Faculties and Subjects
Welcome to the English Faculty
The English Faculty aims to develop students’ love of everything to do with the spoken and written word. We study a wide range of texts, from classics to modern prose, non-fiction to Shakespeare. Our focus is always the skills required to unpick these texts and how to apply these both to an exam context and modern life.
We are a dedicated team full of love for literature and language, with a broad and varied range of skills. We include our librarian as part of our team and feel strongly that an independent love of reading is key to students’ success in all subject areas and as such ensure that students are reading for pleasure beyond our classrooms.
We are a team of eight English specialists and one English teaching assistant with a range of additional responsibilities across the school. Much like English, our skills extend far beyond the Faculty itself.
Schemes of Learning are planned to deliver the skills required for both the current national curriculum and the new GCSE assessment objectives. We see progression from year 7 – 11 as part of a five-year curriculum. All schemes are personalised for the group in consideration of both academic and pastoral requirements. Students are broadly set after year 7. We operate ‘Accelerate groupings’ in Year 11, whereby students identified as requiring additional support can be taught by one of our specialist English teachers in a small group for half a term. This allows for greater depth of written feedback, regular contact with home to share progress, and access to IT resources as required. We also run 1:1 and small group intervention with our English specialist teaching assistant who will deliver key skills in support of the class teacher’s planning. We offer tasters of Film Studies throughout Year 7, in preparation for the options, which include GCSE Film Studies.
As with Key Stage 3, schemes of learning are personalised, following the AQA exam board’s curriculum. Students are set and we have additional teachers timetabled across two populations in year 11 to allow for smaller group focus on key exam units. Film Studies follow the WJEC exam board.
The Faculty is well equipped with all classrooms having Interactive White Boards. We take full advantage of the availability of ICT suites and enjoy the advantage of our location directly next to the Learning Zone and the superb resource that is our librarian, Mrs Atkins. We run a range of interventions including Read, Write Inc. support groups, Sound Training and DELP dyslexia small group work. We personalise these interventions without losing sight of the importance of quality first teaching.
The Faculty encourages our students to enter a wide variety of literary competitions, debates and conferences to develop and enrich their English experience. These include theatre trips, ‘Poetry by Heart’, ‘KYBA book awards’, ‘Youth Speaks’, ‘BBC School News Report’ and visits from professional authors.
Our results are a strength within the school and we are proud of the fact that students enjoy English and achieve well within the English Faculty, often continuing this study into VI Form College and University.
Our Curriculum Intent
Welcome to the Maths Faculty
The Maths Faculty is a dedicated team of forward-looking professionals who seek to offer a modern maths experience and embrace innovative teaching ideas. The ethos is one of presenting maths through a series of problems to be solved. We use a wide range of mathematically rich tasks, seek to probe students understanding through open questioning and create as many opportunities as possible for students to describe their mathematical thinking. As a faculty we discuss the latest research into the teaching of maths and seek to develop effective teaching together through joint planning.
The Faculty is well resourced.
- The classroom environment: We are housed in a brand new, specifically designed block.
- Intervention: With two TAs dedicated to maths we provide individual students a lot of specific intervention.
- The use of modern technology: Each room is fully equipped for active maths teaching. We have Interactive White boards, Visualisers and access to a class set of laptops.
- Extra-Curricular: we have built strong cross-curricular and partner primary school links. We also work closely with Penwith College. We run a chess club and a problem-solving club. We run talented and gifted activities through the Maths Association.
We are currently a team of 7 specialist teachers. Classroom support is offered by two TAs, who target students falling below expectation and help students with special educational needs access the maths curriculum. We are very fortunate that one of our Teaching Assistants is employed with a specific focus on helping pupil premium students to engage effectively with the curriculum.
In year 7 and 8 our schemes are based on the Mathematics Strategy and focus on the probing of understanding through the using and applying of maths. From year 9 we currently follow the AQA Linear GCSE.
The Maths area occupies a brand-new section of the school with 6 dedicated Maths rooms, a numeracy support room, a department work room and bookable access to an ICT room. Each maths classroom is equipped with Interactive White Board, Document Visualiser, Scientific Calculators and a range of maths manipulatives. We also have 30 wireless networked laptops available to enhance mathematical learning.
