Pauline Louise Gradden

Head of Secondary

We are an inclusive school and as such we value each pupil and the wealth of experience and culture.

Welcome to our secondary school.

Here at TBS, we are committed to leading an inclusive school that focuses on personal excellence and achievement for all our students in both academic and extracurricular pursuits. We have high expectations of our pupils with an emphasis on fostering a positive approach to learning which demands that students demonstrate a commitment to embrace all of the opportunities we have on offer.  

Our secondary school nurtures respect, responsibility, reflectiveness and collaboration, all of which you will find examples of in other sections of our website.  Above all, we are determined that our secondary students will move forward in their next steps in life as kind, resilient, confident individuals who are equipped to make a positive contribution to their vast and varied communities.

We make it our priority to ensure a smooth transition from primary to secondary through excellent pastoral care and joint curriculum planning between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 teachers to provide continuity of care and curriculum provision.  We also ensure that all students joining our secondary school from other schools are supported as they settle into their new environment. Becoming a secondary student can be a huge challenge and 

We aim to provide our students with an outstanding education that nurtures their talents, interests and aspirations and, in line with our school mission, create students who pursue excellence and are kind.  In partnership with parents we aim to deliver a memorable experience for all of our students, the product of which will be happy, inspiring individuals who are equipped to face their future aspirations and challenges.

Learning in Secondary

We deliver a challenging, inclusive and innovative academic curriculum and co-curricular programme, with a focus on the effective learning of knowledge, skills and understanding so that every student can strive for excellence and be kind.

At the heart of our philosophy is that we are an inclusive school, where we welcome all students, regardless of race, religion or background, providing their level of English allows them to access our curriculum.  Academic selection plays a very small part in our admissions process and we offer support, where possible, for children with additional needs.  All students have the same right to receive an outstanding education and the opportunity to make academic progress.  There are sometimes impediments to this being a reality and it is the responsibility of our teachers and the Additional Learning Needs Department to help identify the specific additional needs and do everything we can to support the child on their learning journey.

At the core of our educational thinking is a focus on challenge and creativity, with an emphasis on developing confident communicators, with a kind and compassionate moral compass, who will go on to have a positive impact on their local and global community. Our curriculum is appropriately challenging and personalised for each and every student, with a focus on differentiated teaching and learning.  We continue to look at ways of broadening our curriculum to meet the needs of our students, but not to the detriment of the quality of our provision.  Assessment is meaningful, but not overburdening to the detriment of innovative teaching or the learning of our students.  Students are required by our teachers and the curriculum to think really, really hard and challenge themselves through being creative and inventive.  The quality of our teachers and curriculum is matched by high academic expectations and aspirations for all of our students.

One of our primary roles is to ensure that we create an appropriately challenging learning journey for each and every child in our school, so that they understand the world around them and their place within it.  Their learning journey does not end at TBS and we take our responsibility very seriously in helping every student find the next step in their learning journey after TBS, whether that be joining another school, going into work or into higher education. This education is intended to give pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative aspects.

Outstanding schools recognise a responsibility to encourage personal excellence and development, both inside and outside of the classroom. It is our responsibility to provide a broad range of opportunities so that all students can pursue a variety of challenges and experiences, extend their horizons and discover their ‘element’, i.e. the point where their passions and skills meet. Co-curricular activities are embedded into the ethos and fabric of the school, with a focus on breadth and quality.

The curriculum in KS3 is designed to give as much variety of educational experience as possible. Students are encouraged to collaborate and inject creativity into their work as they explore new specialist subjects and skills.

Our learning environment is ambitious, rigorous and nurturing. Learning support is readily available and we pride ourselves on our ability to tailor timetables to suit our students needs. We see the KS3 curriculum as grounding in fundamental skills.

The year groups consist of two or three mixed-ability teaching groups. All subjects are compulsory except for the choice of languages where students are asked to specialise in two out of the four languages offered after Year 7. The following subjects are taught and the curriculum outlines for these subjects can be found on our website:

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • Nepali
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art and Ceramics
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Physical Education
  • ICT
  • Design and Technology (Resistant Materials and Electronics)
  • Wellbeing (PSHE)
  • Information Literacy

Key Stage 4 includes students from Year 10 and Year 11 who are completing the IGCSE programme. During this time students study a maximum of 9 subject options. IGCSE’s are internationally recognised academic qualifications and assist forward movement into A-Levels and other educational opportunities. We expect all students to be striving for the highest possible academic progress and achievement in each of their IGCSE subjects.

