In September 2017, Culcheth High School introduced a new overarching curriculum model that we felt best suited our students and allowed them to reach their full potential. Following a full review of the curriculum in 2019/2020 (which included HoD interviews, QA/SR and visits to other schools) and after completion of a three year cycle, we have decided to further develop the curriculum and our students will return to a model where key stage 3 spans three years and key stage 4 two years. In year 9, students will access a broader range of subjects before being able to make a more informed choice on GCSE subjects they wish to study in years 10 and 11. Our curriculum rationale is:
1. The Culcheth High School curriculum model provides quality, breadth, depth and reach that enables all students to achieve and progress further. The curriculum reflects the school’s integrity and is designed to meet the needs and aspirations of all students, regardless of ability and school performance measures.
2. Students enjoy a highly personalised curriculum that provides them with learning experiences, opportunities and qualifications that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
3. The curriculum allows for greater challenge in Years 7 and 8. Coupled with the Year 5 – Year 8 transition work completed with local primary schools, we have ensured that students do not waste time repeating material that had already been covered at Key Stage 2.
4. Culcheth High School has developed a Key Stage 4 curriculum that has allowed us to increase our academic offer including a wider access to triple science, another language and greater access to the arts subjects and subjects not previously studied at Key Stage 3. This includes Business Studies and Media Studies. Over 85% of our key stage 4 students study at least one of the arts subjects.
5. Departments have reviewed both their Key Stage 3 schemes of work and pedagogical approaches to further improve teaching and learning.
6. Our most vulnerable students are given additional English and Maths curriculum time whilst at the same time they are able to follow appropriate GCSE programmes of study. These students will still have access to all subjects (including an EBACC qualification) but will still receive the required support in English and Maths. This is through the catch up programme at Key Stage 3 and more curriculum time at Key Stage 4.
7. The curriculum model allows Culcheth High School to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for our students and it allows for further work-related learning, enrichment and field activities at Key Stage 4. Subject staff and departments can also study particular topic areas in greater depth.
8. Whilst we strongly recommend that our students follow an ‘EBACC’ suite of subjects, we do not insist on it for all of our students. However all students, regardless of ability, are able to opt in to an EBACC pathway.
9. As a local authority school, we ensure that we continue to implement the National Curriculum. Consequently, through timetabled Personal Development lessons and planned tutor period activities, we ensure that:
a) All students are able to study a subject in each of the four non-compulsory national curriculum areas; the arts, design technology, humanities and modern foreign languages.
b) We promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students and society.
c) We prepare students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
d) We make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)
10. Implementation of the compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary pupils from September 2020.
Full details of KS4 subjects can be seen at:
Subjects followed by students at Key Stage 3:
- Computer Science
- Personal Development
- Design and Technology
- Students will also have access to Media Studies and Business Studies
At Key Stage 4 the core curriculum consists of (examining body in brackets):
- English/English Literature (Eduqas)
- Mathematics (Edexcel)
- Science – either Separate Science (biology, Chemistry, Physics)/Core Additional Science or BTEC Applied Science (AQA)
- Core Computing (OCR)
- Personal Development (non-examined)
- Physical Education (OCR)
Students can also choose from the following option subjects:
- Art (AQA)
- Art Textiles (AQA)
- Business Studies (Edexcel)
- Computer Science (OCR)
- Design & Technology (AQA)
- Drama (AQA)
- Food Preparation & Nutrition (Eduqas)
- French (Edexcel)
- Geography (AQA)
- History (Edexcel)
- Media Studies (AQA)
- Music (Edexcel)
- P.E. (OCR)
- Product Design (AQA)
- Religious Studies (Edexcel)
- Spanish (Edexcel)