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Welcome to the Heart of the school, Kingsley’s Eighteen Teaching Departments

In this section of the website you can find everything you want to know – plus maybe a few things you didn’t realise you wanted to know – about the wide and wide-ranging array of subjects your child can study and enjoy at Kingsley, from Art to Vocational Studies; from Drama to Mathematics; from Psychology to History; from Science [which has three options of its own] to Sport [which, at the last count, had sixteen].

The choice is yours – and your child’s.

Kingsley School Art Department comprises two large top floor studios and a third, multipurpose room in the main school building. The studios are light and extremely spacious and command excellent views out towards the coastline and over the town of Bideford.

In the Art Department many aspects of drawing and painting are taught using a wide range of materials. We paint with oil, acrylic and watercolour and also experiment with and develop mixed media artwork. We work on a large scale where suitable and also encourage and develop sculptural and three dimensional works. We have the facility to offer printing, lino cutting and small-scale fired ceramics. IT resources within the department allow the teaching of image manipulation and computer skills including use of Photoshop and other industry standard programs. Additionally, at A Level, we teach Photography and have a selection of cameras, lenses and assorted equipment that students can use and borrow.

The Kingsley School curriculum for Art and Design covers a broad range of subjects, materials and techniques. Schemes of work and projects are run across the whole age range and structured learning and inspired exploration are fundamental. At certificate level we are with the OCR Examination Board for both GCSE and A Level for Art and Photography.

 Students are encouraged and supported in visiting local and national events and exhibitions, the department routinely runs trips for various year groups to both local galleries, workshops and sculpture gardens as well as galleries further afield in Bath, Bristol, St Ives and London. We also run regular overseas trips to visit international galleries or places of particular interest.

Business degrees are amongst the most popular areas of study at universities across the world. Business graduates around the globe are in high demand and this leads to careers that are often highly paid and diverse.

Studying A level business at Kingsley enables students to develop a broad knowledge of various business operations such as marketing, finance, customers and Human Resources to name but a few. Students will also gain valuable transferable skills which can be applied to everyday life as well as preparing them for university. Examples include, analytical and critical thinking, decision making and understanding and interpreting financial data as well as an understanding of the economy.

Drama is an important part of the curriculum at Kingsley and the Drama Department continues to build on its excellent reputation.

Drama lessons offer a unique experience in the school day, contributing to students’ social, moral and cultural education, as well as developing the skills of communication, teamwork and creative problem solving. Students are able to explore issues and problems to help them understand themselves and those around them. They are given the opportunity to experience the historical, cultural and practical aspects of drama and theatre.

Drama classes are taught in the Drama and Dance Workshop and the Theatre, both of which are equipped with lighting and sound facilities.

Drama can offer rich rewards for every student, regardless of academic ability. Through role-play and character development, a student can become another person, explore a new role, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions in a safe environment.

Drama can also reinforce other areas of the school curriculum. We build into our schemes of work links with other subjects across the school. We work closely with English, PSHE, History, Music and ICT, and are constantly reviewing and developing our work in these areas to enrich students learning.

The department aims to develop students’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening and to promote a love of literature.  Students are encouraged to explore language through studying a wide range of texts and to acquire the skills needed to present their opinions effectively both in discussion and in writing.  The department recognises that some students may excel in certain areas of the subject, for example speaking, whilst finding other areas, perhaps written work, more of a challenge.  This is one of the reasons why students are taught in mixed-ability groups throughout the school. The English Department is staffed by one full-time specialist teacher and one part-time teacher.

In Years 7-9 students study a range of literature from a variety of genres and historical periods.  They also develop their English Language skills through practising creative and analytical writing and through responding to unseen texts.  Students are encouraged to read independently and discuss their ideas.  In Years 10 and 11all students prepare to take GCSE’s in English Language and English Literature (AQA).  Sixth Form students can choose to take A Level English Literature (Edexcel).

The department offers a range of enrichment opportunities including theatre trips, visits from authors and the chance to enter creative writing and public speaking competitions.  We also run a reading club and a scrabble club.  Most recent trips have including a visit to Exeter to see the Globe Theatre Company perform ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ and the opportunity to hear Michael Morpurgo speaking at the Appledore Book Festival.  In recent years students have enjoyed success in the Rotary Club ‘Youth Speaks’ and ‘Young Writers’ competitions.

Welcome to the EAL English as an Additional Language Department at Kingsley School, Bideford.

Our aim in this Department is to equip our international students with the English language skills that will enable them to reach their full potential in their academic study. We work to develop their English for both academic work and social situations in order to encourage full participation in the school community.
The Department also values the opportunity that our international students offer in giving us, as English people, the chance to experience different cultures.

