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16/10/18

It may only be October but our PTA are busy planning the Christmas bazaar on Thursday 22nd November. Please come along to enjoy the Christmas cheer! https://t.co/CsgXv9AGpP

13/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
DfE

, the deadline to apply for a place for your child in 2019 is October 31 2018: https://t.co/OaxvfBEaWO https://t.co/Wsm8AMdtxp

13/10/18

Busy morning in school today. Our exceptional historians preparing for their exams this year https://t.co/5WOWNIs6Q1

11/10/18

We are proud to be open and serving our community. https://t.co/8FPCjY0tay

11/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
BMAT

. in on track to reach its target of 560 students by 2020. Full story - https://t.co/rcIgYeXZSI https://t.co/wDCw39ipxD

10/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
BBC Newsbeat

If you need advice on mental health related issues, please visit BBC Advice https://t.co/m96OL3qcWw

10/10/18

Amazing work from our eco club after school today! Our students really are exceptional and go the extra mile! https://t.co/rwEnZuLGIr

10/10/18

Tea and Talk - a chance to promote mental wellbeing and raise awareness the importance of looking after your mental health https://t.co/s151L5FReh

10/10/18

Great welcoming our Danish friends to FHS. Can’t wait for our exchange visit https://t.co/cgxJCg7jpT

08/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
BMAT

We've relaunched our termly magazine. Latitude - The magazine for BMAT Schools, Parents and Communities. Read the latest issue here - https://t.co/VvzQNalzNy https://t.co/XfJ6G3PmdY

06/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
Sport England

Parents play such a key role in supporting children to take part in sport and be active. Thank you https://t.co/6BkQlXeBsx https://t.co/ODrB8I8RAB

06/10/18

Rehearsals for our Aladdin production in full swing. Such dedication and passion on display! Well done to all involved https://t.co/sn8667W59p

06/10/18

A massive well done to our KS4 Geography students for their hard work this morning. The rain didn’t keep them away 🌧 https://t.co/EDrG3q2Hvc

04/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
National Poetry Day

Happy everyone! Enjoy the celebrations! https://t.co/0i8nPajjWL https://t.co/Y5y7ZYESwb

04/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
The Reading Agency

Are you excited for this week? One lucky person can win a full set of the recommended books for by writing a poem about this year's theme: change. Post your poem on Twitter by 4 October and tag us for the chance to win https://t.co/DBdprTqm7E

03/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
Mr. L. Davis

This afternoon, Ricky from is talking to our year 9 students about the differences between being homeless and having a home. Delivering some “home truths” to our students today. https://t.co/K90qhLqf4m

03/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
Mr. L. Davis

7 new cases of homeless every day last year. Today our Year 9s at are learning about some “Home Truths” with with the wonderful Ricky and Sarah. https://t.co/O6JVKJBwZH

03/10/18

Eco club busy planning our new garden area at school! https://t.co/HRJD1NluSe

02/10/18

Looking forward to Tea & Talk next Wednesday 10th October as part of mental health awareness https://t.co/fvNFvh6izl

02/10/18

Forest Hall School Retweeted
BMAT

TEEN RAISES MONEY IN RELATIVES' MEMORY - https://t.co/HtvdSpHzfq https://t.co/X2jgXzO1T3

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New Structure A Success

Posted: 17th October 2017

A unique school structure which sees students gaining GCSEs from the age of 13 has been hailed a huge success.

The Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT) launched a new curriculum two years ago which sees students in Year 9 and 10 at Forest Hall School take GCSE courses and exams early.

Students study two complete GCSE courses in one year, rather than the traditional three years, and enter Year 11 having already banked four GCSE qualifications.

The radical overhaul saw lessons for the upper school extended from 60 minutes to 100 minutes, with students devoting two whole days each week to their two GCSE options.

The move means students in Year 11 can focus more of their time and energy into the core subjects of English, maths and science. It also enables them to take a range of subjects without having to drop a core subject for one they may prefer, such as dance.

The school now offers 22 subjects, with photography and sociology recent additions because of the new structure, giving a much broader curriculum than before.

Anna Myatt, associate headteacher, said: “For a small school, we are now offering a really thorough curriculum, with real breadth of choice. We would not have that without this structure. Now, we can make the curriculum more bespoke for our students.

“Thanks to the 100-minute lessons, our teachers know their students really well and are able to meet their needs. We can get through a lot more content and go into topics much deeper with the longer lessons. Time is not lost moving between classrooms as often and we have the time to go out on trips without removing students from other lessons.

“We are seeing students in Year 9 securing A grades so our curriculum is allowing them to fulfil their full potential. It gives them real confidence going forward and into Year 11 where they take their core subjects.”

Students are assessed regularly and are advised to leave subjects which require high levels of literacy to the later years to allow for further development. Those who are not ready to take their GCSEs in Year 9 are offered vocational courses instead.

Year 7 and 8 continue with the traditional lesson structure because younger students benefit from the shorter sessions, while early interventions mean all students are expected to reach their absolute potential when they sit their GCSE exams from Year 9.

Unique curriculum impact across subjects -

Science

Brian Nichols, the subject leader of science, said: “The 100-minute lessons give us the opportunity to carry out a lot of assessment so we know by the end of a lesson exactly what students have learnt. We have time to do live marking so we can pick up immediately on any misconceptions, rather than it being left until the next lesson. That has a big impact on the progress students are making.

“Results have gone up year on year in science under the new curriculum. Having four options banked early means students have extra time to focus on their core subjects. This curriculum is a massive positive for science, English and maths.”

Performing arts

Siobhan White, drama and senior leader, said: “As a practical subject, it’s so valuable to have students in lesson for a longer period of time. We can deliver new information and have time to embed that into a practical setting, giving students a deeper understanding of the concept.

“It has blown my mind, particularly that we are getting Year 9 students through with such good grades. The expectation is on them to keep up with Year 11 and they rise to that challenge. I have been asked to write schemes of work for the exams board as a result of the success we are seeing here.”

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