plays an important part in understanding the issues that shape our everyday lives. Yet very few people have even an elementary understanding of these issues. Economics provides an analytical framework and a tool-box with which to begin to answer such questions and get that understanding. You will develop clear and logical thinking and an analytical approach to problem-solving, as well as an ability to look for the wider implications of any event. No prior subject knowledge is required but a good grade in Mathematics GCSE is essential as is the ability to think and write clearly and cogently. Your studies will lead you to recognise the similarities and differences in the economic problems that confront individual consumers, workers, companies and countries whatever their living standards. Although the emphasis throughout the course will be on understanding current economic issues and events, you will need to acquire a good understanding of the theoretical principles and techniques that economists use to make sense of those events.
The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.” (Elizabeth Drew) Why study English? If Elizabeth’s Drew’s reason – her hope that the focus and purpose of life is sharpened through its study – is not enough, here is another: “Books are the carriers of civilisation. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” (Barbara W. Tuchman) And another, in the words of Cyril Connolly: “While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.” And another, from Salman Rushdie: “Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.” English – the study of the Language and the study of its Literature – is nothing less than the study of humanity. The heart of English lies in the world in which we live, the feelings that we share, and the challenge of communicating these feelings to our fellow man: to create, to teach, to empathise, to sympathise, to argue, to condemn, to defend, but more than anything, to learn. The Ackworth School English Department Vision:   We want to inspire our students, and to inculcate in them a passion for English.   We want to inspire our students through active, enriching and memorable lesson experiences that lead to rich learning, a greater emotional awareness of ourselves and of others, enhanced independent and interdependent personal development, which all contribute to outstanding achievement that marks the very best of our abilities and efforts.   We want to inspire our students to take greater responsibility for themselves as learners. We want to help them become more self-reflective and self-aware, both of their strengths and weaknesses as learners, and to support them to become more resilient, efficient and intrinsically-motivated students who equally value their efforts and achievements as they do the efforts and achievements of others   We want to inspire our students by making the English Department an exciting, energetic, child-centred, positive space, in which our students love learning, working and being. Through diverse opportunities for enrichment, support, celebration and further learning, freely and willingly given, students come to know that they are valued; that they are supported, protected and safe to experiment and, indeed, fail; that there is no failure, only feedback; that their voice carries weight, is listened to respectfully and has the power to help shape the direction of the department. Our students know that their best interests are always at the forefront of what we do.   We want to inspire each other: we want to foster a sense of close collaboration among our students, developing their mutual reliance and trust through inter-dependent learning, peer-teaching and student support; we want to foster a sense of close collaboration  among ourselves as departmental colleagues, developing our own mutual reliance and trust by sharing best practice, by group-planning and teaching, by consistent and open communication, by providing caring support, peer-assessment and evaluation which are designed to inform and empower ourselves and our practice, and by respecting each other as individual  voices, as equal stakeholders within our department.

Approaching English in Years 1-3 In the 1 and 2 Form at Ackworth, our approach is absolutely rooted in the skills put forward in the National Curriculum: Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening, underpinned by word- and sentence-level grammatical understanding. Our approach is designed to enable our students to appreciate the richness, excitement and marvels of English, exposing them to as wide and broad a variety of texts, forms, and skills as possible. The attention to the development of foundational skills – such as a core understanding of key literary terms within poetry, attention to different text types and genres, an introduction to key figures in Literature such as Shakespeare, and developing their understanding of how the author shapes effect for the reader – is balanced by a need to embed enjoyment and enthusiasm into learning, and foster a sense of pleasure and fun within the richness of English – writing our own poetry, crafting exciting and tension-filled short stories, performing playtexts, developing our understanding of media and manipulating this form for our own needs. We are determined to take advantage of these precious years when students are not under external exam pressure. In 3rd form, by necessity, the pedagogic approach becomes much more oriented towards the teaching of exam-skills: not so much making this an unofficial “third year” of a two-year IGCSE course, but rather as a foundational year to demystify the higher analytical and conceptual demands placed on the student in their IGCSEs. While retaining a spirit of adventure in terms of the texts we study (for example, the multimodal exploration of literatures of war), the students’ analytical approach is sharpened and shaped, and their understanding of structure and clarity of argumentative communication is honed. A much greater sense of self-reflection is encouraged: the question for students is not simply what they know but how they know, how best they learn. A more holistic and meta-cognitive approach develops the maturity of our learners as they approach the rigours of KS4.

  • For an overview of the Programme of Study across Years 1-3, please click here.
  • For course outlines and aims for 1st-3rd form English, please click here.
  • For examples of 3rd form (Y9) Independent Learning on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, organised by the Learning Styles Menu method, please click hereand here.
  • For examples of Public speaking, Rhetoric and Persuasive Writing in the 3rd form (Y9), please click hereand here.

IGCSE English At Key Stage 4, Ackworth Students study the Cambridge IGCSE in English Language and Literature. The skills each student will learn are intrinsically the same: on the English Language course, the aims are to enable accurate communication; foster an appreciation of the variety of language; develop core real-world skills such as analysis, synthesis, summary, inference, debate and creativity; and promote students’ understanding of themselves and others. On the English Literature course, students will learn to read, interpret, analyse and evaluate authorial choices in form, structure and language, and sensitively link this authorial intention to audience to clarify effect and purpose; a greater understanding of depth and inference will be gained, leading to a richer appreciation of the complexities and sophisticated subtleties of the subject and, indeed, of themselves. However, the real asset to the IGCSE – and its stand-out difference to competing syllabi – is the sheer variety of approach it offers in terms of its assessment, its teaching and its learning. The CIE IGCSE is a specification that puts student well-being and personalisation at its heart and thus chimes sensitively with the student-centric, pastoral values of the school. While the skills remain intrinsically the same for each student, how each student accesses and learns these skills is utterly open: the avenues of assessment combine and recombine modular examinations with coursework in varying proportions to allow the teachers to differentiate approach according to student need; similarly, a much more unrestrictive approach to textual choices also allows us to tailor the course to fit our students, rather than our students having to fit unwieldy uniformities. Throughout, students are encouraged to work independently, to lead group discussion and present individual presentations to, and for the benefit of, the class.

