Academic Organisation

In most subjects at Key Stage 3 pupils are taught in form classes which are, in most cases, mixed ability.  In English and Mathematics pupils maybe set according to ability.   Extra support is made available to pupils who require help with literacy and numeracy.  In some curriculum areas pupils may be grouped broadly according to ability; in other lessons, the ability range is fully mixed.  Pupils’ progress is monitored regularly and groups may be changed as a result.

In Years 10 and 11 the school offers a range of courses in all subject areas.  All courses lead to entry and accreditation through public examinations at 16+.  The courses followed and examinations taken by our pupils are carefully selected to meet the ability and needs of the individual.  Certification is available in all subject areas at GCSE and some at BTEC as well as Foundation and Intermediate Welsh Baccalaureate.  Pupils are graded on the quality of their coursework, controlled assessments and written exam performance.

Entry Level courses, designed for pupils for whom traditional written exams are unsuitable, are also available in certain subject areas.  The certificates and grades awarded at Entry Level place great emphasis on continuous assessment through the duration of the course.

From September 2015, all pupils in Key Stage 4 have undertaken the Welsh Baccalaureate. The curriculum has changed as a result.  In addition to the Welsh Baccalaureate pupils study new GCSEs in English and Maths, Welsh and ICT and there are further developments planned in order to widen our curriculum choice even further

Pupils also have the opportunity to study other subjects, both academic and vocational, in addition to the National Curriculum in Years 10 and 11.  We make our curriculum appropriate to the needs of the pupils using a variety of teaching styles and assessment procedures that encourage a positive attitude to learning, the understanding of concepts and values, and the acquisition of knowledge and skills.  All pupils are given detailed and impartial advice on options’ choices from experts inside school as well as Careers Wales.

After leaving Blackwood Comprehensive School our pupils follow a range of learning pathways, a high percentage move to Crosskeys College, with others going to Ystrad Mynach College and local sixth forms.