Curriculum

Our curriculum intent

We strive to ensure that all students leave our school, not only with the qualifications they need to access the next stage of their education or career of choice, but with the skills and confidence to make an active contribution to the communities to which they belong.

In order to realise this vision, we ensure that all students access a broad, rich and deep curriculum with academic excellence at its core, supported by a wider curriculum where students can develop knowledge and skills to ensure that they are safe, happy and secure. This is supported through the structure of a three year Key Stage 3 and two year Key Stage 4. At the end of Year 8, students go through a mini-options process so that they can begin to personalise their curriculum. Students make their GCSE options choices at the end of Year 9. This ensures that we have the curriculum time to develop students’ interest in their subjects and teach areas of the subject which we believe to be important before specialising at the end of Year 9 on the topics required by GCSE specifications.

At Key Stage 4, all students have access to an EBacc curriculum.  We operate a Stage not Age approach with students completing two of their GCSE options in Year 10 and two in Year 11 when they also take GCSEs in their Core subjects. We do this for a number of reasons including that it enables us to keep a wide curriculum in place for our students by running subjects on alternate years which attract fewer students such as Drama and Music. It also enables us to have specialist teachers with deep subject knowledge. Students feed back that the Stage not Age approach helps them to manage workload and reduces exam stress.  Integrated into our KS4 curriculum is Leadership for Life which helps students develop their wider skills.

Our high aspiration for all is exemplified in all students having access to the full curriculum and being taught within mainstream classes.

At Key Stage 5, in collaboration with King James’s School, Knaresborough, students have access to a wide range of Level 3 qualifications including A Levels and BTECs. Students are also encouraged to broaden their studies by completing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or CeFS (Certificate in Financial Studies). All Year 12 students have a week of

PSHCE and Careers education is threaded throughout Years 7 to 13 and alongside statutory requirements, our curriculum is developed to meet the needs of students in our area.