  • For an example of our differentiated Programme of Study at IGCSE, please click here
  • For an example of IGCSE Language Coursework Descriptive Writing, please click here; please click herefor Persuasive Writing, and here for Analytical Writing.
  • For an example of IGCSE Analytical Responses to texts, please click herefor an example of responses to play texts and here for an example of responses to prose texts.

What can I expect of English Literature at A-Level? Challenge You can expect to be inspired and develop your love of literature; you can expect to be challenged to both sharpen your analytical skills and to question your beliefs; you can expect to be prepared for the academic independence and rigour of University.   Independence You can expect a greater degree of independently-led learning: with the sheer volume of some of the text studied, and the scant nature of time available to us (what with our timetable, internal exams, and coursework deadlines), it will be impossible to explore everything in these texts in class time. Real progress and understanding is dependent on your strong, positive, independent attitude, and on an awareness that what is covered in class is specifically designed to be an element of a whole, a springboard into further, deeper, richer thoughts and research. What it is not, and cannot be, is an end in itself. Varied Learning And Teaching Styles There is no spoon-feeding at English Literature A-Level; there is no passive information gathering. You will work independently and inter-dependently. You will become part of a community of learners, one of many, and as such, you will learn to work hard with and for each other; have high expectations of work and attitude; listen to and observe your peers carefully so that you can support and assist or push and extend when it is needed; and create an environment where you and your peers can be honest, where you can positively criticise, where you can work towards better ways of thinking, working and doing. The environment the department aims to foster and devise is the beginnings of an independent, interdependent, multimodal, collaborative approach to learning and teaching. We will be using seminar-based formats, single- and group-led peer presentations, analytical and creative essays, discussions, in time the online capacities and tools of a Virtual Learning Environment, debates and arguments, wider critical research, a synthesis of traditional and contemporary literature, all underpinned by passionate facilitation grounded in a variety of different theoretical approaches. Extra-curricular English Seeking out opportunities to develop English outside of class is as critical as it is sharpening it inside, and as such, we offer a wide variety of clubs, trips and focus groups to extend students, provide them with adequate support, and enrich them by exposing them to different aspects of the subject. Such examples include:

The aim of the Department is to provide a safe, happy and stable environment in which the students can have a ‘hands-on’ approach to a life skill. We encourage our students to take an active interest in issues relating to food, exercise and healthy living. The subject is taught from Year 6. Practical tasks start simply, to enable the children to learn to handle the equipment with due care and dexterity. We focus on preparation, execution, presentation and evaluation in every lesson. We aim to encourage the pupils to care, to share and to co-operate within groups, to reinforce the School motto “Non sibi sed omnibus”. During the 1st to 3rd year at senior school, students cover a wide range of topics, such as safety and hygiene aspects of working in the Food area as well as Healthy Eating and Nutrition. Food science, Meal Planning, nutritional analysis and ‘Food and Culture’ including food provenance are also studied. Pupils have one to two lessons per week and this will usually involve one or more practical activities. At GCSE level, students study Food Preparation and Nutrition which is a fresh, interesting and stimulating programme of study for students of all ability ranges. The course aims to develop practical food preparation skills and to foster an understanding of the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet. The programme of study involves: Investigating scientific processes involved when food is cooked, and how storage and food preparation methods can affect finished results as well as theoretical food science. The practical culinary skills and theoretical knowledge acquired from the course will equip young people with the ability to make informed decisions about food and health throughout their lives. Details of the course and many resources are on the link here http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/food-preparation-and-nutrition/ Our one year International students study the IGCSE Food and Nutrition course which students thoroughly enjoy rising to the challenge of the practical making. Details of the course are to be found in the following link: http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-food-and-nutrition-0648/
Geography at Ackworth is taught by Rosalind Noble and Elena Clark.  We are a young and enthusiastic department and are working to include contemporary issues and ICT within the curriculum.  The subject is taught from Year 7 (First Form) to Advanced Level.  The Department consists of two specialist teaching rooms which are well equipped with computers, digital projectors, DVD players and access to the internet. The work of the Department covers a range of themes taking in human and physical geographies, from topics such as map reading, river studies and tourism at Key Stage 3, to glacial features, global health patterns and tectonics in the Sixth Form.  Geography students in each year group enjoy a field trip relevant to work covered in class, with a residential trip in the Sixth Form.  This field experience is vital to understanding how processes work as well as improving analysis and graphical skills.  We also take overseas trips which are open to our Year 11 (Fifth) and Sixth Form and aim to enhance the breadth and depth of students understanding.  Recent overseas trips have included Iceland and a joint trip with the History department to the Bay of Naples. At GCSE level the students follow the AQA GCSE specification and are assessed by three exams taken at the end of Year 11, one of which is focused on fieldwork.  At A level the Department uses the OCR specification, with three exams taken at the end of Upper 6th.  We believe that these syllabuses not only allow the students to study Geography in great depth, but also enable them to express their views and opinions, something that they will need to be able to do confidently later in life.  We seek to teach pupils not only to gain a high grade, but also to have an awareness of the world and current affairs beyond School by using geography in the news which is directly linked to the curriculum.
Our primary aim is to generate an interest in and understanding of the past.  We achieve this by exposing students to a rich and varied range of historical topics during their time at Ackworth.  At Key Stage 3, for example, topics range from the Roman Empire to the Second World War.  A’ Level units include The Russian Revolution and Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Century. We use a variety of teaching techniques and learning experiences including site visits, role play and independent learning in order to make the subject enjoyable to learn and accessible to all, irrespective of gender, age, cultural background, aptitude and ability. The past provides a context that can enable students to develop a greater understanding of themselves and the society/world in which they live.  Moreover, we seek to use the past to encourage the development of important attitudes and values including tolerance and a greater awareness of the needs and viewpoints of others. It seems increasingly apparent that in our present world we ignore our history at our peril.  History is an essential discipline in enabling our youth to understand the world in which they live.  It is about understanding why people behave as they do.  Our teaching aims to enable students to develop skills of analysis, evaluation, empathy and understanding; all important, transferable skills in the modern world.
ICT is taught as a discrete subject to all pupils in the first three years and as part of the PSHE programme in Year 10  (4th Year). Our aim is to equip the pupils to use ICT across the curriculum so students are taught in the use of the Microsoft Office Suite, graphic and presentation software, e-Safety as well as computing programming. Our suite of workstations in the ICT classroom allows for a dedicated teaching space and is supplemented by a second suite in the Library; thereby providing pupils with further access to the network. The suite consists of Thin Client workstations in order to help us move towards quieter, cooler and greener use of ICT. Subject areas have their own workstations and access to interactive smartboards and projectors. An extended Wifi network around the school has been established allowing staff and students to access the network on their own devices thereby expanding e-Learning possibilities.
Mathematics, which is used across the whole curriculum, is a bridge between the arts and the sciences. We aim to give pupils a good understanding of the different areas of Mathematics including problem solving, as well as spark their imagination and develop their use of logical thought. Mathematics is a Core subject and studied by all pupils from 1st form to fifth form when pupils sit IGCSE examinations. Many pupils choose Mathematics as one of their A level options and a number of pupils also study A level Further Mathematics. Some of our gifted students study for STEP, or other University entrance papes, if appropriate. The Mathematics department encourages pupils to enter the UKMT Mathematical Challenges and runs workshops to support pupils who need extra help.
Bonjour! Guten Tag! ¡Buenos días! At Ackworth we are delighted to be able to offer French, Spanish and German on the curriculum. All of our First to Third Years study two languages. First Year (Year 7) pupils study French and Spanish. In the Second Year (Year 8) pupils can then opt to study German with French or Spanish or to continue with French and Spanish. At the end of the Third Year (Year 9) pupils choose which language(s) they would like to study at IGCSE, when all three languages are available to study. A number of our pupils do choose to take two languages at IGCSE, where we follow the Edexcel IGCSE Modern Languages courses. Following their IGCSE pupils entering the Sixth Form can choose to further their study at A-level, when they develop a greater depth of knowledge of language and culture and benefit from small class sizes. Many of our A-level pupils have gone on to study languages at university. At A-level we follow the AQA courses. Younger pupils have the opportunity to take part in a study visit abroad which gives them an opportunity to practise and develop their language skills. This is always a popular visit as it brings language alive for the pupils, giving them lots of opportunity to try out their language skills, to experience a different culture and of course to sample the cuisine. The department runs a European Cinema Club, showing a variety of films – all of which are subtitled, so everyone is welcome.
Ackworth School enjoys a long musical tradition that is based on enjoyment and excellence in equal measure. Our purpose built Music Centre is a spacious building with comprises of a recital hall with seating for 180, 14 practice rooms, 2 classrooms and a computer suite. It really is a wonderful environment in which to make music. In Key Stage Three curriculum lessons pupils engage in composing, listening and performing activities that are both stimulating and challenging. Areas that we explore include Film Music, The Blues, Gamelan Music, Musical Theatre, Music and Advertising and much more. At GCSE and A level, pupils follow traditional music courses that include composing, performing, listening and appraising in equal measure. Our courses are aimed to appeal to the diverse group of musicians in our care. Practical music making is at the heart of the Department’s ethos and Ackworth Musicians enjoy a diverse programme of activities such as chamber groups, choirs, workshops, bands and orchestras. Pupils are encouraged to aim for the highest standards in individual music lessons and extra-curricular group work. A visit to the music centre is highly recommended and we will always be delighted to welcome you. There are generous scholarships available at Ackworth for the talented musician who can show potential and a true involvement in music.
Physical Education is an important part of life at Ackworth School, both within a broad and balanced curriculum and as part of extra-curricular activities. All pupils are encouraged to develop an interest in sport, and the clubs on offer cater for all abilities. Facilities:

