Key Stage 3 is the stage of education that a child begins when they turn 11 and includes the Secondary 7, 8, and 9 levels. Early adolescence truly represents a journey from childhood into the early stages of adulthood. Students build on and develop their academic and social skills, which allow for new learning opportunities in terms of subjects and working methods. Project management and global skills are taught and supported by the teaching staff.
During this three-year period, the focus remains strong on the core subjects of English, mathematics, and science. New subjects include history and global perspectives. Key Stage 3 students also continue with Danish, design & technology, art, physical education, and either French or German studies, along with various cross-curricular projects that will help the students develop their learning styles, their natural curiosity and to explore the world around them.
The aim of Key Stage 3 is to provide a natural progression from Primary School to higher Secondary and to prepare the students for their Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). Assessment is carried out informally through feedback from the teacher and through peer editing, as well as formally through quizzes and assignments, integrated progress checkers, and checkpoint exams at the end of this Key Stage.
The students receive assessment marks (from A*–G) and effort grades (from 1–5) for their work in Key Stage 3. Progress Reports are sent home at the end of both term 1 and term 2 via the platform ManageBac. Students receive assessment marks and effort grades both terms and written comments from their subject teachers at the end of term 2. Portfolios are also used to assess and communicate student progress in some subjects.
The core subjects of English, mathematics, and science are each divided into different units throughout the year. Each unit is based on a particular topic within that subject and aims to be interactive and fun for the pupils while helping them to meet specific learning targets.
In English, there is a balance between fiction and non-fiction texts at this stage. Students are taught to read and write in a specific genre, for example, articles, reviews, persuasive texts, formal letters, character analysis, short stories, poems, and the like. Our classroom texts reflect a range of topics and originate from cultures all over the world. Each year includes reading a novel and a different Shakespearian play. Key Stage 3 students could be learning to read and write fables or produce a persuasive advertising campaign for a charity organization. Students are encouraged to produce individual and group oral presentations, films, and performances.
In mathematics we aim to encourage and consolidate mathematical skills through practical discoveries, relatable examples, and application of theory. Students are encouraged to explain and reason orally and on paper. Examples of concepts handled in this Key Stage include fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios, and proportions. They will learn to express, among other things, formulae and functions in algebra. In geometry they will learn to draw and analyse 3D shapes and how to use bearings to solve problems involving distance and direction. Probability is also taught in this Key Stage, along with strategies for problem solving.
Science is a practical and theoretical subject at OIS, of which are four main subjects. There are plenty of opportunities to carry out supervised experiments in our science laboratories. By structuring and supporting student enquiries and discoveries, independent thinking and reasoning are strongly encouraged.
Scientific enquiry spans all areas of science and gives students sound methodology for continuing into scientific fields by forming a strong foundation in routines, practices, and safety precautions. Topics in biology include ‘humans as organisms’ and ‘biotopes and habitats’. In chemistry, students learn about materials, properties, and particle theory. In physics, topics include ‘the Earth’, ‘states of matter’, ‘magnetism’, ‘the structure of an atom’, ‘compounds and mixtures’, and the periodic table.
Our cross-curricular projects combine aspects of the core subjects with other subjects. When we work on STEM, the week is organised into design thinking phases and the students will spend a good amount of time designing, building, and testing prototypes. STEM projects are always linked to real world problems, and we set aside four weeks each school year for STEM projects. Previous themes include 'electromagnetism' and 'tiny houses as temporary housing for climate refugees'.
Our new makerspace classrooms enhance learning through technology. We are able to work with a range of materials and technologies including a fleet of robots on hand at the school, as well as laser cutters and 3D printers.