The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Charnwood College

Charnwood College broadens the horizons of all students through high academic standards and unrivalled enrichment opportunities. Developing respectful, confident, articulate and motivated students.


The Trust vision for Secondary curriculum is as follows.

We value the acquisition of powerful knowledge as a goal in itself, as an entitlement for all children. We invest significant time and resource into ensuring that students gain a wide, broad knowledge base to enable them to become active members of their community in the future. Alongside a rigorous and challenging academic curriculum, students also experience a broad range of sport, art and musical opportunities ensuring that they have the richest experience a secondary education can give.

‘A curriculum exists to change the pupil, to give the pupil new power.’ Christine Counsell

Curriculum Aims

To create:

  • Ambitious students who enjoy learning, and make better than expected progress.
  • Confident, culturally aware individuals who are able to form healthy and respectful relationships underpinned by our values
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

Strategic Intent

To develop a curriculum which:

  • Creates an aspirational high achievement culture
  • Personalises learning and opportunities
  • Is broad and balanced with options that maximise student progress
  • Promotes a growth-mindset culture creating opportunities for all students to succeed supported by metacognition.
  • Raises academic achievement
  • Which is enjoyable and enables students to develop and flourish as well-rounded individuals

Curriculum Rationale / Principles:

Progress is planned for across a 5-year programme.

We maximise exposure to English, maths and science whilst retaining and a varied curriculum offer including the humanities, languages, sport and the arts.

Additional time is given to English, maths and science to ensure that students have the necessary skills to compete in the world of work.

Learning programmes support transition and effectively induct the students into secondary school life.

We offer support and challenge helping students to progress beyond national expectations

The curriculum is forever evolving to reflect the needs of our learners and to provide them with the essential skills needed in the 21st century.

We are student focused; there are no limits for outstanding learning and outstanding achievement.

We have high expectations of students, high aspirations for them and demonstrate complete belief in them.

This is our expectation of teachers and their approach to the curriculum.

The curriculum intent and implementation must be embedded securely and consistently across the academy. It must be evident from what you do that you have a firm and common understanding of our curriculum intent and what it means for your practice.

Your series and sequence of lessons must facilitate the delivery of this curriculum intent. The work you set, must consistently match the aims of the curriculum. It must be coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning.

You will have the same academic, technical or vocational ambitions for almost all learners.

Students must consistently achieve highly, particularly the most disadvantaged. Students with SEND must achieve exceptionally well.

SMSC, Religious Education and Fundamental British Values

Charnwood College offers a curriculum, which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at the school and of society, and prepares students at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

The school curriculum comprises all learning in and outside the classroom and includes school visits, curriculum enhancement days, extra-curricular activities, house competitions and work experience to name a few.

The school provides opportunity for a daily act of collective worship through year assemblies. The school teaches religious education and sex and relationship education through a combination of timetabled lessons, tutor time, and half-termly events. This approach also make provision for excellent personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.

The school curriculum provides students with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces students to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the set curriculum. The curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupil’s knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.

The Trust is supportive of the ethos of promoting British Values, and preparing our students for success in a modern Britain. A heavy reliance is placed upon broadening horizons for each child and this includes developing the core skills of tolerance, respect, teamwork, and resilience and building self-esteem. These are all values and qualities that we feel are relevant in order to play a full and meaningful role in society, and are promoted via our extensive house system that lends itself to cultural and sporting competition, democratic principles, social mixing, the development of greater pastoral care and enhanced PSHE.

Click here to find out more about British Values at our academy

Curriculum organisation for 2021/2022

 The curriculum is currently designed around the following principles:

Key Stage Three (Years 7 8 and 9)

On entry in Year 7: Students are placed into mixed ability classes with careful consideration of individual needs and levels of support required.

Moving into Years 8 and 9: Students are set on ability using Key Stage 2 SATs results and tests in the core subjects of maths, English, science and PE. The foundation subjects have the flexibility to teach mixed ability.

Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11)

Core Subjects: Students are set on ability. In maths and science careful consideration is made in regard to entry into either higher or foundation tiered papers.

Option Subjects: Students select subjects from a broad and balanced range of qualifications organised into four option blocks. Where there is high demand in Ebacc subjects, principles of setting may be used. The GCSE Option booklet, detailing specific course information can be found here 

Vocational Subjects: For some students there is the opportunity to study vocational qualifications in PE and the Arts.

