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Groupings and settings

Lessons are organised with a mix of mixed-ability teaching, ability grouping and aptitude grouping depending on need and circumstances.

Throughout Key Stage 3 most subjects will be delivered in  mixed ability Tutor Groups.  Two Tutor Groups follow a slightly different curriculum.  One will have additional time studying Mandarin and the second additional time studying STEM.

Particularly for mathematics, students are placed in groupings by ability and this may be the case for other subjects at various times.  In all teaching groups, teachers will use a range of techniques and resources to differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of all students.  Where other groupings are used the reasons for those groupings may include:

  • To create more teaching groups and reduce class sizes
  • To create ability sets to maximise achievement
  • To allow optimal student choices at Key Stages 4/5
  • To manage peer dynamics and create the best possible learning environment
  • To maximise the use of effective staff with particular student groups

Whenever ability groups are created, the following criteria will apply:

  • Students should be placed in an appropriate class according to their ability so as to enable them to access the curriculum as effectively as possible.
  • Ability grouping should not deny access from the most appropriate level of entry for an individual student.
  • Behaviour is not a factor which should be considered when grouping by ability.
  • Ability sets may be different sizes to allow better support as appropriate.
  • Ability grouping should be regularly reviewed.


"Leaders have well-designed plans for how all subjects should be taught." Ofsted 2019

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