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.
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 Civilisation is offered as a GCSE. The topics studied are Homer’s Odyssey, Medea by Euripides, Pompeii and the Archaeology of Roman Britain. We have a full programme of trips including Fishbourne Roman Palace and museums and plays in London. The highlight is a trip to the Bay of Naples to study the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum buried in AD 79 by the eruption of Vesuvius. On a packed itinerary the pupils also get the chance to climb Vesuvius and visit Capri.
Computer Science is offered at GCSE following the AQA exam board. There are two exam papers and a programming project. The exam papers consist of questions about Programming, the Hardware of a Computer, Networking, Cyber Security and Binary Mathematics. The Programming Project consists of solving a problem such as a "password generator and password checker". Students then write up the analysis, create flowcharts, test the program, annotate the code and write the evaluation.
BTEC ICT is also offered and that is an equivalent to one GCSE. Topics include Creating a Digital Portfolio, Creating a website in the Dreamweaver editor and Learning About the Online World.
Design & Technology is taught in all form groups at Key Stage 3 and is an option subject at GCSE. At GCSE, pupils are entered for AQA Design and Technology. Class sizes are generally small.
Pupils enjoy three purpose built rooms; the Design Studio is equipped with 13 computers 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. Pupils also have access to five laptops which are equipped with the same software as the main computers.
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.
Key Stage 3 covers foundation topics and skills which pupils will need for GCSE. At GCSE we study Development, Coastal Processes and Tectonic activity, amongst other topics. A broad range of skills are developed at GCSE and fieldwork is an integral part of Geography and in addition to local fieldwork and day trips there are residential trips.
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 Club, 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 MyMaths homework.
All students are entered into Edexcel’s GCSE Mathematics A Linear Course. This course aims to be complete by the end of January 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. The top set is also entered for AQA’s Certificate of Further Mathematics, which stretches and challenges them to a level above GCSE. Last year we achieved a 94% A* - C pass rate at 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 we follow the AQA specification which explores two world religions and four ethical themes, covering a wide range of social and moral issues. Those not opting for a GCSE in this subject will follow an accredited ‘Philosophy, Religion and Ethics’ course in Year 11 where they will have a chance to cover some of the same areas.
In Years 7 and 8 all pupils follow a course in PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health, Economic, and Education) which delivers across a wide range of life related topics. It is a programme through which pupils acquire knowledge, skills and understanding with which to manage their lives both in the immediate present and in the future. The focus is upon the provision of information with which pupils can make informed, personal choices and decisions.
All pupils in Year 9 and 10 study for an AQA Certificate in Personal and Social Education (5800). To be awarded a certificate in PSHEE pupils need to complete a minimum of seven units. Each unit is in the form of a workbook on a wide range of subjects including, amongst others: Sex and Relationships Education, Personal Finance, Emotional Wellbeing and Healthy Lifestyles.
PSHEE contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions.
Key Stage 3 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 extra-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.
Key Stage 4 and GCSE Physical Education and Filming Pupil Performances
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. 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.
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.
For Science, pupils are taught in form groups in Year 7 and in teaching sets from Year 8. Pupils will either study separate sciences with GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics while the others will be expected to take combined science, which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs. Some will take combined Science, which is equivalent to 2 GCSEs. The department enjoys five designated Science laboratories.
Years 7 & 8 pupils are following the Activate course by Oxford University Press. The course covers the new KS3 National Curriculum in Years 7 & 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 The rest of the pupils continue with combined sciences in Year 10 and will sit two exams in each of the three sciences to obtain two GCSEs in Combined science.