Key Stage Five (Years 12 and 13)

For a sixth form pupil to be classed as a full time student in 2020/21, they will need to study 600 Guided Learning Hours (GLH).

Entry Requirements: A minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above is needed, preferably with a Grade 5 in English and maths and a Grade 6 in the subject a pupil wishes to study. The Sixth Form Option booklet, detailing specific course information, including entry requirements, can be found here

Option Subjects: All students will study a minimum of three ‘A Level equivalents; some of our most able students may opt to study four. Subjects are organised into five option blocks.

Students can choose to follow either a traditional academic route (A Levels) or a vocational route in either Performing Arts or PE (OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma or BTEC Diploma) or a mixed programme of the two.

For students on the Advanced Apprenticeship for Sporting Excellence (AASE) in basketball, or on the football programme, will also need to study an equivalent of three other A levels.

Students that have not yet secured either their English or Maths Level 2 qualification will also continue to formally study for this qualification until they have achieved a Grade 4 or higher.

Curriculum Statements


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” - Edgar Degas

At Charnwood College the art curriculum aims to develop practical skills through exploring a wide range of techniques, materials and ideas. Students are introduced to a visual language to develop confidence in oracy, while forming opinions and an understanding of art and design throughout history and in today’s society. Artists, craftspeople and designers are used to underpin practical tasks to support, develop and allow students to question.

The Years 7 and 8 curriculum teaches students a range of skills in painting and drawing to develop strong foundations for work at Years 9, 10 and 11. Students learn about the formal elements of line, tone, shape, pattern, texture and colour. These are taught through a variety of projects giving students opportunities to work both individually and in groups. We promote peer and self-assessment during lessons to engender confidence and self-esteem. Assignments build on previously leaned skills throughout Years 7, 8 and 9 to place a greater emphasis on independent research and learning in preparation for GCSE. Assessment ladders are shared with students throughout projects to encourage personal responsibility for learning and progress.

Students who opt for art & design at GCSE develop their skills and knowledge by undertaking an in depth and varied course. Opportunities are given to explore different processes, materials and techniques within art and design. Students complete a coursework unit by developing a project that explores one aspect of art and design in depth. The coursework element comprises 60% of their overall grade. They complete the course by producing an exam project in which they respond to one of five themes, each with a range of written and visual starting points and stimuli. Students will research, plan and develop ideas for their response to the option they have chosen to prepare them for their 10 hour exam, split over two days which counts for 40% of their overall grade. All work is then mounted and displayed in an exhibition, in preparation for external moderation.

A Level Fine Art consists of two main parts. A practical coursework element worth 60% and the formal written examination worth 40% of the final grade. The first is a personal investigation, which allows students to devise and put together a personal body of creative coursework, including extensive practical work, a related study, which is essentially an illustrated essay and a fully developed and resolved final piece project.

The second practical component is the externally set task. The questions are set by the exam board in February, allowing time for extensive research and preparatory work to be completed before the exam takes place in April. Students are given a total of 15 hours, taken over three days, under exam conditions to create and complete a personal, creative final piece.


'l do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself'.
Mikhail Baryshnikov

'Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion'.
Martha Graham

At Charnwood College we are committed to providing a quality and varied dance education that is accessible for all, regardless of gender or ability. We believe that dance can offer a unique opportunity to combine physical exercise with creativity, and it has many benefits for our young people. We expect everybody to take an active part in lessons. We explore three different disciplines — performing, choreographing and analysing and evaluating dance. The three branches of dance are taught and developed together with the aim to build personal skills that students can draw upon to succeed, not only in dance lessons but also beyond school life and in future employment. The life skills that are developed, and are at times explicitly taught, are an integral part of the development of the subject specific skills as well as creating well-rounded individuals.

The nature of this subject means that students are regularly working together in groups. Through doing so students develop a strong understanding of the consequences of their actions and how these can impact not only on themselves but also others around them. There is a strong focus through this subject on positive behaviour for learning including accepting the opinions and suggestions of others and working together to achieve a high level performance by the deadline set.

The dance curriculum for younger students relates to the key expectations for A Level Dance and Level Three Extended Certificate in Performing Arts; key concepts and skills required by the end of Year 13 are therefore fed down into schemes of work from Year 7 upwards. This is designed to raise expectations and standards from the start of Year 7 and ensure that dance knowledge is being understood both practically and theoretically.

