The Cobham Free School senior department opened in September 2014 following a successful bid to the government as part of wave 4 of the Free School programme. It merged with the junior department to form an all-through school. Pupils in the junior department automatically progress to the senior department at the end of Year 6 and do not need to re-apply. There are 48 additional spaces for external applicants into Year 7. The school currently has 3 forms per year group (72 pupils) but will expand to 4 form entry (96 pupils per year group) once the permanent building is ready. The department is based in Hurst Park, West Molesey temporarily but will move to Munro House in Cobham once the new premises is ready. See School Sites >
Students in the senior department receive a traditional, knowledge-rich curriculum taught in exciting and imaginative ways. There is also a focus on skill acquisition and we have a CFS learner profile which is embedded into each subject area. The curriculum has been designed to prepare students for life in the 21st century.
Message from Mr Mandan - Head of Senior
It gives me great pleasure and pride to welcome you to the Senior Department. I am honoured to be the Head of Senior and immensely proud of the inspiring learning environment we are developing. CFS is a very special school; a lively and dynamic community where students are happy, work hard and make excellent progress .
We guide and support students on their journey to academic achievement, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed for life in the 21st Century and underpinning this with a strong emphasis on moral values. It is my wish that every student leaves CFS with a confidence, conviction and a mindset that enables them to continue to seek growth and fulfilment in the next stages of their lives.
Senior School Day
Students are able to enter the school premises from 8.15 am in the morning and doors open for registration at 8.30 am. Formal lessons begin at 8.50 am and finish at 3.45 pm. Single lessons are 35 minutes in length although many subjects are taught in double periods.
We have an extended day with all pupils being offered free clubs or homework study supervision until 4.30 pm.
We offer a traditional, knowledge-based academic curriculum which is taught in a contemporary, innovative way. We believe that students should receive a secure foundation of core knowledge while developing the skills required to thrive in an ever-changing global society.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
At Key Stage 3, the curriculum prepares students for studies at Key Stage 4 while also providing them with a broad and enriching education. Emphasis is placed on ensuring all students have a solid foundation in Mathematics and English, and pupils needing extra support are offered effective intervention using carefully selected schemes to help close any gaps in their learning.
In addition to Mathematics and English, the curriculum at Key Stage 3 includes Science, Latin, Modern Foreign Languages (French and Spanish), Music, Art, Design Technology, Sport, Drama, Computing, Pastoral, Health and Social education (PHSE) and Philosopy, Religious and Ethics (PRE). All lessons are delivered by subject specialists.
A key part of our Key Stage 3 curriculum is the timetabled Extracurricular Activities (ECAs) afternoon on a Friday to ensure senior students take the opportunity to benefit from the wide range of experiences on offer.
In Year 9 students are able to select their options for GCSE studies. They are given expert guidance from the CFS teaching staff, attending option interviews to help with their decisions. Parents are also given information at an option evening , providing the opportunity to receive advice on how to support their children in making their choices.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
At Key Stage 4 students take courses in subjects they have selected for their GCSE examinations. All students are expected to take the Ebacc subjects Maths, English (Literature and Language), Science (double or triple), a language (French, Spanish or Latin) and Humanities (History or Geography). In addition to these core subject areas students may select from a range of options including: Music, Design Technology, Art, Drama, Computing, PRE and Sports Science.
All students continue to study PRE and PHSE lessons. These subjects are built into the timetable but not taken as examination subjects. GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition may be taken at GCSE, with the course running as an extra-curricular activity out of formal lesson times.
In Year 10 students may complete the Level 2 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in order to develop critical, reflective, problem-solving and independent learning skills. Duke of Edinburgh, the Arts Award and Challenge Maths provide further opportunities to gain accreditation.
We believe that knowledge is important as it gives us a basis to begin to understand the complex world in which we live. However, we also believe that young people are much more than simply ‘empty vessels to be filled’. We are aware that the world of work, further study and life in general require a whole set of fundamentally important skills and values.
We therefore actively encourage vital skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, reflection, creativity, independence and communication. These skills are embedded into our curriculum design and promoted through our House points system.
Students sit CATS examinations (aptitude tests) prior to entry to Cobham Free School, as part of the induction process The results are analysed and pupils are allocated to streams, ‘C, F or S’ based on the outcomes. Streaming allows us to ensure pupils are taught at an appropriate level for their abilities and helps ensure that our cohorts are given all they need to achieve to their potential. The streams are flexible, and once allocated, it is possible for pupils to move between teaching groups if considered appropriate by the school.
Teachers across the school use both summative and formative assessment techniques (see all-through assessment section and link below for further details). Examples of summative assessment in the senior department are:
- Cognitive Ability Tests completed by new students prior to entry to Cobham Free School Senior Department. These tests produce KS2 retrospective indicators, subject specific end of Key Stage 3 (KS3) targets and GCSE predictors.
- Subject specific baseline assessments in most KS3 subjects. These are used together with the CATS data and KS2 SATs scores to set end of KS3/GCSE targets and a ‘flight path’ to monitor academic progression.
- Projects that are awarded Cobham Free School KS3 levels or CFS thresholds
- Classroom tests
- Assessed performances e.g. role plays, musical and English language
- Any task that can be assessed against KS3 levels or our CFS assessment thresholds