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Bridging the gap between Junior and Senior School

“A Year 6 curriculum focused on delivering skills that are important for future success, with no formal SAT testing, fosters curiosity for the important journey into Key Stage 3 and beyond”, says the new Head of King’s Magna Middle School at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate (QE), Joseph Birchall.

At Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, their mission is for all members of the community to aspire to the Hill Standard: ‘To be the best that I can with the gifts that I have’. The middle school, King’s Magna, sits within their unique four-school model and facilitates Years 6-9 in a way that harnesses individuality through an innovative curriculum to bridge the gap from junior school to senior school. Mr Birchall said: “At King’s Magna, we are focused on building character and personality and in enabling the core values of honesty, kindness, respect, and determination, ensuring our students grow into good people. Our curriculum is based on delivering the key skills required by students to become successful in their adult lives and we ensure our caring and diverse community allows each student to feel supported through their educational journey with a real sense of belonging not just to King’s Magna but to the whole Team QE.”

QE prides itself on its large enrichment programme of over 100 activities offered year-round by specialist teachers and coaches. At King’s Magna, students benefit from enrichment classes twice a week within their timetabled lessons. Alongside the core academic subjects, students choose their own options from sports, creative arts, and performing arts, which provides the students access to more of what they are passionate about and gives them more ownership over their education.

At King’s Magna, the crucial decision was made to not assess Year 6 students using SATS testing but instead assess them at three points during the year using standardised and moderated ‘common evaluation tasks’ to track the progress and needs of each individual student within their small classroom set up. Not only has the school found this to best support the students, but also found it creates more opportunity for students to take up any of the abundant enrichment opportunities available, which ultimately provides a more positive student experience and a more well-rounded education.

In Year 7, the school encourages students to become more independent and take greater responsibility for their learning. This is built upon in Year 8 as students apply for a variety of key roles within the school community such as Prefects, Buddies, Mentors, School Ambassadors and Representatives. Year 9 then focuses on fully preparing students to confidently meet the challenges of the next stage of their educational journey.

At King’s Magna, they equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to move seamlessly to their College or Faculty schools. They ensure every student is treated as an individual and provided with personalised support. Their innovative pastoral programme, THRIVE@QE, promotes well-being and resilience with over 30 different sessions each week to ensure every student can grow and mature into their teenage years with confidence.

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