Curriculum Intent

The curriculum at Springwell is designed to be Ambitious, Memorable and Inclusive 

The curriculum is ambitious because it

  • Sets high expectations of all students, challenging them with a depth and breadth of knowledge which takes them in to their “struggle zone”.
  • Develops in students a resilience as they strive to achieve and exceed their potential
  • Enhances students’ cultural capital so that they can function in contemporary society, whatever their socio-economic background
  • Imparts knowledge, skills and confidence that, cumulatively, enable students to pursue ambitious plans for future learning and employment

The curriculum is memorable because it

  • Comprises of sequences of learning that allow knowledge to be transferred and retrieved from long term memory
  • Uses “spaced learning” and “interleaving” approaches to reinforce knowledge in long term memory
  • Enables students to retain and recall the knowledge required to be successful in increasingly demanding external examinations

The curriculum is inclusive because it

  • Provides students with access to the full breadth of curriculum experience, regardless of prior academic attainment or socio-economic background
  • Has a consistent approach to literacy and numeracy development, including strategies to develop reading, extended writing and vocabulary accrual, so that neither literacy or numeracy is a barrier for any student
  • Provides high quality information and guidance to ensure all students are fully prepared to transition into their next stage of learning or employment
  • Responds to changes in the local labour market so that courses on offer prepare all students to meet the current and future needs of employers
  • Provides opportunities for students to develop personally, socially and emotionally in both formal and informal school settings

In Years 7 to 9 all students study the following: Maths, English, Science, Computing, RE, PE, History, Geography, a Language (currently Spanish) and PSHE.

In Year 9 students have the opportunity to specialise in two creative subjects, the subjects offered are: Art, Drama, Music, Product Design, Food, Dance.  There is also an alternative curriculum running for a small number of students who need additional support.

In Years 10 and 11 students study the following: Maths, English, Science, PE, RE/PSHE.  Through GCSE option choices students choose a further four subjects to study, students are encouraged where appropriate to continue to study subjects that will allow them to achieve the EBACC qualification.  Unless agreed on an individual basis all students must study at least one EBACC subject as one of their four choices, this is to help ensure they receive an academic and balanced curriculum.

The college offers a range of both academic and vocational qualifications in Year 10 and Year 11 to meet the individual needs of students.  The introduction of technical awards has allowed the college to broaden the vocational pathway to better cater for the needs of students within college.

Subjects offered: History, Geography, German, Spanish, Art, Drama, Performing Arts Music, Product Design, Food, Dance, Graphics, Triple Science, Business, IT, Computing, Media. PE, RE.  These qualifications may be either GCSE or Vocational.  Additionally, there is an option for extra literacy and numeracy support in Key Stage 4.

All students in Years 7 to 9 follow an RE course for a minimum of one hour each week.  RE content is then covered during PSHE in Years 10 and 11, this includes discussion, debate and the exploration of moral and ethical topics such as, hate crime and religious tolerance amongst others.  Also, Year 10 and Year 11 students may choose to follow RE as a full GCSE qualification.

Students in Years 7 to 9 follow a discrete computing qualification for 1 hour each week. In Years 10 to 11 all students are given the choice of undertaking a GCSE in computing, media or IT.

PSHE is taught to all year groups for 1 hour per week, throughout the year, this covers British Values, social moral, spiritual and cultural issues, as well as financial awareness and sex and relationship education.  Year 11 has a clear focus on preparing students for the future.

All students in Years 7 to 11 take Physical Education for at least 2 hours per week. In Years 10 and 11 some students additionally choose to take BTEC PE or GCSE Dance.

All students in Years 7 to 11 receive 20 minutes a day of tutorial time in which a number of curriculum and current affair issues are covered including Rock Star Maths, independent reading, theme of the week and group discussion.


Links with Other Providers

The majority of students receive their education within the college, however, the college does have a close link with a local providers; Forest Schools.  Selected Year 7 students access a nurture opportunity at Forest Schools on a rota basis.  This is delivered at the college and at local outdoor approved sites.


The Timetable

The college operates a 25 lesson per week, two-week timetable, with all lessons being either 1 hour or 55 minutes in duration. However, a 25 lesson week does not give an appropriate degree of flexibility in terms of the curriculum. Therefore, a two week timetable gives the college an increased level of timetable flexibility, whilst also facilitating Key Stage 4 options subjects each having 10% curriculum time.

The aim is to ensure that students have only one teacher for each subject they study, especially in Years 10 and 11. There are occasions however, where it is necessary to split a group between two teachers. Sometimes this is because it is the best arrangement, for example students of triple science may find they have different teachers for chemistry, biology and physics. In other cases it is a consequence of the constraints of the timetable. In these situations teachers will split the units of study between them or communicate closely to ensure that the sequence of lessons flows as planned.

For more information about the curriculum, please contact Mr S Birks, Assistant Headteacher at or via the college switchboard on 01246 473873.

* on rotation

Subject Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
English 8 7 8 8 8
Maths 8 8 7 8 8
Science 6 7 7 9 9
PE 4 4  4 3  3
PSHE 2  2  2  2  2
MFL – Spanish  4  4  4  



4 Options Choices x 5hrs each subject

History 3  3  3
Geography 3 3  3
Religious Education 2 2 2
Computer Science 2* 2* 2
Drama 2 2 Choice of 2 x 4hrs each inc PE
Art 2 2
Music 2 2
Design Technology 2* 2*
Food 2* 2*

College Curriculum Contact:

Mr S Birks
Assistant Headteacher