  •        Indoor swimming pool
  •       Gymnasium
  •        Fitness Suite
  •        All weather astro pitch
  •        Tennis / Netball courts
  •      Sports hall
  •        Cricket / Rounders Pitch
  •        Football Pitches X 3
  •        Extensive grounds (16 acre) for orienteering, cross country and athletics

Academic Courses:

  •        GCSE and A Level – AQA Specification

The School maintains a full fixture list of matches with other schools in addition to a comprehensive inter house structure that provides Ackworth pupils with opportunities to develop their individual sporting talents and to play as a team. The School believes that each individual should be given the opportunity to develop to their full potential and the school works closely with local sports clubs to allow our pupils to continue to play throughout their life after Ackworth. Sports on offer in curriculum: Football, Hockey, Netball, Gymnastics, Cross Country, Dance, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Rounders, Tennis, Athletics, Squash, Volleyball, Swimming Extra Curricular opportunities: (in addition to the above) Fencing, Archery, Table Tennis, Modern Pentathlon, Tae Kwon Do, Yoga

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. (Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1965) If you want to equip yourself with an understanding of the fundamental principles that will allow you to make sense of topics that you might encounter in a wide range of other subjects, from Science and Engineering through to Philosophy, Physics is the obvious choice. Many years of experience of teaching Physics and an involvement in wide range of activities beyond the subject mean that the teaching staff in Ackworth’s Physics department can help students to find out exactly where their own interests lie and to see the direction in which those interests might take them. All students study Physics to GCSE level, either as part of a Combined Science course (AQA Science Trilogy) or a separate AQA Physics course, and we are pleased that students with a range of abilities regularly perform well. For A level, we use the OCR Physics course because we have found that aspects of the assessment and content of this course are particularly accessible for those students whose first language is not English. In recent years, it has been good to receive news of students who have been very successful in their studies of Physics and related subjects at university after taking A level Physics at Ackworth.
All students have one period per week of PSHE throughout the 4th and 5th year. Each year group is divided into four groups and there is a team of four teachers who teach each group in turn for six to eight week units. Each teacher has a particular area of expertise.

The main areas covered are:

  • Beliefs and Values: Philosophy and Ethics
  • Living in the Wider World: Economic Wellbeing, Careers and the World of Work:

Life skills; target setting; managing personal finance; careers and the realities of work; study and revision skills; employment rights and responsibilities; dealing with bullying in the workplace and at school; applying for work (how to construct a good letter of application and CV); dealing with job interviews and the value of work experience.

