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Academic Achievement

Academic Achievement

Ensuring our pupils achieve GCSE success is at the heart of what we do.

This academic focus sets them up well for their A Level or BTEC choices in the sixth form. Most students will take 9 GCSEs, though some can opt for fewer. We work hard to ensure that students enjoy their learning and want to do well. We report every half-term to parents on progress and how things are going in both classwork and prep.

This work is underpinned by a more general development of study skills and revision strategies. Students take exams relatively early in the year – so there is time to give them help to improve. We seek to embed a healthy attitude to work. There is a good deal of praise, and criticism is always diagnostic and supportive. 

Students use a laptop for most of their work and they are given help in learning how to do this well. We use Google Classroom, which helps pupils organize their work and always a weekly summary of assignments for parents and guardians.

In Year 9, students take a wide range of subjects and make their GCSE choices in March / April. Parents are fully involved in this process. At GCSE all students study English Language, Mathematics and all three Sciences and can chose up to 4 other subjects from a wide range of options. 

In Year 9 by the end of September students are set by “ability” in English, Mathematics and Science. Our sets are reviewed after any exams and also at the end of the academic year. 

All our teachers are experienced with, and supportive of, dyslexic students and are dyslexic-friendly in the way they teach. Our Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) guides both pupils and subject teachers in the most effective way to learn. We have some experience with other special educational needs too but everyone who joins the school must be able to complete GCSEs in most subjects.

The 2023 GCSE brochure is available to download below.

The Tutor System

Clayesmore operates a successful and effective Tutor system. Pupils have one tutor for Year 9, and new one for the GCSE years and change again in the Sixth Form. Tutors act as a mentor for all their tutees and in this work are supported by Houseparents and the Head of Middle Years (and later the Head of Sixth Form). They will  advise them on managing academic work, sorting out any problems which arise, choosing subjects for GCSEs or A Levels and generally being someone they can count on for good advice while they are at school.

Pupils will see their tutor briefly most days and have a longer Tutor group meeting every Friday morning. These are enjoyable moments in the weekly timetable and pupils make full use of this unique and helpful relationship.

Senior Academic Support

The Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) provides specialist 1:1 and small group teaching to underpin the work that is done in classes. These lessons are provided for students who opt for one or two fewer subjects. They take place in the working day.

We place great importance on knowing the profile of individual pupils in order to teach to the strengths of each child, whilst working to improve and support them develop the underlying skills they need to become independent learners. After specialist assessment, targets are set, in consultation with pupils and parents, for lessons within the Teaching & Learning Centre and reinforced cohesively across the school.

In addition to specialist dyslexic support we support some students with the development of speech and language skills, social skills, fine and gross motor skills. We encourage all students, should they need to do so, to use assistive technology, such as dictation software, within the Prep and Senior Schools. The whole school is accredited by CReSTeD.


Related Downloads

Exam Results 2023
GCSE Brochure 2023


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Clayesmore School, Iwerne Minster, Blandford, Dorset. DT11 8LL.

Clayesmore School (HMC, IAPS, ISBA) is a registered company in England and Wales registered at Iwerne Minster, Blandford, Dorset, DT11 8LL.

(Registered Company No: 359779 – Charity Registration No: 306214 – VAT No: 186834226). Site & content © 2021 Clayesmore School. All rights reserved.

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