The maths department runs a range of ‘gifted and talented’ sessions and activities, joining in with various National and Regional challenges and a maths club aimed at higher achieving students. We also link to Penwith College where students can get a taste of maths beyond GCSE.
The faculty contributes to developing maths departments across Cornwall. One of our teachers is the assistant to the SCITT lead for Mathematics and the Head of Faculty is heavily involved in the developing mastery approach for Cornwall Maths Hub. We are also developing links with Pfeg (personal finance) and the Further Maths Network. We have strong links to the other Maths departments in Penwith and with our fourteen feeder primary schools.
Our Curriculum Intent
Welcome to the Science Faculty
At Humphry Davy School students study science through a series of stimulating courses that emphasise their investigative skills. Students are encouraged to learn how to work as scientists, developing a series of scientific skills in the context of knowledge and understanding of key concepts, models, and ideas. Wherever possible students are encouraged to link their learning in school to real-life examples, making critical and safe use of the wealth of information which can be accessed electronically independently of the classroom.
In years 7 and 8 students study topics that cover the core principles in biology, chemistry and physics. These are then built on in a ‘spiral curriculum’ looking forward to GCSE.
From year 9 at Humphry Davy school we offer three courses to suit the needs of the students, Combined science GCSE, Separate science GCSE and the Entry Level certificate. The Combined science course leads to students gaining two science GCSEs. They will gain knowledge of science in the three key areas of biology, chemistry and physics. As students progress through the course they will gain a broader knowledge of study that adds to their understanding of the living, material and physical worlds. This course also develops valuable life skills such as problem solving, investigative skills and learning through doing.
The Separate science GCSE course gives a solid knowledge of science in the three key scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. As the students progress through the course they will gain a very broad and in-depth knowledge of study that adds to the understanding of the living, material and physical worlds.
Finally, the Entry Level certificate is for students who require additional support to access their learning and offers a narrower focus within biology, chemistry and physics.
What does it mean to study Science at Humphry Davy School?
- To have a knowledge and understanding of the World around you in relation to Biology, Chemistry and Physics
- Relevance to the “real world” underpinning everything that we learn
- Understanding global issues that we all face
- Questioning evidence that is presented to you and understanding bias and agendas
- Developing practical skills and problem solving skills
- Asking questions and testing theorems
The science curriculum is enriched by several extra-curricular activities and trips to local and national science events of interest, for example lectures at Penwith College, the Green Power Kit Car event at RAF St. Mawgan, the Lego Engineering club (programming) including conferences, gardening club and Science club with nominated Science Ambassadors to promote science across the school and take a lead in science activities.
Our Curriculum Intent
Welcome to the Humanities Faculty
The Humanities Faculty plays an important role in achieving our school vision as ‘an inspiring and vibrant place for learning which enriches, and is a valued part of, the Penzance community.’ Within humanities lessons we celebrate individuality, nurture a true sense of belonging, aspire to excellence in everything we do and seek to maximise the life chances of all our young people. Our Humanities Faculty inspires students to think about and engage with the World around them. It builds on students’ own experiences and knowledge and teaches them the skills they need to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global, present, past and future.
Although we teach each subject distinctly, the Humanities Faculty is collectively responsible for the delivery of Geography, History, Religious Studies, Citizenship and Personal Development. We are a dedicated team full of love for our unique subjects who together contribute significantly to the development of students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development at Humphry Davy School. The majority of our students study Geography and/or History through to GCSE level and many students choose to continue with their Humanities studies at A-level and at University and go on to jobs relating to Humanities knowledge and skills.
We are currently a team of eight teachers, five of whom specialise in Geography, the other two in History and one in citizenship. Citizenship, Personal Development and Religious Studies is currently delivered by a number of teachers within the faculty.
In Year 7 and 8 students have distinct History, Geography, Religious Studies and Citizenship/Personal Development lessons. From Year 9 students will opt to take Geography and/or History GCSE and all students will continue to study Religious Studies and Citizenship/Personal Development.
