Our Specialisms afternoon is an exclusive programme developed at Thomas Estley as part of our Leadership and Character curriculum. The programme, which runs throughout year 9, is designed to prepare our students develop as independent and confident learners who can apply personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) across the curriculum and begin to prepare themselves for life beyond the school gates. All aspects of the Leadership and Character curriculum will be covered through a variety of contexts, and we allow students to indicate which of these most interest them. Spaces in each context are limited so we ask students to indicate three preferences, and we will allocate them to one of these. More information about each of the available contexts can be found below.
Specialisms: A personalised pathway
Tuesday afternoons for Year Nine include a range of specialist contexts, allowing learners to develop knowledge and skills specific to a chosen area in addition to the learning and thinking skills themselves. This is obviously in addition to the normal Year Nine subjects, timetabled across the rest of the week as usual. We know that this Tuesday ‘Specialisms afternoon’, in place now for several years, adds motivation and enjoyment for our learners, in addition to helping them pursue an interest which they may then choose to develop further through their GCSEs and beyond, in or out of school.
Responding to Covid-19
Due to the Summer term lockdowns, students were not able to select their options in year 8 as they usually would. We will therefore be running the optios process in the first 3 weeks of this academic year. In the meantime, we are providing a 'catch-up curriculum' to help our students refocus on this year and prepare for their rapidly approching GCSEs.
Find out more
If you have any questions about a specific specialism, please speak with the relevant lead teacher; or if it is a more general question about Specialisms, you can speak with or email Mr Fegan.
Leadership and Character skill-building is built into every course - particularly with a focus on developing independent and confident lifelong learners who can apply learning and thinking skills across the curriculum and begin to prepare themselves for the world of work. Your choice will not affect or limit your GCSE option choices.
You likely have some particular areas of interest and so we operate an option system where you will choose areas of interest and we try, dependent on demand and staffing, to allocate you to one of your preferred areas. If we feel that you would benefit from studying one course in particular, we will discuss this with you.
See below for information about the different contexts being offered this year. You will also receive information in your Specialisms assembly.
Please scroll to the bottom of the page to access the Specialisms Options Form and make your selections for the coming year. The deadline for submitting this form is Friday 11th September.
Teacher: Miss Fisher
Arts Award inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents: it is creative, valuable and accessible. We are one of five Centres of Excellence in England for ‘ArtsAward’, allowing accredited achievement at Bronze and Silver levels. See the ArtsAward website for more details and a Thomas Estley case study.
Teacher: Miss Bancroft
Develop the confidence and skills to create and perform in a variety of dance styles that will challenge you mentally and physically. Learn how to stand out from the crowd and communicate your ideas through movement. Be unique, be an individual!
Teacher: Mrs Bryan
Learn what it’s like to run a small business! Students will learn some business basics and compete in a series of business challenges before setting up and running their own social enterprise. Build your leadership skills, turn your ideas into actions and give something back to the community. This specialism will require students to occasionally take part in activities outside normal school hours.
Teacher: Mrs Anderson
Add a string to your bow by becoming a language leader. Combine the development of your language skills with a chance to lead sessions in our feeder primary schools and to surround yourself with like-minded enthusiasts ready for successful study at GCSE or beyond.
Teacher: Miss Plumb
Calling all musical performers! Improve your performance skills, learn an instrument, play/sing in ensembles. Prepare the ground for GCSE study.
Teacher: Mrs O'Garro
Learn to program computers, develop applications and find out more about the Internet. Learning to program is a lot of fun once you get the basics. It does involve some technical detail and will be of interest to people who want to find out more about computers and how they work. No previous experience is necessary but you need to enjoy problem solving to benefit from this course.
Teacher: Mr Robinson
Change how you get involved in sport - be a sports leader, sports scientist, referee, and learn how to coach others in primary and secondary schools.
Teacher: Mr Hillman
Are you interested in how Science, Technology, English and Maths (STEM) are used in the real world? Combined, the STEM subjects influence and impact on every aspect of modern life and work, and in this new specialism for 2019 we plan to investigate how STEM is used across a range of careers as well as take part in our own experiments and design challenges.
Year 9 students:
Please click the link below to indicate your preferences for Specialisms. As spaces are limited in each context, we require you to specify three options, in order of preference, and we will allocate you to one of these.