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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum overview

We have a 2 week timetable of 50 periods which gives us greater flexibility in timetabling courses.

We run a 3 Year Key Stage 3 curriculum which follows the National Curriculum. In addition to the statutory National Curriculum subjects all students in Year 9 take 1 lesson of photography, 2 lessons of business studies and 2 lessons of media studies per fortnight. These courses are offered as option choices in at KS4. This not only gives students an opportunity to experience these subjects before they make any choices but enables us to teach important and relevant topics such as fake news and personal finance. We also run the Mandarin Excellence Programme in Years 7,8 and 9 and offer Mandarin GCSE at KS4. All students take core PE in Years 7 to 11 which focuses on teaching skills, knowledge, team work but most importantly helping to keep students fit and active.

This approach to Key Stage 3 means that we are able to teach a broad curriculum for as long as possible. It also allows us to adapt the content depending on the needs of our students and what is going on in the World that we believe students should be made aware of and taught.

We run a 2 year Key Stage 4 curriculum starting in Year 10. At KS4 students have a choice of academic and vocational subjects. Students can choose subjects where the majority of the course is assessed externally by examinations or through coursework. This allows students to work to their strengths. For example, we run 2 different business studies courses, GCSE Business Studies and BTEC Enterprise BTEC. Our KS4 curriculum is designed around the abilities of the cohort and the subjects we offer can change each year.

All students in Year 7 to 9 study French or Spanish. Students pick which modern foreign language they would like to study at the start of Year 7 and continue studying it for 3 years. The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is at the heart of our curriculum and we encourage as many students as possible to study a modern foreign language in Year 10 and 11. All students also study History or Geography GCSE.

In Year 11 there are opportunities for additional English and mathematics for the students who need it. This is at all ability levels.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a priority in the school so that students with additional needs are supported to meet their potential. We have a dedicated SEN base and a team of staff to support our students. We also support students and have a dedicated base for students where English is not their first language (English as an additional language EAL). We also work with students to help them achieve a qualification in their native or hereditary language if English is not their first language.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) is the over-arching umbrella which is about personal development. This incorporates Religious Education (RE), Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and is across the whole curriculum including extra-curricular opportunities. Students have timetabled lessons for RE and PSHE in Years 7 to 11. RSE is the statutory part of PSHE and is taught both in timetabled lessons and where necessary through drop down lessons or days throughout the year. This way we can give RSE a whole school focus and call on external speakers and guests to support our delivery of the topics. There is also a PSHE and RSE programme of study for our Post 16 students.


We have an extensive extra-curricular programme with activities for all students and their interests. They help develop confidence, resilience, skills, interpersonal skills and teamwork. The activities include PE sports teams and fixtures, drama productions and musical events, trips and residentials. Some examples of the residentials we run are an outdoor activity centre for Year 7, Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold for Year 9 upwards, Theatre trips to London, trips to Paris and New York for Post 16 and a Ski trip.

We have an extensive House System where all students and staff are members of one of 8 Houses. The Houses are Arcturus, Canopus, Capella, Deneb, Libertas, Polaris, Sirius and Vega. Students take part in team House Competitions across the year to earn points for their Houses. Students can also earn House ties by making significant contributions to the competitions and in the school. Year groups join together in Sectionals for the competitions. There are 3 Sectionals made up of Lower (Year 7 & 8), Upper (Year 9 & 10) and Seniors (Year 11 and Post 16). Throughout the year there are competitions open to the Sectionals. Some competitions are open to all 3 Sectionals, some for 2 Sectionals and some for 1 Sectional. The competitions are a mixture of sports and other activities, e.g. football, basketball, tennis, chess, debating and ‘Bake off’.