In apportioning time to the curriculum, Brooke Weston is conscious of the fact that its day and year are significantly longer than other schools. Consequently, students are able to spend more time on particular subjects or to take more subjects. Both possibilities are available.
An average school curriculum is based on 24 and 25 hours per week. This does not, of course, include tutor time and assemblies. The Brooke Weston curriculum is 31.25 hours per week and for seven or eight days more per year than local schools (this depends on Bank Holiday dates). The net effect of this is that our students study more than 325 extra hours each year.
Much of this extra time is absorbed in improving the quality of what is learned, but some is devoted to the quantity. The extra time in Years 7, 8 and 9 was allocated to broadening Key Stage 3 experiences in some subjects, with enhancement and bridging activities to GCSE level study in other subjects, such as business studies.
The investment of time into the core subjects identifies our priorities; it is in the subjects of English, mathematics and science that we encourage GCSE entry for everyone. In addition to this, all students should have already secured an OCR Level 2 National Certificate qualification in ICT, equivalent to 4 GCSEs, during Key Stage 3.
We wish to emphasise that it is not our intention to compel every student to pursue as many GCSEs as possible, particularly if this influences the quality of your work.