Whitley Bay High School’s aim is to develop:
- Happy, self-confident, life-long learners
- Learners ready to embrace change
- Learners who make a positive difference to the local and global community
This will be achieved through our innovative and inclusive approach to Teaching and Learning alongside our supportive pastoral system.
Consequently, our curriculum enriches our ethos and vision by supporting students to become committed, articulate, curious and happy learners who have the core knowledge and essential skills required for the evolving world they will live in.
Our curriculum has been deliberately academic for over 20 years, with students studying the core of Maths, English and Science for the majority of their timetable. Although compulsory at Key Stage 3, we advise most students to opt for a humanities subject at Key Stage 4 to facilitate and enhance their knowledge and academic skills.
Our leadership, staff and governors are passionate about a broad and balanced curriculum and we have protected the vast range we deliver to our students across all key stages at the school. At Key Stage 3, we have worked collaboratively with our transition schools to ensure there is progression and crucially no regression in students’ performance in their final year of study. We have deliberately decided against starting GCSE content at the beginning of Year 9, to continue to offer students the breadth they require at this age. In Year 9 we do choose to focus on developing the subject specific skills students will need to be successful at GCSE, whilst also providing challenging content to help inform and educate pupils of their potential option choices. Students will study up to two foreign languages, whilst also embracing the Arts, PE and technology subjects. This is further supplemented by our LEV (Learning, Enquiry, Values) lessons which include Personal, Social, Relationships and Sexual Health Education, Computing and Religious Studies. Our departments have also worked together to develop cross curricular links which have shaped our decisions regarding when we deliver appropriate content; facilitating students’ learning.
At Key Stage 4, we guide students to select four options (at least one of which will usually include a Humanities subject or Modern Foreign Language). This allows us to offer a curriculum to students that is personalised and builds upon their strengths, whilst providing breadth and depth. Indeed, students can select subjects that will have a large content of knowledge such as Business Studies, Computer Science or Religious Studies. Alternatively, students can choose subjects that develop performance skills such as Technology, Drama, Art, PE or Music.
Our Key Stage 5 curriculum continues to offer a large number of subjects that students can opt to study, which they can continue after achieving success in Year 11. However, there is the opportunity to study new and different courses after Key Stage 4. Most of our subjects that we offer are Academic Qualifications, however we offer an increasing number of Applied General or Vocational Qualifications.
Supplementing our curriculum is our unrivalled and vast range of extracurricular opportunities. We have a large number of international trips which include visits to Iceland, Russia, San Fransisco and New York. We also offer residential outdoor visits to Northumberland and the Lake District. Furthermore, there are opportunities for external accreditation in courses such as Duke of Edinburgh. Alongside this we have weekly sports, STEM, Art, Music, Drama (including several school productions) and Technology clubs. Whatever the interest, we cater for it at Whitley Bay High School and we firmly believe that our most successful students are our busiest.
We deliver our curriculum through the most recent and up to date evidence-informed teaching strategies. Our staff training focuses on our quality of delivery and includes methods from educationalists such as Barak Rosenshine and the Education Endowment Foundation. As well as enhancing students’ knowledge, we believe in developing confidence, collaboration and communication through emotionally intelligent methods which include Spencer Kagan’s Co-operative Learning and Mike Hughes’ Magenta Principles. We have led research projects on behalf of the Department for Education and as a result have implemented planning and assessment strategies that are impactful and manageable for our superb teaching staff. As a result, students will experience innovative and expert teaching, whilst receiving regular feedback in a variety of different forms, allowing progress to be made which frequently occurs through tasks designed to practise essential skills or to limit knowledge gaps.
Our Careers, Information, Advice and Guidance programme ensures outstanding information, advice and guidance to our students throughout their time at the school. This also ensures they can make an informed decision on suitable pathways once they leave school.
Students have 48 lessons per fortnight, each lesson lasting for one hour.
Please download the basic structure of our curriculum (below) for the relevant Key Stage, but more information can be found in the school and Sixth Form prospectuses.