To support future study, all students in Key Stage 4 will be required to complete English (Language and Literature), Science, Mathematics and one language (Mandarin, French or Spanish). This will allow students to select between 3 to 4 additional subject options. 

In January, Year 9 students and their parents will be invited to an options information evening where the Head of Key Stage 4 will discuss more specific information about the options process and students and parents will be issued with an options booklet with all the information required to make final subject decisions. Following on from this evening, students will be asked to make a decision about their preferences for IGCSE.

Currently, we offer IGCSEs in the following subjects:

  • Art
  • Business Studies
  • Drama
  • Physical Education
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Design and Technology
  • History 
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • Music
  • Psychology

In addition to basic subject requirements and recommendations, students will also need a positive attitude to learning and a commitment to study. Students should be allocating a minimum of one hour additional learning for each subject per week (with expectations of increased time allocation closer to assessments and examinations), even if they have not been set formal homework. Students must be responsible for their own time management to ensure they meet deadlines and allow for sufficient preparation and reflection for all assessments.

In addition to their IGCSE subjects, students will also have lessons in PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Physical Education as these subjects facilitate the holistic development of every student. They will participate in charity projects where they will work together to raise funds for schools in challenging environments across Nepal. Every week students will visit with younger children in the school for paired reading or coaching. Students will also have the opportunity to commence their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, with participants completing the Bronze and Silver awards. 

During this time students study towards a maximum of 4 A-levels. A-Levels are internationally recognised academic qualifications and university entrance examinations and following successful completion of A Levels, our students have moved on to study at universities in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Korea and Europe.

A-Levels are a highly academically rigorous courses and we require any student hoping to study A-levels at TBS to have achieved at least 5 IGCSEs at a grade C or above. It is recommended that students will need to have achieved a grade B or above in any subject that they wish to pursue at A Level. Students who have not gained a C grade in either English Language or Mathematics at IGCSE will be required to re-sit these as part of the Year 12 programme as these will be required for university admittance. 

We currently offer the following subjects at A Level:

  • Art
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • French 
  • Mathematics
  • Media Studies
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • History
  • Music
  • Chemistry
  • Design and Technology
  • Literature
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

In addition to these requirements and recommendations, students will also need a positive attitude to learning and a commitment to study. For every hour of curriculum time, students should be spending another hour engaged in independent study. 

The transition process into sixth form begins in Year 11, with an options evening to which both parents and student are invited. In addition to supporting students with selecting subjects to prepare them for transition into Sixth Form, they will also be invited to take part in “Bridging Week”. After IGCSE examinations are completed, students will come back into school (in June) and experience ‘Bridging Week’ which is a taster of life in Sixth Form. During Bridging Week, students will meet their mentors, attend “taster” lessons for the subjects they have chosen.

Homework can assist in the process of formative assessment and planning, create better partnerships with home and help to prepare students for further study. Meaningful homework is related to the teaching and learning which takes place in the classroom and is especially effective when it consolidates or reinforces learning. 

However, we also believe in a healthy work/ life balance and as such set limitations on the amount of time students should be expected to complete set home learning tasks to support them in managing their time efficiently. Below are the time allocations pertaining to each year group.

Time Allocations

  • Year 7/8: 30 minutes per subject, per week; all homework will have at least a 3 day deadline;
  • Year 9: 40 minutes per subject, per week; all homework will have at least a 3 day deadline;
  • Year 10/11: 1 hour per subject, per week; no homework longer than 30 minutes will be set for the next day and the deadline for homework taking an hour or longer, will be at least one week from the date set;
  • Year 12/13: 5 hours per subject, per week; no homework longer than 30 minutes will be set for the next day and the deadline for homework taking an hour or longer, will be at least one week from the date set;

The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching as both respond to the information it provides. Assessment for learning is an ongoing process that arises out of the interaction between teaching and learning and includes everything from class questions to the marking of class and homework to end of unit or end of year tests and exams.

Assessment data is used to raise achievement by:

    • Evaluating and recording each student’s attainment and progress and identifying  individual and collective strengths and weaknesses.
    • Evaluating our teaching effectiveness and planning for future teaching and learning experiences.
    • Adjusting our teaching to the individual needs of students.
    • Comparing individual student and school levels of attainment and progress with national and international data.
  • Providing comparative data of both individual and school levels of attainment.
  • Quality assurance within and across subjects. 

We believe for students to be successful learners, they need to have a ‘growth mindset’ approach. In each report, students are issued with an Approach to Learning Grade for each subject. The descriptors for these grades can be found below.