Clubs and activities are varied to allow all students to participate in an area of interest. Alongside weekly dance clubs and the annual dance show there are additional opportunities for students to audition to join groups with more challenging expectations. Students are also able to audition for the bi-annual School Production, where the expectation is that all cast members develop performance talent and professionalism. These clubs/events are not only to encourage enjoyment in the arts but also educate our students in professional expectations and performance discipline. 


"The best way to predict the future is to create it"
Abraham Lincoln

At Charnwood College the design curriculum follows a clear path of investigation, creation, production and evaluation.

From Years 7 to 13, students will be asked to look and think differently and to find solutions to theoretical, mathematic and practical problems. They will investigate how products work, how they are made and why they are needed in the first place. Students are encouraged to be innovative, creative and expansive, learning from their initial mistakes to see the design process. We hope to create curious and adaptive young designers through to completion.

In Year 7 and Year 8, students will work across a number of short and medium length projects utilising a range of resistant materials. They will become increasingly proficient in the use of a range of workshop tools and equipment to achieve their outcomes. They take responsibility for recording designs, notes and theory work in personalised booklets for each area covered.

Students opting to take design at GCSE will build on their earlier knowledge and skills and produce more complex projects involving electronics, CAD drawing and traditional hand-based skills. In the final term of Year 10 design students will begin their Iterative Design Challenge, an assessed folder of work that accounts for 50% of their final grade. This problem solving project involves a substantial folder of investigation, design and prototype work as well as a final finished model and is expected to take 40 hours to complete.

The remaining 50% of the qualification is assessed by a two hour written exam, taken in Year 11 , were students will be assessed on the knowledge attained over the duration of their GCSE studies.

Sixth Form students study Product Design for a further two years. Year 12 students undertake six critical projects covering a broad range of areas in order to lay the foundation for the A-Level Iterative Design Project, which will encompass a significant portion of their Year 13 studies. Similar to the GCSE equivalent, the Iterative Design Project accounts for 50% of the A Level, with a further two exams sat in Year 13.


"Tell me, and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand"
An Old Native American Proverb

"Students of the arts disciplines gain powerful tools for: understanding human experiences, both past and present; learning to adapt to and respect other's (often very different) ways of thinking, working and expressing themselves; and making decisions where there are no standard answers"
Anna Marie Martin

"Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it."
Bertolt Brecht

At Charnwood College, the key concepts of our drama curriculum are skill driven and aim to build personal skills in our students to succeed, not only in drama lessons, but beyond school life and in future employment. There is more to drama than being able to perform on stage and we are committed to ensuring students develop as they embrace and enhance skills of engagement, communication and oracy, creative imagination, clarity of expression, autonomy, leadership confidence and cooperation. Opportunities are embedded for students to be able to hone and develop performance talent but equally important is the ability to understand the purpose of the theatre we create. Methodologies of theatrical practitioners are introduced throughout the units we reach to enable students not only to 're-enact' but to shape their own unique ideas with a greater understanding of the need for style, intention, theatrical form and to learn to celebrate individual and unique perspectives.

The drama curriculum for younger students relates to the expectations for A Level Drama and Theatre and Level Three Extended Certificate in Performing Arts; key concepts and skills required by the end of Year 13 are therefore fed down into schemes of work from Year 9 upwards. This is designed to raise expectations and standards and ensure that drama knowledge is being understood both practically and theoretically.

From the start of their drama experience will follow the OCR syllabus. Students are assessed through the three year course in the three different areas that include devising and creating theatre, text in performance and analysing and evaluating drama and theatre. Knowledge and skills accumulation is assessed using formative and summative assessments at regular points, ensuring that knowledge retention and recall, with the ability to apply this knowledge in more than one way, is understood to be the most important aspect of our curriculum.

Clubs and activities are varied to allow all students to participate in an area of interest. Alongside weekly drama clubs are opportunities for students to audition to join groups with more challenging expectations. Students are also able to audition for the bi-annual School Production, where the expectation is that all cast members develop performance talent and professionalism. These clubs/ events are not only to encourage enjoyment in the arts but also education our students in professional expectations and performance discipline.


 'Great writers are significant in terms of the human awareness they promote; awareness of the possibilities of life'. F.R Leavis

At Charnwood College we believe that students are empowered by an English curriculum which allows all pupils the chance to read and understand the novels, poems and plays that best promote the 'human awareness' and 'possibilities of life' that Leavis knew to be so important. Through a broad and challenging curriculum, we intend students to develop a knowledge of language, grammar, form and structure which they can discuss with their peers and apply to a written analysis of texts covering a wide range of cultural social and historical contexts.

