Giving pupils the best platform for their GCSEs
The Middle School puts pupils on the right track to perform as well as they can in their GCSEs. Starting in Year 9, pupils study subjects ranging from Russian and Latin to Design and Technology, from Geography and History to the three sciences, giving them a wide choice from which to select their GCSEs. GCSE courses get underway in Biology, Chemistry and Physics towards the end of Year 9, with other subjects starting GCSE work at the beginning of Year 10. Sciences are taught separately, giving pupils GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the end of Year 11. Our timetable has a degree of flexibility built into it which enables pupils to select combinations that generally suit their needs. Pupils’ GCSE choices are not restricted to a pre-selected grid. To help prepare pupils for their GCSE exams, revision sessions and subject ‘clinics’ are held regularly. Many departments also put together revision booklets and offer one-to-one support via email.
Providing pupils with pastoral support
Pupils in the Middle School are very much part of a community. They are placed in a tutor group in one of six Houses. Each House has tutor groups from Year 9 to Year 13, providing pupils with opportunities to mix with and learn from older students within their House. A Head of House oversees tutor groups, providing continuity when pupils move from the Middle School to Sixth Form. Houses hold weekly assemblies and events, and the annual House Supper where all six Houses hold a formal dinner at a local restaurant is a highlight of the year. The inter-House trophy is a source of keen competition between Houses, with competitions including most sports, effort grades, debating and art.
“The Middle School is all about pulling together. By liaising with parents and working closely with pupils on an individual basis we try hard to realise their potential. Through weekly assemblies, and regular tutor time, pupils are encouraged to reflect on their role in the community of the Middle School, learn respect for others and appreciate the value of co-operation.” Andrew Bradshaw, Head of Middle School
Every six weeks pupils and parents get a set of grades which gives an update of effort and attainment in all academic subjects. This gives an indication of likely GCSE grades. These grades are followed up by tutors and the Head of House who will monitor pupils’ performances against baseline data. Action plans are drawn up by pupils and tutors to help them focus on key targets. We feel that this atmosphere of positive self-reflection and aspiration is a key part of the pastoral life of the Middle School.
Middle School pupils benefit from extensive and varied learning opportunities outside the classroom. Every pupil takes part in activities on Thursday afternoons. There are over twenty activities on offer including the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), a sports leadership course, primary and special school work and conservation activities such as beekeeping. In addition there are lunchtime and after school clubs.
Sport plays a key role in Middle School life. Every pupil has one lesson of PE a week and at least one full afternoon of games. Options for girls include hockey, netball, rounders and athletics; for boys, hockey, cricket and rugby are the main sports. There are also opportunities to try out many other sports including fives, squash and badminton among many others. Many school teams are county champions and have reached national finals in their sport. We’re proud to be one of the top hockey schools in the country.
The Middle School continues pupils’ journey through Ipswich School. It provides the foundation for top quality GCSE studies. It immerses pupils in a wide range of activities and interests which build on their studies, enriching them as individuals and, we hope, imbuing them with a sense of self-worth and respect for others.