Key Stage 3

The Big Picture (Year 7 – 9)

We believe that Key Stage 3 needs to be broad, balanced and rich. It must engage students in familiar subjects, but new ones too. It should challenge our students appropriately, sharing the big picture of ‘what’ we are learning and ‘why’ we are learning it. It should have regular opportunities for progress to be measured effectively. We believe that Substantive Knowledge (knowing what) and Disciplinary Knowledge (knowing how) in all subject areas is developed effectively. We do this so that students overcome deficits from key Stage 2, and are prepared well for Key Stage 4.  We want them to love their learning at Key Stage 3, but end it ready to succeed at the next stage of their education.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum will:

  • meet the needs of all learners, irrespective of starting point or ability;
  • overcome deficits from Key Stage 2;
  • provide challenge for all students;
  • expect students to engage in their own learning and be able to talk about their progress (the Big Picture);
  • prepare students with substantive and disciplinary knowledge for success at Key Stage 4;
  • help to raise students’ aspirations;
  • develop literacy through a key focus on reading and writing (specifically on vocabulary, spelling and sentence construction);
  • develop numeracy (particularly through a focus on statistics); and
  • celebrate success: linked to respect, determination, excellence.

Our broad, balanced and rich curriculum (Years 7-9):

English ICT Design and Technology
Science Statistics (Year 9 only) Art
Beliefs and Values PE Maths
Geography Forest School Music
Dance French and German Learning to Learn
Drama History  


Our Curriculum Intent and Implementation


Our curriculum aims to overcome students’ deficits on entry in every subject. We need to be absolutely clear about what students know (substantive knowledge) and can do with that knowledge (disciplinary knowledge) when they arrive with us and create a Year 7 curriculum which closes their evident deficits in order that they are ready for Year 8. Then, in Year 8, the curriculum must have at its core the aim of overcoming any deficits which students may have from Year 7, and which builds on their learning throughout Year 8 in order that they are Year 9-ready, and so on.


In each year, we must be absolutely clear on what these benchmarks are which ensure that students are ‘competent’ (according to our KS3 assessment grids, ‘Grade 3-ready as a minimum expectation’) at the end of Year 7, ‘confident’ (Grade 4-ready as a minimum expectation) in Year 8 and ‘detailed and accurate’ (Grade 5-ready as a minimum expectation) by the end of KS3. These benchmarks must be ‘disciplinary knowledge’ and every lesson must have at its heart learning objectives which relate to ‘disciplinary knowledge’. They must be the basis on which our KS3 assessment grids are founded, and the basis on which students are assessed – we only teach that which will be assessed, and only assess that which we have taught and that students have learned.

Subject Overviews You can find more detailed information about what your child will be learning and how they will be assessed in our subject overviews.

Click here to view our curriculum at Key Stage 3Click here to view Key Stage 3 Subject Overviews