From Year 7, through to Year 11 GCSE and A Level, we teach students whole texts ranging from Shakespeare's Elizabethan dramas, the Victorian classics of Dickens and the era of the Romantic poets to modern writer's stories of myth and legend, power and conflict and love and relationships, themes which represent binding and meaningful threads throughout the English curriculum. Through such enduring themes, our students learn to interrogate how writers express human emotion and investigate the significance and importance of human experiences rooted in appreciation of different characters' gender, race, religion, values and attitudes. Over time this allows students to grow into sensitive, respectful and tolerant individuals who have a strong sense of their own identity and can develop and express original and personal opinions.

We deliver the nation wide Accelerated Reading programme for the youngest learners ensuring they quickly become fluent and confident readers who are equally creative and expressive writer's. By applying a full range of literary devices and sound technical accuracy, students become capable and proud writers, both in the fictional narrative form and in the persuasive and journalistic styles of writing found in real world, non-fiction texts.

Assessment of student learning is a mix of low-stakes knowledge tests, questioning at class and individual level in all lessons and, at regular intervals, formal extended writing designed to challenge students' literary and linguistic knowledge. Throughout Years 7 to 11 this builds to a preparation for GCSE exam style questions on how writers create effects for readers through language, form and structure and through themes, characters and events.

By experiencing high quality teaching and ongoing formative assessment, students are encouraged to explore English and master the skills and concepts they encounter. Learning experiences in each lesson are designed to sequence a deepening understanding of English for all learners, regardless of their prior ability level, and secure long term retention of their learning. Year 7 and 8 students will benefit from a curriculum that offers high levels of prompt and support. In Year 9 students will begin to show independent application of knowledge and skills to ensure their target grade potential. Year 10 and 11 students will become more sophisticated and original in precise, well structured responses to exam style questions. Those who are most passionate about English Literature and Language can be successful in securing a place on the A Level course. This blend of the two disciplines of English allows for in-depth interrogation of how writers use language to discuss both real and imagined events, times, people and places across dystopian texts, dramatic conflicts and deeply moving poetry anthologies. With teachers taking a facilitating role, A level learners choose their own topics of investigation into the functions, powers and effects of the English language in all its forms.


"In the teaching of geography and history a sympathetic understanding (should) be fostered for the characteristics of the different peoples of the world, especially for those who we are in the habit of describing as primitive" — Albert Einstein

At Charnwood College, the geography curriculum offers a high quality education for students that not only inspires a fascination and curiosity in the human and physical world, but embeds and expands their world knowledge. We believe that all students should be able to think critically about the increasingly complex and changing world around them, building a bank of knowledge that enables them to justify their views of the different places and people that they investigate.

In Year 7 and Year 8 the geography curriculum is split into 12 key themes, within which students will investigate places at a range of scales from local to global. Through the study of place students will build up an understanding and appreciation of key geographical concepts including; place, space, scale, diversity, interdependence, physical and human processes and sustainability.

The curriculum will also expose students to different geographical data, such as OS maps, atlases, globes, photographs and small data sets. This ensures that all students can read, interpret and use information from a range of stimulus. Assessment for younger students will focus on knowledge recall from the current and previous topics, the level at which students can interpret and use geographical data, alongside judging how well students justify and structure geographical discussions.

From Year 9 the geography curriculum is designed around the AQA GCSE specification. Students will study a range of physical and human topics, building on and expanding the knowledge learnt in Year 7 and Year 8. The curriculum is split into four larger units; living with the physical environment, challenges in the human environment, geographical applications and geographical skills. Embedded into the GCSE curriculum are two fieldwork opportunities, which allow students to develop their understanding of the interactions between both physical and human geography. Alongside fieldwork, students are also required to think critically through an issue evaluation. Here, students will have to study pre-released material, which will be full of geographical data, therefore forcing them to draw on knowledge and understanding from a range of topics to solve a specific geographical problem.

Throughout the GCSE curriculum, core questions will be used to routinely test how well knowledge is 'sticking'. Alongside the use of knowledge recall tests, end of topic assessments and mock examinations will be used to support students in their extended writing.


