Curriculum Intent

Our whole school curriculum is linked to our school values and sets out the core principles of what and how we teach our students.


Our curriculum provides opportunities for all students to develop high level skills and knowledge that will enable them to achieve academic success. It will grow lifelong learners who can work independently and who are not afraid to persevere, to stay motivated and to seek support when met with challenges. 


Our curriculum has been designed to develop cultural capital and to provide experiences that will enable students to realise and reach future aspirations. It enables students to take risks, to know that it is ok to fail and to be problem solvers. Our school wide mentoring programme gives opportunities to the students to reflect and review their learning regularly.

All of our curriculum is a priority and we promise to deliver it all to the highest levels. New subjects are encouraged where feasible and appropriate to each cohort.


Our curriculum is balanced and accessible to all student. It promotes respect for diversity and kindness to ourselves and others. It has clear links to the wider community so that students can develop an understanding of their role in society so developing them as well-rounded citizens in our modern world.

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Curriculum Vision Statement

Our curriculum is designed to enable students to achieve academic excellence and to foster development of wider personal qualities within a supportive and caring environment.

Our curriculum is ambitious and aims to challenge all students to realise their potential during their time at Carrington School.  Underpinning our curriculum is the firm belief that all students are able to be successful and can access the content and skills of each subject they study.  The school has high aspirations and expectations of all students. The curriculum, both within and beyond the classroom, is designed to provide a high level of challenge and to motivate students to find their unique strengths.

In line with the requirements outlined in Section One of the 2010 Academies Act, the Curriculum at Carrington School is broad and balanced in order to ensure that our students are well-equipped for their post-16 studies and that they are responsible, well-adjusted citizens. Flexibility in curriculum design and subject choices, both in KS3 and KS4, means that students are able to personalise their learning with regard to their ability and interests, whilst retaining breadth in their studies.

Our Curriculum

  • is inclusive and generates high aspirations for all our students even those who need additional support
  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development of students
  • nurtures students’ personal, mental and physical development through high quality provision of Personal Development
  • develops students’ understanding of fundamental British Values through a rich and diverse Excellence Programme and other wider curriculum opportunities
  • prepares students at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life through exceptional Careers Information Education, Advice and Guidance
  • aims to develop the whole person, as well as stretching students academically through an extensive programme of extra-curricular opportunities


Curriculum Principles/Beliefs

  • We believe that all students can strive to achieve academic success
  • The curriculum must develop the whole person and prepare students for life in modern society within local, national and global contexts
  • High expectations must be set for every student and high aspirations must be reinforced and modelled by all teachers
  • All students, including those whose attainment is significantly below the expected standard, should be challenged and inspired through the setting of tasks to further deepen their learning
  • Teachers must use appropriate and timely assessment methods to measure student progress and plan future learning activities
  • The Senior Leadership Team, other leaders and individual teachers set academic targets that are ambitious
  • The Curriculum, and the Teaching, Learning and Assessment that underpin it, must be highly inclusive and enable all cohorts of student to achieve
  • The Curriculum must facilitate the personal development of students and promote healthy lifestyles
  • Our approach to Curriculum Design is sufficiently flexible to enable the school to respond to changes in the local and national educational landscape
  • We are committed to ensuring that students are taught by subject specialists in all curriculum areas

Key Stage 3

The school follows the Secondary National Curriculum in England (2014) for Years 7 to 9.

  • Students study either French or Spanish during KS3. Some students are able to study a second language as an additional subject during period 8
  • At the end of Year 8, students are asked to select their Technology choices (two subjects from Food, Product Design or Textiles)

In February/March of Year 9 students will decide on their option subjects for the following September, when they start Year 10. 

The curriculum for the current key stage 3 is broad and balanced and the range of choices for key stage 4 meets the needs of pupils from their different starting points.’  Ofsted 2019


Key Stage 4

Our broad and balanced two-year Key Stage 4 curriculum, which includes appropriate technical awards and BTECs, has been specifically designed to meet our students’ needs, aptitudes and interests. Our Options process offers a good degree of flexibility and students are able to select and study a personalised portfolio of qualifications appropriate to their aspirations and interests. There is a strong commitment to ensuring that students’ choices are met as we believe that students who approach their studies with interest and commitment achieve the best possible outcomes.  We have a bespoke approach consisting of 3 pathways; red for our target high attainers, orange for our target middle attainers and yellow for students who require additional support to help bridge the gap between school and their post 16 education.  Students on the red pathway study 10 qualifications whilst those on orange and yellow pathways study 9 and 8 respectively.

‘Careers information, advice and guidance are strengths of the school.  Pupils are supported well to think about their aspirations and interest when choosing which subjects to study' Ofsted 2019


Students study English Language and English Literature, Mathematics, Science and RE.  Students on the red pathway study a Humanities subject, a Modern Foreign Language plus 2 other subjects of their choice which also includes Astronomy, Economics, Psychology and Statistics. Students on the orange pathway, study either History, Geography, French, Spanish or Triple Science plus 2 other subjects of their choice.   Our yellow pathway students study our Future Learning Certificate plus 2 other subjects of their choice. The range of 24 or 20 option courses available to students provides breath to a student’s curriculum and prepares them well for Further and Higher Education and the demands of the 21st century workplace.


