Our Curriculum, Principles and Aims

  •  We believe our curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage of a student’s time at school.
  • We aim to translate that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within the context of our school.
  • This will support better outcomes for students as we use our curriculum to evaluate what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations.

At THS we aim to provide a curriculum that will inspire students and provide them with the aspirations to achieve remarkable rates of progress, both academically and personally. We intend that our curriculum, both within taught lessons and beyond them, should create an environment where questioning, academic risk-taking, divergent thinking and the freedom to learn from mistakes are all encouraged. We also aim that our curriculum should imbue in our students these qualities: respect, care and honesty. Our curriculum will be accessible to all students regardless of their background or starting point. Whilst it is designed to provide a broad, rich and deep learning experience for the greater majority of students it is also flexible enough to be tailored to the needs of students who need addition support with literacy and numeracy. It seeks to strike an appropriate balance between the types of subjects that are delivered whilst ensuring that all students, regardless of prior learning, have access to academic, sporting and creative qualifications as well as extra-curricular opportunities.

Our curriculum should be seen in its widest sense as the entire planned learning experience. This includes formal lessons as well as trips, routines, and any learning that may take place outside the classroom. These curriculum guidelines should be seen within the overall aims and ethos of the school, which are at the core of its objectives.

We will ensure that students who have not made prior expected rates of progress catch up with their peers. A strategic approach to the organisation of the curriculum for these students will ensure that they do not miss out on opportunities to study the broadest range of subjects establishing equality of provision. We also wish to ensure that attainment and progress gaps between boys and girls, disadvantaged, SEN and figures for all students nationally closes. This will be achieved through timely intervention systems and rigorous teaching and learning which sees the ‘bar set high’ for what we expect students to achieve.

Currently our curriculum still values the breadth and depth of a full 3 year key stage 3 experience. We believe that this gives students a sound grounding in basic and core learning skills as well as providing time for them to develop in preparation for rigorous GCSEs and examinations. We believe this builds resilience and broadens experiences. (All students are taught English Literature as a discrete GCSE course in addition to English Language).

At key stage 4 students will be able to specialise through an ‘options’ process. It is our aim that all students have equal access to the range of subjects regardless of prior attainment. This is underpinned by a core group of subjects comprising of English, maths, science, PE, PfL (Preparation for Life) and computer science. We expect lower-attaining students to access Ebacc subjects and languages in the same way as their peers. We aim to build our Ebacc capability in the short and medium term so that the majority of students have access to these types of subjects. It is our wish to do this as this fits the profile of students in the early years of KS3 where we are finding an increase in the number of students coming with high KS2 scores.

We wish our curriculum to provide outcomes for students that will give them access to further study higher level employment or training. In addition, we wish to develop their love of learning and equip them with strategies necessary for GCSE success. However, good examination results are only part of the picture, our curriculum will deliver a rich and full knowledge of the world in which we live. In addition, a full PSHCE programme is delivered via 3 ‘space’ days each year in key stage 3/4. Themes for these days include personal development, citizenship, British values, SMSC, mental health and sex education. Literacy, numeracy, SMSC and British values are integral to the tutor and assembly programmes and teaching and learning. Our extra-curricular programme is designed to enrich students’ educational experience in particular building cultural capital.

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education are also the central tenant around which our curriculum is built.  The curriculum, even in its broadest sense, will ensure students experience activities which demonstrate our commitment to upholding and sharing British Values. The motto of ‘Respect, Care & Honesty’ is how we drive SMSC in our school, by encouraging our students to embrace the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. This is delivered through explicit experiences for students as well as ‘pause for thought’ opportunities in every subjects and lesson. In addition SMSC and British values are integral to the tutor and assembly routines.

The Distribution of Curriculum Subjects

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)

Core English (4hrs), Maths (4hrs), Science (4hrs), Computer Science (1hrs), EPR (1hr), PE (1hr).
Foundation Technology (1hr), Geography (2hrs), History (2hrs), MFL (2hrs), Art (1hr), Music (1hr), Drama (1hr).
PSHCE Students will also have 3 full days studying a PSHCE programme covering aspects such as citizenship, sexual health, sex education, tolerance, extremism, mental health and preparing students for the world of work.

Key Stage 4 (September 2017 Years 10 & 11)

Current Year 10
Core English (5hrs), Maths (4hrs), Science (4hrs), Computing (2hr), Core PE (1hr).
Options Block A Block B Block C
Art Business Studies Sport Studies
D&T History Triple Science
Media Studies Music Drama
Spanish Geography Computer Science
French Food Tech’ EPR
PSHCE PfL (Preparation for Life) is a two term programme delivered through discrete lessons during term 1 & 2 in year 10. In term 3 students’ experience in IT is extended with the conversion of this lesson to an additional computer science lessons. In term 3 year 10 have a SPACE day covering sex education, British Values, Citzenship, health and well being and careers.
Current Year 11
Core English (5hrs), Maths (4hrs), Science (4hrs), Computing (1hr), EPR (1hr), Core PE (1hr).
Options Block A Block B Block C
History History Drama
Food Tech’ Geography French
Triple Science Media Studies Sport Studies
Geography Computer Science Music
Business Studies Art Spanish


Curriculum Design 2019 and Beyond

As the school continues to grow and improve we aim:

  • To offer an increasingly academic curriculum
  • To build our offer in order to be potentially 75% Ebacc compliant
  • To offer deeper provision for increasing numbers of students with SEND
  • To re-establish the creative expertise that the school once had thus reflecting the local characteristics of our community
  • To narrow the gap between disadvantaged students and non-disadvantaged
  • To ensure equality of provision despite gender, race, sexual orientation etc.

Click on the Key Stage that you want to access below, to view curriculum maps, staff teams and to contact staff members.

© 2014 Todmorden High School. All rights reserved.