  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness
  • Anti-bullying Education
  • How to build healthy relationships and the dangers of on-line pornography and the objectification of women in particular Child Protection Issues: sources of support within and outside school;
  • ‘British Values’ – exploring the role that democracy, religious tolerance, freedom of speech and respect for the law play in shaping ‘British Values’.
  • ‘Prevent’ Education – highlighting the dangers of terrorism and the need to ‘prevent’ children being groomed via social media as part of Ackworth School’s wider child protection agenda and policy
  • Safe and Responsible Use of ICT, including: sexting, the law and personal safety, the dangers of on-line ‘grooming’ (sexual and terrorism related); healthy attitudes to self-image
  • Sex Education
  • Healthy Eating and Practical Food Skills

“Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour: how we think, feel, act and interact individually and in groups.” 

The British Psychological Society Psychologists are scientists, and they use Research Methods to investigate questions. Psychologists investigate many areas of thought and behaviour; a variety of methods exist to ensure that there is always one appropriate to the needs of the study. Students will learn to critically consider the choices researchers have made in designing their studies, evaluating the validity of research and the conclusions that have been made. They will see how a study evolves from an initial idea to a piece of published research, with the power to change the way society thinks and behaves. Supporting Students: University Links Working with several universities, students will have opportunities to take part in real research and design their own studies. Twitter The Psychology Department has a Twitter account which you can follow at https://twitter.com/ackworthpsych – here you will find extra reading, interesting links and examination tips.   Departmental Library The Psychology Department has a small library of popular Psychology books, and a selection of DVDs which include both films and documentaries. Students are able to borrow these at any time, in order to support their understanding of how different psychological disorders are presented in the media.

Quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur” (“That which is received is received according to the manner of the recipient”). These words of wisdom, spoken by saint Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, recognise the unique nature and potential of each individual. The Religious Studies department at Ackworth School acknowledges the truth of these words and aims to provide our pupils with a broad and comprehensive religious knowledge and the academic skills necessary to justify and articulate their beliefs to others. Key Stage 3 During the 1st to 3rd Years pupils are made aware of the distinctive beliefs and practices of the ‘Religious Society of Friends’ (the ‘Quakers’), learn about biblical stories and themes, the core beliefs and practices of three of the world’s major religions: Hinduism, Judaism and Islam, and about famous individuals whose lives were influenced by their faith. Key Stage 4 GCSE Religious Studies is an option subject at Ackworth School and our students follow OCR specification J625. This involves a study of 3 units:

  • Christian Beliefs, Traditions and Perspectives
  • Islamic Beliefs, Traditions and Perspectives
  • Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in the Modern World from a Christian Perspective

Key Stage 5 In the 6th Form Ackworth students have the option of studying Advanced level Religious Studies and we follow OCR specification H573.   This involves the study of 3 units:

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion and Ethics
  • Developments in Christian Thought

Note: In the last couple of years Ackworth Religious Studies students have gone on to study at both Oxford and Cambridge, after securing outstanding results in the department. John Stephenson Head of Religious Studies, MA

Art

Art plays an important role within the curriculum followed by pupils at Ackworth. It is our firm belief that Art stimulates creativity and imagination, as well as enabling pupils to acquire skills which are transferable to other subject areas and to life beyond school.

Implementing this belief has served to enrich our students’ lives through developing their sensory perceptions and analytical skills. Art increases our students’ self-confidence as they exercise their ability to make judgements and to express opinions. In doing so, they can then form their own individual ideas and perceptions.

Our pupils’ experiences are enhanced by the access they have to the studios during evenings and at weekends and by visits to both local, national and international galleries.

Art at Ackworth provides students with the opportunity to enjoy interacting with and creating art in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Biology

Biology continues to make a tremendous contribution to our society revolutionising medicine and agriculture. We explore the great variety of life and how structures are related to functions. During years 1-3, we study life on many levels from molecular to ecosystems and gain an insight into how science works. We also consider the moral and social issues raised by new biological technologies.

At GCSE level, we study the AQA Biology and AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) specifications. There are seven topics: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.  Throughout the course, we develop our understanding of the nature, processes and methods of biology, analysing and evaluating evidence from investigations.

In the Sixth Form, we follow the AQA A-level specification, developing competence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills as we study the biological concepts. A separate endorsement of practical skills is taken alongside the A-level. These transferable skills include identifying and controlling variables; analysing and evaluating data; and researching and reporting. The practical endorsement also recognises the successful use of a range of apparatus and techniques, some of which are practised during our Ecology field trip in the Lake District.

Business Studies

So you want to eat steak?

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak.
Jay Leno

We would argue this is the most relevant subject you will ever experience! Not everyone is going to be an entrepreneur and nor do they need to set up in business. However, wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be surrounded by and/or working for a business. So why not get ahead of the game?

Our course analyses UK business operations, but the scope of learning is global: from China’s management success to the credit crunch of the Western world, from the BP oil spill to the exploding market of online dating. We are absolutely current. Reinforcing our global perspective, we have a strong contingent of international students.

Business Studies is a dynamic subject and our diverse Business Studies department has energetic, experienced practitioners.

So 3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, Pound Shops have invaded British High streets, smartphones have become the go-to device for the internet, the tax-payer feels short-changed by the sale of the government stake in RBS.

Our course analyses UK business operations but the scope of learning is global.

Chemistry

Chemistry is an independent science which offers itself as one of the mightiest means to elevate the culture of the intellect. As a result, Chemistry has proven to be an extremely successful subject at Ackworth.

The aims of the Chemistry Department are to stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment for Chemistry; encourage each individual to achieve to the best of their ability; equip students with a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject; facilitate them to use chemical concepts in different situations, as well as ensuring they obtain safe and efficient practical skills.

The first three years of secondary school at Ackworth, not only involve studying the National Curriculum, but also much wider material to provide a solid foundation for pupils to study Chemistry at GCSE and beyond.

