Hounsdown School

Hounsdown School

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About our Curriculum

At Hounsdown School we are committed to provide all students with a broad, balanced, differentiated and challenging and enriching curriculum.  The curriculum meets the requirements as set out in section 2 of the Education Reform Act (1988) that all students are taught Religious Education.  This is undertaken at Hounsdown through the teaching of Ethics & Beliefs.

 Our curriculum allows each student the opportunity to reach and achieve their potential and prepares them for the opportunities and challenges of adult life and their role and responsibilities as active citizens in modern Britain and our democratic society.

Organisation of the Curriculum

Key Stage 3 (Year 7 & 8)
Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 & 11)



Students are grouped for subjects in a variety of ways using setting, mixed ability teaching or broad banding as appropriate.  Broad banding means that some classes will have different class labels but the same broad spread of ability. Examples of mixed ability sets include subjects such as Art, Drama, Music and PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education). 


When creating a group setting system we use benchmarking data (KS2 & KS3 results), CATS, Reading Ages and Spelling Ages alongside on-going teacher assessment.  Staff in school make the final decision about setting.  Setting, where it occurs, is reviewed departmentally at the end of every term and any individual changes to setting will be notified to parents and carers through a formal letter home.


Subjects are grouped together in to blocks to make the timetable work. English and Maths are never in the same block, which means students may be in different sets for English and Maths, as appropriate for the ability.


The Year Groups 7-11 are all split into X and Y half year groups and the ‘Sets’ are as follows:

Year 7: Broad banding of core subjects with an ‘Express group’ in each half of the Year Group and a supported Transition Group: X1a, X1b, X2a, X2b, Y1a, Y1b, Y2a, Y2b, TG.


In addition for year 7 in 2016, EBacc subjects (Geography, History and either French or Spanish) have broad banding (sets 1b and 2a) and Express groups (labelled 1a) 


·       Year 8: X1a, X1b, X2a, X2b, Y1a, Y1b, Y2a, Y2b, Y2c, TG

·       Year 9: X1a, X1b, X2a, X2b, Y1a, Y1b, Y2a, Y2b, Y2c

·       Year 10: X1a, X1b, X2a, X2b, X2c, Y1a, Y1b, Y2a, Y2b, Y2c

·       Year 11: X1a, X1b, X2a, X2b, X2c, Y1a, Y1b, Y2a, Y2b, Y2c


In Years 9-11, 1a label denotes a top set and 2c is the lowest.


Setting starts with a broad range of abilities in each set early in Year 7 and is refined over time as teachers get a better understanding of the student’s work. Students are quite likely to change sets over their school career, such that they are best placed in each set to help them make good progress.



The school has a virtual learning platform called, ‘Frog’ to which Hounsdown Students and parents have access.

 This platform is used by teachers to provide resources, revision, home learning tasks and deadlines for students.

 If you do not currently have a log-in and password for ‘Frog’ please contact Miss Newton via admin@hounsdown.hants.sch.uk to request access, giving the name and tutor group of your child.


We believe that Home Learning is important as it:

* Encourages and develops self-discipline and organisation
* Broadens and extends the school curriculum
* Given opportunities to consolidate and extend class learning and develops creative thinking
* Prepares students for life-long learning


Related Policies

* Curriculum policy
* Assessment policy
* Marking policy
* Homework policy