Secondary Curriculum


Secondary Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

The whole school curriculum operates at three levels and addresses pupils’ academic, personal and social development. The three individual elements of learning provide a different component to the education of every pupil. Intellectual, personal and social maturity will be the goal of these structured layers of learning at the school.  There are three guiding elements to all aspects of our curriculum:

  •  Educational excellence: subject teaching which has depth and breadth and helps ensure pupils have the opportunity to access the highest levels of attainment.
  • Character development: through the subject teaching pupils’ broader personal development is enhanced as part of a whole school approach.
  • Service to communities: structured development of citizenship, social enterprise and service back into communities with ‘hands-on’ and participative learning.

The following principles underpin our curriculum:

  • essential subject knowledge and terminology is carefully sequenced year-on-year.
  • key subject skills and subject concepts are introduced sequentially and logically.
  • content and coverage is planned to enable progress to be demonstrated and measured.
  • age related expectations can be defined (i.e. what subject learning should be mastered in each year).
  • ‘catch-up and keep up’ is a driving principle of the curriculum design.


Lessons follow four core principals for delivery:

  • Plan: each lesson is planned around learning outcomes linked to the scheme of work and activities are planned to deliver those outcomes for all pupils.
  • Teach: a range of teaching strategies and resources are used to ensure all pupils are actively engaged in achieving the planned learning outcomes.
  • Assess: pupils understanding is checked through informal ‘in lesson’ opportunities as well as formal tasks and/or tests in line with the school’s policy.
  • Intervene: where pupils do not grasp key knowledge or are falling behind, follow up is swift in or beyond the lesson to ensure pupils catch up and keep up.


A key element of our curriculum is the focus beyond skills and knowledge development in the subject to the embedding of our STAR values (service, teamwork, ambition and respect) and the whole school focus on embedding leadership as our specialism as opportunities within and beyond the taught curriculum.  There are planned opportunities for pupils to demonstrate civic, moral and performance leadership attributes built into the curriculum.

Subjects Available at Key Stage 3

Subject Exam Information
English Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Mathematics Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Science Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Personal Social, Health and Citizenship Education Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Creative Arts including Art and Music Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Design Technology including Textiles, Food and Nutrition Studies Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Computer Studies Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Geography Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
History Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Spanish Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Physical Education Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3
Religious Education Non-examinable course at Key Stage 3

Courses Available at Key Stage 4

Subject Course Title Core / Option Exam Board
English English Language 9-1 Core GCSE AQA
English English Literature 9-1 Core GCSE AQA
Mathematics Maths 9-1 Core GCSE Edexcel
Combined Science Combined Science 9-1 Core GCSE Edexcel
Single Science Biology 9-1 Option GCSE Edexcel
Single Science Chemistry 9-1 Option GCSE Edexcel
Single Science Physics 9-1 Option GCSE Edexcel
Religious Studies Religious Studies 9-1 Core GCSE AQA
Art and Design Art and Design 9-1 Option GCSE Edexcel
Geography Geography 9-1 Option GCSE AQA
History History 9-1 Option GCSE Edexcel
Languages Spanish Option GCSE AQA
PE Sports Studies Option OCR Cambridge National OCR
Computing Creative iMedia Option GCSE OCR

For further information about our curriculum offer, please see our curriculum booklets or contact the school directly at

If you would like further information about our secondary curriculum offer, please contact Patrick Horner (Senior Vice Principal Secondary)  via our main phone line 0121 464 2638 or enquire at the Hob Moor Road office.

Curriculum Breakdown

For an overview of the topics taught in each subject in each year group please refer to each subject page or view our Curriculum Breakdown Map.

Curriculum Aims

Our curriculum serves the aims of Star Academies, the Multi-Academy Trust which manages the school:

  • To transform the educational achievement of our young people.
  • To elevate the life chances of young people in areas of social and economic deprivation – from all backgrounds – to help them succeed at the highest levels of education, employment and the professions.
  • To lead a drive based on rigour and high expectations designed to improve standards.
  • To mould pupils into active British citizens, with a sense of responsibility for their actions.
  • To encourage pupils’ social participation within their community.
  • To promote the development and nurturing of young leaders.
  • To give pupils a practical and more successful understanding of their rights and responsibilities in society.
  • To allow pupils to develop their individuality.
  • To promote the physical and mental development of pupils.
  • To empower pupils with the necessary skills and abilities to play a full and inclusive role within society, consistent and comfortable with their beliefs and principles.
  • To fulfil Trust and statutory requirements.
  • To support the mission, vision and values of the Trust and its establishments.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Trust has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory or Trust framework. The Trust has delegated day-to-day responsibility for operating the policy to Star Central, the Local Governing Body and the Principal of each secondary school.