'Powerful knowledge' is powerful because it provides the best understanding of the natural and social worlds that we have and helps us go beyond our individual experiences'
Young, M. (2013)

At Charnwood College we aim to provide a broad, knowledge-rich, stimulating and intellectually challenging history curriculum that equips our students with the knowledge, language and skills they need to be successful during both their time at our school and beyond. In order to achieve this, we have based the curriculum on a foundation of substantive knowledge (key dates, terms, individuals, and events) from which disciplinary knowledge (cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, significance, evidence and interpretations) will grow. We are committed to developing inquisitive learners who are confident reading, writing and conversing about history, whatever the context, medium or audience.

We will ensure our students experience 'powerful knowledge'; knowledge which they may not acquire or encounter informally outside the classroom. We will develop them to readily recall this knowledge, not just when they are learning it, but at the different stages of their journey at Charnwood College ('fingertip' knowledge). Focusing on this fingertip knowledge will also furnish our students with a bank of residual knowledge of the events and periods studied which they will be able to draw upon in later life. This ability to master and readily recall such powerful knowledge will provide them with empowering and emancipatory ways of analysing, explaining and understanding the historical periods they study. This will lead them to not only understand but participate in debates on significant national and international issues that remain relevant to society today. By doing this, we will create confident and knowledgeable students, regardless of their starting points, who can adapt to whatever environments and circumstances they find themselves in in future. They will be competitive with the best and most advantaged students at home and abroad.

Assessment of student learning in history will consist of both low stakes knowledge tests and extended, discursive writing to challenge their historical and linguistic knowledge. Knowledge accumulation will also be assessed using formative and summative assessments at regular points, ensuring that this knowledge retention and recall can then be applied effectively and in different ways when they advance onto GSCE and A Level courses.

To ensure that the substantive knowledge that we teach is coherently organised, the history curriculum is structured chronologically for our youngest students. We begin with the Norman Conquest in Year 7 and examine key themes such as: power, control and protest; the relationship between Church and State, the impact of empire; and war and conflict as we work our way through the Middle Ages, Renaissance and into the modern period. At key points we will pause and examine events, developments and experiences from both a national and international perspective and will consider the impact on our own communities too. We will encourage our students to ask big questions about the past and to make connections and comparisons between one period and another. This work will result in our students being well equipped for their GCSE and A Level experience where they will encounter familiar themes, people, places and developments in new contexts and deepen their understanding of these even further.


"Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history's most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

Department for Education, National Curriculum, 2014

The Mathematics curriculum at Charnwood College is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to approach a range of mathematical situations with confidence. It is founded at Key Stage 3 by building on their prior knowledge and delivered in manner that allows students to see the links between different mathematical concepts and create a mathematical "tool box" that enables them to solve problems and apply their knowledge to other aspects of the wider curriculum. It is underpinned by the belief that every student can achieve the highest levels of success.

In Years 7 and 8 students will build on their Key Stage 2 skills and begin to link these to more complex concepts. By experiencing high quality teaching and ongoing formative assessment students are encouraged to explore the mathematics and master the concepts they encounter. These experiences are designed to secure a deeper understanding of mathematics and secure long-term retention of their learning. Students will move from shallow learning where knowledge is generally short term and needs high levels of prompt and support through to deep learning where the high levels of understanding result in students applying their knowledge and skills to a range of different situations across the curriculum with confidence.

After mastering the basic concepts in years 7 and 8 students will begin to apply their knowledge and skills to the topic and concepts required to achieve the highest levels of success at GCSE. The curriculum is designed not only to enable success in GCSE examinations but also prepare all students for the next phase in their education.

In Year 9 all students will follow a largely common journey through the curriculum, preparing them to begin GCSE the following year. Those students who may need more time and guidance to master the topics will be supported with a range of strategies, and the most-able being stretched through applying their skills to more complex situations.

In Year 10 students generally follow either a Higher or Foundation Tier model, although there are opportunities to change tiers when necessary. The curriculum model is designed to have covered all the GCSE content by the end of Term 2 in Year 11. From this point onwards the focus moves to reviewing areas identified by careful analysis of Mock Exam performance and high-quality exam preparation.

Throughout years 7 to 11 students will encounter topics covering number, algebra, geometry and measures, statistics, probability and ratio, proportion and rates of change. These common themes will be re-visited many times but within differing contexts. The same themes being extended further at A-level.

