The Curriculum & Subjects
Ewell Castle School offers a broad academic curriculum, which is underpinned by EC Skills for the 21st century, an inspiring programme which focuses on nurturing and achieving skills for a modern world and achieving each child's potential.
To view the individual subject Programme of Study as well as information on Text Books and Study Aids for each subject, click on the plus signs below.
The Art Department benefits from two open plan art rooms with facilities for painting, drawing, print making, 3D work and many more materials. At GCSE pupils are able to produce coursework continuously through sketchbooks, homework and practical work from the beginning of the course gaining vital marks towards their result. In all units of work we encourage pupils to visit galleries and exhibitions.
The School really is a place to capture the imagination and inspire young people. Art clubs and workshops are a part of everyday life and our upper school pupils are regularly found in the Art Department enjoying private study. Arts Week provides the Senior School pupils with the opportunity to engage in different forms of creativity and the week-long events, visits, performances and competitions are a fantastic opportunity for pupils to enjoy and engage with new creative mediums which enrich them academically and socially.
Years 10-11 pupils study the Edexcel GCSE Business course. In Year 10, pupils are introduced to starting up a business, which includes key aspects of marketing, finance, human resources, meeting customer needs, and the wider economic context within which start-up businesses operate. In Year 11, pupils focus on issues affecting the development of existing businesses.
Classical Civilization is offered throughout the School. At KS3 pupils broaden their education by studying aspects of the Classical World including Pompeii the Odyssey and the Roman invasion of Britain. For GCSE they study Myth and Religion and War and Warfare looking at both Greece and Rome. At A Level they study the Aeneid, the Odyssey, Greek Drama and Politics of the Late Roman Republic. We have a full program of trips including Fishbourne Roman Palace, the British Museum and plays in London. Pupils have also visited the Bay of Naples.
At KS3 pupils are taught three general topics. Those topics are Computer Science, ICT and E-safety. Computer Science topics include how computers work and how to programme them and they will experience block based and text-based programming languages. ICT topics generally cover how to use software packages including but not limited to the Microsoft Office 365 suite. E-safety is concerned with how student can remain safe in the digital world.
Computer Science is offered at GCSE following the AQA exam board. There are two written exam papers, Computational thinking and programming skills and Computing concepts.
Paper 1 covers topics such as computational thinking, code tracing, problem-solving, programming concepts including the design of effective algorithms and the designing, writing, testing and refining of code.
Paper 2 covers data representation, computer systems, networks, cyber security, databases and legal considerations.
Design & Technology is taught in all form groups at Key Stage 3 and is an option subject at GCSE and A-level. At GCSE, pupils are entered for AQA Design and Technology and for A-level, students are entered for Edexcel Product Design. Class sizes are generally small.
Pupils enjoy three purpose built rooms; the Design Studio is equipped with 20 laptops running industry standard design software ‘Solidworks’ along with Adobe’s and Microsoft’s creative suite of software; Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint, Word etc and 2D vector software. All computers are linked to the room’s A3 printer. Teachers have the ability to teach wirelessly with their iPads in the Design Studio thanks to the AppleTV connected to the projector. Sixth form students have access to their own Design Studio which has 7 computers that are equipped with the same software as the laptops.
The Prototype workshop is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printer, milling machines, metal and wood turning lathes and forge, along with other machines facilitating work in various materials including wood, metal, plastics, and fibreglass.
Drama is a very popular subject at Ewell Castle with class sizes being small in order to give great attention to each pupil’s creative development. All teaching includes both practical and theory on theatre, practitioners and dramatic techniques. There are many opportunities both in class and extra-curricular to develop ones acting, directing, script-writing and technical skills.
The department offers pupils the opportunity to be in senior school productions, House Drama Competitions, Christmas Cabarets, Drama Reviews and Arts Festivals. In addition, pupils can take LAMDA exams. Those who pursue drama further in GCSE and A Level will be in many more performances. Recent productions include: Shakespeare in Hollywood, by Ken Ludwig, The Ladykillers, by Graham Lineham, Whodunnit by Anthony Shaffer, The Hypochondriac by Molière and Fools by Neil Simon.
All classes are taught by staff who have trained professionally at leading Drama schools including RADA, and with the wealth of teaching knowledge and experience the standards of pupil’s work is very high. The subject is taught from Years 7 to 13, including GCSE and A Level.
A wide range of theatrical genres, periods, practitioners and approaches to the theatre, both Eastern and Western, are studied. Some of the topics we teach are: Circus Skills, Physical theatre, Commedia dell’Arte, Mask Work, Devising, Stanislavski, Artaud, Brecht, Character Study and Visual Storytelling. In addition to in-house productions there are frequent theatre trips to The West end and local theatres. Some highlights of late have been: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, King Lear, Things I Know to be True, Blood Brothers, Othello, One Man Two Guvnors, The Believers and The Play That Always Goes Wrong.
