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Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)


We offer our students a broad and varied curriculum which ensures all students have access to a range of subjects including the humanities, performing arts and ICT. Below is the weekly allocation of periods for each subject. There are 2 equivalent bands in Year 7 and 8 with some students having additional English and mathematics delivered in a nurtured environment.

S and A Bands

Subject Number of 1 hour periods per fortnight
Mathematics 9
English 9
Science 8
Geography 3
History 3
Modern Foreign Languages 3
Art 2
Drama 2
IT 2
Music 2
Physical Education 4
Religious Studies 1
Technology 2
Additional literacy (Catch Up students only) 2
Additional numeracy (Catch Up students only) 2

Additional Support 

Many of our students enter Year 7 with low literacy levels, consequently there has had to be a focus on developing literacy skills to ensure students can access the wider curriculum and achieve exam success as they progress through school. We use a range of strategies to support and develop student literacy which include, the Accelerated Reader programme through our school library,  DEAR Time and WOW.

DEAR Time!

DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) is a session run through all of Key Stage 3 at Ormiston Shelfield Community Academy on a weekly basis. DEAR is twenty minutes a week where students and teachers together stop what they are working on and spend a period of time reading a text of their choice. The program is designed to encourage independent reading and help promote a love of reading for pleasure. As part of our reading focus, staff and students have both expressed how enjoyable this time is for them and often look forward to their DEAR sessions together.

As it is a constantly changing time each week, it is imperative that students bring a reading book with them to school every day. As part of our mission as a reading school, students must be prepared to take advantage of any allocated reading time to ensure they are using the maximum time allowed. Becoming independent readers also successfully allows students to partake in other literary celebrations throughout the school year.


One aspect of literacy Shelfield focuses on is our use of language and vocabulary. A particularly exciting way we explore vocabulary across the academy is through our use of WOW word (Word of the Week). Each week, staff and students are presented with a new and sophisticated word that may not be one that they are using commonly in their spoken or written communication. The word of the week is linked to one of the four pillars of Shelfield Academy: positivity, aspiration, achievement and responsibility and students are encouraged to apply the word wherever possible in their verbal or written responses. Students have even been overheard using their new jargon in conversation with peers or staff!

When students or staff overhear or spot the WOW word being used, postcards are submitted in praise of the positive effort being made by the individual who has used the new term. These postcards are displayed throughout the academy and help to promote positive relationships between staff and students. Most importantly, WOW words support students to develop a fluent and articulate vocabulary for their GCSEs and future careers.

Supporting Numeracy

Students in Years 7 and 8 who are identified as having lower numeracy skills have dedicated Numeracy lessons on their timetables.  These are in addition to their normal maths lessons and develop the skills required for everyday life, as well as supporting their maths lessons and preparing them for their GCSEs. Schemes of learning are based on the on key strands from the primary numeracy framework to ensure they are being supported to ensure they achieve their potential. 

In addition to the Numeracy lessons, pupils also receive the following support:

  • In year 7 and 8, the identified pupils receive tutor-time Numeracy catch up intervention supported by year 10 numeracy mentors allowing them to grow in their numerical confidence.
  • In year 9, pupils develop their Numeracy skills through their Maths lessons and across the curriculum.