“The quality of curriculum that a school has shapes the quality of thinking that goes on in the school and therefore shapes the quality of the minds engaged in the common, curriculum pursuit.” Martin Robinson

Curriculum Rationale

Through our curriculum, we aim to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced education for all our students;
  • Enable students to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills as this epitomises and admirable education, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations;
  • Support students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
  • Support students’ physical development and responsibility for their own health, and enable them to be active;
  • Promote a positive attitude towards learning
  • Ensure equal access to learning, with high expectations for every student and appropriate levels of challenge and support;
  • Provide subject choices that support students’ learning and progression, and enable them to work towards achieving their goals
  • Develop students’ independent learning skills and resilience to equip them for the further/higher education and employment.

We believe that curricular depth is equally important to enable the level of knowledge and understanding that epitomises an admirable education. It is our long held view that education must challenge young people to think critically, learn independently, analyse, evaluate, reflect and create; in addition, it must develop responsibility and resilience along its journey to academic excellence. Through an emphasis on knowledge acquisition, our curriculum is designed to lead to admirable results and enable young people to flourish in the future and not be left behind.

Brine Leas School students typically, join the school at the end of KS2 with average point scores higher than those nationally. With this context in mind, our curriculum has the following characteristics:

  • 50 period timetable over two weeks – time is limited, therefore, the hyperlinks opposite identifies what proportion of the curriculum time in KS3, KS4 and KS5 is allocated to each of the curriculum areas.
  • Hour long lessons, with some double lessons at GCSE and A Level
  • A strong PSHE Programme that incorporates spiritual moral social and cultural education, including Fundamental British Values, Relationships and Sex Education and Healthy Living.
  • An enviable House System and enrichment programme.
  • Young people complete up to 10 GCSEs
  • A provision of two or three languages at KS3, with the option to additionally study a second language in Year 10
  • Three year Key Stage 3 – we are committed to a three year key stage 3 to ensure students experiences of the arts, design and technology, and humanities are not curtailed prematurely.
  • Two year Key Stage 4 to reflect and design of GCSE qualifications – 3 option choices from 36 qualifications to retain breadth but enable depth of study without excessive time being devoted to testing.
  • Key Stage 4 pathway model that promotes an academic curriculum – we aim to maximise take-up at key stage 4 with the overwhelming majority of students studying the full suite of EBACC subjects, this includes Modern Foreign Language and a humanity (Geography or History)
  • Vocational options at key stage 4 including, Digital Information Technologies, Engineering, Enterprise, Performing Arts and Hospitality and Catering
  • Key Stage 5 pathway model – 4 routes, retaining the ability to study and sit exams in 4 A Level subjects from an offer of 39 qualifications, along with Level 3 Core Maths and/or the Extended Project Qualification
  • Vocational options at key stage 5 including Engineering, Performing Arts and Music.
  • AS Levels are retained in some subjects and are taken by young people who wish to cease studying one of their four A Levels at the end of Year 12.
  • A strong enrichment programme at Key Stage 5 including the option to study EPQ, programmes of peer tutoring and peer mentoring.
Curriculum Intent

We are committed to providing a curriculum with breadth and depth that enables young people to develop and achieve. We do this through providing opportunities for their personal development and by enabling them to achieve their personal best. We strive to prepare young people for life-long learning through providing challenging learning opportunities that motivates and inspires whilst at the same time preparing them for further education and for the world of work. In addition, we provide a broad range of opportunities to promote active community involvement thus preparing young people for life in modern Britain.

Curriculum Implementation

We have been evolving the implementation of our curriculum based on evidence from cognitive science. There are three main principles that underpin cognitive science:

1) Learning is most effective when spaced rather than blocked;
2) Interleaving helps long-term retention; and
3) Frequent and regular retrieval of previously learned content increases storage capacity and retrieval strength.
In addition, to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.

Curriculum Impact

The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each Milestone the vast majority of young people have made progress through sustained mastery of content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in in; some young people have greater depth of understanding. In addition, the overwhelming majority of young people achieve a sustained destination within further education, employment and/or training.

Further details of the organisation of the curriculum can be found within out Curriculum Policy.

Curriculum Management

KS3 (Years 7-9)

KS3 subjects belong to one of the following Curriculum Areas:

English & Literacy Mathematics & Numeracy Sciences Business & Languages
English Mathematics Science Computer Science/Computing
German (Year 9 only)
Humanities & Social Sciences Expressive Arts & PE Design & Technology
British Values
Personal Social Health and Economic education, including Relationships and Sex Education
Religious Education
SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education)
Physical Education
Design & Technology
Food & Nutrition

KS4 (Years 10-11)

KS4 qualifications, or courses, belong to one of the following Curriculum Areas:

English & Literacy Mathematics & Numeracy Sciences Business & Languages
GCSE English Language
GCSE English Literature
Step Up to English
GCSE Mathematics
GCSE Statistics
Edexcel Awards in Number and Measure
Edexcel Award in Statistical Methods
Edexcel Award in Algebra
GCSE Combined Science Trilogy
GCSE Triple Science – Biology
GCSE Triple Science – Chemistry
GCSE Triple Science – Physics
GCSE Business Studies
GCSE Computer Science
GCSE Economics
Enterprise Tech Award
Information Technologies and Digital Information Technology BTEC Technical Award
GCSE French
GCSE German
GCSE Spanish
Humanities & Social Sciences Expressive Arts & PE Design & Technology
GCSE Geography
GCSE History
GCSE Psychology
GCSE Religious Education
Core Religious Education (Non-examined)
GCSE Sociology

Personal Social Health and Economic education, including Relationship and Sexuality Education
British Values
SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education)
GCSE Dance
GCSE Drama
GCSE Media Studies
GCSE Music
Performing Arts Tech Award
GCSE Physical Education
Core Physical Education (Non-examined)
Sport Science Level 1 and Level 2 Cambridge National Certificate
GCSE Art and Design: Art
GCSE Art & Design: Textiles
GCSE Design & Technology (Materials)
GCSE Design & Technology (Graphics)
GCSE Electronics
GCSE Engineering BTEC Technical
GCSE Engineering
GCSE Food & Nutrition
Level 1/Level 2 Hospitality & Catering

KS5 (Years 12-13)

KS5 qualifications, or courses, belong to one of the following Curriculum Areas:

English & Literacy Mathematics & Numeracy Sciences Business & Languages
A Level English Language
A Level English Literature
A Level English Language & Literature
A Level Mathematics
A Level Further Mathematics
Core Mathematics
Step Mathematics
A Level Biology
A Level Chemistry
A Level Physics
A Level Environmental Science
A Level Business Studies
A Level Computer Science
A Level Economics
A Level French
A Level German
A Level Spanish
Humanities & Social Sciences Expressive Arts & PE Design & Technology
A Level Geography
A Level Government & Politics
A Level History
A Level Law
A Level Religious Education
A Level Sociology
A Level Psychology
Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate Health & Social Care
Extended Project Qualification

Personal Social Health and Economic education, including Relationship and Sexuality Education
British Values
SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education)
A Level Drama & Theatre Studies
A Level Media Studies
A Level Music
BTec Music Subsidiary Diploma
BTec Performing Arts Extended Certificate
BTec Performing Arts Subsidiary Diploma
A Level Physical Education
A Level Art
A Level Electronics
A Level Graphics
A Level Photography
A Level Product Design
A Level Textiles
BTec Engineering Extended Certificate
Level 3 Food Science & Nutrition