The ethos in the Drama Department is one of promoting confidence and individual self-expression with a great focus paid to the wellbeing and personal development of each individual student. All the skills taught valuable and transferrable skills that pupils will need for the future.
We are now offering LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) qualifications to a selection of Year 7 & 9 pupils.
All pupils in Years 7,8 and 9 will study a class novel, a poetry collection, a drama text, non-fiction reading and writing skills as well as creative writing each academic year. These texts vary between classes and will be selected based on the preferences and requirements of each individual class.
Once a week, every Key Stage Three class will also have a dedicated Literacy lesson, covering the Literacy topics outlined below, as well as providing time for private reading.
Geography is a highly favoured subject to study at Ewell Castle School. Through this versatile subject, pupils learn to apply skills which bridge the gap between the Sciences and the Arts. Geographers plan for our future but are respectful of our past. No wonder geographers are found in so many different types of industries post university.
Key Stage 3 covers foundation topics and skills which pupils need for a successful experience at GCSE. GCSE Geography in turn lays the foundation for A'Level Geography to ensure our pupils are confident in topic areas such as Development, Coastal Processes and Tectonic activity, amongst others.
A broad range of skills are developed at GCSE and fieldwork is an integral part of this. We offer at least two days off-site fieldwork to all of our GCSE Geographers.
History is a highly regarded subject at Ewell Castle and one that the pupils thoroughly enjoy. We have an integrated programme where we instil an interest in the subject and develop key skills.
In Year 7 we study Medieval England starting with the battle of Hastings. In Year 8 we look at the Tudors and Stuarts. In Year 9 we study international affairs between 1900 and 1945 focusing on the two world wars and the interwar period. During those three years we also find time to look at Roman Britain, the Industrial Revolution, and the Wild West.
For GCSE we offer a two year Edexcel course. We look at The Cold War, Nazi Germany, The Norman Conquest and 1000 years of Crime and Punishment focusing on the Whitechapel murders.
At Key Stage 3, pupils are taught how to effectively use applications packages such as Word processing, Spreadsheets, Databases, Emails, Website development and programming through Python, Scratch and GameMaker. At the end of Key Stage 3 pupils sit an external ‘Functional Skills’ examination with OCR at Levels 1 and 2. This gives the pupils a valuable ICT qualification even if they choose not to take Computer Science GCSE or A Level. At Key Stage 4 we currently offer a GCSE course in Computer Science comprising of two units. This offers pupils the opportunity to do some practical programming and create a computer solution to a given problem. Pupils are also taught the fundamental principles of computing. We also offer a BTEC ICT Level 2 qualification for those who do not want to go down the programming route.
The Mathematics staff at Ewell Castle are highly experienced and utilise both traditional and modern approaches in their teaching with the department priding itself on meeting the needs of each individual pupil. All classrooms are fitted with state of the art equipment including electronic whiteboards with some classes being taught in computer rooms in order to develop an understanding of the ever more relevant computational aspects of mathematics. Mathematics Clinic, a weekly drop in session, aims to assist students struggling with their homework, unsure about a new topic or trying to improve assessment marks. Beyond this, students who need further help are encouraged to arrange to see a teacher on a one to one basis.
Students are entered in a variety of Mathematics competitions with Ewell Castle having a strong history of excellent scores, with several having qualified for Olympiad competitions. We also take students to conferences, visits and lectures when appropriate.
Students are placed in sets in Year 7 based on assessments during the first half term. However, students are moved up and down sets as necessary. All sets follow a common syllabus with extension work encouraged for the more able students.
Collins Frameworking books are used as our key textbooks but are heavily supplemented from external resources and our own material. Students are extended with UKMT Mathematics Challenges and extension work where applicable. Two homeworks are set per week, a written and a Sparx homework.
All students are entered into Edexcel’s IGCSE Mathematics A Linear Course (9-1). This course aims to be complete by February Half Term in Year 11, giving ample time for revision during Year 11. Lower sets are typically classes of eight so that these students are able to receive attention on a more individual level and some will sit Foundation level. Many of the top set are also entered for AQA’s Certificate of Further Mathematics and GCSE Statistics, which stretches and challenges them to a level above GCSE.
In Years 7 and 8 all pupils are taught Spanish and French. In Year 9 the pupils can choose to either continue with both Spanish and French or to concentrate on one foreign language. Both languages can be taken at GCSE and A-level. Regular events include the annual celebration of the European Day of Languages involving food sampling and a variety of school-wide games and house competitions, as well as the hosting of theatre plays performed in Spanish and French by professional native actors.
Curriculum Music lessons are taught in Years 7 and 8 and the subject becomes optional thereafter. One lesson per week is taught at Key Stage 3 and three lessons at Key Stage 4.
We provide a wide range of musical instrument tuition to any student who wishes to learn an instrument at any standard. There are a variety of musical groups and ensembles, which include: Chapel Choir; Senior A Capella Choir; Guitar Ensemble; Chamber Ensemble; Big Band; Pop Choir; Percussion Ensemble and Discovery Band. Pupils are encouraged to organise their own smaller bands and may use the facilities to practise at their own leisure.
