Academics at BOS
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 consists of years 7, 8 and 9 and might be termed a middle or junior school.
Academically, these years in a child’s education represent two, sometimes contrasting, opportunities. The first is to lay the foundations for the IGCSE years to come. The second is to take advantage of the hiatus before public examinations to truly inspire students and to ignite their passions about particular, favourite, subjects and for learning in general.
BOS students follow a broad and rigorous curriculum, in which most subjects are compulsory. We ensure that our students are exposed to a wide range of knowledge and to different approaches toward building and applying knowledge.
If all academic disciplines represent the search for truth, we aim for BOS students to understand that ‘truth’ comes in many guises. For the literature, arts and modern languages subjects it can be found through beauty; for sciences through empirical research; for the humanities subjects in original sources and for the mathematicians it is derived from systems of logic. BOS students study all of these subject areas until the end of Year 9, by which time we hope that they have enjoyed all of their experiences and also begun to discover their true passions.
In addition, our students benefit from elements of cross-curricular learning through our Co-Curricular Programme, which occurs fortnightly and is an integral part of the curriculum on a fortnightly basis. Through this Programme our students have access to topics and learning that challenge their preconceptions and encourage them to think critically.
On a personal level, in Key Stage 3 students reach their teenage years – years in which children become young adults. These years can be challenging for the students, and for their families, as they begin to cope with the inner conflict between childhood and adulthood and experience that inner turbulence played out through skirmishes with friends and family.
At the BOS we see our role as guide and mentor to students and to their parents. Our collective experience of teenagers and their struggles is enormous. Whether through PSHE classes or one-to-one meetings, we are there, when needed, to support and to steer everyone through adolescence to the relative safety of adulthood.
Although Year 9 is part of Key Stage 3 it is also something of a transition year as students move towards readiness for public examinations – in our case towards IGCSEs.
Whilst our students continue to work on consolidating and extending their knowledge and skills in the Key Stage 3 compulsory subjects, we do so with IGCSE preparation in mind. This is especially the case for those subjects that remain compulsory in the IGCSE years: English, mathematics and science. This awareness of the IGCSEs being “just around the corner” encourages our students to adjust their focus from the broad purposes of learning, exploration and passions to the narrower demands of examination success.
To ensure that students make informed choices about the optional IGCSE subjects we also introduce a new subject – Economics – so that students gain some experience of the subject before important decisions are made.