Secondary School Westbourne Student

A future-ready Middle Years

Posted: 1st December 2022

Middle Years

Future-proofing ambitious young minds

We are delighted to announce an exciting new curriculum for our Middle Years students (Years 6-9), to launch in January 2023. The curriculum focuses on promoting the latest thinking in STEM, technology and innovation, and supports Westbourne’s aim to develop confident, globally-minded students who possess the knowledge and skills to excel in the modern world.

In further evolving Westbourne’s Middle Years offering, we have developed a forward-looking curriculum uniquely designed to prepare our students for the academic challenges of GCSE, the IB Diploma and their life beyond, and for those of the modern workplace.

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Encouraging cross-curricular connections

Richly themed around the concepts underlying the modern world, its history and challenges ahead, the programme builds upon our existing curriculum, adding a very strong set of STEM skills and understanding. It is designed to extend and enhance subjects taught under the current curriculum, consolidating them into themes around key subjects, from sciences to humanities to the arts, in order to help students to make strong connections between ideas. 

Excitingly, it also presents students with almost weekly hands-on enrichment experiences, trips and speakers – both across the local area and nationally – to drive their desire to discover more about the world and the part they play in its future.

Key Themes

Year 6 - 7

Years 6 and 7 are years of discovery and exploration, where pupils are introduced to broad themes about our universe and our place in it. We make visits to observatories, mountains, forests, sites of geological interest, museums, astro-domes, the Senedd. We make rockets, rebuild ancient natural environments, run businesses and take part in debates.

Talks from astronomers, physicists, geologists, entrepreneurs, botanists, medics, historians, architects, politicians and others enhance our years of exploration. 

Year 8

Year 8 is a year of consolidation, in which we draw together ideas we explored in these broad themes against the backdrop of the main challenges facing humanity: conflict, food and water, energy, environment, information and government, health and wellbeing. We hear from specialists in biotech, informatics, environmental science, food production, negotiation.

We visit university departments, farms, museums and power generation plants and take part in physics challenges, cybersecurity workshops, bee conservation and conflict resolution. We finish the year with an essay competition, reflecting on the themes we have explored..

Year 9

Year 9 is a year of demonstration. We begin this year with a trip to the Brecon Beacons to explore our strengths, limits and comfort zones. We set ourselves a challenging project for the year ahead, similar to an IB Extended Essay, in which we design a product, process or object to help solve one of the problems we explored in Year 8. We investigate the attributes shared by successful people.

Over the course of the year we explore themes related to success: problem solving, creativity, research, growth and delivery. Visits to London museums, CERN and INSEAD deepen our understanding of these themes. The year concludes with a major presentation of our challenge to parents, staff and classmates.

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