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Curriculum (Overview)

We have recently reviewed our curriculum to ensure we deliver exceptional learning experiences which enable all young people to thrive in a competitive world and lead successful and fulfilling lives. Our curriculum offer is sufficiently broad and balanced to ensure all students have access to a common core curriculum but they are also then able to specialise, follow their interests and develop their skills with equal access to positive progression routes.

The intention of the STWA curriculum is to:

  • Inspire imagination and develop interests/specialisms/key skills. 
  • Provide appropriate challenge through access to complex material and concepts. 
  • Provide equality and promote aspiration for all learners irrespective of starting point, learning needs, background and disposition
  • Facilitate positive progression routes through the student’s educational journey into sustainable further/higher education, training and employment.
  • Provide relevance to context and community to enable social and economic mobility. 
  • Prepare children and young people to be successful learners for life, responsible citizens and confident individuals. 

All students, irrespective of prior attainment, disadvantage and SEND needs have equal access to the curriculum. Those in Year 7 and 8 with underdeveloped language and literacy from their previous phase in learning have an extra lesson of literacy to develop their literacy skills. Access to the full Ebacc is predicated on skills, aptitude and potential to achieve in a modern foreign language.

Subject Curriculum and Qualifications

Key Stage Three Key Stage Four Key Stage Five
Year 7, 8 and 9 Year 10 and 11 Year 12 and 13
Art BTEC Tech Award -Digital IT BTEC Level 3 National - Applied Science
Computing BTEC Tech Award - Enterprise BTEC Level 3 National - Business
Design & Technology BTEC First Sport BTEC Level 3 National - Health & Social Care
English Literature & Language BTEC Tech Award - Health & Social Care BTEC Level 3 National - Information Technology
French BTEC Tech Award - Performing Arts (Dance) BTEC Level 3 National - Performing Arts
Geography BTEC Tech Award - Performing Arts (Drama) BTEC Level 3 National - Sport
History GCSE 3D Design AS Level Art & Design - Photography
Life Skills GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art) A Level Biology
Mathematics GCSE Biology A Level Business
Music GCSE Business A Level Chemistry
Performing Arts GCSE Chemistry A Level Computer Science
Physical Education GCSE English Language A Level Economics
Religious Studies GCSE English Literature A Level English Language & English Literature
Science GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition A Level English Language
  GCSE French A Level English Literature
  GCSE Geography A Level Fine Art
  GCSE History A Level Mathematics
  GCSE Mathematics A Level Geography
  GCSE Physics A Level History
  GCSE Science: Trilogy (Double Award) A Level Mathematics
  Life Skills A Level Media Studies
  Physical Education A Level Physics
    A Level Product Design
    A Level Psychology
    Level 3 Certificate - Criminology
    Level 3 Certificate - Financial Studies
    Level 3 Mathematical Studies
    Extended Project Qualification
    Life Skills

Beyond our Subjects

Tutor Programme

Please click here for more detail of the Pastoral provision. The tutor programme provides students with a comprehensive curriculum to promote personal development and wellbeing. Authentic connections are made between the tutor programme, Life Skills and the subject curricula experience. The Votes for Schools platform is used to encourage healthy debate and discussion about topical and contentious issues and encourages further awareness of Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural (SMSC) issues and British Values. Again, external experts enrich the curriculum offer through this programme.

Character Education

Character Education is a new initiative for 2019. Every student across Year 7-10 has access to a Teen Learning Coach/mentor. The Character Education programme promotes a sustainable learning culture to champion self-belief/motivation amongst our young people. Themes covered across the academic year include goal setting, power learning, communication skills, memory/revision techniques, developing self esteem and much more. Students reflect on their experiences and are encouraged to talk about their learning with peers and other adults.

Enrich And Inspire (for our most able learners)

Our most able learners are encouraged to participate in our Enrich and Inspire programme, a focused research rich, more in depth exploration of topics and themes which sit outside the subject curriculum. Predicated on preparation for the best Russell Group Universities, subject teachers pose questions and challenges for young people to further explore, grapple with and debate at the highest level. 


Our curriculum is organised into key themes and topics which are delivered, unless in exceptional circumstances by highly qualified subject specific specialists. Assessment takes many forms from low stakes recall and retrieval practice, exit ticket tests to formative deep SPA assessments to formal summative trial examinations. Testing is follow by a period of Close the Gap activity through whole class or individual verbal and written feedback. Each department has externally trained examination markers and the development of expert teacher knowledge (ETK) is central to our professional learning and development culture.

The delivery of our subject curriculum is based on external research; tried and tested techniques which promote a love of learning, develop long term memory and reduce cognitive load. Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction forms the basis of our approach to teaching and learning throughout a lesson or sequence of learning experiences.  The steps and stages are outlined below.

In order to master the specific elements of Principles of Instruction, learning experiences are shaped and prioritised accordingly:

Curriculum Impact

The STWA curriculum is designed to hook students’ interests to produce amongst others, young linguists, geographers, historians and scientists. To achieve this, we place great emphasis on the balance between the professional development and opportunities for collaboration between curriculum leaders and teachers and clear evaluation and accountability. The curriculum is quality assured through quantitative and qualitative measures such as:

  • Student participation in super curricular and subject enrichment
  • Attendance and behaviour data
  • Take up and retention at GCSE and Post 16
  • Destination data including Post 18 progression
  • Student Voice
  • Quality and quantity of work in books
  • Attendance to Achieve
  • Academy examination performance - attainment and progress