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Fostering curiosity

Posted by: Sam Pegg
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Queen Ethelburga’s innovative curriculum aids the transition between primary and secondary education

A Year 6 curriculum focused on delivering skills that are important for future success, with no formal SAT testing, fosters curiosity for the important journey into Key Stage 3 and beyond, says Head of King’s Magna Middle School at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate (QE), Steven Turner.

At QE, their mission is for all members of their community to aspire to the Hill Standard ‘To be the best that I can with the gifts that I have’. 


Steven Turner, Head of King’s Magna, the middle school of QE’s unique four-school model, says: “We harness this individuality through an innovative curriculum. This is a curriculum which supports the transition between the Collegiate’s primary education at Chapter House, our Preparatory school, and the demands of GCSEs and beyond in our two senior schools.”


In a difference from the traditional school model where children stay in primary education until the end of Year 6, QE students join King’s Magna in Year 6, and stay with them until Year 9. They find many students are ready for a new challenge at the end of Year 5, so they made it a focus to develop a unique curriculum for this transitional year, with content designed in partnership between secondary school subject specialists and highly experienced primary age teachers.


Importantly, they have made a crucial decision not to assess their Year 6 students using SATS testing. Students are instead assessed formally at three points during the year using standardised and moderated “common evaluation tasks” - these are used to track progress and identify what each student can do and what they could do to improve further. This decision allows them to focus on delivering those skills that the students need to be successful in Key Stage 3 and beyond.


Their all-encompassing, holistic approach to developing the whole student, which is at the heart of everything they do, creates a supportive, vibrant and caring school environment throughout King’s Magna. They are committed to equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to move seamlessly to QE College or Faculty at the end of Year 9, growing and maturing into their teenage years with confidence.


To find out more about this innovative curriculum visit for more information, where you can book on their next Open Day on 14 May 2022.




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