ICT and Computing - HOD – Hannah Rhodes
Students at Pershore High School study a wide range of units at Key Stage 3; we offer traditional ICT units as well as Computer Science based ones. All students have one lesson a week and mainly have one teacher.
At key stage 4 students can either opt to study Creative iMedia or GCSE Computer Science with OCR. Both courses are very popular; we currently have two classes of iMedia students in year 10 and 11, and one teacher teaches each class. This is a coursework focused qualification and therefore monitoring and tracking is central to ensure students’ progress. We also have two groups of GCSE Computer Science in year 10, and one in year 11. GCSE Computer Science is a fairly new subject to the school and is growing in popularity.
At key stage 5 we offer students A Level Computer Science (OCR) and Cambridge Technicals in Digital Media. Key stage 5 is delivered between the team, specifications are divided, groups are shared and tracking pupil progress is done centrally. Digital Media seems to be a popular option for our students, group sizes are between 10 and 14 students. Our sixth form students are enthusiastic about our subject and many continue into University courses or apprenticeship schemes. Last year’s Computer science group saw two of our students secure apprenticeships with GCHQ. Each year we get a small collection of students who study both options with us.
The department consists of three full time teachers, and collaboration is key. The Head of ICT and Computing is very active in encouraging staff to develop their expertise and play a full role in the work of the department. Good practice is shared, all Schemes of Work, resources, specifications, tracking sheets are centralised and are used and developed by all staff.
The ICT and Computing department is dedicated to student progress and we strive to offer a dynamic curriculum, after all this is a dynamic and forever changing subject. We endeavour to harness student potential by challenging their knowledge and encouraging their problem solving skills. Staff development plays an important role in this process, all members of the department are encouraged to develop their specialisms and expand their own teaching practice. We are a supportive and collaborate team, committed to teaching and learning and facilitating student progress.
THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT - HOD – Keith Walden
The Music Department (part of the Performing Arts Department) at Pershore High School has an excellent record of examination success at both GCSE and A-Level. We are committed to providing the pupils we teach a broad, practical, creative and balanced education that promotes both a love of the subject and love of learning.
There are two full-time teachers of Music within the department and we work closely with a supportive team of visiting peripatetic teachers from Severn Arts and private individuals who deliver a wide variety of instrumental and vocal lessons to a large number of pupils.
Lessons are delivered in two music classrooms which are both extremely well-equipped to deliver a practical and engaging music curriculum from Y8-Y13. One classroom is set up for pupils to develop their performing skills and learners work using keyboards, guitars, African drums and with the voice both individually and in groups. The other music classroom is equipped with a suite of Apple Mac computers and pupils use software such as GarageBand, Sibelius and Logic Pro X to develop paired and individual composition and sequencing work. We also benefit from both a practice room and additional recording room equipped with 5 more Apple Mac computers and a range of recording equipment.
Nearby, is a Drama Studio, equipped with sound and lighting systems, used for both the curriculum teaching of Drama and for small-scale productions and other presentations. There is also a Performing Arts Technician who provides support as and when required. We work closely with the Drama team and collaborate producing the annual school production which typically engages around 100 pupils in school as performers, musicians and technical crew.
We teach in mixed ability groups across all Key Stages, thus motivating all students to achieve at the highest possible level. At Key Stage 3 pupils benefit from 2 hours tuition per fortnight. At Key Stage 4 this rises to 5 hours per fortnight and we currently deliver GCSE Music following the Edexcel specification. At KS5 we offer up to 9 hours tuition per fortnight and this is also delivered following the Edexcel A-Level Music specification. All pupils are encouraged to become involved in practical music-making and pupils have the opportunity to perform as part of our 4-part choir, as a member of our orchestra or in their own informal ensembles. All these ensembles are open to all levels of ability and music is arranged to meet every performers individual needs. We pride ourselves on supporting pupils outside of the classroom and pupils take the opportunity to receive additional guidance with their work in non-lesson times.
The Department has worked with many trainee teachers in recent years and is fully committed to ensuring success on the course providing a tailored programme of support to meet the individual needs of each trainee. We are a supportive, welcoming and experienced department that takes pride in our students’ achievements, ensuring that they are well-rounded, confident, creative and enthusiastic individuals who are fully equipped for their future.
THE GEOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT - Joint HODs – Amy Knight and Stephanie Manifold
The Geography Department at Pershore High School has a solid reputation and a proven record at both G.C.S.E. and ‘A’ Level. We are committed to providing all students with a challenging and stimulating curriculum that connects them with the world and creates global citizens.
There are currently three full-time specialist teachers of Geography and we benefit from a specialist TA. We teach in a purpose built Humanities block, with geography occupying the majority of the top floor. We have a shared room of laptops and a workroom for staff and this contributes to the collaborative atmosphere within the faculty.
We teach in mixed ability groups across Key Stage 4, and students are loosely set in the younger years. As we start at Year 8, we have extremely cordial relationships with colleagues in our feeder Middle Schools and we have communicated schemes of work that are used in all three schools. At Key Stage 3, our programmes of study are constantly evolving but have at their heart the skills that are required for G.C.S.E. Geography. We have a clearly structured pathway that gradually challenges cartographic, graphical and writing skills throughout the years. At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA specification and student numbers are consistently high, with five teaching classes per year. The Department constantly seeks ways to share good practice; we regularly review our approach to the more rigorous, increasingly demanding G.C.S.E. specification.
We have a thriving Sixth Form and offer A-level Geography. We follow the AQA course. There are nine lessons per fortnight in Year 12 and in Year 13 and once again, we take a collaborative approach, ensuring high quality assessment, teaching and learning across both physical and human geography.
We believe that geography is best learnt both in and out of the classroom and we run a number of fieldtrips in all Key Stages. Year 8 visit the coast for an introduction to fieldwork; whilst in Key Stage 4 we cover river and urban fieldwork in line with the specification requirements. At A-level, we visit Dorset and cover a range of fieldwork skills to prepare our students for the independent NEA.
The Department has worked with many trainee teachers and NQT’s in recent years and is fully committed to ensuring success on the course. We are a supportive, welcoming and experienced department. Without doubt, we take pride in our students’ achievements, ensuring that they are well-rounded, confident, globally aware individuals who are fully equipped for their future.