Mathematics is examined over three 1 1/2 hour papers. The first paper is a non-calculator paper and the other two are calculator papers. The Foundation Tier students have access to grades 1 — 5, and Higher Tier students have access to grades 3 — 9. Entry levels are determined early in Term 3, with the November Mock Examination being used as a weighted evidence base. Generally, students will only be entered for the Higher Tier if they have consistently demonstrated that they are capable of achieving a strong grade 5 (or above), although every tier decision is made on an individual basis.

To support the retention of work completed in class and to develop greater independent study skills homework is set through HegartyMaths. Students will be set work on concepts covered 4 to 6 weeks ago. They will have opportunities to watch video tutorials and complete a quiz. Work is completed in a separate book.


'Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom'
Roger Bacon, The great medieval philosopher

At Charnwood College all Year 7, 8 and 9 students pursue this entitlement of wisdom through the study of a modern foreign language. Students then opt to take a GCSE in French or Spanish as part of the English Baccalaureate. Programmes of study in MFL lessons reflect the National Curriculum and emphasise the development of speaking, with automatisation in the recall and manipulation of the target language. In addition to French and Spanish, dual linguists can also be supported in gaining a qualification in their mother tongue at GCSE.

There are a number of strands to the rationale of teaching languages. The benefits to a student's memory and mental agility are well known. It also develops the ability to apply and transfer patterns to different meanings and contexts, not only in the target language but also the English language. This process contributes to the development of cognitive skills and greater accuracy in literacy skills.

Our intention is to open students' minds to both shared and differing cultural traditions, history, art forms and viewpoints, thereby contributing to the development of each individual as a citizen of the world, rather than simply their means of passing exams. In turn, this makes students better prepared for higher education and apprenticeship pathways.

In Years 7 and 8, a strong emphasis is placed on speaking and listening skills. Engaging resources intensively promote the recall of the core structures of the target language in such topics as Family and Relationship or Technology and Freetime. This develops younger students' confidence to communicate with a degree of independence both from memory and with some spontaneity. Activities of reading aloud and dictation will nurture excellent pronunciation and interactive resources allow students to experience the reality of a European culture despite sitting in the classroom.

In Year 9, we draw from a solid and established knowledge base to the formal and explicit study and manipulation of grammatical patterns and learn to translate texts from and into French or Spanish. There is also an introduction to literary texts, opportunities for students to make links between MFL lessons and other subjects across the curriculum, and work on the development of extended writing tasks.

In the final two years of GCSE, Year 10 and 11 students will learn the vocabulary and language structures relevant to the three main AQA GCSE themes Culture and Identity, Local, National and Global Areas of Interest and Current and Future Study and Employment. They will also work towards perfecting their skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. In addition to the programmes of study published on the school website, which include core structures for each unit of work, learners have full access to learning materials on the Active Learn Platform which are closely related to classroom learning and homework tasks.

Formal assessment of students' abilities in speaking, listening, reading and writing will occur at regular intervals in each school year. To enhance students' experience and abilities in the target language of study, they will take part in online E-Twinning projects linking them to students and staff in schools in European countries, receive visits from multi-lingual speakers from the world of work and be offered opportunities to travel.


"Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul. "

"Music enhances the education of our children by helping them to make connections and broadening the depth with which they think and feel. If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a vital part of our children's education."
Yo-Yo Ma

At Charnwood College, the music curriculum is underpinned by three different disciplines — performing music, composing music, listening and appraising music. These three branches of music are taught and developed together with the aim to build personal skills that students can draw upon to succeed, not only in music lessons but also beyond school life and in future employment. The life skills that are developed, and are at times explicitly taught, are an integral part of the development of the subject specific skills as well as creating well-rounded individuals. The core principles that are developed include: problem solving, perseverance, diligence, team work, time management, organisation, responsibility, cultural history, listening skills, confidence, social skills, discipline, self-evaluation, interpersonal skills and sense of achievement. Opportunities are embedded for students to be able to hone and develop the practical aspects of performance and composition, but equally important is the ability to understand how the development of life skills, such as confidence, self-awareness, perseverance and discipline give them a holistic experience that they can take beyond their musical studies.

The music curriculum for younger students relates to the key expectations for GCSE; key concepts and skills required by the end of this course are therefore fed down into schemes of work from Year 7 upwards. This is designed to raise expectations and standards from the start of Year 7 and ensure that musical knowledge is being understood both practically and theoretically. Year 7 and 8 students will study various musical genres, (historical and cultural) and through these different cultures and styles will explore, develop and refine their musical skills. Each project will focus on one of the three subject specific skills, so that over the years students will return to these concepts enabling them to build and advance their knowledge and skill set further.