At GCSE we offer the AQA Chemistry syllabus, which provides students with a strong foundation for continuing with Chemistry into the sixth form.

The learning experience for students at A-level is enhanced by offering the AQA linear course. The course covers Chemistry in an academically demanding manner and provides students with an excellent foundation for higher level study.

As a diverse department, we offer students with the chance to develop their chemical knowledge further by participating in several national competitions such as, RSC Chemistry Olympiad, RSC Analyst Competition and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.

Design and Technology

Design & Technology at Ackworth is a forward-looking department, committed to the development of the subject from Year 7 to Year 13 (A2 level). The teaching groups are small in all years, enabling high standards of design and manufacture to be maintained. In Years 7, 8 and 9 all students experience Design & Technology, so that by the end of Year 9 (Third Form) they are equipped to make an informed choice, should they wish to go on to a GCSE course.

In Year 10 (4th Form) students study the AQA GCSE Design & Technology course which builds on skills and knowledge that has been learnt at KS3. Students study a variety of material areas and appreciate how integral design is in the world of today. Students are encouraged to focus on their problem-solving skills as well as their ability to innovate both practically and through sketches.

We also run an iGCSE course for our international students which gives students an opportunity to study Design & Technology in a single year.

If Design & Technology is selected for A-Level, the students look to develop their design and innovations skills when developing new products at a commercial level. For this course, we follow the AQA syllabus for Product Design.

The teaching of the subject is approached through a design base, encouraging students to apply their knowledge and experience to solving set problems which are then realised at a practical level which not only develops skills and an awareness of materials and processes. The department is fully equipped in both traditional wood and metal working areas including heat treatment and machine room, as well as a dedicated CAD/CAM suite which includes a laser cutter and CNC mill.

The School has an excellent reputation in Design & Technology and four of our students have won Arkwright Scholarships as part of the prestigious national award scheme. Many of our pupils go on to university to study degrees with a technological bias, including various Engineering degrees, Architecture as well as through the design route which include Product, Industrial and Graphic Design.

Drama

Drama at Ackworth School allows students the opportunity to develop their performance skills while at the same time encouraging confidence and self-belief.

During the First to Third Years, students explore a range of dramatic styles and techniques to give them a broad insight into the world of Theatre and Dramatic Arts. The students experience the excitement of performing on a purpose-built stage and develop a clear understanding of how to evaluate and enhance their performance work.

In the Fourth and Fifth Forms, students can opt to take a GCSE in Drama, following the Cambridge IGCSE. The students are assessed through practical coursework, responding to a variety of drama texts. A written exam concludes the course at the end of the Fifth Year.

We offer Drama and Theatre Arts A level in the Sixth Form and follow the WJEL course. This is a diverse and exciting specification which allows the students the opportunity to become part of a theatre company and follow the process through to performance as actors and theatre makers. The students explore two contrasting plays whilst developing their theatrical knowledge and their performance skills.

Students are able to take graded LAMDA examinations in Speech and Drama. At the end of the Summer term we arrange for students to be able to perform their examination pieces as part of the Open Day celebrations.

 

English language

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.” (Elizabeth Drew)

Why study English? If Elizabeth’s Drew’s reason – her hope that the focus and purpose of life is sharpened through its study – is not enough, here is another:

Books are the carriers of civilisation. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” (Barbara W. Tuchman)

And another, in the words of Cyril Connolly:

While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.”

And another, from Salman Rushdie:

Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.

English – the study of the Language and the study of its Literature – is nothing less than the study of humanity. The heart of English lies in the world in which we live, the feelings that we share, and the challenge of communicating these feelings to our fellow man: to create, to teach, to empathise, to sympathise, to argue, to condemn, to defend, but more than anything, to learn.

We want to inspire our students, and to inculcate in them a passion for English.

We want to inspire our students through active, enriching and memorable lesson experiences that lead to rich learning, a greater emotional awareness of ourselves and of others, enhanced independent and interdependent personal development, which all contribute to outstanding achievement that marks the very best of our abilities and efforts.

We want to inspire our students to take greater responsibility for themselves as learners. We want to help them become more self-reflective and self-aware, both of their strengths and weaknesses as learners, and to support them to become more resilient, efficient and intrinsically-motivated students who equally value their efforts and achievements as they do the efforts and achievements of others

We want to inspire our students by making the English Department an exciting, energetic, child-centred, positive space, in which our students love learning, working and being. Through diverse opportunities for enrichment, support, celebration and further learning, freely and willingly given, students come to know that they are valued; that they are supported, protected and safe to experiment and, indeed, fail; that there is no failure, only feedback; that their voice carries weight, is listened to respectfully and has the power to help shape the direction of the department. Our students know that their best interests are always at the forefront of what we do.

We want to inspire each other: we want to foster a sense of close collaboration among our students, developing their mutual reliance and trust through inter-dependent learning, peer-teaching and student support; we want to foster a sense of close collaboration  among ourselves as departmental colleagues, developing our own mutual reliance and trust by sharing best practice, by group-planning and teaching, by consistent and open communication, by providing caring support, peer-assessment and evaluation which are designed to inform and empower ourselves and our practice, and by respecting each other as individual  voices, as equal stakeholders within our department.

Approaching English in 1st-3rd Form

In 1st and 2nd Form at Ackworth, our approach is absolutely rooted in the skills put forward in the National Curriculum: Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening, underpinned by word- and sentence-level grammatical understanding. Our approach is designed to enable our students to appreciate the richness, excitement and marvels of English, exposing them to as wide and broad a variety of texts, forms, and skills as possible.

The attention to the development of foundational skills – such as a core understanding of key literary terms within poetry, attention to different text types and genres, an introduction to key figures in Literature such as Shakespeare, and developing their understanding of how the author shapes effect for the reader – is balanced by a need to embed enjoyment and enthusiasm into learning, and foster a sense of pleasure and fun within the richness of English – writing our own poetry, crafting exciting and tension-filled short stories, performing playtexts, developing our understanding of media and manipulating this form for our own needs. We are determined to take advantage of these precious years when students are not under external exam pressure.