In Year 11 we offer the Cambridge International IGCSE in English as a Second Language. In the Sixth Form we study for IELTS, the English exam that British universities require: this is English for academic purposes so the skills and language will additionally help with A level studies. Sometimes students wish to take other Cambridge exams, such as FCE and we can help here too.

As well as studying for examinations we offer support with school work in other subjects, so for example, if you have coursework to do or homework that we could help with, the EAL Department is the place to come.

When we can, we will take trips out to local places of interest. For example, last year visits included:  Exmoor Zoo and Morwhellam Quay, an old mine set up as it was in the 19th century; this tied in perfectly with Chemistry lessons on the extraction of metals. We also visited Lundy Island, a site of special scientific interest and a marine reserve.

Message for new students:   You should know you are always welcome in the EAL Department. You can come with work from your other subjects.  You can also come just to say hello, to use our computer, or even for a cup of tea!

The Food and Nutrition Department is a busy, vibrant and popular department. The focus is to promote a love of cooking whilst acquiring a knowledge of nutrition and the necessary skills through practical work to become a competent cook and to gain success on our certified courses at Levels 1, 2 and 3. The aim is to embrace and celebrate success for all in a creative “can do” environment where a positive attitude is seen as the only option.

Teamwork and peer group support is valued and pupils are individually supported and guided at all levels in order to achieve their full potential. Pupils from Year 3 to Year 13 are taught the principles of nutrition, to achieve an understanding of what constitutes a balanced healthy diet, and the practical skills of food preparation, cooking and presentation. As a department we use local suppliers and growers as much as possible to support the local economy, and have our own herb / kitchen garden so that pupils can use fresh ingredients and understand the process of food production from seed to plate.

For those who choose to study the subject at Year 10 and beyond, the department offers a comprehensive range of certified courses to cater to every ability. Currently our courses include, a Level 1 BTEC in Hospitality, GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition, Level 3 Diploma in Food Science and Nutrition and the Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality, which is equivalent to an A Level. From September 2017, a Level 2 BTEC in Hospitality will also be added to the portfolio.

For those who do not continue their studies after the completion of Year 9, we appreciate the importance of the subject as a life skill and offer various clubs and enrichment opportunities, such as trips and competitions, to ensure our doors are open to everyone. Our pupils also support charity work throughout the School by producing refreshments for a range of functions and events.

Geography is a very dynamic and contemporary subject, and thus the Geography department is a place of wide learning opportunities, where enthusiasm and enquiry is nurtured and developed. Teaching takes place in two specialist Geography classrooms which are well-resourced with the necessary literature, computer technology and other equipment.

The two specialist Geography teachers have a range of knowledge and understanding of a wide number of Geographical and related issues. The main aims of the department are to nurture and develop the “Geographers of tomorrow”. The department is committed to empowering pupils with self-confidence, an appreciation for places and people, a sense of citizenship and a real enthusiasm for all things geographical.  Geography, and the world we study, is ever-changing. That’s why our curriculum will focus on fundamental processes, reflect the world around us and foster an understanding of what could impact its future.

At GCSE the new Edexcel Geography A specification is followed.  This GCSE  provides an engaging real-world focus – students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and understanding to real-life 21st century challenges.  It develops a holistic understanding of Geography.  Geographical skills are integrated throughout all parts of the course so that students use them in context.

At A-level we also follow the Edexcel curriculum.  The specification content gives students the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of physical and human geography, the complexity of people and environment questions and issues, and to become critical, reflective and independent learners.

Specifications can be found here:



Geography is about applying knowledge and understanding developed in class, to the real world.  We as a department ensure that enrichment through fieldwork is taken at every available opportunity.  We run both day trips and residential trips in the local area and further afield.  Trips including Cheddar Gorge, The Eden Project and Iceland are firm favourites; not forgetting the amazing Geography right on our doorstep, in this wonderful North Devon coastal location, that Kingsley School enjoys.


  1. To stimulate pupil curiosity and interest in History in as enjoyable a manner as possible.
  1. (a) To cultivate a sense of the past, a knowledge of events and their causes and effects.

(b) To develop an appreciation of how we gain knowledge about the past.

(c) To understand and confidently use the terminology specific to the subject.

  1. To enable pupils to perceive History in the context of a wider body of knowledge, vocabulary and skills.

Historians are encouraged to display many of the qualities of the sleuth as they search for well-hidden clues, sift evidence and reach conclusions. History is not simply a conglomeration of facts; it is about emotion, dynamism, power and motivation. In short, it is the understanding of human race. A mixture of teaching methods are used within the Department; exposition, document study, role play, essay writing, research and project assignments, ICT exercises and note-taking which are supported by discussion work and a seminar-type approach.

