Charnwood College
Charnwood College@CharnwoodColl


Charnwood College offers a curriculum, which is balanced and broadly based and which: promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils 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 house assemblies (Challenge, Discovery, Endeavour, Venture) and tutor time activities. The school teaches religious education to pupils at every key stage as well as sex and relationship education.


The College follows the statutory national curriculum, which sets out in programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects that should be taught to all pupils. 


The college has timetabled lessons, which make provision for excellent personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.


The school curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils 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 national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.


If you would like further information about the curriculum followed at Charnwood College please contact us.



Pupils are organized on the basis of 4 key stages and twelve subjects, classified in legal terms as core and other foundation subjects. The structure of the national curriculum, in terms of which subjects are compulsory at each key stage (key stage 3 and 4 for Charnwood College) is set out in the table below:

All schools are also required to teach religious education at all key stages.

Secondary schools must provide sex and relationship education and Charnwood College provides discrete subjects in both of these subjects and in both key stages.


At Key stage 4, the college covers the 4 entitlement areas.


The arts (comprising art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts), design and technology, the humanities (comprising geography and history) and modern foreign language. These are not compulsory national curriculum subjects after the age of 14, but all pupils have an entitlement to be able to study a subject in each of those four areas.


The statutory requirements in relation to the entitlement areas is that schools must provide access to a minimum of one course in each of the four entitlement areas and must provide the opportunity for pupils to take a course in all four areas, should they wish to do so a course that meets the entitlement requirements must give pupils the opportunity to obtain an approved qualification.


Charnwood College’s curriculum has been designed around the following principles:

Banding: This means that a year group is split into 2 populations and students will be based in one or other of them.

Pathways: This is the curriculum offer for students and relates to the amount and/or type of qualification being studied.

Setting: This refers to the grouping of students within the bands and is based on prior attainment and current academic ability.



Across all of Key Stage 3, students are grouped into 2 Bands, Band H (Higher) and Band P (Progression).


In the Higher band there are 2 high ability groups (H1 and H2), and in the Progression band 3 groups (P1, P2, P3). Additional support is built into the P3 group.


The College places students into each band based on prior attainment data in Maths and English and current working at and projected levels. Within these bands subject families can then set appropriately.


This structure supports a single, most able set in each year group. There is some flexibility as to how subject families set within the Progression band and they are able to choose whether to have two mixed ability groups or group on linear setting.


For the Expressive Arts family, it may be a conscious decision to mix up the groups including those in the support group, so that students in the latter are not always in the same group across all their subjects. The make up of this lower ability group for English and Maths families will be strongly determined and supported by the learning support faculty.


Subjects are grouped around Families, they are:

The English Family (English to set)

English, History, Geography, RE, French and Spanish

The Maths Family (Maths to set)

Maths, Science

Expressive Arts Family (PE, Expressive Arts to agree on setting)

Physical Education, Drama, Music, Art and Personal development, Computing


Design is not be in a family so to allow for rotation of subjects and if needed smaller group size due to health and safety regulations.



For key stage 4, again there are two bands (Band H and Band P).


Band H is for students on the Higher pathway. Many of these will be doing Triple Science and are our most able students. In year 10 we have 5 groups: 2 Higher, 2 Progression, 1 Support and in year 11 we have six groups: 3 Higher, 2 Progression and 1 Support.


Band P is for students on either the Progression or Support pathway and will have a greater amount of time allocated to English and Maths, often on the C/D borderline.


For students on the Support pathway, many will do a vocational qualification - either Construction on site, or a course at Loughborough College.


Option subjects for year 10 are organized into three blocks: A, B, C and 4 blocks for year 11: A, B, C and D.



For key stage 5, again there are three main pathways, dependent on which students will be asked to study both an appropriate amount of qualifications and at the correct level. Subjects are organised into four blocks from which they can choose. For a student to be classed as a full time student in 2014/15, they will need to study 540 Guided Learning Hours (GLH).


Higher pathway: these students will have a range of higher grade GCSEs including some at grades B or A. They will have good independent learning skills and enjoy the challenge of taking on a full academic load of four AS levels.


Progression pathway: students will have some good GCSE results across a range of subjects and are looking forward to specialising in things they are best at. They may still need extra help in achieving the full Level 2 award in either English or maths but they may have still done well enough to begin a Level 3 pathway. Two or sometimes up to three AS levels, with retakes at Either English or maths, would be appropriate on this pathway.


Support pathway: students probably found GCSEs difficult, but they have shown they can work hard and succeed. They may have done better in subjects with 100% coursework, where they have had more control over what they did. They are likely to do better at Level 3 by following similar types of course together with another chance to get their full Level 2 award.


Entry pathway or level 2: suitable for students who have found GCSEs difficult and while having not made the criteria for Level 3 courses with additional time and reapplying themselves, they could enter a full level 3 pathway in a year’s time. Students would be asked to study both English and Maths GCSE, an additional 1 year new GCSE qualification and where appropriate a single AS level.


What is taught in which subject and when, is captured in the following subject tables below:

Staff will report back to parents and students approximately every 8 weeks using curriculum levels aligned to the new secondary curriculum, based on:


What students are expected to know and their Ability to apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study

Teachers will report the following

  • What attainment level students are currently working at, and what is the predicted level by the end of the year. This will be supported by one of the following descriptions of working below, working at or working above what is nationally expected for their age.
  • More importantly given that students have different levels of ability at the start of any year is the progress they are making towards their target. This progress will be reported as either not making adequate progress, making expected progresss, making more than expected.

Finally what predicted GCSE grade is likely based on the above.


Maths Core Curriculum

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and  accurately reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into  a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programme of study for key stage 3  is organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should build on key stage 2 and  connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their  mathematical knowledge in science, geography, computing and other subjects.

Decisions about progression should be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content in preparation for key stage 4. Those who are not sufficiently fluent should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.



The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils: read easily, fluently and with good understanding develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearl utheir understanding and ideas are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.


David Ross Education Trust and British Values

The Trust is very supportive of the ethos of promoting British Values, and preparing our pupils for success in a modern Britain.

A heavy reliance is placed upon broadening horizons for each and every child and this includes developing the core skills of tolerance, respect, teamwork, 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.

To find out more about British Values at our academy, please download the document on the left.