Heath Farm School offers a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. The teaching is based around a sound knowledge and understanding of each child’s needs and is shaped around the way different youngsters learn. This means taking the care to nurture the unique talents of every pupil and by doing so creating a highly personalised learning environment.
The curriculum is delivered in small teaching groups across Key Stages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. These groups do not normally exceed six, pupils with a teacher and the support of at least one teaching assistant.
The timetable places a daily emphasis on literacy and numeracy across all departments, with other subjects delivered in a creative and specialised way. In Key Stages 1 and 2 teaching (aside from literacy and numeracy) is thematic, with themes shared across pupil groups. In Key Stage 3 students follow the national curriculum in subject specific lessons. Students have the opportunity to study Entry Level Certificates in English, Maths and Science. All pupils have access to ICT, Science and Art facilities. PE is facilitated using the school playing field and school hall, and outside venues are also used, for example the public swimming baths at Maidstone and Faversham, and the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. The school holds an annual Sports Week which allows pupils to experience additional sporting activities such as windsurfing, sailing, skating, mountain biking etc. Heath Farm is also a member of a Schools Sports Consortium and takes part in a variety of inter-school sports competitions.
In Key Stage 4 and 5 a wide variety of options are available. Pupils have the opportunity to study GCSEs or combine these with Functional skills and ASDAN accreditation. Personalised timetables allow pupils in Years 10, 11 and 12 to access a range of qualifications including City and Guilds and BTECs at local further education colleges. Some pupils combine academic exams with ongoing work experience placements; all pupils undertake at least two short term work experience placements which are carefully tailored to match their individual interest and needs. The school has successfully arranged college placements for all Year 11 leavers for the last eight years.
In 2016 pupils will be offered entry in:
- English GCSE / Entry Level / Functional Skills
- Maths GCSE / Entry Level / Functional Skills
- PE GCSE
- Science GCSE / Entry Level
- Life-skills Entry Level
- Art GCSE
All pupils are encouraged to take part in a range of educational visits and activities during the course of each academic year. These activities are designated to both underpin the curriculum and to give opportunities for pupils to demonstrate team work and learning together. The school has built up contacts locally to ensure the broadest possible experiences for each child.
Last year’s activities included:
- Sports Week – Dover Water Sports, Bewl Water Walk, Ice skating,
- Charity Days
- Work experience (Year 10)
- Non-uniform days
- Careers convention
- Connexions visits
- Drama performances
- Exploration & Discovery Week
- Visits to the Canterbury Ecology Centre
- Chatham Dock Yard visits
All school visits are agreed by KCC trained Educational Visit Co-ordinators and suitable risk assessments are always completed.