The extensive extra-curricular music programme enables and supports musicianship in students of varying abilities, giving opportunities for all students to experience a wide variety of genres and musical ensembles. We have developed all inclusive ensembles for mixed ability students who want the enjoyment of performing with others and to develop their musical skills through participation in rock bands. We also offer students additional opportunities to audition for more advanced musical groups within the Trust's music curriculum and the school musical.

Personal Development (PHSE, RSE, Citizenship, Careers)

Personal Development is perceived as being a lifelong process. It is perceived as a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and sets goals in order to realise and maximise their potential.

At Charnwood College the PD curriculum has been designed to enhance student knowledge of key issues that affect both themselves and the wider world. At Charnwood College, PD means more than the continuum of life skills. The curriculum has been developed to teach that PD is a process that involves the entire world of the young person, of which school can play a significant part. Personal development involves knowledge, attitudes, skills, relationships and behaviour that can be utilised in and outside the classroom. This involves thinking processes, managing emotions, values and relationships along with a range of life skills that assist young people in coping with the challenges of everyday living. This is inclusive of their present needs and helps them in their development toward adulthood. PD encourages the development and promotion of emotional intelligence in young people.

The five key areas of focus for the students will be on the following:

  • Personal issues
  • Social issues
  • Health
  • Citizenship
  • Careers

During Year 7, the curriculum focuses on themselves. The teaching of the above mentioned topics will allow students to develop their own selves, whether that be staying safe online or how they can be a better citizen. Once students can relate to these key areas they are then taught in Year 8 about how these areas impact the community that they live in.






Safety — fire, online, cycle, road

Identify, equality and diversity

Personal safety — looking after my self

Relationships — right and wrong

Types of relationships and groups of people

Recognizing and managing in emotions


Raising aspirations

My digital life

Money and me

Enterprise Challenge and Business

Introduction to crime, law and justice

Qualities and behaviours of positive relationships


Taking care of myself

Emergency response and First Aid

Making informed choices about health and well being

Drug use and misuse, the law and the community

Physical Activity and Sleep

Managing growth and Change — life cycle


What is citizenship? Being a good citizen Me as a consumer

Local challenges — Lifestyle

Types of law and the impact The police service


Self Awareness — who am l?

Life skills booklet

What do my family do for a living

What does my future look like? The world of work

'Futures Four' planning the next stage of my education — options

Physical Education

"There may be people out there with more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do"
Derek Jeter

At Charnwood College the physical education curriculum inspires all students to gain and embed a clear understanding of the importance of physical activity in health and well-being. Our students also acquire the tools to compete effectively, succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. We provide a wide range of opportunities for students to become physically confident in ways which support their physical and mental health and fitness. At Charnwood College we firmly believe that opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as resilience, fairness, responsibility and respect.

We aim to deliver a curriculum in which all students experience a range of tactics and strategies to overcome opponents in direct competition through team and individual games. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills and compete in badminton, basketball, cricket, football, handball hockey, netball, rounders, rugby and tennis. In Year 7 and Year 8 students will experience a range of games designed to develop generic skills. They also develop their technique and improve their performance in other physical activities enabling the development of precision and control, including athletics, gymnastics and swimming. Students will also be presented with intellectual and physical challenges which encourage them to work in a team, building on trust and developing skills to solve problems, either individually or as a group.

In Year 7 and Year 8 students begin to analyse and compare their performances, and those of others, to demonstrate improvement and in doing so strive to achieve their personal best. In Year 9, 10, and 11 core PE lessons, students will tackle increasingly complex and demanding physical activities. They will get involved in a range of activities that develop personal fitness and promote an active, healthy lifestyle, ensuring that they are physically active for sustained periods of time.

At all stages of their Charnwood College education students are given a wide range of opportunities to take part in competitive sports and activities with clear pathways, through community links, to clubs outside school. Coaches from elite sports clubs including the Leicester Riders Basketball

Loughborough Lightning Netball and Leicester Tigers Rugby clubs give students the chance to further their skills. The PE Department supports students through involvement in competitive fixtures at local level in the North Charnwood Leagues and through the extensive competition programme supported by the Trust, which includes Trust-wide cup competitions in football, netball, rugby, hockey, rowing, cross-country, athletics and swimming. In addition to this there is an extensive enrichment programme of recreational and competitive sports clubs running at lunchtimes and after school.

