Ewell Castle School offers a broad academic curriculum. At Key Stage 3 (11-13 years) pupils from our Preparatory School are joined by others from local junior and primary schools at age 11, and a further entry is welcomed from other preparatory schools at age 13. At both junctures, we establish high and challenging standards, and develop the skills that pupils will need in order to tackle the examination courses ahead. At Key Stage 4 (14-16 years) academic expectations in relation to academic work reach new levels as work continues in preparation for GCSE examinations. Monitoring systems - tracking, reporting and self-appraisal - play a significant part in target setting and improved performance achievement.
Setting by ability in the Senior School within some of our classes helps support the learning of all pupils. In Year 7 English and Science pupils are taught in mixed ability groups and are subsequently placed into sets based on ability in Year 8. In mathematics, pupils in Year 7 are initially taught in mixed ability groups and then placed into sets after the first 6 weeks. Creative subjects such as Art and Drama are taught in mixed ability groups.
Please see the Year 9 GCSE Options Guide below
Please see the Year 11 Revision Guide below
The More Able, Gifted and Talented are catered for at Ewell Castle Senior School by regular meetings with Scholars, subject nominated students and those that have scored within the top 15% in their year group in external testing (MidYIS, YELLIS, ALIS).
The MAGT students are expected to attend meetings within morning registration time to discuss an array of strategies in which to support them, after school events such as guest speakers and to represent their subject such as at open mornings.
There is an opportunity for Scholars to embark on Foundation Project Qualification or Higher Project Qualification aimed at GCSE pupils and Extended Project Qualification for A-Level students.
The curriculum at Ewell Castle Senior School, whilst broadly based on the National Curriculum for England and Wales, embeds opportunities for more able pupils at every Key Stage. At Key Stage 4, for example, more able mathematicians are offered the opportunity of studying Further Mathematics as an additional subject; an opportunity also available to gifted Key Stage 5 mathematicians, for whom A Level Further Mathematics is also available. Similarly, at Key Stage 4, separate GCSE Science is offered to the more able in Years 10 and 11. In order to further provide for the needs of more able, gifted and talented pupils, subject teachers will also develop differentiated activities to extend and enrich their learning. Ultimately this promotes high achievement and ensures that even the most able pupils continually strive to make good progress.
There are also opportunities for the more able outside of the curriculum and outside of the classroom. Sports Scholarships and the ECSports Academy encourage gifted and talented sports performers. The Geography Department oversees the Geographical Association’s World Wise Quiz, a regional competition for more able KS3 pupils. The Maths Department organise and enter their more able pupils into National Maths Challenge competitions (both individual and group) run by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust. The Science Department offer the C3L6 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge to the more able pupils. For the more able Sixth Form chemistry students we also offer GoKart club (by invitation only) where students design and build from scratch a working GoKart. In addition the Level 2 Higher Project Qualification (for more able Year 9s) and the Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (for more able Sixth Formers) offers the opportunity for pupils to undertake a project-based assessment in a personal area of interest. Finally, although available to all pupils, the "Castle Society" offers a diverse range of thought-provoking lectures delivered throughout the year by staff and visiting speakers; these are aimed at broadening pupils’ intellectual experiences and, as such, particularly appeal to our more able pupils.
Ewell Castle School provides a differentiated curriculum which by its very nature pays close attention to the needs of the individual facilitated by small class sizes. We are inclusive in our approach and those pupils, who the School believes would benefit from the education that Ewell Castle is able to provide, will not be denied access because of a special educational need or disability (See Admissions Policy).
We are currently a team of four Learning Support Teachers (including the SENCo), each holding a Certificate or Diploma in SpLD and five Learning Support Assistants.
We have access to a peripatetic Speech and Language Therapist and also to a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Counsellor.
We provide Learning Support in the following ways:
- Identifying and assessing individual students’ needs through screening and/ or assessments by specialist teachers. Referrals to the department are encouraged from staff and parents/ guardians.
- Support teaching through individual or small group tuition led by specialist teachers.
- Bespoke training for all subject staff so that they are able to respond to the needs of the student and differentiate appropriately.
- Monitoring of individual progress and planning of interventions at relevant stages.
- Some in class support, where resources allow, from Learning Support Assistants whose range of skills support students directly and indirectly whilst also assisting staff and liaising with parents/ guardians.
Individual/ Small Group Tuition
These are bespoke sessions delivered in response to initial assessment and in liaison with subject teachers.
To facilitate this, in the lower school, a student is withdrawn from an agreed subject, usually the Arts or by opting to take one rather than two modern languages.
In the upper school, the students can choose to take Learning Support as one of their options thus securing one session with a specialist teacher and two sessions delivered by a Learning Support Assistant. These latter sessions are useful for extension work in Literacy or Maths or to meet the rigorous demands of coursework during the GCSE years. Alternatively, the student can opt for a shorter lesson before or after school.
Individual/Group Tuition sessions are charged at an extra cost, excepting those led by Learning Support Assistants.
Mrs S Bailey BEd, CELTA, Dip SpLD Head of Senior School Learning Support
Most EAL students will be taught English out of mainstream English classes in small groups or individually, by specialist EAL teachers. There will be a charge for this provision (see Fees). There will be a small number of EAL students who arrive at Ewell Castle with excellent English and they are able to fit immediately into mainstream English classes preparing for Key Stage 3 – KS3 (age 14) or GCSE – KS4 (age 16) assessments. The school will determine the need for extra English.
The provision made ensures that the majority of EAL students will be working towards the International GCSE (IGCSE) at the end of Year 11 (Some students may be in mainstream classes by this stage and will take the ordinary GCSE English qualification exam) IGCSE is an accepted entry qualification by most Colleges and Universities. Students in the Sixth Form (Year 12 & 13) can be prepared for International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
In Years 7 & 8 EAL students are tutored individually or in small groups. Progress of the students is monitored closely by the EAL teacher and the Head of the English Department. In Year 7 EAL students do not follow an exam course. This is considered to be a bridging year of consolidation in the subject to foster confidence and prepare students for the two-year Preliminary English Test (PET) course which is followed in Years 8 and 9. This course is administered by the University of Cambridge (ESOL) and corresponds to level B1 of the Common European Framework. The course provides an ideal stepping stone to the challenging two-year IGCSE English as a Second Language course which is sat in Year 11.
In Years 10 & 11EAL students who do not qualify for the mainstream (GCSE) classes follow the IGCSE English (English as an additional language option) course in a group specifically focused upon the IGCSE exam. There is no literature aspect in this course and there is an emphasis upon the practical use of English. In Years 12 & 13the individual or small group work continues and the course(s) are tailored to the individual needs and aptitude. Particular courses will be either IGCSE or IELTS – both recognised by universities and colleges.