The purpose of Year 9 at Ampleforth College is to set a positive tone for the learning which lies ahead of our students. An innovative, exciting programme of study has been carefully planned to allow our students to consolidate their strengths and find new opportunities to excel.
The GCSE course for some subjects begins in Year 9. Other subjects explore areas of their subject which are not part of the GCSE and A-level syllabuses. In all of this, we prioritise the development of knowledge and the maturation of examination skills, and promote our belief that learning is something which should be enjoyed.
By offering the widest possible curriculum in Year 9, we believe that students will be best prepared to make informed choices at GCSE and for Sixth Form (A level and BTEC). We encourage students to try a new Modern Foreign Language and we offer Ancient Greek in addition to Latin. English as an Additional Language (EAL) is offered as an extra in place of English for our overseas students. Some students may have a reduced academic timetable because of their co-curricular commitments or because of a need for timetabled support from our Learning Support Department.
Once a week, each Year 9 student studies Liberalis. Liberalis is a bespoke course which seeks to extend the academic and cultural capital gained in other subjects. It provides the space to train our students in the academic skills of collusion, collaboration and debate. Most importantly, it takes Year 9 students out of their academic comfort zone. Liberalis teachers come from a range of academic departments, ensuring that each class encounters in a different way the great ideas of the arts, literature, politics, science and philosophy.
Year 9 students are also expected to develop their skills in the co-curricular sphere. Opportunities for art, drama, music and sport are rich and varied. Our activities programme is exceptional. There is a strong focus, too, on the value of literacy; each student will have one lesson a week for quiet reading with the support of an English teacher.
Another exciting area of the Year 9 curriculum is the focus on oracy: the power and expectations of the spoken word and the value of listening carefully. We believe that all of our students should have the opportunity to develop their confidence in public speaking, and so they learn how to construct arguments, how to debate effectively and how to adapt their style for different audience.
During Year 9, each student will work closely with their Tutor and the Assistant Head of Middle School (Head of Year 9) to identify their chosen options for GCSE. Parents and guardians are also invited to join actively in this discussion.
Christian Theology, (4)
English or English as an Additional Language, (6/7)
Second Modern Language, (4)
Design and Technology, (2)
Latin and/or Greek (not all students), (4/3)
Christian Living (1)