Faculties

Mathematics

All pupils at Fairfield High School for Girls study Mathematics for six hours every fortnight. Each year group is divided into 2 halves and pupils are then placed into their ability groups with 4 pairs of parallel sets in Years 7 and 8 and 5 pairs of parallel sets in Years 9-11. Pupils are regularly assessed to monitor progress and attainment and ensure they are in the correct set for their needs and potential. Regular assessment also allows teachers, pupils and parents to identify strengths and areas for development as pupils are given lots of time to reflect and analyse their performance in assessed work. Home learning is set by Maths teachers for all pupils every week and this is marked with feedback given. Pupils are regularly given 'MAD time' (Make a Difference) to work in responding to feedback and making their 'next steps' to progress.

Study of the GCSE Maths curriculum formally begins at the start of Year 9 when all pupils begin their Edexcel Linear GCSE at either the Foundation or Higher tier as appropriate for their current ability and potential progress. Pupils in Years 10 and 11 are given regular exam paper home learning in order to familiarise themselves with exam style practice and demonstrate progress throughout Key Stage 4. All pupils have access, with individual accounts, to resources and support on the MyMaths website and the MathsWatch Virtual Learning Environment. GCSE pupils also have access to online textbooks via Kerboodle.

The Faculty enters able pupils for the UKMT Junior and Intermediate individual and team challenges. We also run a Maths Puzzle of the Week with half termly prizes for the top 3 students as well as a lucky dip prize for all entrants. Maths Club takes place on Friday lunchtimes as a place for pupils to get help with home learning or complete additional study or revision. The Faculty also has an intensive programme of targeted intervention from Years 7 to 11, ensuring that all pupils are supported in making outstanding progress in Maths during their time with us.

Science

The Science Department is housed in a suite of eight laboratories, all of which have been refurbished in recent years. Four of the laboratories have extensive computing facilities.   A large prep. room, a resource room and an office complete the departmental accommodation.

At Key Stage 3, pupils study Science for 6 hours per fortnight.  Each year group is divided in half and pupils are then placed into sets within each half based upon their ability.  Pupils’ progress and attainment are constantly monitored, for example by formal examinations and also by the continual assessment of key scientific skills.  Pupils can be moved sets at any time if this is deemed appropriate.  Most pupils will have only one teacher per year, who will teach Science across the specialisms.

At Key Stage 4, pupils study Science for 9 hours per fortnight (3 hours per specialism).  Pupils are placed into sets based not only on their ability, but also what examination course they choose to study.  As a department we currently offer 3 pathways –

  1. GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry + GCSE Physics
  2. GCSE Science + GCSE Additional Science
  3. BTEC Principles of Applied Science + BTEC Applications of Applied Science

Where appropriate, however, pathways can be adapted to meet the requirements and needs of individual pupils.  As at KS3, pupils’ progress and attainment are constantly monitored, for example by end-of-topic examinations.  Coursework is a required element of each course, with pupils being given several opportunities to undertake assignments throughout the year.   External examinations must also be sat in the summer of both Year 10 and Year 11.  Most pupils will have three teachers, one for each scientific specialism. Throughout their time at Fairfield, our pupils develop an understanding of a wide range of scientific concepts that provide a framework for making sense of the world. Our teaching also has an emphasis on investigative science - the knowledge and understanding which pupils need to become independent learners as they plan, conduct, analyse and evaluate experiments to discover the unknown.

English

Communication is critical in all aspects of life; the ability to express oneself both orally and on paper is absolutely essential. No matter what you want to do in life, English can help you succeed.

The English Faculty is made up of 10 English teachers and a learning mentor who supports students solely with their English and literacy needs. Within the team, we have a Lead Practitioner and a coordinator for each Key Stage who all work alongside the Director of Study to lead the department. We also work closely with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator and the Assistant Director of Special Needs who has responsibility for supporting the progress of students in literacy.

The curriculum at Key Stage Three has been carefully designed to link with the requirements of the GCSE English Literature and English Language specification – everything the girls study from Year 7 onwards will help students to prepare for their English studies at Key Stage Four. However, this is not to say that the curriculum is not varied. On the contrary, students will write articles, stories, poems, letters and much more and will study the work of Shakespeare, Dickens, Armitage, Duffy and Browning but to name a few, as well as a range of modern dramatists and novelists.

At Key Stage Four, the girls will continue to hone their writing skills in preparation for the English Language exam, focussing specifically on points of view writing and narrative and descriptive writing. They will study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st Century. During the two year course, they will read a modern drama or novel, a 19th century novel, a Shakespeare play and study a collection of poetry.

Our main aim in the English Faculty is to provide high quality learning and teaching. Our wish is that every girl leaves Fairfield having gained the highest level of qualifications and feeling proud of their achievements.

Computing

Computing forms part of the National Curriculum and is offered to all Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 pupils.