Lower school History shadows the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum yet is not constrained by it. A flexible and investigative approach is actively encouraged using the wealth of surrounding historical sites. Pupils who study History at GCSE follow the Edexcel Board SHP course which includes units on ‘Medicine through time’ and Nazi Germany.

The Information and Communication Technology department is a vibrant and busy area of the school, offering a wide range of taught courses to all age groups. ICT suites are available for all subject areas to book so technology can underpin learning in all areas, and ICT is undeniably a cross-curricular subject. Desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, Apple iMac computers, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras and so on are used in all areas of the school.

In ICT lessons students are taught skills in digital technology, Office skills and computer programming as well as an awareness of the pitfalls of computer use. Lessons includes the use of digital cameras, manipulating images and graphics, animation, sound editing, movie making, programming in Scratch 2, HTML and other languages, using flowcharts to program real-life technology, website design, Office skills including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and skills such as sending emails, online shopping and E-safety.

All students in years 10 and 11 study ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) Level 2 for Schools which is an equivalent qualification to GCSE but is focused more on the skills needed in life. Students study a module on word processing including mail merge, spreadsheets including formulas and charts, and presentations. A final module draws all three areas of study together into real-life situations, with a focus on choosing the best tool for the job.

ICT club is available to all students after school where students can complete homework tasks using the school system, or work on projects of their own. Other clubs make good use of technology, most notably the Go Pro club who regularly produce videos recording events happening at school.

Both French and Spanish are taught to all students from Year 7. At the end of Year 9, students can choose to continue with one of these languages. Whilst those for whom English is a challenge are encouraged to take up a new language, the school understands that this will not always be appropriate. Our aim is to encourage students to express themselves and to understand others. We work to build an appreciation of other languages and cultures and an enthusiasm for communication. Through varied teaching styles, our specialist teachers aim to develop the problem solving techniques of the students and to offer a sound understanding of language learning principles.

Over the course of Years 7-9, pupils are introduced to all topics and grammar necessary to prepare them for the demands of GCSE. We currently use the examining board AQA for French and Spanish at both GCSE and A Level.

The MFL department consists of two members of staff: Mrs Sandrine Toubin-Whale (French) and Miss Caroline Williams (Spanish). Our teaching rooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and CD players. ICT plays an integral part of language learning and we make full use of interactive course materials as well as specialist websites, for example Lingascope and Vocab Express in the school ICT suite. The department offers much in the way of enrichment, including annual trips to France and Spain, Salsa lessons and Theatre visits.

Our aim is to allow every pupil to reach their full mathematical potential whilst developing an appreciation and enjoyment of the subject.

Whilst at Kingsley pupils should develop a good grounding in basic mathematics and be thoroughly prepared with the skills and understanding needed for appropriate external exams and later in life.  It is important that pupils feel confident about their mathematical ability and develop the ability to think logically and numerically. Pupils should be well prepared for further study and future careers.  Above all, we aim to ensure that every pupil is both supported and challenged at the level that they require to make the most of their mathematical education.

In year 11 students take Edexcel GCSE mathematics and study the following:


  • Use numerical skills in a purely mathematical way and in real-life situations.


  • Use letters as equivalent to numbers and as variables.
  • Understand the distinction between expressions, equations and formulae.
  • Use algebra to set up and solve problems.
  • Demonstrate manipulative skills.
  • Construct and use graphs.


  • Use properties of angles.
  • Understand a range of transformations.
  • Work within the metric system.
  • Understand ideas of space and shape.
  • Use ruler, compasses and protractor appropriately.


  • Understand basic ideas of statistical averages.
  • Use a range of statistical techniques.
  • Use basic ideas of probability.

We also offer Edexcel A levels in mathematics and further mathematics, where students study Core mathematics with Decision, Statistics or Mechanics.

We aim to provide as many opportunities as possible for able students to take part in competitions.  Pupils will be entered for UKMT competitions and are given coaching to support them through the Olympiad style follow on rounds.  We will participate in team challenges and organise other competitions for them to take part in.

Music is so much a part of the background of everyday life that we tend to take it for granted. For many people, however, it is a powerful focus for creative energy and one which stimulates and guides the imagination. Music education aims to develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all pupils.
“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
The aims of music at Kingsley School are:
To promote and encourage:
  • Awareness and appreciation of organised sound patterns
  • Skills in movement, such as motor coordination and dexterity, vocal skills, and skills in aural imagery
  • Sensitive, analytical and critical responses to music
  • The capacity to express ideas, thoughts and feelings through music
  • Awareness and understanding of traditions, idioms and musical styles from a variety of cultures, times and places
  • The experience of fulfilment which derives from striving for the highest possible artistic and technical standards.
Music should provide a foundation on which our pupils can:
  • Learn to enjoy and understand music
  • Become actively involved in performing and composing
  • Develop musical sensitivity and perception
The essential elements in music at all levels are:
  • Listening and understanding
  • Performing
  • Composing

We are lucky to be so close to so many areas of outstanding natural beauty and wilderness. Dartmoor and Exmoor offer endless opportunities to walk, camp and explore. The South West Coastal Path is within walking distance of the School.