Over the course of the year, you will receive information on your child’s progress at three reporting points. Two of these reporting points will be followed by a Parent Teacher Consultation, which will give you the opportunity to discuss the data shared with you. The remaining reporting point will contain both achievement and progress data and comments to explain what your child is doing well and what they need to focus on to continue to progress and improve. 

At each reporting point, combinations of the following data will be shared with you, depending on the point your child is at in the course:

TG – Target Grade 

  • KS3 Target: CAT scores and the teacher’s knowledge of the student and their previous performance are used to set an ambitious target for the end of the year.
  • KS4/5 Target: CAT scores and the teacher’s knowledge of the student and their previous performance are used to set an ambitious target for the end of the course.
  • Note: once the target grade has been met, it will be raised, and the subject teacher will issue a new target grade to ensure we are constantly challenging our students.
  • Note: CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests) are completed at the start of each key stage and are used as one way to measure potential achievement.

PG – Predicted Grade 

  • KS3 predicted grades will be entered from the 2nd reporting point of the year;
  • KS4 predicted grades will be entered from the 4th reporting point in year 10;
  • KS5 predicted grades will be entered from the 2nd reporting point in both years 12 and 13;
  • KS4/5 Predicted Grade: is the grade the teacher believes, in their professional judgement, the student will achieve by the end of the key stage. This will be based on current performance against the relevant criteria, rate of progress  so far and approach to learning. 
  • KS3 Predicted Grades: the grade the teacher believes, in their professional judgement, the student will achieve by the end of the year. This will be based on current performance against the relevant criteria, rate of progress so far and approach to learning. 

CWG – Current Working Grade 

  • This a cumulative overview of the quality of the students work up until that point in the year based on classwork, homework and tests, as measured against the relevant grading criteria;
  • It is not their latest test score or based solely on the unit currently being studied;
  • CWGs will not be included in the first reporting point of the year for students in years 7, 10, 12 and 13 to allow for enough of the new course to be covered before a judgement is made.

TL – Traffic Light

Expectations and Wellbeing

Expectations and Wellbeing

The British School Kathmandu has made a commitment to upholding the wellbeing and welfare of our students. Our school embraces the unique and individual strengths of each child so that they may find their own personal excellence, as well as their personal place within our school and the wider community. 

In their approach to learning, we expect that each of students embraces a ‘growth mindset’ to ensure they are striving to achieve personal excellence and contribute to a kind school environment. You will find more information on how we assess students’ approach to learning in our reporting guidelines and below is an outline of what we believe a growth mindset approach entails.

An excellent learner will consistently:

  • Seek to understand strengths and areas for development and challenge themselves to improve;
  • Make changes to their approach after responding to feedback and support;
  • Go above and beyond the work set, for example attend extra rehearsals/ practices or carry out additional research on a topic;
  • Have the confidence to take risks;
  • Be inquisitive and creative, exploring new ideas and innovations;
  • Contribute fully to groups and teams, demonstrating kindness and compassion to other community members.

In order to be an excellent learner, attendance and punctuality are vitally important. Regular attendance at school is crucial to help students achieve and get the best possible start in life. Students who frequently miss school often fall behind. There is a strong link between good school attendance and achieving good results. For example, according to UK statistics, only 12% of pupils with below 80% school attendance achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and Maths, compared to 68% for pupils with attendance greater than 95%.  

Additionally, good attendance at school shows potential employers that a young person is reliable, and we are required to report attendance on university applications or applications to other schools. 

Parent support is critical in ensuring students attend and achieve well in schools, just as it is with punctuality, which is also important for long term student success.

Arriving on time for school and class means:

  • Students don’t miss out on important learning activities that happen early in the day when they are most alert;
  • Students learn about routines and commitment;
  • Students have time to organise themselves for the morning lessons before classes start, meaning they are more likely to have a productive day;
  • Students have time to greet their friends before class, reducing the possibility of disruptions in the classroom later on;
  • Disruptions to learning when students arrive late that can make them feel uncomfortable and can upset other students, are minimised;
  • Students have a positive start to the day, rather than feeling rushed, or embarrassed to walk in late to a class that has already started.

If we notice a pattern of low attendance or punctuality emerging, we will immediately contact parents to let them know of our concerns and offer our support where necessary. 

Our pastoral care system focuses on the wellbeing of the whole student including their long term academic, personal and social development. In the secondary school, the mentor is the primary pastoral care giver, supported by specialist teachers, support staff and the Pastoral Leadership Team. Our PSHE curriculum also provides our students with the opportunity to develop the values and morals we believe will help them thrive in an ever-changing world. 

The following documents outline the policies and practices we have in place to safeguard the wellbeing of our students:

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