In 3rd form, by necessity, the pedagogic approach becomes much more oriented towards the teaching of exam-skills: not so much making this an unofficial “third year” of a two-year GCSE course, but rather as a foundational year to demystify the higher analytical and conceptual demands placed on the student in their GCSEs. While retaining a spirit of adventure in terms of the texts we study (for example, the multimodal exploration of Gothic literature), the students’ analytical approach is sharpened and shaped, and their understanding of structure and clarity of argumentative communication is honed. A much greater sense of self-reflection is encouraged: the question for students is not simply what they know but how they know, how best they learn. A more holistic and meta-cognitive approach develops the maturity of our learners as they approach the rigours of KS4.

GCSE English

At Key Stage 4, Ackworth students study the AQA GCSE in English Language and Literature. There are several advantages to aligning our Key Stage 4 syllabus to revised systems in line with what the majority of UK students will face, not least the adoption of an altogether more demanding and rigorous curriculum that will prepare our students well for their futures. Another advantage for our students will be speaking the same “assessment language” as their peers across the country (as we will now shift to a 9-1 system of grades), also making it simpler to progress to A Levels and University study.

We follow an integrated approach to Language and Literature, teaching both alongside and interweaved with one another. On the English Language course, the aims are to enable accurate communication; foster an appreciation of the variety of language; develop core real-world skills such as analysis, synthesis, summary, inference, debate and creativity; and promote students’ understanding of themselves and others. All students will undertake a Speaking and Listening component as part of their GCSE English Language course, which is a presentation and response to questions and feedback. On the English Literature course, students will learn to read, interpret, analyse and evaluate authorial choices in form, structure and language, and sensitively link this authorial intention to audience to clarify effect and purpose; a greater understanding of depth and inference will be gained, leading to a richer appreciation of the complexities and sophisticated subtleties of the subject and, indeed, of themselves. Here, our chosen set texts are Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the “Love and Relationships” section from the GCSE Poetry Anthology.

What can I expect of English Literature at A-Level?

Challenge

You can expect to be inspired and develop your love of literature; you can expect to be challenged to both sharpen your analytical skills and to question your beliefs; you can expect to be prepared for the academic independence and rigour of University.

Independence

You can expect a greater degree of independently-led learning: with the sheer volume of some of the text studied, and the scant nature of time available to us (what with our timetable, internal exams, and coursework deadlines), it will be impossible to explore everything in these texts in class time. Real progress and understanding is dependent on your strong, positive, independent attitude, and on an awareness that what is covered in class is specifically designed to be an element of a whole, a springboard into further, deeper, richer thoughts and research. What it is not, and cannot be, is an end in itself.

Varied Learning and Teaching Styles

There is no spoon-feeding at English Literature A-Level; there is no passive information gathering. You will work independently and inter-dependently. You will become part of a community of learners, one of many, and as such, you will learn to work hard with and for each other; have high expectations of work and attitude; listen to and observe your peers carefully so that you can support and assist or push and extend when it is needed; and create an environment where you and your peers can be honest, where you can positively criticise, where you can work towards better ways of thinking, working and doing. The environment the department aims to foster and devise is the beginnings of an independent, interdependent, multimodal, collaborative approach to learning and teaching. We will be using seminar-based formats, single- and group-led peer presentations, analytical and creative essays, discussions, in time the online capacities and tools of a Virtual Learning Environment, debates and arguments, wider critical research, a synthesis of traditional and contemporary literature, all underpinned by passionate facilitation grounded in a variety of different theoretical approaches.

Extra-curricular English

Seeking out opportunities to develop English outside of class is as critical as it is sharpening it inside, and as such, we offer a wide variety of clubs, trips and focus groups to extend students, provide them with adequate support, and enrich them by exposing them to different aspects of the subject. Such examples include:

  • KS4 Support and Enrichment After-School Sessions
  • A-Level Support and Enrichment After-School Sessions
  • Book Club for the extended Ackworth family (Coram, Main School, Staff, Parents, Old Scholars)
  • A wide variety of cultural trips to places such as Stratford, Haworth and the Lake District
  • A number of theatre and poetry trips, linked often to set texts, to venues in Leeds, Manchester, Wakefield, Cambridge and London
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Whole-School Inter-House Poetry and Prose Competitions.
  • The annual Creative Writing magazine, Mosaic, which is designed in collaboration with the Art and DT Departments.

 

Food and Nutrition

The aim of the Department is to provide a safe, happy and stable environment in which the students can have a ‘hands-on’ approach to a life skill. We encourage our students to take an active interest in issues relating to food, exercise and healthy living.
The subject is taught from Year 6. Practical tasks start simply, to enable the children to learn to handle the equipment with due care and dexterity. We focus on preparation, execution, presentation and evaluation in every lesson. We aim to encourage the pupils to care, to share and to co-operate within groups, to reinforce the School motto “Non sibi sed omnibus”.
During the 1st to 3rd year at senior school, students cover a wide range of topics, such as safety and hygiene aspects of working in the Food area as well as Healthy Eating and Nutrition. Food science, Meal Planning, nutritional analysis and ‘Food and Culture’ including food provenance are also studied. Pupils have one to two lessons per week and this will usually involve one or more practical activities.

At GCSE level, students study Food Preparation and Nutrition which is a fresh, interesting and stimulating programme of study for students of all ability ranges. The course aims to develop practical food preparation skills and to foster an understanding of the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet. The programme of study involves: Investigating scientific processes involved when food is cooked, and how storage and food preparation methods can affect finished results as well as theoretical food science. The practical culinary skills and theoretical knowledge acquired from the course will equip young people with the ability to make informed decisions about food and health throughout their lives. Details of the course and many resources are on the link here http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/food-preparation-and-nutrition/
Our one year International students study the IGCSE Food and Nutrition course which students thoroughly enjoy rising to the challenge of the practical making. Details of the course are to be found in the following link:

http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-food-and-nutrition-0648/

Geography

Geography at Ackworth is taught by Rosalind Noble and Elena Clark.  We are a young and enthusiastic department and are working to include contemporary issues and ICT within the curriculum.  The subject is taught from Year 7 (First Form) to Advanced Level.  The Department consists of two specialist teaching rooms which are well equipped with computers, digital projectors, DVD players and access to the internet.

