Minerva Learning Trust

Curriculum Policy and Overview

SHS Curriculum Policy

Our curriculam lead is Miss Martin. 

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 to about growing up in modern Britain. This includes an appreciation and understanding of art, music, sports, and other cultural pursuits as well as developing opinions on social and moral issues in society. Also important is knowledge of Britain’s democratic system, including voting system and politics within cultural development. 

Life Plus is a relatively new subject taught to all year groups, Y7 (1 hour a week), Y8-Y11 (1 hour a fortnight). This includes all aspects of the new Relationships, Sex and Health education government statutory requirements of 2020. As well as including RE, citizenship, Bristish values and living in the wider world. 

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 in the curriculum policy and subject plans.