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We are very proud of our broad, balanced curriculum offer at Valley Park, which is made up of our students’ timetabled lessons, their co-curricular activities and our Personal Development curriculum. Our E-Learning Scheme ensures that students have access to iPads throughout the school day and beyond, enabling them to take advantage of innovative practices, including for assessment, and online resources.
The curriculum at Valley Park is designed to serve the needs of our students and is reflective of our intent to provide a fully comprehensive range of opportunities for a fully comprehensive intake. We have to meet nationally-agreed criteria regarding which subjects are taught, but we supplement this with our range of co-curricular opportunities.
The school has five lessons per day and works on a two-week timetable. The principal subjects of study for your child will be:
English, Mathematics, Science, Art & Design, Computer Science, Dance, Design Technology, Drama, World Views (Ethics), French, Geography, History, Music and Physical Education.
All subjects assess on a regular basis, and yearly examinations are held. Parents are invited each year to a Parent Consultation Evening to discuss their child’s progress with each subject teacher. Three grade sheets are produced each year to keep parents informed of progress. The grade sheets are published on the Parent Portal, and you will be sent details about how to access this in September.
- Our students follow a two-year Key Stage 3 in Years 7 and 8 and choose their Key Stage 4 optional subjects towards the end of Year 8.
- In Key Stage 4 all students study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science (a double award GCSE). There will be the chance to choose other options (including French) from a wide range of academic and vocational subjects, some of which they may not have studied before...
- In the Sixth Form students choose a range of academic and vocational subjects from a wide selection on offer at Valley Park School and Invicta Grammar School.
Students are encouraged to study beyond the formal curriculum through our Curriculum Enrichment programmes which aims to stretch and challenge those who have demonstrated a particular interest or aptitude in a certain curriculum area.
Our Personal Development programme is delivered through assemblies and form time activities, plus a series of six Focus Days that are at the core of our students’ experience and deliver a wide range of topics including Religious Education, citizenship, health education, careers guidance and the exploration of healthy lifestyles.
These days sometimes involve visiting speakers delivering presentations and workshops, and some students even run our popular Decaf (dementia café) for members of the wider community on these days.
There are plenty of opportunities on offer!
What time are lessons?
- Assembly/Registration - 8:40am-9:00am
- Lesson 1 - 9:00am-10:00am
- Lesson 2 - 10:00am-11:00am
- Morning Break - 11:00am-11:20am
- Lesson 3 - 11:20am-12:20pm
- Lesson 4 - 12:20pm-1:20pm
- Lunch (including optional clubs) - 1:20pm-2:00pm
- Lesson 5 - 2:05pm-3:05pm
- Co-Curricular Activities - 3:05pm-5:00pm
Learning doesn’t stop at 3.05pm when lessons end and, although some schools call their clubs and societies “extra-curricular” provision, we believe that these activities go hand-in-hand with academic subjects, so we prefer the term “co-curricular.”
Our students gain many wider skills through our programme of co-curricular activities; Valley Park is a thriving and vibrant creative environment where all students are actively encouraged to participate, whether they have joined us via the scholarship programme or not. Our Student Bulletin will be e-mailed to your child every Friday, giving details of what is happening in school the following week, including details of after school activities and their location. We would encourage any new student to try at least two co-curricular clubs – more if preferred! – as they are a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
Students have the opportunity to develop their creativity through the performing and visual arts at Valley Park, both within curriculum time and through our wide range of co-curricular activities. We encourage our students to be creative and “think outside the box” – just like the unusual canvas used by TK from Frittenden Primary School in this page's header (see top).
We value our students’ creativity and, as such, any visitor to the school will experience it as a part of our décor. We have an enviable reputation for the performing arts and we would encourage any of our students to get involved if they wish – even if they would be more comfortable backstage rather than on-stage!
Our musicians host a range of different styles of musical events throughout the year, with Jingle Bell Rock at Christmas time, our atmospheric carol service in All Saints Church, Maidstone, and V in the Park, our summer music festival held on the field. We hope we have something for everyone.
Perhaps if you think something is missing, you would let us know, and we shall see what we can do.
Instrumental music lessons at Valley Park are provided by a visiting team of private teachers. We can offer singing lessons, piano and keyboard, drums, guitar and all the orchestral instruments; parents are invoiced directly by the music teacher.
If you are interested in pursuing music lessons for your child, please complete and return our application form, available here.
We know that parents can sometimes be concerned that music lessons can affect their child’s normal lessons, however our two-week timetable at Valley Park means that the impact of instrumental lessons is therefore lessened.
Here is our virtual choir’s latest performance of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”.