Minerva Learning Trust

Curriculum Policy and Overview

SHS Curriculum Policy

The curriculum is separated into Key Stage 3 in years 7, 8 and 9, and KS4 in Y10 and Y11. All students will take the core subjects of English. Mathematics and science from Y7 through to Y11 so we consider these to to 5-year programmes of study that covers all expectations of the National Curriculum and GCSE specifications.

Key Stage 3 is designed to give a broad experience of subjects and build strong foundations for further study into KS4. In addition to the core subjects this includes: history, geography, modern foreign languages (French and Spanish), design and technology (including Food), music, PE, art, drama and computer science.   

During Y9 students are asked to select four options to study to GCSE or equivalent level in Key Stage 4. This is in addition to mandatory English language and literature, mathematics and science. Options are a a range of both academic and vocational subjects but it is expected that all students will take a humanity (geography or history) and a modern foreign language so they can complete the English Baccalaureate suit of subjects in line with students in all other schools. There is also the opportunity for students to take separate science GCSEs in physics, chemistry and biology or combined science which is worth two qualifications. This means that the vast majority of students will leave Stocksbridge High School with at least 9 qualifications in total.

At both Key Stages there is an alternative learning pathway (ALP) in which students are offered additional support in reading and literacy skills to enable progress. This is delivered by dedicated, specialist teaching staff and will replace some lessons in the curriculum and can lead to accessing some appropriate, entry-level qualifications in KS4. 

Threaded through all year groups is social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) provision. This is an incredibly important aspect of the curriculum as it teaches young people about growing up in modern Britain. It contains elements of statutory RE, relationships and sex education as well as wider citizenship and British values. 

To enable this range of subjects to receive appropriate time we run a two-week timetable of 50 lessons (25 each week). Lessons are 1 hour long although some practical subjects, such as design and technology, may have doubles to ensure there is time to cover activities. 

Full details of how learning is planned for all subject can be found below in the curriculum policy and subject plans.