Our History curriculum helps students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It motivates students’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching equips students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Our Geography curriculum inspires in students a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. We study both Physical and Human Geography, exploring key global issues like Climate Change, why people live close to plate margins and the economic development gap.
Religious Studies is part of the core entitlement for all students. It provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. Our Religious Studies curriculum is based upon the Cornwall Agreed Syllabus and plays a key role in the promotion of student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development which benefits them as individuals and others within their communities.
Citizenship and Personal Development
Our Citizenship and Personal Development curriculum covers aspects of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE), including relationships and sex education, physical and mental health, drug education, financial education, careers, how to stay safe on and offline, and the importance of healthy relationships. It also covers citizenship education which aims to provide students with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. Citizenship education foster s students’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Teaching equips students with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It also prepares students to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.
Extra-Curricular Links & Activities
The Humanities Faculty provides numerous opportunities to enhance learning and over the years we have built strong links with numerous groups and agencies. These include: local magistrates; The Police; The Fire Service; Brook; The Geographical Association; the National Trust; Churches Together; Truro Cathedral and various charities including Shelterbox and Cornwall Hospice.
We also offer many extracurricular opportunities including field trips to St Ives and Praa Sands, environmental awareness days at Falmouth University, competing in
the Mock Trial competition, lessons delivered through Google Expeditions, visits to Hitler on trial, Battlefields visits and various days out to National Trust locations. We were particularly proud of our KS3 Geography GA team who won the Cornwall Geographical Association quiz in 2018 and for the last 2 years we have won the local heats for the Mock Trail competition, attending regional heats in Swansea.
Our Curriculum Intent
Citizenship and Personal Development
Creative Arts Faculty
Welcome to the Creative Arts Faculty
The Creative Arts Faculty consists of subjects that stimulate both body and mind and give our students the opportunity to study and explore a rich and varied curriculum that is both academically and spiritually rewarding. The faculty consists of the following subjects: Art, Drama, Music and Physical Education (PE)
In Year 7 and 8 students at Humphry Davy School have one lesson a week in art. They are introduced to the formal elements of art through a variety of drawing styles and go on to experiment with a range of media including painting, printmaking, mixed media sculpture and ceramics. Students research a range of influences and artists, including the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, Yellenna James’ abstract natural forms, The Pop Art movement and conservation artwork. This aims to develop their contextual analysis of art from all around the world, both classic and contemporary, to inform personal and unique projects and final pieces.
From Year 9 there is a greater focus on preparation for GCSE, having four lessons per fortnight students continue to develop their contextual studies and key skills in a range of media. Students are encouraged to take a more self-directed approach to their artwork, with individual projects based on the themes of ‘Portraiture’ and ‘Natural Forms’.
The GCSE curriculum consists of a self-directed portfolio project on the theme ‘Deconstruct/Reconstruct’ and an exam project, with themes set by the exam board. During this time students will have the opportunity to specialise in a media and style of their choice, based on their strengths and interests. Students will use the creative process to confidently produce a body of work for each project and then a final piece, which will be created during a two day art exam. Students will be expected to attend local galleries as often as possible, where appropriate to complement their studies.
The Art Department plays a fundamental role in designing and making a withy sculpture to parade during the Mazy Day celebrations. We organise for students to attend galleries and creative spaces, both locally and nationally.
Students are invited to take part in organised workshops that give them the opportunity to develop their skills and experience, whilst meeting practicing artists and crafts people. The Trengwainton Lantern parade workshop is a particular favourite with our KS3 students.
Art also offer a Year 7 and 8 art club weekly, where students can take part in an organised project or simply work on projects of their own, using the space and resources we have here. GCSE Art club runs three times a week, to offer students extra support with their project work.
In Year 7 and 8 students at Humphry Davy School have one lesson a week in drama. They learn the basic movement and mime skills, as well as voice and how to interpret a script. They will learn about the history of theatre and how it has influenced modern performances. In Year 9 there is a greater focus on preparation for GCSE, having four lessons per fortnight they learn about the different technical aspects of performance as well as the devising process.
The GCSE curriculum consists of practical and theory of the different style/genres and theatre practitioners. The pupils will be expected to attend the theatre as often as possible and as a school we give them as many opportunities as possible to do so.