The work of the Department covers a range of themes taking in human and physical geographies, from topics such as map reading, river studies and tourism at Key Stage 3, to glacial features, global health patterns and tectonics in the Sixth Form.  Geography students in each year group enjoy a field trip relevant to work covered in class, with a residential trip in the Sixth Form.  This field experience is vital to understanding how processes work as well as improving analysis and graphical skills.  We also take overseas trips which are open to our Year 11 (Fifth) and Sixth Form and aim to enhance the breadth and depth of students understanding.  Recent overseas trips have included Iceland and a joint trip with the History department to the Bay of Naples.

At GCSE level the students follow the AQA GCSE specification and are assessed by three exams taken at the end of Year 11, one of which is focused on fieldwork.  At A level the Department uses the OCR specification, with three exams taken at the end of Upper 6th.  We believe that these syllabuses not only allow the students to study Geography in great depth, but also enable them to express their views and opinions, something that they will need to be able to do confidently later in life.  We seek to teach pupils not only to gain a high grade, but also to have an awareness of the world and current affairs beyond School by using geography in the news which is directly linked to the curriculum.

History

Our primary aim is to generate an interest in and understanding of the past.  We achieve this by exposing students to a rich and varied range of historical topics during their time at Ackworth.  At Key Stage 3, for example, topics range from the Roman Empire to the Second World War.  A’ Level units include The Russian Revolution and Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Century.

We use a variety of teaching techniques and learning experiences including site visits, role play and independent learning in order to make the subject enjoyable to learn and accessible to all, irrespective of gender, age, cultural background, aptitude and ability.

The past provides a context that can enable students to develop a greater understanding of themselves and the society/world in which they live.  Moreover, we seek to use the past to encourage the development of important attitudes and values including tolerance and a greater awareness of the needs and viewpoints of others.

It seems increasingly apparent that in our present world we ignore our history at our peril.  History is an essential discipline in enabling our youth to understand the world in which they live.  It is about understanding why people behave as they do.  Our teaching aims to enable students to develop skills of analysis, evaluation, empathy and understanding; all important, transferable skills in the modern world.

ICT

ICT is taught as a discrete subject to all pupils in the first three years and as part of the PSHE programme in Year 10  (4th Year). Our aim is to equip the pupils to use ICT across the curriculum so students are taught in the use of the Microsoft Office Suite, graphic and presentation software, e-Safety as well as computing programming.

Our suite of workstations in the ICT classroom allows for a dedicated teaching space and is supplemented by a second suite in the Library; thereby providing pupils with further access to the network. The suite consists of Thin Client workstations in order to help us move towards quieter, cooler and greener use of ICT. Subject areas have their own workstations and access to interactive smartboards and projectors. An extended Wifi network around the school has been established allowing staff and students to access the network on their own devices thereby expanding e-Learning possibilities.

Maths

Mathematics, which is used across the whole curriculum, is a bridge between the arts and the sciences. We aim to give pupils a good understanding of the different areas of Mathematics including problem solving, as well as spark their imagination and develop their use of logical thought.

Mathematics is a Core subject and studied by all pupils from 1st form to fifth form when pupils sit IGCSE examinations. Many pupils choose Mathematics as one of their A level options and a number of pupils also study A level Further Mathematics. Some of our gifted students study for STEP, or other University entrance papers, if appropriate.

The Mathematics department encourages pupils to enter the UKMT Mathematical Challenges and runs workshops to support pupils who need extra help.

Modern Foreign Languages

Bonjour! Guten Tag! ¡Buenos días! At Ackworth we are delighted to be able to offer French, Spanish and German on the curriculum.

All of our First to Third Years study two languages. First Year (Year 7) pupils study French and Spanish. In the Second Year (Year 8) pupils can then opt to study German with French or Spanish or to continue with French and Spanish. At the end of the Third Year (Year 9) pupils choose which language(s) they would like to study at IGCSE, when all three languages are available to study. A number of our pupils do choose to take two languages at IGCSE, where we follow the Edexcel IGCSE Modern Languages courses.

Following their IGCSE pupils entering the Sixth Form can choose to further their study at A-level, when they develop a greater depth of knowledge of language and culture and benefit from small class sizes. Many of our A-level pupils have gone on to study languages at university. At A-level we follow the AQA courses.

Younger pupils have the opportunity to take part in a study visit abroad which gives them an opportunity to practise and develop their language skills. This is always a popular visit as it brings language alive for the pupils, giving them lots of opportunity to try out their language skills, to experience a different culture and of course to sample the cuisine.

The department runs a European Cinema Club, showing a variety of films – all of which are subtitled, so everyone is welcome.

Music

Ackworth School enjoys a long musical tradition that is based on enjoyment and excellence in equal measure.

Our purpose built Music Centre is a spacious building with comprises of a recital hall with seating for 180, 14 practice rooms, 2 classrooms and a computer suite. It really is a wonderful environment in which to make music.
In Key Stage Three curriculum lessons pupils engage in composing, listening and performing activities that are both stimulating and challenging. Areas that we explore include Film Music, The Blues, Gamelan Music, Musical Theatre, Music and Advertising and much more.

At GCSE and A level, pupils follow traditional music courses that include composing, performing, listening and appraising in equal measure. Our courses are aimed to appeal to the diverse group of musicians in our care.

Practical music making is at the heart of the Department’s ethos and Ackworth Musicians enjoy a diverse programme of activities such as chamber groups, choirs, workshops, bands and orchestras. Pupils are encouraged to aim for the highest standards in individual music lessons and extra-curricular group work.

A visit to the music centre is highly recommended and we will always be delighted to welcome you.
There are generous scholarships available at Ackworth for the talented musician who can show potential and a true involvement in music.

Physical Education

Physical Education is an important part of life at Ackworth School, both within a broad and balanced curriculum and as part of extra-curricular activities. All pupils are encouraged to develop an interest in sport, and the clubs on offer cater for all abilities.

