Writing: Ethan St-Catherine (Year 13)
The Student Research Group, consisting of several students from Years 8 to 13, is a newly recreated body of students, aiming to undertake specific research projects within the school. Led by myself, with support from Miss West, the group are currently working on our first major research focus - the KS3 curriculum. We aim to understand and identify where improvements can be made to reform the current KS3 curriculum, in order to best prepare students for the changing and more demanding specifications of GCSEs, and later A Levels. We have planned to do this through conducting interviews, hosting focus groups and having discussions with the Student Research Group to allow students to share their views on the current curriculum and have a say in what they should learn.
Already I have created, distributed and responded to a survey for Years 7 to 9 students during the summer term of the previous academic year, from which there were over 260 responses - almost half of KS3. This was designed as a diagnostic to gain an initial impression from the current KS3 students and highlight which aspects of the curriculum the Student Research Group will be targeting. On the back of this survey, I have been able to report my findings and research to the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) to share the work I had conducted.
From the data that had been gathered, we have noticed that of those surveyed, a large majority of KS3 students (88.7%) either agreed or strongly agreed that the current curriculum is broad and that it teaches students a very varied range of knowledge. A similar response was seen from the students when asked whether or not they felt challenged by the work they are given in lessons and as homework (80.8% agreed/strongly agreed that they were challenged). However, the survey has allowed us to identify areas of the curriculum that may require improvement; for example, there were more mixed responses when students were asked if they deemed the current curriculum as relevant or balanced. This information has been communicated with staff members throughout the school and so the Student Research Group are looking further into this.