The Drama Department have been putting on an annual whole school production every year in the form of our Pantomime. Previous shows include, Cinderella and The Snow Queen.
Attending the theatre and seeing a live performance is a fantastic addition to drama education. We regularly organise for students to attend theatre performances, both local and national.
As well as offering trips to see top West End shows we run summer a show focusing on extracts from some of the most famous musicals scenes and songs. These musicals include Grease, Oliver and Bugsy Malone to name a few.
In September 2005, Humphry Davy School was designated a Specialist Music College and we have shown that music is a major tool for learning and driving up standards. Music encourages and promotes peoples' engagement as it is something about which we all have an opinion. Music is a key feature at Humphry Davy, and it is used in a variety of ways, but it is the positivity and enhanced engagement that has had the most beneficial effect.
The school has a professionally equipped recording studio, two performance classrooms, one of which homes an Apple Mac ICT suite, and five specialist practice rooms. Each practice room is equipped with guitars, bass guitars, amps, keyboards, a piano and two with a dedicated drum kit. The school also has a full set of African djembe drums, traditionally made for us in Senegal, as well as a full Samba band set.
At Humphry Davy, the classroom music curriculum throughout all years is exciting and practical, offering opportunity and challenge to all students. We have strong links with the music industry locally and at a national and international level, and our curriculum developments have been showcased as examples of best practice by national bodies such as the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, The Royal Opera House, and Music for Youth.
As well as classroom music lessons, many of our students elect to partake in further peripatetic lessons on an instrument or voice, and these lessons are provided at the school by highly trained, professional specialists. Each September we audition students for the role of Music Scholars. They benefit from a variety of specialist workshops to improve all aspects of performance skills. This preparation and experience has taken our Music Scholars to perform throughout the country including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall as well as across Cornwall including The Hall for Cornwall. During the summer term, the Scholars' Recital Evening showcases the work of the students completed throughout the year.
Research has shown that students who take part in two or more extra-curricular activities are more likely to achieve higher grades than those who do not. Therefore we run a wide variety of extra-curricular music ensembles to enable wider participation – Band of Fiasco! (a covers band), Tempo Tantrums (a training cover’s band), the county and national award winning New Notes Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, IMAPCT Vocals, School of Rock -a ‘band boot-camp’ for aspiring rock and pop musicians and music theory classes; as well as 1:1 GCSE support sessions. There are also various opportunities for those interested in recording with a fully equipped studio and trained engineers on hand to help would-be producers and artists alike.
At Humphry Davy School students study physical education (PE) through units of physical activity and sport planned to develop skills and ensure the physical progress of all students. The high-quality PE curriculum at Humphry Davy School inspires all students to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. Students are encouraged to learn how to excel in a broad range of physical activities, be physically active for sustained periods of time, engage in competitive sports and activities and lead healthy, active lives.
For those students wishing to take a PE and sports-related qualification we offer Edexcel BTEC First Award in Sport. Year 9 students opting for one of these courses will study a foundation year as they work towards developing the practical and theoretical skills needed for the courses. The Edexcel BTEC Sport course is a combination of theoretical and practical aspects of physical education and sport. Students are assessed on their practical ability in a range of individual and team sports and will be required to sit an exam during the course. The course also offers students the opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding needed should they wish to go on and study a similar course at post-16 level; potentially laying the foundations for a career in the sports industry.
Beyond the curriculum all students will have the opportunity to compete in sport and participate in other activities that build character as well as further develop physical skills. The PE department at Humphry Davy School offer a wide-ranging extra-curricular programme of sports and activities, from fitness to fencing and surfing to rugby. Regular fixtures are arranged against other local secondary schools in a range of sports, as well as frequently competing in competitions and tournaments on a local and county-wide level, allowing students to proudly represent their school and demonstrate their practical skills as well as values such as teamwork, respect and commitment. The extra-curricular programme is a truly inclusive one with all students encouraged to get involved.