The Computing Department is committed to developing and improving the Computing knowledge, skill and awareness for all students. We are constantly innovating and progressing in order to ensure pupils leave Fairfield with knowledge and skills at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Our aim is to give all girls a high-quality computing education which equips them to understand and change the world through computational thinking. We hope to develop logical thinking and precision. Our curriculum teaches how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation. Our curriculum also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves through, information and communication technology.

Modern Languages

No matter where your future may take you, whether in the UK or abroad, studying a Modern Languages enhances your literacy and communication skills and makes you more employable!

Through both Key Stages 3 and 4, we aim to develop students' abilities to use Modern Languages for practical communication and to offer them an insight into the language, culture and civilisation of French, German and Spanish-speaking countries. We strive to make language learning an enjoyable, relevant, successful and rewarding experience and seek to develop the key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. ICT, pair-work, group-work, games and songs play key roles in Modern Language learning at Fairfield. Most students have the opportunity to work with a 'Modern Languages Assistant' who is a native-speaker of the language and is usually a trainee teacher in their own country.

The Modern Languages Faculty also offers a host of enrichment activities such as our popular visits to Paris in Year 7, Cologne in Year 8, Madrid in Year 9, and Berlin during Key Stage 4. These trips are open to all students irrespective of the Modern Language that they are studying. We also offer a theatre show in French or German during Key Stage 3. In addition, all students have the opportunity to subscribe annually to full-colour magazines that are written in the target language and to buy discounted study guides.

Art, Design, & Technology

The Study of Technology at Fairfield is covered by a variety of subjects including Art, Food Technology, Textiles, Product Design, and Business Studies.

Technology is constantly changing & evolving and it is our job as designers to work with that technological change, embrace it and to improve products and ideas. In ADT we encourage pupils to become creative but also to take risks as we embrace these technological changes.

Issues such as sustainability, global warming, landfill, and cultural considerations all form a part of designing and making in today's society and will become more increasingly important in the future.

We want girls to be open to new ideas but also to be able to analyse products and processes to enable them to make informed choices, with the creativity to adapt and problem solve for themselves.

Although women form about 50% of the workforce, only a fraction of them actually embark on careers in engineering, architecture, designing or become entrepreneurs. We see it as one of our roles to encourage pupils to consider these careers as viable options and ones in which they can excel.

Humanities

The Humanities are the academic disciplines that study human culture and the world, both in the present and the past. The Humanities also promote a spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of pupils through our varied curricula.

In Key Stage 3 the Humanities Faculty teaches Geography, History, Religious Studies and Lifeskills (PHSE and Citizenship) as separate subjects. In Key Stage 4 the Faculty offers a variety of qualifications; GCSE Geography, GCSE History, GCSE Religious Studies, BTEC Travel and Tourism and BTEC Health and Social Care. The Faculty has twelve staff and the Director of Study is Mr Di Paola. Each department is led by a subject co-ordinator; Mrs Rasul (History), Miss Woodhouse (Lifeskills), Mrs Hopwood (Religious Studies) and Mr Di Paola (Geography).

The Faculty is responsible for a wide variety of KS3 extra-curricular trips and activities such as the Shine friendship group (Year 7), the Humanities Film club (Year 7-9), Fairfield goes to Manchester (Year 8), Fairfield Faith day (Year 9), Dovestones field trip (Year 8), Quarry Bank Mill visit (Year 8), International Slavery Museum visit (Year 7) and the Humanities Reward trip to the Pearl Restaurant. In KS4, a variety of activities are organised to meet the needs of pupils. For example; visits to local care homes and hosting nursery children for BTEC Health and Social Care; visiting tourist information centres, travel agents and local attractions for BTEC Travel and Tourism; data collection visits into Droylsden and a field trip to the Lake District for GCSE Geography and the Year 10 Democracy and Internet Safety Day for KS4 Lifeskills.

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Faculty at Fairfield High School is made up of the Dance, Drama, Music and Physical Education Departments.

Dance

Pupils will be using our state of the art facilities, opening in spring 2016, to create, develop and analyse a variety of different types of dance.

Music

In music lessons, pupils are taught about a range of different styles and genres of music through the skills of composing, performing and listening and appraising. They are taught to use many instruments to do this including keyboard, guitars, drums, percussion, voices and computers. Pupils perform their work regularly which help them to develop a critical ear and their self-confidence.

Drama

In Years 7, 8 and 9, students have Drama once a fortnight and these lessons students learn the basics of both scripted and devised work, whilst exploring issues that form links with SMSC and Lifeskills. In years 10 and 11 we follow the Edexcel GCSE looking at exploring play texts and performance.

PE

The Physical Education Department aims to develop a positive attitude towards physical activity and provide an enjoyable, satisfying and balanced programme for all students, irrespective of their academic or physical ability. They will have the opportunity to discover and develop their physical potential through a balanced and progressive programme of activities.

The PE Department runs a wide range of extra-curricular clubs which run each day, both at lunchtime and after-school.