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Curriculum overview

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum runs from Year 7 to Year 9 and focuses on the delivery and application of the powerful knowledge required at KS4 and beyond. At Key Stage 3, the National Curriculum is followed. Students study subjects from the core curriculum of Maths, English and Science, and then also have the opportunity to experience and master subjects drawn from a range of specialisms.

Over the three-year Key Stage 3 period, students are supported so that they will be in a strong position to make choices around the pathways available at Key Stage 4. Subjects currently studied at KS3 are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Foreign Languages (French/Spanish)
  • P.E.
  • R.E.
  • Computer Science (Computing)
  • Performing Arts (Music and Drama)
  • Design & Technology (including Food)
  • PSHE
Key Stage 4

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 (KS4) allows students to specialise. The KS4 curriculum is a broad offering of a wide range of GCSE/equivalents in order to suit individual interests, passions and future life choices. As well as adhering to Statutory Progress 8 requirements, the curriculum at KS4 emphasises preparation with college/employment to give our young people the best start in life beyond the Academy.

All students will study English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Science (combined or separate). In addition, their pathway choices will include the study of Humanities (Geography/History) for the significant majority and MFL is encouraged for all. The Academy recognises the government’s ambition for students to study MFL and continue to move towards this. All students also have Physical Education time. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a broad range of subjects including Geography, History, French, Spanish, Art, Drama, Business, Health & Fitness and Health & Social Care (BTEC).

Post-16 (Sixth Form)

The Academy provides pathways at Level 3 to include A-level qualifications, BTEC qualifications or a mix of both. A strong Ethos programme is embedded at Post 16 level to ensure students are prepared on a Social, Moral and Cultural level in all aspects of Health and Well-being. Study programmes for all students include:

  • Subjects (Academic/BTEC/EPQ)
  • Enrichment
  • PE and RE
  • Work Experience

All students will leave the Academy with wide-ranging experiences to complement their academic study. Work Experience and/or Volunteering are essential elements in their personal development, and assist in preparing them for their future at university or in the world of work. The Curriculum in Year 13 will follow through from Year 12 with the same requirement for both academic and non-academic studies.

Wider curriculum, including RE and RSE (PSHE)

In addition to the qualifications on offer, the curriculum at Grace is also intended to ensure students can navigate the challenges of life with confidence and support. Therefore, the Ethos programme during assemblies, form time and Ethos Days gives students support with work experience, college applications, emotional well-being, British values and mental health. Our tutor-time Ethos curriculum complements the wider curriculum in embedding key learning skills and reflection-based exercises into students’ daily routine, as well as covering elements of religious education. Our tutor programme also ensures literacy and numeracy skills are developed and practiced at an age-appropriate level. 

Across the Academy, Personal Development embraces the Social, Moral, Cultural and Spiritual Dimensions and aspects of Health Education (PSHE). It also deals with behaviour, respect, courtesy, honesty, integrity, work ethic, responsibility, reliability and development of a culture of achievement as part of a planned programme including sex and relationship education. This is delivered in KS3 and KS4 timetabled lessons, values days, tutor times and in other lessons depending upon the Academy and the specific syllabus being taught. Further details are available by contacting the Academy directly or within the Relationships and Sex Education Policy. The five “British Values” are delivered implicitly through our tutor-time programme, with levels of complexity appropriate to student ages.

Religious Education at Key Stage 3 is delivered through timetabled lessons. At Key Stage 4, Religious Education is delivered through PSHE lessons, form time curriculum and explicit "Drop-down" immersion days. At Key Stage 5, Religious Education is delivered through timetabled lessons for all students The impact of these is assessed, and this informs future delivery. At Key Stage 4, assessment is both formative and summative. At Key Stage 5, assessment is more formative. 

Extra-curricular activity

Extra-curricular activities are an integral part of our curriculum and are actively encouraged across all key stages. The Academy regularly reviews and updates the extra-curricular offer, which:

  • focuses upon a wide-reaching offer, incorporating sports, the arts, academics, personal development, and inclusivity.
  • is promoted and shared with staff, students and parents
  • either extends and builds upon the current curriculum or provides additional curriculum opportunities
  • draws upon staff expertise or utilises outside agencies
  • is acknowledged and rewarded in line with the Academy approach for rewards

Our Values

We can achieve so much more than we think we can


Success doesn’t happen by mistake


Everyone deserves to feel valued and important


Honesty and doing the right thing are what really counts


Life is better with fresh starts and second chances