We also encourage our learners to progress on to academic PE courses at GCSE and A Level' students can follow either OCR National Sports Science and OCR GCSE PE.

For students wishing to continue their studies at in Year 12 and 13, the PE Department offers AQA 'A' level PE and the OCR Cambridge Technical in Sport and Physical Activity. Both are academically demanding and are qualifications accepted by universities for those students wishing to enter higher education in the field of sport.

Religious Education

 "Do you know what is better than charity, fasting and prayer?
"It is keeping peace and good relations among people"
"Your greatest message will be spoken by your life, not your lips"

At Charnwood College the Religious Education (RE) curriculum has been planned and developed in a way which allows us to follow our ethos of broadening the horizons of our students. Our curriculum empowers us to continue to promote key British values and principles such as tolerance, freedom of expression, equality, diversity and democracy.

We deliver a wide range of challenging topics which enable students to learn that RE isn't just about religion, it teaches them the controversial issues from the past and present such as; war, relationships, sexuality and abortion.

Our curriculum also aims to provoke challenging questions about the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of morality, faith, spirituality and religious festivals. The curriculum is designed to equip pupils with knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and world views, enabling them to broaden their horizons, values and identity. It should develop an aptitude for dialogue in pupils so that they can participate positively in our society which is diverse in relation to religions and world views.

Our students will learn how to study religions and world views systematically, making progress by reflecting on the impact of religions and world views on contemporary life locally, nationally and globally to increasing levels of complexity and depth. Pupils will be able to gain and deploy the skills needed to interpret and evaluate evidence, texts and sources of wisdom or authority. They learn to articulate clear and coherent accounts of their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to have different views, values and ways of life.
Assessment of students learning will consist of a mixture of short and extended knowledge based questions. These will be based upon their prior learning throughout the academic year and therefore determine students level of knowledge retention and recall.

In Year 7 students will study the following RE topics:

  • Being a religious teenager in Britain today Is it possible to believe in God today?
  • Should there be poverty in the world today?
  • Who is Jesus? Spirited Arts.

During Year 8, students will study the following topics:

      • Faith in action
      • Life is a journey
      • Does it matter if animals become extinct?
      • Who founded the religions of the world?
      • How relevant are religious festivals of the world today?
      • Brave new world.


"The important thing is to never stop questioning" Albert Einstein (1955)

At Charnwood College the Science curriculum is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to approach a range of scientific situations with confidence. It is always founded by building on their prior knowledge, enabling them to recognise the links between different scientific concepts. In doing so, students are able to solve problems and apply their knowledge to other aspects of the wider curriculum. This is underpinned by the belief that every student can achieve the highest levels of success.

Our youngest students will build on their primary skills and begin to link these to more complex concepts. By experiencing high quality teaching and ongoing formative assessment students are encouraged to explore the science and master the concepts they encounter. These experiences are designed to secure a deeper understanding of science and secure long term retention of their learning. Students will move from learning simple skills and knowledge to areas of the curriculum that require analysis and evaluation of scientific concepts and phenomena.

We follow a topic based curriculum that allows students to explore areas of science that feed into these big ideas. Incorporated within this will be opportunities for students to develop their skills of scientific enquiry where they plan investigations, analyse patterns and test hypotheses. All the topics covered prepare students for their transition to GCSE where they continue to further deepen their knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts.

GCSE students follow either trilogy science, a combined science covering all three science disciplines (worth two GCSEs) or the separate sciences of physics, chemistry and biology. They have the opportunity to sit these at foundation or higher tier, although there are opportunities to change tier when necessary. The curriculum model is designed to cover all the areas of the science specifications as set out by the exam boards.

The science curriculum provides a perfect starting point to study courses at Sixth Form whether they be science based or not. The analytical skills developed are a valuable tool to progress further in education at any level.

Curriculum Long Term Plans 2021/2022


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Personal Development

Download our Personal Development Long Term Plan (Visual)

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Physical Education

Download our Physical Education Curriculum Long Term Plan (Visual)

Download our Physical Education Curriculum Long Term Plan


Download our Psychology Long Term Plan

 Religious Education

Download our RE Curriculum Long Term Plan (Visual)

Download our RE Curriculum Long Term Plan



Download our Science Curriculum Long Term Plan (Visual)

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Download our Sociology Long Term Plan

Curriculum Overview by Year Group 2021/2022

Curriculum Overview by Year Group


Additional Documents

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