The Local Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team at each Trust secondary school has a specific responsibility to ensure the fair application of this policy and all members of staff are responsible for supporting colleagues and ensuring its success.

The Board of Trustees will approve the framework for the School’s Curriculum Policy.   Star Central will develop the Curriculum Policy and plan.

The Local Governing Body will ensure that:

  • Progress towards annual statutory targets is monitored;
  • It contributes to decision making about the community elements of the curriculum;
  • It provides leadership to shape the ‘character development’ and ‘service to communities’ elements of the curriculum;
  • It provides feedback to the Board of Trustees and Star Central on the effectiveness of the curriculum.

The Principal will ensure that:

  • They have an oversight of curriculum structure and delivery;
  • All statutory elements of the curriculum, and those subjects which the School chooses to offer, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the Trust;
  • The amount of time provided for teaching the core curriculum is in line with Trust policy;
  • The procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements and pupils and their parents/carers receive information to show how much progress the pupils are making and what is required to help them improve.

The Senior Leader responsible for the Curriculum will ensure:

  • They have an oversight of curriculum delivery;
  • Detailed and up-to-date schemes of learning are in place for the delivery of courses;
  • Schemes of learning are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis;
  • Levels of attainment and rates of progression are discussed with Directors of Learning/Middle Leaders on a regular basis and that actions are taken where necessary to improve these.

Directors of Learning/Middle Leaders will ensure that:

  • Long-term planning is in place for all courses;
  • Schemes of learning encourage progression that is in line with Trust standards;
  • There is consistency in terms of curriculum delivery;
  • Courses taught are in line with the Trust’s recommended awarding bodies;
  • Where necessary an appropriate combination of qualifications or alternative qualifications can be offered which best suit the needs of learners;
  • Assessment is appropriate to the course and the pupils following particular courses;
  • They keep the senior leaders informed of proposed changes to long-term plans;
  • All relevant information/data is shared with the Data Team. This includes meeting deadlines related to exam entries etc;
  • Pupil performance data is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that any necessary changes in terms of curriculum delivery are planned and carried out in a timely fashion;
  • They share best practice with other colleagues in terms of curriculum design and delivery;
  • They facilitate joint and collaborative lesson planning within the faculty;
  • They oversee CPD needs with regard to curriculum planning and delivery within their area of responsibility.

Teaching and Teaching Support Staff will:

  • Ensure that the school curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy;
  • Keep up to date with developments in their subjects;
  • Have access to, and be able to interpret, data on each pupil to inform the design of the curriculum in order that it best meets the needs of each cohort of pupils;
  • Share and exchange information about best practice amongst their colleagues in Trust schools and through external networks, resulting in a dynamic and relevant curriculum;
  • Participate in professional development, working with other teachers in the School and Trust to develop their skills in understanding the learning needs of their pupils and how best to address those needs and engage them.

Pupils will:

  • Be treated as partners in their learning;
  • Have their individual needs addressed, both within the school and extending beyond the classroom into the family and community through a curriculum which offers breadth, support and challenge;
  • Be given additional support if they start to fall behind in their learning, helping them get back on track quickly;
  • Receive co-ordinated support to enable them to make the appropriate choices.

Parents and carers will:

  • Be confident that their child is receiving a high quality education that is designed to meet their learning needs and which will equip them with the skills they need to thrive throughout their lives;
  • Be informed about the curriculum on offer and understand the rationale behind it.

Curriculum Principles

In line with the Star Quality Standards, the School will ensure the curriculum:

  • Is primarily academic, broad and balanced in nature;
  • Emphasises learning in literacy, numeracy, languages, humanities and science;
  • Encourages high levels of participation in subjects that lead to the English Baccalaureate – at least 80% of the delivery time in each year is dedicated to E-Bacc subjects;
  • Prioritises academic achievement in literacy and numeracy for least able learners;
  • Provides highly positive, memorable experiences and rich opportunities for high quality learning;
  • Has a positive impact on all pupils’ behaviour and safety;
  • Contributes to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
  • Adopts an inclusive, values-driven approach in line with the ethos of the School;
  • Fosters, in all, the fundamental British values of: democracy; the rule of law; freedom of religion; freedom of choice; freedom of thought; freedom of speech; freedom of association; tolerance and respect; fairness; liberty; social responsibility; equality for all.
  • Contributes to the Leadership Specialism of the School and helps every pupils access activities within each of Star’s five leadership foundations