Curriculum and Qualifications Overview

The curriculum provided for our students is both broad and deep, embracing knowledge, skills and qualities. The curriculum framework is in line with national requirements but also reflects the context of the school and our LEARN ethos.

We agree that schools have an important contribution to make to wider society and therefore that the school curriculum should aim to satisfy economic needs for individuals and the workforce as a whole through developing knowledge, skills and confidence in our learners and leading them toward high quality academic or vocational qualifications at the end of compulsory schooling; that it should inculcate an appreciation of the national culture, traditions and values of the UK; that it should provide opportunities for participation in a broad range of educational experiences both within and beyond the classroom to support personal development and empowerment. The curriculum offer is reviewed each year to take into account drivers from outside school such as changes in national policy but also to ensure that the design of the curriculum is enabling continuing school improvement and meeting the needs of our community. The school curriculum is understood to be the sum of all the experiences that a student has at school and, in this school, there are many opportunities for young people to experience new challenges, develop skills and attributes and acquire the resilience to be a successful, lifelong learner. Many of those experiences take place within our classrooms; below is a summary of the subject based curriculum offer.

Key Stage 3

Our Year 7 curriculum ensures that students are able to develop a firm foundation of learning with access to all areas of the national curriculum. It is predicated on the idea of clear progression throughout the Key Stage and beyond to GCSE courses in Key Stage 4. Students access distinct subject areas, taught by specialist teachers in specialist rooms. Maths and English now have additional curriculum time throughout the Key Stage in order to further build on the foundations of literacy and numeracy from the primary curriculum. Because of the additional importance given to History and Geography at Key Stage 4 through the introduction of the English Baccalaureate and the new Progress and Attainment 8 measures, we have increased the amount of dedicated subject time given to History and Geography in Key Stage 3. Religion, Society and Values encompasses Religious Education and large elements of citizenship and personal development, although other aspects are also delivered through form time or on enrichment days. Design Technology includes Food and Nutrition and Product Design. From 2014, Computing has replaced ICT in the curriculum. All students have Music and Drama lessons throughout the key stage and peripatetic music lessons are provided through Bolton Music Service and are becoming increasingly popular; students on FSM can access these lessons for no cost. Students in KS3 regularly compete in a number of subject based competitions including the World Class Maths Tests, Youth Speaks, the Science Challenge and Design awards in order to encourage aspiration and celebrate success.
There are 25 x 1 hour teaching periods in each week.

Year 7


Design Technology


Performing Arts



Year 8 and Year 9

Learning in Year 8 builds upon the firm foundations laid in Year 7. All students continue to have access to both Music and Drama as we believe these creative outlets should not be overlooked and help students to develop self-confidence. In Year 9, students continue with a broad and balanced curriculum to enable them to make appropriate choices for Key Stage 4. This is supported by ‘taster sessions’ in subjects offered in Years 10-11 which are not part of the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

EnglishMathsScienceComputingHistoryGeographyFrenchRSVGamesDesign TechnologyArtPerforming Arts

Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced education based largely on academic courses and qualifications but, as a community comprehensive school, we believe we must consider the needs of all learners across the full ability range. Where the full range of Progress and Attainment 8 qualifications is not an appropriate provision, a very small number of students may access one day off site provision at local providers such as Bolton Community College or Training for Today, supported in school through a foundation learning programme. All students have access to non-examinable courses in Computing, Games and Religion, Society and Values. The curriculum is further supported through enrichment day activities.

All students study a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science and the non-examined subjects (Games, Computing, RSV). The vast majority of students take English Literature at GCSE level which we believe enhances their understanding of the English language and enables them to explore cultural, social and historical context. The core curriculum therefore provides five qualifications. They also choose three ‘option’ subjects, following a thorough IAG programme, including taster sessions, Careers Convention and Your Futures day so that they make appropriate, guided, forward thinking choices. Students opting for Triple Science use one of their option choices to supplement core science time.

It is essential that the Key Stage 4 curriculum allows students to aspire to achieve the best outcomes they are capable of, at all ability levels, and allows them to progress successfully to the post - 16 pathway of their choice.

Core Subjects GCSENumber of HoursCore (Non-examined)Number of Hours
English (Language and Literature)4Games1
Science (Core,Additional or 2/3 Triple)5Games1
ICT (Cambridge National)2.5


3 Optional Subjects from:

Business Studies
Computer Science
Media Studies
Product Design
Sports Studies (BTEC)
Vocational Studies (including Foundation Pathway

Enrichment Days

As our newsletters illustrate, we provide a wide range of learning opportunities that both support and enhance the curriculum. There are five enrichment days each year when the usual timetable is suspended and students have opportunities to work within different groupings, in different places or with different tutors on a range of different learning opportunities. In Key Stage 4, enrichment day events include visits to local colleges as part of our IAG programme and in Key Stage 3, include visits to the Catalyst Museum, Heartstart training and 500 words creative writing competition.

Extra Curricular Learning

Wider learning opportunities include a range of sports clubs and teams including netball, football, rugby league, swimming and athletics; participation in local and national competitions; craft club; music and drama productions and many opportunities to travel at home and abroad including day and residential trips led by subject teachers in order to enrich the learning experience of students. Examples from 2015 include Paris (MfL), London (Drama), Rome (History & Geography), St Helens (Maths), Bolton (English)

List of courses running at KS 4 alongside any qualifications they lead to. All courses, except two in Y11 (ICT which is a Cambridge National course and Sport BTEC which is equivalent to a GCSE), lead to GCSE qualifications.

SubjectExam BoardCodes/Specifications
ArtAQAAQA 4200
BiologyOCROCR J263
BTEC Sport (Y11)EdexcelEDEXCEL BLD43
Bus StudiesAQAAQA 4130
ChemistryOCROCR J264
Computer ScienceEdexcelEDEXCEL 1CP0
DramaAQAAQA 4240
English LanguageWJECWJEC 4170
English LiteratureWJECWJEC 4200
Film StudiesWJECWJEC 0155
FrenchAQAAQA 4655
GeographyAQAAQA 9030
HistoryAQAAQA 9045
ICT Cambridge NationalOCROCR J810
MathsEdexcelEDEXCEL MA01
MediaWJECWJEC 4390
MusicEdexcelEDEXCEL 2MU01
PhysicsOCROCR J265
Science CoreOCROCR J261
Science AdditionalOCROCR J262
CateringWJECWJEC 4730
Product DesignOCROCR J305
Citizenship(Y10)OCROCR J269
PE(Y10)EdexcelEDEXCEL 2PE01
Child Development (Y11)AQAAQA 4580