Curriculum Intent

At Aldercar High School, we believe all students have an entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, regardless of background, which is aligned with the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and highly effective pathways at Key Stage 4. We recognise the diverse needs of our students whilst enabling all of them to have access to a core curriculum. The school has a culture that reading, writing and oracy is promoted at every opportunity.

Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Encourage an interest in learning that will last a lifetime.
  • Build new knowledge in a sequential manner, based upon what students have learnt previously, so that all students, regardless of background, make exceptional progress.
  • Build knowledge that students will need to use in later life using clear start points and clear end points.
  • Equip students with the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to progress to further and higher education, apprenticeships or work-based training.
  • Ensure all students are at the chronological reading age ready for the GCSE examinations.
  • Provide all students the opportunity to pursue the English Baccalaureate Route at Key Stage 4.
  • Encourage students to take risks and be prepared to make mistakes in order to be successful.
  • Enable students to make positive choices about their futures.
  • Prepare students for the world of work.
  • Broaden students’ horizons and aspirations and open their minds.
  • Help students to make a positive contribution to modern British society as active citizens.
  • Actively promote British values.
  • Help students become healthy and active adults.
  • Raise standards of attainment, over time.


Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum reflects the needs of our community, our local area and national priorities. All courses cater for individual needs, abilities and interests, thus ensuring well motivated young people with improving outcomes, centred on our key curriculum principles.

Curriculum Principles

  • Clear progress over five years, where students learn more, do more, know more and remember more.
  • There should be depth before breadth, maximise learning time in all subjects.
  • Additional time is given to English and Mathematics to ensure that students have the essential skills needed for life and to access the full curriculum.
  • Targeted support and additional challenge to ensure that provision is in place to enable all students make progress in line with national expectations.
  • Zero narrowing of the curriculum for SEND students, whenever appropriate.
  • To support induction into secondary school for all Year 7 students, with specialised provision for students with SEND and students with other specific needs.
  • Additional time will be offered for sports, arts, catch-up and master classes through an extended curriculum programme.

Our curriculum is designed to provide opportunities to continue learning beyond age 16 via academic and/or vocational routes. It is broad enough to enable students to change direction in the future without being hampered by choices made at 14 years old. For each area of the curriculum, we have Head of Faculty who are highly skilled and passionate that our students receive the best experience of the subject possible, with teaching staff who are continuously developing their expert practice, ensuring that students learn more, know more and remember more.


Curriculum Implementation

It is essential that the curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides students with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our mission and aims. The implementation of our curriculum is driven by quality first expert teaching and learning in the classroom, led by highly skilled teachers who are passionate about sharing their subject knowledge, built upon great relationships with our students, thereby encouraging a love of learning.

Our curriculum provides a core of essential skills, knowledge and understanding.  In Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9), we use a mixture of set and mixed ability groups as appropriate, and have high expectations for learning. Head of Faculties ensure that learning is sequential through schemes of learning that are linear and demanding. Learning is reviewed on a continuum of assessments that continuously build knowledge with ‘next steps’ feedback for improvement provided by teaching staff and DTT (Diagnose, Therapy, Teaching) methodology undertaken to secure understanding in the long-term memory. The setting of our groups in Key Stage 3 ensures that students are receiving demanding work, ensuring they are challenged to learn and improve and, through working as a team with their fellow students, are not overwhelmed or left behind.

At Key Stage 3, students follow the national curriculum. Students will study:

·         Art

·         Design and Technology

·         English

·         Geography

·         History

·         ICT

·         Mathematics

·         Music

·         Performing Arts

·         Physical Education

·         Philosophy and Ethics

·         Science

·         Spanish

·         PSHE


Towards the end of Key Stage 3, we work closely with students and parents to guide them through their options process for Key Stage 4.

At Key Stage 4, there is a core of compulsory subjects, which all students continue to study:

·         English Language

·         English Literature

·         Mathematics

·         Physical Education (non-examined)

·         Philosophy and Ethics (non-examined)

·         Triple Science (Attaining single GCSE’s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

Students then have the opportunity to select subjects from the following options:

·         Art (GCSE and Vocational)

·         Food and Nutrition (GCSE)

·         Computer Science (GCSE)

·         Engineering (Vocational)

·         Geography (GCSE)

·         Health and Social Care (Vocational)

·         History (GCSE)

·         Performing Arts (Vocational)

·         Product Design (GCSE)

·         Sport (Vocational)

·         Spanish (GCSE)

  1. These subjects are subject to change each academic year

Every student has the opportunity to be entered for the English Baccalaureate.

Throughout our tutor programme and every day lessons, the following important subjects are included within our curriculum:

  • British Values
  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
  • Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSE)
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC)
  • Career Guidance (CEIAG)

Our aim is to provide a curriculum that enables all students to thrive and to realise their full potential during their time with us, as well as meeting all statutory requirements. We have a key responsibility to prepare our young people for further education and to live and to work in a fast changing and challenging world.

Central to our curriculum planning is the belief in breadth and balance: similarly, we believe strongly that all our courses must have realistic progression routes that lead to meaningful qualifications or routes to employment. We believe that our current curriculum offers exciting challenges to the most able and also provides support and encouragement for the less confident learner.

The curriculum seeks to address the needs of the whole child by providing a wide range of traditional academic subjects and work related learning courses – all either GCSE or BTEC outcomes.

Information on how the school intends to increase the extent to which disable pupils participate in the school’s curriculum, is contained within our Accessibility Plan which can be found on our Policy’s page.