Learning in the Secondary Years
Welcome to the Ascot Secondary Years
The Secondary school at Ascot encompasses Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 or ages 11 – 18 culminating in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The courses of study are built on solid foundations received in the primary school. At the heart of the curriculum is the desire for students to become adaptable lifelong learners in an increasingly changing world, we are preparing students for careers that may not yet exist! Topics are re-visited; ideas reinforced and extended, all within a framework that prepares students for taking the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in year 11 and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) in year 13.
The transition from Primary to Secondary starts in year 6 where students take part in lessons in the secondary building classrooms with the secondary teachers. The students have the opportunity to work with secondary teachers with specialist subject knowledge and take part in exciting lessons.This is to help ensure a smooth and successful transition and to support student engagement, progress and wellbeing.
At the heart of the secondary school is the pastoral system, which is underpinned by a comprehensive PSHE program and weekly assemblies, students get the opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and reflect on the week, as well as preparing for the one ahead.
Key Stage 3
The KS3 curriculum is based on preparing students to transition from primary school to being able to opt for their GCSEs at the end of year 9. KS3 gives students a strong foundation in discrete subjects as they become more specialised in their focus in KS4 and 5. In order to prepare for this at Ascot we focus on the acquisition of skills and knowledge that are transferable and reflect our values; collaboration, communication and respect.
In the first year of their education at KS3, students learn to become independent learners and develop study skills and a work ethic that will help them as they progress through the school.
English, Maths, Mandarin and Thai are banded and all other lessons are mixed ability and differentiated so all students can access the curriculum.
At Key Stage 3 (Years 7 - 9) all students take:
Key Stage 4
The academic programme that Ascot International School offers in Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4) builds upon the skills developed in Key Stage 3. All students are required to follow a two-year programme leading to the IGCSE. The curriculum includes the following core subjects: English, Mathematics, Combined/Coordinated Science and Thai. Students select three other subjects from the options choices available. Depending on the abilities of the students there are different pathways that each student can choose:
Combined or Coordinated Science (1 or 2 IGCSEs)
English Language 1st or 2nd Language
English as a 1st Language students can also study English Literature
Thai IGCSE 1st Language or Thai Language and cultural skills
Sit the Maths IGCSE at the end of year 10 or at the end of year 11
The curriculum in Years 10 and 11 encourages students to:
• Develop oral and practical skills;
• Develop an investigative approach;
• Use initiative to solve problems;
• Apply skills, knowledge and understanding;
• Undertake individual projects and learn to work as part of a team;
• Become more effective as independent learners.
IGCSE examinations are designed to be accessible to the whole ability range and results are graded from A*–G. Students who fail to reach the required standard receive a U whilst students showing outstanding ability receive an A*. Heads of Department select and determine the level of each course of study which is appropriate to each individual student. The subjects available to students in Key Stage 4 have been selected with the intention of providing a broad and balanced curriculum, a curriculum which provides an excellent foundation for the IB DP Programme. It is therefore imperative that students pursue their chosen subject areas to the best of their ability. Options subjects are:
Ascot is an International School and intercultural learning is an important aspect we try to reflect. Outside speakers, residential trips and festivals such as International Day all help students understand and appreciate the world around them.
Key Stage 5
In Years 12 and 13 (Key Stage 5) Ascot International School offers the IB Diploma programme. The programme aims to develop students to have an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge. The DP is made up of 6 subjects groups, plus the core subjects of Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay. Students must choose three subjects at higher level (4 hours of lessons per week) and three subjects at standard level (3 hours of lessons per week). The subjects offered here at Ascot are:
• Group 1 – Language and Literature: English A Language and Literature, Thai A Language and Literature
• Group 2 – Language Acquisition: English B, Mandarin B, Mandarin Ab Initio, French Ab Initio
• Group 3 – Individuals and Societies: Business Management, Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS)
• Group 4 – Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems and Societies, Computer Science
• Group 5 – Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches, Application and Interpretation
• Group 6 – The Arts/ Electives: Visual Arts, Music
At Ascot we have a very strong and supportive pastoral system that is designed to support our students’ emotional, personal and academic growth. At the heart of this is the form tutor; each student is assigned to a form tutor who will meet the students at the start of the day during the registration period. They will also meet together for an hour during the week where an assembly will take place and tutors will give out notices, set targets and check on student progress. After assessments, tutors will analyse results and performance in order to assist students in their improvement.
In addition there is a Personal, Social, Health and Education (PSHE) lesson which is one hour and timetabled within the school day.
If there are any issues that need to be addressed, subject teachers will contact tutors who will coordinate the appropriate response, which may be communicating with parents, the Assistant Head of Pastoral Care or the Secondary Headteacher.
Reports and Internal Exams
Reports give the opportunity for the teacher to assess each student so that students and parents can see how much progress is being made. There are 2 types of report, a data report and a written report.
At the end of each half term teacher’s will fill in a data report on each student they teach which shows how the students are currently doing in their lesson. The grade that will go on the report is in some cases an average of the work the students have done throughout that term or it can be based on the results of a recent test.
Ascot has 2 formal internal exam sessions every year these are in November and June. At KS3 the students will take 1 hour exams based on challenging assessment from the curriculum they have been following. At IGCSE students will sit a past IGCSE paper on content they have been covered so far, this will be marked according to the IGCSE mark scheme of the paper. For a diploma student they will take internal exams in each of their subjects based on a previous externally examined IB paper. These will be marked according to the IB mark schemes.
Data reports will go home at the end of each half term. At the start of each new term form tutors and students will be given an extra copy of their reports and will use it to fill in their progress passports. This is a time for students to reflect on the marks they are getting and think about what areas they need to improve on. Form tutors will have discussions with each student in their form on what their targets are.
At the end of each academic year parents will receive a written report. This will be written by the students form tutor and include comments about their academic progress throughout the year and comments of a pastoral nature.
2 written reports for year 11 – 13 will also be written by class teachers, 1 in October and 1 in February.