Virtual Open Day
Within this section of our site, you will find a range of resources and information that will hopefully give you a sense of what Redborne Upper School is all about, as well as answering any questions you or your child may have.
Start by clicking this video for an overview of life at Redborne, before browsing the other areas of the site to focus on your areas of interest. If you can't find what you are looking for, then please drop us an email!
Welcome to our virtual tour; we hope that you find it useful. Redborne is a very successful, oversubscribed Upper School of over 1,600 students, 450 of whom are in the Sixth Form. Over 80% of our Sixth Form go onto university and 14 have gone to Oxbridge in the last 3 years.
We were graded "good" in our Ofsted inspection in November 2017, with "outstanding" features and many positive comments being made by the inspection team.
In April, 2011 we were granted Academy status by the government and as such we are now an independent but state funded school.
We are proud of our academic record, our broad and balanced curriculum, our community links and our excellent pastoral system. Find out more about us by clicking on the other links.
Redborne Upper School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
Mr. Olly Button (Headteacher)
A Welcome from the Head of Sixth Form
Welcome to the Sixth Form Virtual Open Evening. We hope that you will find the video and our promotional materials informative and instructive. We are incredibly proud to support our young people and we want to be sure that Redborne can offer them the chance to achieve academically and to develop socially. Please rest assured that we will endeavour to support them in any way possible as they go through this journey. If having explored the tour site, you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Student Experience
If you're a student coming to Redborne, you will undoubtedly be feeling a mixture of emotions. Perhaps you are excited to join our community, or maybe you are a little nervous. Either way, click this film to get a flavour of what our students think about coming to Redborne.
The English Faculty
In the English Faculty we have fifteen teaching staff and one member of support staff. The faculty comprises a number of departments which include GCSE English, A level literature, A level language and literature and film studies.
In year 9, students will study texts from a variety of literary genres and historical periods, analysing the ways in which writers write. Each class will study a Shakespeare play, a novel, a range of non-fiction and fiction writing and poetry. Class work will include group work, discussion and debate as well as written work. Writing activities may include the writing of letters, diaries, speeches, empathetic responses, analytical responses and creative writing. Students will develop their reading skills though the analysis of a range of texts, comprehension tasks and reviews. Grammar will be taught and engaged with in context, so that pupils understand the rules and systems that create the English Language. Students will also participate in library lessons once a fortnight to broaden their classroom experience. They will read, write, discuss and research based on what they study in the classroom. The year 9 course prepares students for the challenges of the AQA GCSE course by encouraging independent, critical thought. Our aim is for students to be effective readers, writers and communicators.
The Mathematics Faculty
The Mathematics team consists of 16 specialist maths teachers, 3 dedicated maths learning support assistants and a curriculum assistant.
In Year 9 we continue to develop topics covered in years 7 and 8 and introduce new ones using GCSE style questions and assessment. Teaching is by a variety of methods, formal class teaching, group work, practical work and investigations. Students also start to explore how maths is relevant in everyday context and how it is used in problem solving.
In Years 10 and 11 students are prepared for the GCSE exam taken at the end of year 11. Entry is made at one of two levels, Foundation or Higher ensuring that every student has a chance to maximise their potential. Students are tracked closely throughout the course so that individual learning needs are met.
Results are consistently well above national statistics and this summer over 80% of students achieved 9 - 4, with over 60% achieving at least a grade 5. We also offer a range of other qualifications for selected students at an appropriate level including entry level and a level 2 further maths qualification for the most able.
Schemes of work and further opportunities for extended learning are on the maths department website. GCSE students have a login to access to online textbooks through Pearson Active Learn and all students have access to support materials through mymaths and mathswatch subscriptions.
In the sixth form we prepare students for AS and A level examinations in Mathematics and Further Mathematics. The courses have an emphasis on both pure maths and applied maths (statistics and mechanics). Students wanting to take maths related degrees are encouraged to sit the advanced extension award paper. We also offer AS Core Maths which supports Science, Psychology and Humanities.
Able students take part in the individual and team intermediate and senior maths challenges every year. We aim to provide an enjoyable and challenging experience for all students and staff are always available to help individuals outside lesson time.
The Science Faculty
The Science Faculty consists of 23 teaching staff and 6 support staff. The faculty is made up of a number of departments which include: biology, chemistry, physics, psychology and agriculture.
On joining Redborne in year 9, students will follow the AQA Combined Science: Trilogy GCSE qualification. This qualification leads to two full GCSEs, awarded at levels 9-9 to 1-1.
In Years 10 and 11 students will continue with their AQA GCSEs (some via the AQA Entry Level Certificate route initially), but many students will choose to study all three of the separate sciences (biology, chemistry & physics) in greater depth. This leads to three GCSEs in each subject, awarded at levels 9 to 1.
As well as the qualifications above, we also offer the following courses with the science faculty:
City & Guilds Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Agriculture
In the Sixth Form students can choose from:
OCR A level Biology, Chemistry and Physics
AQA A level Psychology
City & Guilds Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Agriculture
The faculty also runs a number of extra-curricular activities which include inter house competitions, field trips e.g. Whipsnade Zoo, Luton Law court, Gifted and Talented events, Museum trips, University lecture visits and much more besides.