The Key Stage 4 Curriculum complies with the requirement that:

“The arts (comprising art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts), design and technology, the humanities (comprising geography and history) and modern foreign language are not compulsory national curriculum subjects after the age of 14, but all pupils in maintained schools have a statutory entitlement to be able to study a subject in each of those four areas.”

National Curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4.

All students on the orange pathway study one of the EBacc subjects.  Our students on the red pathway study 2.  Our exception to this is the small number of students, approximately 4%, who study the yellow pathway. These subjects support the further education and career aspirations of our students, we recognise the tremendous benefits of students studying a broad range of subjects, including the arts and vocational courses and we will continue to promote the study of these subjects.

The school has improved systems for monitoring and tracking the progress made by students. The Curriculum is designed so that students are studying courses that are appropriate to their educational needs and lessons are designed to take account of all students’ starting points. In all lessons, teachers must plan to ensure that relevant and challenging tasks inspire all students to meet and exceed expectations. Teaching, Learning and Assessments will be adapted to ensure that students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and Pupil Premium students perform in line with all other students and to ensure that most able students are suitably challenged. 

Assessing Impact

Our formative assessments are designed to support students in developing their long-term memory, to develop student’s retrieval skills, to develop exam technique as well as identifying areas for further practice and study.

A range of assessment techniques are used regularly in lessons by teachers to check student knowledge and understanding. Questioning is a key tool for checking understanding and addressing misconceptions, whilst also further deepening of students' comprehension. Teachers also use 'Do It Now' at the start of every lesson to test students' long-term memory, providing an opportunity for students to retrieve information from previous lessons and topics.

Assessments are used to inform parents/carers of students' academic progress at consultation evenings and teachers discuss specific support, intervention and personalised advice in order for students to develop further and achieve.  Written annual reports and termly Progress Reports also provide guidance to students and parents/carers about the progress being made along with strengths and areas for development.


Homework for all years is set in accordance with the Homework Policy. 


Teachers must develop students’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning in all subjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics in everyday contexts.

Teachers must use every relevant subject to develop students’ mathematical fluency. Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of success across the national curriculum and at GCSE level. It is also one of the fundamental life skills, which our curriculum is designed to promote and develop. 


Communication skills

Our curriculum develops students’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.

Students have opportunities to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and to develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.

Our curriculum places great value upon the importance of reading both in terms of students’ academic success and their personal and social development. Teachers develop students’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Students are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and encouraged to read for pleasure. Intervention programmes are used to improve the reading skills of those who join the school with low reading levels. Antares, our library, inspires students to read more widely and to get involved in national and local initiatives that promote a love of reading. Word of the Week is used to widen student's vocabulary and subjects are encouraged to weave this into their teaching.

Students develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

Students are taught the correct use of grammar and are encouraged to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. The writing they complete should include narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.

Teachers develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on students’ current knowledge. It is particularly important to induct students into the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language. Being able to accurately and appropriately deploy subject specific terminology is critical to a student’s chances of success across all curriculum areas. 

An Inclusive Curriculum

We strive for all students to be challenged and to fulfil their potential.  We work hard to personalise the curriculum to suit students' needs so that they can achieve this ambition.  Alternative provision is provided for SEND students’ one example being that some of these students will be invited to follow a 2 option choice pathway, using one of their options to complete our Future Learning Certificate where students will complete a number of shorter qualifications designed bridge the gap between school and college

SEND students – our aim is for them to perform in line with other student groups.  They benefit from quality first teaching with timely and effective personalised intervention which is tracked and analysed for effectiveness. 

PP students - in order to perform in line with other students are financially supported so that they have full access to the additional extra-curricular opportunities that are available.  PP students receive support for resources that they need to access the curriculum e.g. Art equipment or support with ingredients for Food lessons. 

Careers Education and Information, Advice and Guidance

We employ a qualified Careers Counsellor who provides high quality Careers Education and Information, Advice and Guidance which ensures that students leave Carrington School exceptionally well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. A substantial network of links enables students to meet successful representatives from local, regional and national employers and receive the latest information regarding the workplace. Each year, 96% of our students continue in education or successfully gain and sustain employment or training upon leaving school.

Students are able to produce outstanding applications for further/higher education and employment with training. 

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development

Our curriculum places great emphasis upon promoting students’ Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development. Opportunities for reflection are provided both within and beyond lessons, for example through our Personal Development programme, through the reflection activity in each lesson, through assemblies, the school’s Theme of the Week Programme and through off-site visits to places of religious, spiritual and cultural significance.

Great emphasis is placed upon the moral development of each student and opportunities are frequently taken to explore ethical issues and identify different frameworks for making moral decisions. The curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop their awareness and understanding of different cultures.

The numerous opportunities for student voice activities are a key part of students’ social development and this is further enhanced by the wide range of enrichment opportunities and off-site visits.  We have a strong Year Group Council and Student Council who meet regularly as groups with members of the Senior Team. 

Enrichment, and the Excellence Programme

We have an extensive enrichment programme which sits alongside the formal timetable of lessons. A full timetable of activities is available to students after school.

Our Excellence Programme runs once per week and provides our Key Stage 3 students with the opportunity to engage in a range of activities and aims to develop students’ cultural capital alongside a range of transferrable skills such as communication, participating, leadership. This programme also enables us to run qualifications/awards for example Duke of Edinburgh as well as allowing us to provide bespoke packages for whole year groups at specific times for example, Careers Presentations.