The Music Department hosts a weekly concert series in-house, an annual large-scale musical production performed at the Epsom Playhouse, an annual Christmas Cabaret at The Bourne Hall and an annual choral and instrumental concert at St Mary's Church as well as several other impressive events through the year. Our bi-annual music tour has seen our Chapel Choir perform at Notre Dame Cathedral and Cologne Cathedral.
Key Stage 3 pupils explore a range of topics across six major world religions. At GCSE (KS4) we follow the AQA specification which explores two world religions and four ethical themes, covering a wide range of social and moral issues.
PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education is a school curriculum subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future.
PSHE education helps pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepared for life – and work – in modern Britain. PSHE also helps pupils to achieve their academic potential.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) Physical Education & Games
At Key Stage 3 teaching groups are split via form group – leading to small group sizes and individual coaching, with Games afternoons taking place with a year group at a time. The philosophy of the Physical Education Department is to develop pupils who strive for sporting excellence, whilst developing a genuine interest and enjoyment of physical exercise and sport, be it in a recreational or competitive manner. This aim is reflected not only in team games for which the major games are Rugby, Association Football and Cricket, but also by the opportunities to partake in sports such as: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Cross Country, Golf, Hockey, Sailing, and Volleyball. The department runs an extensive school sport programme including co-curricular clubs and practices, as well as a large intra- House fixture calendar. The school benefits from a large Sports Hall with indoor cricket nets, Astroturf tennis courts, and fields on site.
KS3 Girls PE includes: Basketball, Fitness, Badminton, Hockey, Athletics and Dance (optional)
KS3 Girls Games includes: Football, Rugby, Netball, Cricket (all with competitive fixtures)
Key Stage 4 (Year 10) Physical Education & Games
At Key Stage 4 pupils can enjoy games afternoons as an opportunity to develop key techniques and game play within our major sports, and to represent Ewell Castle at school level.
KS4 Year 10 Girls Games includes: Football, Rugby, Netball, Cricket (all with competitive fixtures)
Key Stage 4 (Year 11) Physical Education & Games
At Key Stage 4 pupils can enjoy games afternoons as an opportunity to develop key techniques and game play within our major sports, and to represent Ewell Castle at school level.
KS4 Year 11 Girls Games includes: Netball, Cricket (all with competitive fixtures). The following are optional: Golf, Gym/fitness, tennis, softball, rounders
Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13) Games
At Key Stage 5 pupils can enjoy games afternoons as an opportunity to develop key techniques and game play within our major sports, and to represent Ewell Castle at school level.
KS5 Years 12 and 13 Girls Games includes: Netball, Cricket (all with competitive fixtures). The following are optional: Golf, Gym/fitness, tennis, softball, rounders
All Senior School pupils require a pair of sports boots
Pupils will need a pair of boots that can be used for both football and rugby. So long as they have safety studs or blades that is fine. All sports shops sell boots that comply with governing body regulations. Pupils will not need a separate pair for each sport. Girls and boys will need these as all our pupils take part in football and rugby. The boots are needed between September and March each year.
Pupils may also elect to study GCSE Physical Education to enhance their understanding both on a practical level and in theory content as well. Developing practical performances in many sports including coaching, officiating and organising sports events are life skills the pupils will experience during the course. The course is assessed through written examinations and centre assessed practical performance which may be off-site away from Ewell Castle School.
GCSE PE and Filming Pupil Performances
GCSE PE has a practical component which forms part of the non examined assessment. Any pupil choosing to take GCSE PE will need to provide video footage, showing performances in their chosen sporting activities (if these are not sports that take place at school or if they play to a high level outside of school). The exam board suggests that each pupil has a variety of recordings of each of their chosen activities to ensure that they are able to show themselves performing at the highest level.
Notes on Girls Sport at Ewell Castle School
Team sports are not co-educational but PE lessons are co-educational (girls and boys together). Games lessons are not co-educational but co-curricular sports activities such as trampolining, football and cricket nets are co-educational (girls and boys together).
In Science, pupils are taught in Form groups in Year 7 and in teaching sets from Year 8. Pupils will either study separate Sciences with 3 GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or Combined Science, which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs. The department enjoys five designated Science laboratories. GCSE Science is started in Year 9 and some pupils will be invited to progress to separate Science GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will work through the Separate Science syllabus from Year 10. Other pupils will continue with Combined Sciences in Year 10.
Years 7 & 8 pupils are following the Activate course by Oxford University Press. The course covers the new Key Stage 3 National Curriculum in Years 7 and 8.
The School follows the AQA Trilogy specification. GCSE Science is started in Year 9. Pupils will be invited to progress separate Science GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will work through the Separate Science syllabus from Year 10. Some pupils will continue with Combined Sciences in Year 10.