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The King's School

The King's School Founded 1545

Achievement for All

Curriculum purpose, vision and values

Purpose of the Curriculum – ‘Achievement for All’

Our curriculum, which extends beyond the academic, is designed to deliver the school’s core purpose and reflects our school values of achievement, creativity, integrity, respect and resilience.  We inspire every young person to achieve their best possible academic and personal outcomes within a highly supportive and challenging school community. 

The Curriculum Vision

As a school, we aim to work with young people in our community to raise their aspirations and achievement.  With our success rooted in The King’s School’s rich history, we respond to the present and look to the future and this is reflected in what we believe students need to know and what they should be able to do.   We achieve this by putting our young people at the heart of our decision-making, ensuring that everyone has access to excellence in teaching and learning within a rich, broad curriculum tailored to meet their needs and aspirations.  We embrace diversity, respect difference and celebrate the unique characters of our individual students through the curriculum.

The Curriculum Values

The following values underpin our curriculum:

  • Balanced – Promotes intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional, and physical development.
  • Rigorous – Seeks to develop intra-disciplinary habits of mind; powerful ways of thinking that are developed through sustained engagement with the discipline.
  • Coherent – Makes explicit connections and links between the different subjects and experiences.
  • Vertically Integrated – Focuses on progression by carefully sequencing knowledge; provides clarity about what ‘getting better’ at the subject means.
  • Appropriate – Matches the level of challenge to a student’s current level of maturity and knowledge.
  • Focused – Seeks to keep the curriculum manageable by teaching the most important knowledge; identifies the big ideas or key concepts within a subject.
  • Relevant – Seeks to connect the valued outcomes of a curriculum to the student being taught it; provides opportunities for students to make informed choices and to study subjects, and engage in opportunities, they are passionate about.

The curriculum will:

  • provide opportunities for all students to learn and achieve;
  • promote students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
  • prepare all students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life;
  • be adapted to the needs of individual students;
  • provide students with genuinely memorable lifelong experiences;
  • provide students with a broad and balanced educational experience for as long as possible;
  • reflect the school’s commitment to inclusive education;
  • provide all students with the opportunity to master key skills and content relevant to their key stage;
  • promote British values and the school’s values.

Our curriculum is more than all the timetabled lessons.  Students’ engagement in enrichment activities is integral to our purpose and ethos. For full information please see the Personal Development section below. 

Through formal and informal meetings and student voice there is regular discussion around the curricular choices at King’s. Leaders set ambitious intent and always consider what is taught before drilling down into how it will be taught as we recognise the importance of the curriculum in realising our core purpose of ‘Achievement for All’.

The curriculum - organisation

There is a core curriculum from Year 7 to 11 which, supported by careers guidance at key times, gives our students the necessary knowledge and information to make informed decisions about their personal curriculum.  We run an open options system with no pre-determined pathways which can remove options for young people.  In this way, we strive to ensure that students are not limited based on their ability or background. 

Core Curriculum

In Key Stages three and four students are taught the following core subjects: English, mathematics, science, religious education, PSHE, careers and PE. 

We place a large emphasis on the emotional health and wellbeing of all our students as we aim to equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills and resilience to thrive in the 21st Century.  Therefore, PSHE and careers are taught in timetable lessons from Years 7-12 by a dedicated and trained group of staff.

KS3 Years 7-9

Our three-year long Key Stage three is aimed at keeping the curriculum for our young people as broad as possible for as long as possible.  Building on the primary curriculum and using the National Curriculum as a starting point, students are given opportunities to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful learners who enjoy their learning and achieve highly.  All teaching, apart from mathematics, takes place in mixed-ability groups with staff adapting their teaching as necessary through support and challenge.   Staff focus on developing key subject knowledge and its application as well as supporting students through metacognition.  The breadth of subjects on offer, allied to specialist teachers and facilities, ensures that all students are exposed to subjects that are academic, creative, physical and practical, hopefully igniting a thirst for learning.   

Our Skills for Learning department also run a programme at Key Stage three called Discovery.

Overview of subjects

Year 7 Hours/Fortnight Year 8 Hours/Fortnight Year 9 Hours/Fortnight
English 6 English 6 English 8
Maths 6 Maths 6 Maths 8
Science 6 Science 6 Science 6
Art 2 Art 2 Art 2
Computer Science 2 Computer Science 2 Computer Science 2
D&T* 4 D&T* 4 D&T*/Music** 4
Geography 4 Geography 4 Drama 2
History 4 History 4 Geography 3
MFL: French & Spanish 4 MFL: French or Spanish 4 History 3
Music 2 Music 2 MFL: French or Spanish 4
PE 4 PE 4 PE 4
RPE 4 RPE 4 RPE*** 3

* D&T: this forms part of a carousel of discrete Design Technology subjects (Resistant Materials, Textiles, Food and Electronic Products). Students will rotate between each of these during the course of the year. Each separate D&T subject is given the same teaching time. ** In Year 9, Music forms part of the Design & Technology carousel. Students will therefore rotate between the separate D&T subjects and Music. ***In Year 9, students commence GCSE Short Course RE. This is completed in Year 10.

Students start their Short Course GCSE RE qualification in Year 9.  This gives them an invaluable experience of what GCSE subjects and examinations are like.  The examination is sat in the summer of Year 10.

GCSE options are chosen in the spring term of Year 9.

KS4 Years 10 and 11

As in Key Stage three, students have a rich and varied Key Stage four curriculum.  A curriculum that is aimed at ensuring all students achieve highly and are able to access their chosen pathway Post 16.  We are not prescriptive in our options process, running a true open options system where there are no prescriptive pathways and no pre-determined blocks.  Instead, we support students in making the right decisions for them as individuals and then match the curriculum model to their needs.  A breakdown of the option process for the current academic year can be found here.

Overview of Subjects

Year 10 Hours/Fortnight Year 11 Hours/Fortnight
Core Subjects
English (Literature & Language) 7 English (Literature & Language) 7
Maths 7 Maths 7
Triple Science OR 13 Triple Science OR 15
Combined Science 8 Combined Science 10
Core PE 4 Core PE 4
Core RPE 2 PSHE 2
PSHE 2    
Optional Subjects
Additional Studies* 5 Additional Studies* 5
Life Skills* 5 Life Skills* 5
Work Skills* 5 Work Skills* 5
GCSE Art 5 GCSE Art 5
GCSE Business 5 GCSE Business 5
GCSE Computer Science 5 GCSE Computer Science 5
GCSE Dance 5 GCSE Dance 5
GCSE Design & Technology (Materials or Electronics) 5 GCSE Design & Technology (Materials or Electronics) 5
GCSE Drama 5 GCSE Drama 5
GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition 5 GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition 5
GCSE French 5 GCSE French 5
GCSE Geography 5 GCSE Geography 5
GCSE History 5 GCSE History 5
GCSE Music 5 GCSE Music 5
GCSE Physical Education 5 GCSE Physical Education 5
GCSE Religious Studies 5 GCSE Religious Studies 5
GCSE Spanish 5 GCSE Spanish 5
GCSE Textiles Design 5 GCSE Textiles Design 5
Level 2 IT - Technical Award in Digital Applications 5 Level 2 IT - Technical Award in Digital Applications 5

*By invitation only



Personal development