The Humanities Faculty
In the faculty we have 18 teaching staff and one member of support staff. The faculty is broken down into a number of departments: History, Geography, Business Studies, Religious Studies, Law, Economics and Politics.
In Year 9 all students study History, Geography and Religious Studies.
In Years 10 and 11 students can opt to study History, Geography, Philosophy and Ethics, Business Studies and Latin as one of their option subjects. Ethical thinking is taught once a fortnight as part of the core curriculum.
In the sixth form we offer courses in History, Geography, Religious Studies, Business Studies, Law, Economics, Politics, and Classical Civilisation.
We place a great deal of emphasis on the extracurricular activities that we organise. Some of these are to support students and the curriculum such as the catch up and revision sessions that all departments offer as part of the GCSE and A’ level courses. At other times visits take place to support a GCSE or A’ level course. For example, in recent years the history department has visited Kenilworth Castle for GCSE and Geography organise fieldwork visits to places such as Walton on the Naze, the Lake District and Yorkshire for GCSE and A Level.
We also regularly take residential or day visits in order to give students an opportunity to see for or experience themselves examples of some of the things that they are studying. In recent years this has included residential or day trips to the following:
Poland to visit Auschwitz (RS)
Berlin and Munich (History)
Prague (Politics and Economics)
Brussels (Politics and Economics)
The Bank of England (Economics)
The National Justice Museum (RS)
The London Buddhist Vihara (RS)
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery (RS)
The Houses of Parliament (Politics)
The British Library (History)
Crown and Magistrates Courts ( Law)
The Technology Faculty
The faculty comprises 19 teaching staff and 5 support staff and is a little different than the name would initially imply - it is broken down into a number of subject areas as follows:Design Technology; Graphics; Food & Catering; Child Development and Health & Social Care; Textiles & Fashion; Art and ICT. This is quite a diverse set of subjects but all staff work very well together and often work collaboratively.
The facilities for Technology are impressive and include 2 materials workshops, 2 food rooms, 2 textiles workshops, 3 computer suites, 1 graphics room, 1 design room and 4 further general classrooms. As a faculty we are one of the largest users of ICT in the school and nearly all classrooms are equipped with up-to-date computers and a large variety of CAD/CAM equipment. The faculty is well equipped with up-to-date and industry standard equipment and machinery in all areas.
The whole faculty prides itself on a high standard of teaching and results.
In Year 9, we take a different approach to Technology than students will have seen at middle school. All students study ICT and Art for 2 periods per fortnight. They will also get to express a preference for 2 subjects out of Design Technology, Graphics, Food and Textiles. They will then follow 2 subjects throughout the whole of Year 9 for 2 periods per fortnight in each subject. All of these courses are designed to develop on from KS3 teaching in middle schools and prepare students for GCSE options courses. Because of the way that these courses are taught, students will still be able to follow any of the Technology GCSEs no matter which 2 subjects they study in Year 9.
At GCSE level we currently offer:
Design and Technology
Food and Nutrition
Hospitality and Catering
Most of these courses are developed into A Levels or equivalent and we have good uptake into most of our A Level courses. Sixth form students are encouraged to become independent users of the facilities and can often be found working in faculty in their study periods.
For the sixth form we currently offer:
Design and Technology
Fashion and Clothing
Children’s Care Learning and Development
Health and Social Care
The faculty runs a number of visits and trips including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Milton Keynes Recycling Centre, and The Clothes Show. The faculty also enters local and national competitions including The East of England Show, GreenPower Racing and The Rotary Technology Tournament. In the past few years we have been very successful in quite a few of these competitions and we are always looking for more students to join in with this excellence. We are particularly proud of the achievements of Redborne Racing who are currently ranked 38 in the national GreenPower racing series.
As well as running a variety of clubs most subject areas run workshops for GCSE and A Level students most days both at lunchtime and after school and these help students to achieve good results.
The Performing Arts Faculty
In the Performing Arts Faculty we have 16 teaching staff and 4 support staff. We also have peripatetic staff who support our students in Music and are the Hub Site for the Redborne School Sports Partnership.
The Faculty comprises 4 departments, which are: Physical Education, Dance, Music and Drama.
Our Physical Education and Dance lessons are designed to use sport and physical activity as a vehicle to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle and also equip students with the necessary life skills post Redborne.
Each student will engage in 4 core PE lessons over a fortnightly timetable and will participate in a range of sporting activities to develop and strengthen the main strands of our departmental ethos. These include physical literacy, self management, good sportsmanship and positive mental health and well-being.
The facilities we have for PE are impressive and we are very fortunate enough to have a mixture of indoor and outdoor facilities across both our north and south sites. These include a large outdoor field, a Sports Hall, Multi Use Games Areas (MUGA’s) and a 3G football facility in North School and an indoor Gymnasium and Fitness Suite in South School. PE lessons will take place in both the north and south facilities and the activity you are following will determine the location of your lesson.
An extensive list of extra-curricular activities also run throughout the school year and students are encouraged to access one or more of these to further strengthen their physical, social and mental well-being.
