ICT and Computing HOD – Hannah Rhodes
Students at Pershore High School study a wide range of units at Key Stage 3; we offer traditional ICT units as well as Computer Science based ones. All students have one lesson a week and mainly have one teacher.
At key stage 4 students can either opt to study Creative iMedia or GCSE Computer Science with OCR. Both courses are very popular; we currently have two classes of Creative iMedia students in year 10 and 11, and one teacher teaches each class. This is a coursework focused qualification and therefore monitoring and tracking is central to ensure students’ progress. We are currently in our first year of offering GCSE Computer Science, it has been very popular and we have one large group of 28 students. At present, this class has two teachers and delivery of the specification is therefore spilt.
At key stage 5 we offer students A Level Computer Science (OCR) and Cambridge Technicals in Digital Media. Key stage 5 is delivered between the team, specifications are divided, groups are shared and tracking pupil progress is done centrally. Digital Media seems to be a popular option for our students, group sizes are between 10 and 14 students. Our sixth form students are enthusiastic about our subject and many continue into University courses or apprenticeship schemes. Last year’s Computer science group saw two of our students secure apprenticeships with GCHQ. Each year we get a small collection of students who study both options with us.
The department consists of three full time teachers, and collaboration is key. The Head of ICT and Computing is very active in encouraging staff to develop their expertise and play a full role in the work of the department. Good practice is shared, all Schemes of Work, resources, specifications, tracking sheets are centralised and are used and developed by all staff.
The ICT and Computing department is dedicated to student progress and we strive to offer a dynamic curriculum, after all this is a dynamic and forever changing subject. We endeavour to harness student potential by challenging their knowledge and encouraging their problem solving skills. Staff development plays an important role in this process, all members of the department are encouraged to develop their specialisms and expand their own teaching practice. We are a supportive and collaborate team, committed to teaching and learning and facilitating student progress.
THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT - HOD – Keith Walden
The Music Department (part of the Performing Arts Department) at Pershore High School has an excellent record of examination success at both GCSE and A-Level. We are committed to providing the pupils we teach a broad, practical, creative and balanced education that promotes both a love of the subject and love of learning.
There are two full-time teachers of Music within the department and we work closely with a supportive team of visiting peripatetic teachers from Severn Arts and private individuals who deliver a wide variety of instrumental and vocal lessons to a large number of pupils.
Lessons are delivered in two music classrooms which are both extremely well-equipped to deliver a practical and engaging music curriculum from Y8-Y13. One classroom is set up for pupils to develop their performing skills and learners work using keyboards, guitars, African drums and with the voice both individually and in groups. The other music classroom is equipped with a suite of Apple Mac computers and pupils use software such as GarageBand, Sibelius and Logic Pro X to develop paired and individual composition and sequencing work. We also benefit from both a practice room and additional recording room equipped with 5 more Apple Mac computers and a range of recording equipment.
Nearby, is a Drama Studio, equipped with sound and lighting systems, used for both the curriculum teaching of Drama and for small-scale productions and other presentations. There is also a Performing Arts Technician who provides support as and when required. We work closely with the Drama team and collaborate producing the annual school production which typically engages around 100 pupils in school as performers, musicians and technical crew.
We teach in mixed ability groups across all Key Stages, thus motivating all students to achieve at the highest possible level. At Key Stage 3 pupils benefit from 2 hours tuition per fortnight. At Key Stage 4 this rises to 5 hours per fortnight and we currently deliver GCSE Music following the Edexcel specification. At KS5 we offer up to 9 hours tuition per fortnight and this is also delivered following the Edexcel A-Level Music specification. All pupils are encouraged to become involved in practical music-making and pupils have the opportunity to perform as part of our 4-part choir, as a member of our orchestra or in their own informal ensembles. All these ensembles are open to all levels of ability and music is arranged to meet every performers individual needs. We pride ourselves on supporting pupils outside of the classroom and pupils take the opportunity to receive additional guidance with their work in non-lesson times.
The Department has worked with many trainee teachers in recent years and is fully committed to ensuring success on the course providing a tailored programme of support to meet the individual needs of each trainee. We are a supportive, welcoming and experienced department that takes pride in our students’ achievements, ensuring that they are well-rounded, confident, creative and enthusiastic individuals who are fully equipped for their future.
THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT - HOD – Natalie Keogh
The English Department at Pershore High School has an enviable reputation and a proven record of success at both G.C.S.E. and ‘A’ Level. We are committed to providing all students with a challenging and stimulating curriculum that not only focuses on creativity but also the grammar and language skills that are so essential for life long success.
All students benefit from a generous allocation of time and staffing in the subject; the needs of every student are catered for, as programmes of study are individually tailored. There are currently seven full-time specialist teachers of English; we also benefit from an experienced intervention teacher, plus specialist TA.
Teaching is undertaken in a group of rooms (on the quad) with easy access to our two stock-rooms and workroom. Nearby, is a Drama Studio, equipped with sound and lighting systems, used for both the curriculum teaching of Drama and for small-scale productions and other presentations. In addition, we have ready access to suites of ICT rooms, as well as Departmental laptops.
We teach in mixed ability groups across all Key Stages, thus motivating all students to achieve at the highest possible level. As we start at Year 8, we have extremely cordial relationships with colleagues in our feeder Middle Schools. At Key Stage 3, our programmes of study are constantly evolving but have at their heart the skills that are required for G.C.S.E. English and English Literature. We have a clearly structured pathway that gradually challenges analytical reading and writing skills throughout the years. In addition, we have library lessons each fortnight where we have adopted the Accelerated Reading Programme in order to foster a love of reading. Our librarian also arranges author visits, workshops and competitions, ensuring that the library maintains its high status as a hub of learning. At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA specification and all students study both English and English Literature. The Department constantly seeks ways to share good practice; we regularly review our approach to the more rigorous, increasingly demanding G.C.S.E. specification.
We have a thriving Sixth Form and offer both A’ level Literature and A’ Level Literature and Language: in both subjects, we follow AQA courses. There are nine lessons per fortnight in Year 12 and in Year 13 and once again, we take a collaborative approach, ensuring high quality assessment, teaching and learning.
We are an ambitious department both for ourselves (constantly seeking ways to develop professionally) and also for our students; we set high standards across the board. In this way, we offer many enrichment opportunities for all students from theatre visits to creative writing. In addition, we have an exceptional record in both debating and public speaking. Our Sixth Form benefits from trips to the Battlefields and Paris as well as enjoying such cultural delights as Poetry and Pimm’s.
The Department has worked with many trainee teachers in recent years and is fully committed to ensuring success on the course. We are a supportive, welcoming and experienced department. Without doubt, we take pride in our students’ achievements, ensuring that they are well-rounded, confident, literate individuals who are fully equipped for their future.