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 four preferences, and we will allocate them to two of these. They will study each for half of the academic year, except for ArtsAward and ASDAN Specialism, which both run over the whole year. 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.
Some students who will particularly benefit from a targeted ASDAN life skills course will be spoken to individually before the options window opens.
Find out more
If you have any questions about a specific specialism, please speak with the relevant lead teacher or subject department; or if it is a more general question about Specialisms, you can speak with or email Mrs Young.
Leadership and Character skill-building is built into every Specialisms 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. However, as Music, Dance, and Drama are not taught outside Specialisms in Year Nine, if you wish to study one of these in Year Nine, you will need to pick the Specialism as a first or second choice, and explain your reason why in the text box on the form.
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. We will also read the text box to see if there are any important reasons to try to allocate you to one or two Specialisms in particular.
See below for information about the different contexts being offered this year. You will also receive information in your Specialisms assembly.
Teacher: Miss Strudwick
Arts Award inspires young people to grow their arts and leadership talents: it is creative, valuable and accessible. For students who meet their goals, accreditation is possible at Bronze or Silver level. See the ArtsAward website for more details. . ArtsAward is a whole year course, not a half year course like the other Specialisms.
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: Miss Bancroft
Enjoy the exciting experience of being the founding members of your very own Theatre Company!
Students will work together to create and perform imaginative and exciting performances. They will also get the chance to take on other responsibilities such as Directing, Box Office, Fundraising, costumes, and props.
A fantastic opportunity for students who enjoy performing, working as a team or project-based learning.
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: Miss Kavanagh
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 Ansley
Are you interested in how Science, Technology, Engineering 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 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.