We are very lucky that the Dance department has its own personal dance studio space with sprung floors, mirrors, ballet barres and a surround sound system which helps to create and develop our dance students during their lessons. The ‘All Years’ dance club runs weekly alongside the Redborne Dance Company who represent the school at various events. We also have an annual ‘Dance Showcase’ with performances from students across all year groups and is a lovely opportunity to present GCSE and A-Level work, extra curricular club pieces and also special guest performances from ex-Redborne dance students. We are very proud to celebrate that some of our students have gone on to study Dance at various prestigious establishments across the country including Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College and The Trinity Laban College.
Over in Music, all students in year 9 will be provided with the opportunity to engage in compulsory weekly lessons as part of their core timetable. During Years 10,11 and in the Sixth Form there are two pathways of accreditation that students can opt to follow - Music or Music BTEC. The Music department here at Redborne pride themselves on being a fully inclusive department catering for a wide range of styles. The more traditional ensembles such as Orchestra and the School Choir are available alongside the funk and jazz bands which perform regularly within the local community. Additional opportunities are also available through extra curricular provision such as learning a musical instrument, singing lessons and performing in school concerts, musicals and plays with the latter working collaboratively with the Drama department.
Drama is an extremely popular subject to follow for GCSE and A Level here at Redborne and has achieved some remarkable results and outcomes for those students who have chosen to follow these courses. All students in year 9 will get the opportunity to engage in two compulsory Drama lessons over their two weekly timetables and be offered the opportunity to attend an additional Drama class weekly after school. Collectively these provide opportunities for all students to advance their understanding of the Theatre and also develop a range of physical skills and techniques such as movement, body language, posture, gesture, stillness, timing, control; facial expression/expression of mood; spatial awareness; and interaction with other performers.
Modern Foreign Languages
The Languages Faculty
The Languages Faculty consists of the French, German, and Spanish departments. It is a friendly and supportive team committed to the teaching of languages in order to equip our young people with the skills and ideology needed to live and succeed in a multicultural society. In an increasingly competitive job market our students will need to earn their place alongside highly skilled workers from abroad who all have English as a second language.
We aim to enthuse our students for languages through stimulating, innovative and challenging lessons delivered through a wide variety of teaching and learning styles. Emphasis is placed on the spoken language and building up students’ confidence to enable them to enjoy using the foreign language. We aim to develop a whole area approach to the improvement of communication, social and grammatical skills which are essential if our students are to leave Redborne with the confidence to manipulate the written and spoken word for their own pleasure and purpose in the future. Learning a language is an enriching experience that continues well after school.
On arriving in Year 9 students will continue with their study of French and learn either German or Spanish as their second modern foreign language. If parents/carers have a strong preference with regard to the second language then they are invited to indicate this on the transfer document from middle schools. The KS3 curriculum has been created to enable students to develop skills and linguistic competence within a range of common topic areas. Students are taught in mixed ability groups and assessed in the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as given an insight into the cultures and civilisations of those countries where the language is spoken.
At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to continue with one or both languages through to GCSE.
In Years 10 and 11 students are working towards their GCSE qualifications and these will be terminally assessed in the four language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing at the end of the course in Year 11. These four skills are tested in a variety of theme areas which are taught during the GCSE course and started in the final term of year 9. Both the French and Spanish departments use the Edexcel examination board whilst the German department uses the AQA examination board.
We are proud to be able to offer all three languages at A level. French and Spanish use the Edexcel examination board whilst German uses AQA. Both specifications are designed to make language learning enjoyable and stimulating whilst rewarding advanced research and knowledge of the culture.
The faculty offers a range of cultural experiences abroad designed to develop students’ linguistic skills, independence and social interaction. The French department runs an immersion trip to Rouen where students stay with host families and is open to students in years 10-13. Students in years 9-13 who study Spanish have the opportunity to visit Malaga and the highly successful German Exchange visit takes place in Bavaria where students in years 9-12 have the opportunity to stay with a host family and welcome the same partner back to England later in the same year.
The Learning Support Department
In the Learning Support Department we have three members of teaching staff, including Miss Ellis (SENCo), and the equivalent of 13 teaching assistants. Students are supported in two ways, in class or by coming to the Learning Support department to have additional support where it has been identified.
In Year 9 selected students will be offered three learning support lessons per fortnight where additional literacy and numeracy work is covered. There is also the chance to use the extra time to gain support on homework tasks and help with personal organisation.
Year 10 and 11
In Year 10 and 11 selected students may opt for Learning Support lessons to gain additional English and Maths input, support with their GCSE subjects, organisational and social support, as well as guidance in regards to opportunities available post-16. This takes one of the GCSE option blocks, providing students with five lessons per fortnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are the questions we tend to get asked during an open evening. Here Mr Trapp does his best to answer them for you! Hopefully you can find your answers by clicking the relevant short film, but if you can't find what you need, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are out of catchment. Is there room for our child at your school?
How does the school bus system work?
How does the canteen work and how do students pay?
What are the language option choices at Redborne?
What are my Pupil Premium entitlements?
What is the Year 9 curriculum offering in Technology?
What is your extra-curricular offer?