Our Curriculum Intent
Applied Learning Faculty
Welcome to the Applied Learning Faculty
Our highly thought of Applied Learning Faculty incorporates multiple subject areas including; Textiles, Food, 3D Design, Health & Social Care, Photography, Catering, Small Animal Care and Creative Media Production. The school is fortunate to have a highly skilled, motivated and creativity focused team of teachers and support staff, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and have experiences which are transferable to multiple subject areas within the faculty. The school is known in the local community as the first choice for children who are creative, and a high level of investment in both staffing and infrastructure is made by the school to support these creative subjects. The Applied Learning faculty are passionate about providing individualised, high quality, rich, and deep learning experiences for our students.
The core of our team is made up of four specialist subject teachers, supported by two full time and one part time technician. We also have five additional teachers supporting the core faculty team.
Lessons within the Applied Learning faculty are based in purpose built rooms, which are designed specifically to address the needs of each specialism. Both Catering and 3D Design have drafting rooms in addition to their making environments. Our Catering making room has recently been upgraded to a high specification industrial style kitchen. Photography takes place in one of the school’s Mac Suites. Each specialism has access to IT facilities for computer-aided design/manufacture, and Adobe Creative Suite is deployed across the entire school site.
In Years 7 & 8 students are allocated three periods per fortnight of Technology, in which they carousel through a range of topics in the specialisms of Food, 3D Design, Textiles and Computing.
In Years 9 to 11 student have the opportunity to choose 3D Design, Textiles or Photography at GCSE level (Following the AQA Art and Design specifications). Catering (Tech Award specification) is also offered. These classes are delivered through four lessons per fortnight.
We also provide additional courses at GCSE level to accommodate the needs of students who would require additional educational support. For these students, we have an additional building called “The Lookout”, where we deliver Small Animal Care, and Creative Media Production.
The faculty offers opportunities for students to access out of hours learning, with our dedicated staff providing after school sessions, and open studios most evenings throughout the week. These sessions are used by students to catch up on missed work, for self-directed study, or to experience broader opportunities offered in addition to the prescribed curriculum. Our highly successful gifted and talented program is based around the young enterprise scheme and is implemented with collaboration of all staff within the faculty.
Our Curriculum Intent
Modern Foreign Languages Faculty
Modern Foreign Languages
The MFL Faculty is a vibrant mix of linguists specialising in French and Spanish. We offer highly interactive lessons with an abundance of resources which embrace innovative, research led teaching practices. Our ethos is to promote real life communication through a wide range of activities focusing on all four skills; reading, listening, speaking and writing.
- The classroom environment: we are found at the top of Chynoweth building with envious views of our campus
- Intervention: We use our highly coveted Foreign Language Assistants to further support our KS4 students to achieve their very best at GCSE level. Moreover, throughout the year we offer weekly after school support sessions to support individual student requirements.
- The use of modern technology: each room is fully equipped for active MFL teaching. We have interactive white boards and visualisers.
We are currently a team of 5 specialist teachers who can offer French and Spanish GCSE. We also have a French Language Assistant yearly and further support from our local community to offer Spanish intervention.
In Years 7 and 8 our schemes are based on the AQA KS3 outline and focus on fluid communication and a broad cultural awareness. From year 9 we currently follow the AQA GCSE in French and Spanish; pupils are able to choose to continue with French or to take an ab initio course in Spanish with a foundation year followed by a two-year GCSE course. With the help of local linguists, we also support native speakers in Italian, Polish and German to complete extra Language GCSEs.
The MFL department occupies the top of Treloweth building with three dedicated MFL rooms, a department work room, a MFL support room and bookable access to an ICT room. Each MFL classroom is equipped with interactive white board, document visualiser and a range of authentic resources to extend students love of language learning.
We have built strong links with our partner school in Brittany, Le Nivot, with whom we run an annual exchange. We also work closely with Penwith and Truro College to encourage our students to continue studying Languages beyond GCSE. We offer weekly support sessions after school led by staff and our Foreign Language Assistants.
The faculty collaborates with MFL departments across Cornwall on a termly basis. Our deputy faculty lead is the SCITT lead for MFL. Over the years we have worked closely with Penwith and Truro College to encourage students to pursue further study in MFL. Our exchange school Le Nivot is a vital link to help our students develop their language skills in a real-life situation.