As an independent school, we are not required to follow the National Curriculum rigidly. We teach traditional subjects and use the National Curriculum as a guide – but we have the advantage of allowing teachers greater flexibility to encourage children to develop their learning through exploring areas of personal interest.
Lower School (ages 4 – 10)
The Christian ethos of the school is shown in the Lower School through fun activities based around Bible stories, and in the way that children are encouraged to care for others. We have regular class assemblies and weekly Lower School assemblies where the classes come together and each class contributes a brief presentation (song, drama, reading, etc.) to the whole Lower School celebrating faith and British Values. Respect for other faiths and cultures is core to our Christian values. “Love your neighbour as yourself.”Mark 12:31
In the Lower School we aim to provide a varied and engaging learning environment. Pupils’ natural inquisitiveness is encouraged, as well as nurturing creativity and imagination. Pupils become interested in their own learning and their school experience inspires them to want to learn more. We provide a friendly, supportive and intensive tuition in a variety of subjects.
English/Literacy: Our aim is for pupils to leave the Lower School at the end of Year 5 with sound literacy skills and we provide specific support for children with Special Educational Needs both in English and Maths.
Maths/Numeracy: We believe that a basic understanding of Mathematics is essential throughout life and therefore we have a strong focus on mental arithmetic skills.
Science: By studying science pupils learn about the world around them. In the Lower School we teach scientific enquiry; life processes and living things (Biology); materials and their properties (Chemistry), and physical processes (Physics).
Religious Studies: In addition to regular assemblies, Religious Studies is taught as a formal lesson. Christianity is taught in all years with a strong focus on the teachings of Jesus. In addition, Judaism and Islam are also studied. Children are taught to respect others of different faiths.
ICT: In Reception class, Information & Communication Technology is taught by the class teacher. From Year 1 onwards, it is taught by a specialist teacher working with just two children at a time. This ensures the maximum possible amount of teacher attention.
Geography & History: The children study geography and history topics in the Lower School. In Geography lessons they find out about the school and the local area and then the wider world. In History lessons they study many topics such as Toys in the Past, Egyptians and the Victorians. We have many creative lessons which enable the children to develop their understanding of the society in which we live, and of the history that has led us to where we are today.
Physical Education: Most classes have two P.E. lessons per week delivered by Qualitas’ highly skilled coaches . We cover a variety of areas including: games, gymnastics, dance and athletics. Children are encouraged to be good team players and to support others of different abilities.
Design Technology & Art: We follow a creative curriculum which aims to link craft activities with other subjects.
Music & Drama: Children take part in regular music lessons in school. They listen to different types of music, sing songs and play instruments. Each year we have a whole school Christmas Performance. The Lower School perform a play which involves acting, singing and dancing.
Spanish: Children begin to learn Spanish as a foreign language. This emphasises the importance of communication
Sign Language: Pupils learn some Sign Supported English for the deaf.
Upper School (age 10+)
All pupils in the Upper School have the benefit of being taught by specialist subject teachers. Whilst in most schools this begins with secondary education at age 11, at Handsworth Christian School specialist teachers from age 10 gives every child a head start. For the first couple of years in the Upper School, the standards expected of secondary age pupils are introduced gradually and there is a greater emphasis on providing pastoral care for children through form groups, as well as general support throughout the school day.
The Christian ethos of the Upper School is supported through assemblies and in Religious Studies lessons, although discussions about Christianity may also occur in other subjects. Respect for British Values, other faiths and cultures is actively encouraged.
Information & Communication Technology
Art & Design
Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE)
Mathematics, English Literature, English Language, Core and Additional Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Art & Design, Drama, Spanish and Computing are offered to GCSE level, we also offer the European Computer Driving Licence (EDCL) as a GCSE-equivalent qualification in ICT. Pupils who show particular aptitude may be offered the opportunity to sit additional subjects. For example, we have candidates sitting the iGCSE in Further Mathematics.
Group sizes of between 5 and 16 usually ensure that pupils get the individual attention that they need during these crucial GCSE years!
Whilst we do not offer a Physical Education GCSE, pupils are taught by specialist coaches from Qualitas. Qualitas is an independent training school that have designed a specialist planned programme of instruction for our pupils.