Facilities:

  •        Indoor swimming pool
  •        Gymnasium
  •        Fitness Suite
  •        All weather astro pitch
  •        Tennis / Netball courts
  •        Sports hall
  •        Cricket / Rounders Pitch
  •        Football Pitches X 3
  •        Extensive grounds (16 acre) for orienteering, cross country and athletics

Academic Courses:

  •        GCSE and A Level – AQA Specification

The School maintains a full fixture list of matches with other schools in addition to a comprehensive inter house structure that provides Ackworth pupils with opportunities to develop their individual sporting talents and to play as a team.

The School believes that each individual should be given the opportunity to develop to their full potential and the school works closely with local sports clubs to allow our pupils to continue to play throughout their life after Ackworth.

Sports on offer in curriculum:

Football, Hockey, Netball, Gymnastics, Cross Country, Dance, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Rounders, Tennis, Athletics, Squash, Volleyball, Swimming

Extra Curricular opportunities: (in addition to the above)

Fencing, Archery, Table Tennis, Modern Pentathlon, Tae Kwon Do, Yoga

Physics

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.” (Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1965)

If you want to equip yourself with an understanding of the fundamental principles that will allow you to make sense of topics that you might encounter in a wide range of other subjects, from Science and Engineering through to Philosophy, Physics is the obvious choice. Many years of experience of teaching Physics and an involvement in wide range of activities beyond the subject mean that the teaching staff in Ackworth’s Physics department can help students to find out exactly where their own interests lie and to see the direction in which those interests might take them.

All students study Physics to GCSE level, either as part of a Combined Science course (AQA Science Trilogy) or a separate AQA Physics course, and we are pleased that students with a range of abilities regularly perform well. For A level, we use the OCR Physics course because we have found that aspects of the assessment and content of this course are particularly accessible for those students whose first language is not English. In recent years, it has been good to receive news of students who have been very successful in their studies of Physics and related subjects at university after taking A level Physics at Ackworth.

PSHE

All students have one period per week of PSHE throughout the 4th and 5th year.

Each year group is divided into four groups and there is a team of four teachers who teach each group in turn for six to eight week units. Each teacher has a particular area of expertise.

The main areas covered are:

  • Beliefs and Values: Philosophy and Ethics
  • Living in the Wider World: Economic Wellbeing, Careers and the World of Work:Life skills; target setting; managing personal finance; careers and the realities of work; study and revision skills; employment rights and responsibilities; dealing with bullying in the workplace and at school; applying for work (how to construct a good letter of application and CV); dealing with job interviews and the value of work experience.Alcohol and Drug Awareness
    Anti-bullying Education
  • How to build healthy relationships and the dangers of on-line pornography and the objectification of women in particular
  • Child Protection Issues: sources of support within and outside school;
  • ‘British Values’ – exploring the role that democracy, religious tolerance, freedom of speech and respect for the law play in shaping ‘British Values’.
  • ‘Prevent’ Education – highlighting the dangers of terrorism and the need to ‘prevent’ children being groomed via social media as part of Ackworth School’s wider child protection agenda and policy
  • Safe and Responsible Use of ICT, including: sexting, the law and personal safety, the dangers of on-line ‘grooming’ (sexual and terrorism related); healthy attitudes to self-image
  • Sex Education
  • Healthy Eating and Practical Food Skills
Psychology

“Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour: how we think, feel, act and interact individually and in groups.” The British Psychological Society

Psychologists are scientists, and they use Research Methods to investigate questions. Psychologists investigate many areas of thought and behaviour; a variety of methods exist to ensure that there is always one appropriate to the needs of the study. Students will learn to critically consider the choices researchers have made in designing their studies, evaluating the validity of research and the conclusions that have been made. They will see how a study evolves from an initial idea to a piece of published research, with the power to change the way society thinks and behaves.

Supporting Students:

University Links

Working with several universities, students will have opportunities to take part in real research and design their own studies.

Twitter

The Psychology Department has a Twitter account which you can follow at https://twitter.com/ackworthpsych – here you will find extra reading, interesting links and examination tips.

Departmental Library

The Psychology Department has a small library of popular Psychology books, and a selection of DVDs which include both films and documentaries. Students are able to borrow these at any time, in order to support their understanding of how different psychological disorders are presented in the media.

Religious Studies

Quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur” (“That which is received is received according to the manner of the recipient”).

These words of wisdom, spoken by saint Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, recognise the unique nature and potential of each individual.

The Religious Studies department at Ackworth School acknowledges the truth of these words and aims to provide our pupils with a broad and comprehensive religious knowledge and the academic skills necessary to justify and articulate their beliefs to others.

Key Stage 3

During the 1st to 3rd Years pupils are made aware of the distinctive beliefs and practices of the ‘Religious Society of Friends’ (the ‘Quakers’), learn about biblical stories and themes, the core beliefs and practices of three of the world’s major religions: Hinduism, Judaism and Islam, and about famous individuals whose lives were influenced by their faith.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Religious Studies is an option subject at Ackworth School and our students follow OCR specification J625. This involves a study of 3 units:

  • Christian Beliefs, Traditions and Perspectives
  • Islamic Beliefs, Traditions and Perspectives
  • Religion, Philosophy and Ethics in the Modern World from a Christian Perspective

Key Stage 5

In the 6th Form Ackworth students have the option of studying Advanced level Religious Studies and we follow OCR specification H573.   This involves the study of 3 units:

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religion and Ethics
  • Developments in Christian Thought

Note: In the last couple of years Ackworth Religious Studies students have gone on to study at both Oxford and Cambridge, after securing outstanding results in the department.

John Stephenson

Head of Religious Studies, MA

Sixth Form

Starting a new school or even a new stage within the same school can be a daunting experience. Nevertheless we make sure that everyone settles quickly to the new routine. New students are supported by those who have come from our own Year 11, so there will always be someone who can help with advice on expectations and how to get around. Social events in the first few weeks also help to bring the new year group together and to help the Lower Sixth to mix with the Upper Sixth. It is almost always the case that students new to Ackworth are soon part of a well integrated Sixth Form, able to settle quickly to the new way of studying and to progress and reach their academic potential.

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