The River Torridge, Tamar Lake and  a private lake provide opportunities for students to kayak during lessons and as part of extra-curricular activities.

Westward Ho! and its surf beach are only minutes away and both Junior and Senior students have the opportunity to join our Surf Club. We run a thriving and vibrant Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and an extra-curricular climbing club.

The School recognises the value that Outdoor Education can bring to students in helping them to understand and appreciate their rural heritage as well as the social, team building and leadership skills that are acquired through shared experiences outside the classroom.

Kingsley School follows a traditional sport curriculum but also offers some sports and opportunities that you will not find at most other schools.

For Girls, in Games, the three core sports are Hockey in the first term, followed by Netball in the spring term and Rounders in the Summer term.

Boys traditionally play Rugby, Football and Cricket.

With two highly experienced in-house coaches in the department, we are able to offer Gymnastics and Judo in PE lessons and as options in Senior Games. This is also true for Surfing , Handball, Basketball and Trampolining.

In Senior Games options, students are able to use our Local clubs and facilities including the new Atlantic Rackets club for Tennis coaching and our Local Gym G4 for Fitness.

We obtain excellent results in the Edxcel GCSE course and the CTEC course at 6th form level.

The school is undergoing tremendous development with regards to our sports facilities. A new AstroTurf and new changing rooms are being added to the recently up-dated sports hall. We are looking forward to teaching on this new area and seeing pupils progress.

Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour and thinking. The department tries to teach in a fun and interactive way, with pupils taking part in their own research, as well as studying interesting research by others.

We teach OCR A-Level psychology. In the first year students will learn how psychologists conduct their research and how to evaluate the effectiveness of it. Alongside this they will learn 10 exciting core studies in various areas of psychology. In the second year, they are taught 10 more studies and also areas of applied psychology. Issues in Mental Health is a compulsory component, then students can choose between crime, sport, child and environmental psychology.

Year 12’s look forward to the trip to visit and talk to an ex-convict, and discuss what they feel prison life should be like.

The Religious Studies department along with the  P.S.E programme aims to develop students’ abilities to understand their community, their society and world, their own viewpoints and the views of others. This combined subject is about the student; the student as an individual, as part of a family, as part of the communities they belong to and as an active citizen in the 21st century. It is an important subject because each of us is important, and the people around us are important. Anything that helps us to understand each other and to live together peacefully is important.
In doing so we aim to demonstrate the key values of Methodism; including openness, tolerance and understanding whilst helping students to prepare for the challenges and opportunities they will meet in life. These are real life values which we aim to develop through exploring real life issues, helping students to confront a range of challenging issues and to investigate different beliefs and views. These issues range from what people believe about God to dealing with bullying, from evil and suffering to drugs education, from putting faith into practice to exploring poverty and wealth. Our teaching and learning must give students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and to develop a respect for facts and opinions, different viewpoints, the ‘truth’, beliefs and religions so as they can be enabled to understand their own values and the world they live in.
At Key Stage 3 we study R.S. and P.S.E separately; at Key Stage 4 we have integrated the subjects together onto one course. Therefore the school offers separate courses in R.E and in P.S.E. for years 7, 8 and 9. In years 10 and 11 all students follow a course of R.E. which is focused around ethical issues such as human relationships, medical ethics, peace and justice.

Kingsley School Science staff are extremely well-qualified and experienced and are committed to providing a stimulating and varied experience for all pupils which includes lots of practical work.

The Science Department is housed in well-designed, well-equipped and attractive laboratories within the Main School building. There are three large specialist laboratories, a large general science laboratory, a Sixth-Form laboratory and a dedicated Science preparation room staffed by an excellent technician.

A number of national successes have  been achieved during the past three years and a high standard of GCSE, AS and A level results have been achieved in the sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The department follows the Spotlight science course in years 7 and 8. Throughout the GCSE courses which start in year 9 the pupils are taught by specialists in the three separate science disciplines. Both GCSE and A level courses are provided by the AQA examination board.

At Kingsley, the BTec First in Engineering provides Year 10 and 11 learners an engaging, robust and broad-based introduction to engineering.  Learners can gain knowledge, skills and understanding through both taught and practical participation in engineering activities. This allows them to become familiar with the language, skills and processes required to work in the engineering industry.

The BTec philosophy of ‘learning through doing’ remains at the heart of this course and learners are given a unique opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of skills in engineering.

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