Curriculum Rationale – Key Stages

Key Stage 3

All pupils start by following a common curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Creative Arts (Art, Drama, Music), Design Technology (Food, Resistant Materials, Textiles, Graphics), Modern Foreign Languages (French or Spanish), Humanities (Geography, History, Religious Education), Computing, Physical Education and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education).

A personalisation of the curriculum is provided on entry for those who require more support with literacy & numeracy – Building English & Maths Skills (BEAMS) programme.

Key Stage 3 is assessed using a Mastery curriculum where students are encouraged to learn the cores skills and knowledge and demonstrate a mastery of them.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, pupils have enhanced time for the core subjects of English, Maths and Science. The time for PE recognises the importance of health and fitness in our lives. It is a reflection of the global community to which they are heirs, that all pupils have the opportunity to become proficient in a modern foreign language.  Pupils continue to follow a bespoke PSHE program designed to cover key issues and help students develop socially and confidently.  The program includes careers, advice and guidance as well as looking at issues such as mental health.  

Our curriculum offers flexibility and choice within a guided structure. Within this framework, pupils are encouraged where appropriate to fulfil the ‘English Baccalaureate’; pupils will take nine GCSEs or equivalent.  As a school we are overtly aspirational for all our students and we will try and guide them to take pathways that will challenge and inspire them.  We recognise the value of studying humanities subjects and languages into Key Stage Four but we also understand that it is not for everyone and we will not narrow our curriculum to prevent students from following routes they are passionate about and ultimately better suited to.  We recognise also the voice of parents with regard to EBacc subjects and do not wish to impose a restricted offer which is not supported by all or universally accepted. 

In creating our offer, we are careful to listen to pupil demand and where possible we will find creative ways to facilitate courses where pupil numbers are small.

Sixth Form

Our Key Stage 3 and 4 principles continue into the Sixth Form enabling clear lines of progression. The curriculum is built around subjects that go well together (students can study three). This includes a range of facilitating & specialist subjects alongside the Extended Project, Core Maths or Further Maths. We aim to give students a sense of control over their Sixth Form programme enabling a broad education offering wide choice and essential skills for a rapidly-changing world.  We deliver A level and BTEC subjects that we have the ability to teach to a high standard in order to ensure that the pupil experience is full and rewarding.  Where we lack the specialist skills we will not offer courses simply to grow numbers and will concentrate rather on areas where we are able to add value.  Student timetables are supplemented with recognised independent study for which students are guided through and provided work for as well as PSHE sessions during which students are guided and supported in the decision making and preparation for next steps be it university or apprenticeships.