Our school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences we provide for our pupils. At Academy@Worden we follow the latest National Curriculum as prescribed by the Department for Education.  

Curriculum Intent  

Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values of Aspiration, Integrity, Respect and Commitment.  The breadth and depth of our curriculum offer encourages all pupils to aspire to achieve their best in all their endeavours.

Curriculum principles

  • Clear curriculum progress over 5 years.
  • Pupils study a broad and balanced curriculum and receive detailed careers guidance to ensure that they have the skills, resilience and knowledge in order to progress to the next stages of their education at post 16 and beyond.
  • There should be depth before breadth.  Maximise learning time in all subjects.
  • Focus is given to English and Mathematics to ensure that pupils have the essential skills needed for life and to access the full curriculum.  This is achieved through White Rose Maths, Thinking Reading, Sparx Reader, expanded vocabulary through reading, use of tier 2 & 3 words and explicit vocabulary teaching.
  • Cohort curriculum personalisation through options.
  • The curriculum is underpinned by subject experts that receive in house and external training.  Staff CPD is linked to the SIP, focused around pedagogical research and tailored to the individuals, cohort and school needs as appropriate.  As part of this CPD, staff develop their pedagogy through the reading and discussion and then implementation of research.
  • Successful pupils not only achieve well, but participate well in school activities.  Physical and mental health is a key part of our Physical Education and pastoral education offer.

Curriculum Implementation 

‘The best available evidence indicates that great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for their pupils’ (EEF, High Quality Teaching). Our CPD programme has focused on improving curriculum planning and teaching and learning for a number of years. It is a priority to allocate time for departments to work collaboratively on curriculum development and progression, considering both pedagogy and assessment.

Considerable thought, planning and time is devoted to a consideration of the content and sequencing of the curriculum in each subject. Strong curriculum planning ensures that relevant knowledge, skills and concepts are incorporated from Year 7 onwards, and subsequent years build on prior teaching and learning. Each department has its own vision of the most relevant and appropriate subject content to be delivered. There is a model of curriculum progression in every subject. Our teachers are expected to collaboratively plan relevant and well-designed resources which are designed to engage and inspire all pupils. Curriculum Leaders also have autonomy when designing their curriculum. Staff have considerable control in curriculum decision-making through a trusting relationship with senior staff.

At Worden, groups are purposely not numbered, for example, 1 to 7. There will be no numerical labelling of groups. Pupils placed in different sets often have very similar prior attainment and labelling a proportion of these pupils as Set 3 or 4, may result in low aspirations and low expectations. In short, all pupils are encouraged, stretched, challenged and supported to achieve their best.

Key Stage 3  

At Key Stage 3 (Year 7, Year 8 & Year 9) pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum in accordance with the National Curriculum supported by a additional opportunities for learning and personal development. We deliver a three year Key Stage 3 curriculum model to ensure that pupils have the time and opportunity to study a wide range of subjects in depth so as to enable them to make the most informed choices possible at Key Stage 4.  

A summary of the time allocation for each subject at Key Stage 3 is shown below: 


Year 7 (hours) 

Year 8 (hours) 

Year 9 (hours) 








1 (1.5 carousel) 

1 (1.5 carousel) 

1 (1.5 carousel) 

Design and Technology and Art  

2 (carousel) 

2 (carousel) 

2 (carousel) 










Performing Arts, Music, Computing 

1.5 (carousel) 

1.5 (carousel) 

1.5 (carousel) 


Physical Education 



Religious Studies 


Key Stage 4 

The option choices made by pupils a the end of Year 9 ensure all pupils continue to follow a broad and balanced curriculum that is suited to their individual needs.  

We offer a traditional curriculum based on the core subjects and provide every pupil the opportunity to study a Modern Foreign Language and Geography or History as part our commitment to the Ebacc (Englih Baccalaureate certificate). We also offer a range of other approved 14-16 qualifications at GCSE that broaden the curriculum and pathway available. Details of these can be found in the Options Booklet below.

In line with the National Curriculum requirements all our pupils have some curriculum time devoted to non-examinable subjects including PE, RE and PSHE. All pupils study English Language, English Literature, mathematics, science, either Combined Science or Triple Science. It pupils choose to study Triple Science they have choose this as one of their option choices. Those opting for Triple Science, study biology, chemistry and physics separately.  

A summary of the time allocation for each subject at Key Stage 4 is shown below: 

Subject                     Year 10 (hours) (Year 11 hours)
English 5 5
Mathematics 4 4
Science 5 5
Option A 3 3
Option B 3 3
Option C 3 3
PE 1 1


The breakdown of each option and GCSE course is outlined in the annual options booklet and explained to parents and pupils at the Year 9 options evening and parents evening in the spring term of each year.

Pupils have the opportunity to follow the English Baccalaureat as well as Triple Science.

At Key stage 4 (GCSE) pupils study qualifications in:

  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE Maths
  • GCSE Science (combined or separate)

Option subjects are dependent on cohort size and choices and comprise of the following subjects (N.B. Not all option subjects run every year):

  • GCSE Art and Design
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Computing
  • GCSE Design Technology
  • GCSE Drama
  • GCSE Food Nutrition and Preparation
  • GCSE French/Spanish
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Sociology
  • GCSE Statistics
  • BTEC Tech Award in Music

If you need any further information about our school curriculum please contact Mr P Cairns, Deputy Headteacher at cairnsp@wordenacademy.co.uk


Options Booklet

Updated: 12/05/2024 2.75 MB