Curriculum Statement  

We are ambitious for all our students.  We maintain the view that everyone has equal access to the knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable them to make an exceptional contribution to the world we share.  The local context will inform, but not determine, what is taught or when it is taught.  We deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum which is of high-value to the individual and the communities we serve.

  • The curriculum offered to all students matches and exceeds the expectations laid out in the National Curriculum. Our curriculum is broad and balanced, with EBacc subjects at the heart of it, and where the intrinsic value of all subjects is recognised. See our school curriculum plan below for details of subjects studied and specialist options available at KS4 and 5.
  • Our curriculum aims to furnish students with the specialist knowledge needed to be successful in examinations and the depth of knowledge to allow them to have a full and deep understanding of the subjects studied. The balance of substantive, disciplinary and procedural knowledge is subject-specific.  At KS3 subject teams identify a body of knowledge to be taught, using the National Curriculum for their subject as the starting point, and then develop this into carefully sequenced long-term plans for each Year group.  At Key Stage 4 and 5, long term plans are created to meet the requirements of the exam specifications.
  • Medium term plans provide guidance for teachers on the sequencing of content across the unit of work (‘learning cycles’ at KS3)  and the sequencing of activities within each lesson.  Curriculum planning also includes opportunities for retrieval practice and the revisiting of topics and themes.
  • Assessment of students’ understanding is an ongoing process, taking place every lesson through activities such as retrieval starters, the use of show-me boards, questioning, check or change, dot around, and show call.  Medium term plans at KS3 provide specific guidance for teachers on when to use specific formative assessment strategies.  Low-stakes assessments (‘checkpoints’ at key stage 3) take place towards the end of each learning cycle or at least once every 6 weeks at KS4 and 5 (see assessment policy for further details).  Our analysis of student performance in these assessments is used to inform next steps, with ‘gap weeks’ at KS3 set aside specifically for the re-teaching of topics that students have not fully grasped.
  • Information about students with additional needs is shared with staff so that those students benefit from quality-first teaching, tailored interventions when necessary, and use of technology where available.
  • As students progress through our school, the curriculum supports their wider development, and builds their cultural capital through extra curricular opportunities and events, which enhance students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. See below for details of extra curricular opportunities currently offered.
  • Literacy is a key part of our curriculum offer.  There are set times for reading across the school and we aim for all students to have a reading book with them at all times.  The FASE reading approach is used in tutor time reading sessions at KS3 and across the curriculum at all key stages.  DEAL days at KS3 take place each half term.  A range of strategies is used across the curriculum to support students to write at length, as well as a range of strategies for the development of students’ vocabulary.  We provide intensive catch-up in reading for KS3 students who require it, as identified through our analysis of NGRT scores.
  • We ensure that all our students are equipped to make informed choices about their current and future lives and are provided with opportunities to safely explore and develop their own ideas and attitudes, through explicit PSHE provision. Our preventative curriculum is continuously under review, responding to local and national safeguarding trends.  Lessons are expertly planned by our PSHE/RE lead and are delivered by form tutors in a 40 minute lesson each week.
  • Our curriculum provides students with a vision for achievements further into the future, beyond school, through a comprehensive and cohesive high-quality careers education programme.  This includes specific careers-based lessons in PSHE, half-termly virtual careers talks in extended tutor time sessions, half-termly careers starters in every lesson on an allocated day, careers fairs, and Year 10 and 12 work experience programmes.
  • High-quality professional development ensures staff have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to deliver the curriculum.
  • We review and evaluate the curriculum annually to ensure it is, where needed, modified in response to the needs of different cohorts and the changing educational and employment landscape.

Our curriculum in all Year groups is a broad and balanced one.  At Key Stage 3 students follow courses in English, maths, science, modern languages, history, geography, computing, RE, design & technology (food, textiles, product design), art, music, drama (Year 7 & 8), PE and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) which includes lessons in Citizenship, Relationships and Sex Education, and Careers Education.  In addition, students in Years 8 & 9 have the opportunity to further broaden their learning experiences through our Enrichment programme.

Students are taught in sets according to ability in the following subjects from after October half term in Year 7 onwards: English, MFL, history, geography, maths and science.  Students are taught in mixed ability groups from Year 7 onwards in design & technology, music, drama, art, and PSHE.  In computing and RE students are taught in mixed ability groups in Years 7 & 8, and then are setted by ability in Year 9.  In PE at KS3, students have 1 lesson per week taught in mixed ability groups and 1 lesson in setted single-sex groups; in Year 9 students are taught in single-sex setted groups for both of their PE lessons.

This approach enables us to provide highly effective differentiation in academic subjects coupled with groupings that effectively support and develop students’ social interactions and their understanding of different perspectives and viewpoints, all of which are key factors in supporting their learning in creative and practical subjects.

In Years 10 and 11, all students study English Language and English Literature (leading to two GCSEs), maths (one GCSE), Combined Science (leading to two GCSEs), at last one of history or geography, and a language.  Approximately 35% of students in each cohort receive additional time for English and maths instead of following a language although they can choose to opt for a language as one of their options choices.  Students have an additional two free options: for further details please see the KS4 Options handbook.

In the Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13), students choose from a wide range of subjects, focussing usually on three A level choices. For further information, please see our Sixth Form prospectus.

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
English (3)

Maths (3)

Science (3)

Spanish (3)

History (2)

Geography (2)

Computer Science (1)

Religious Education (1)

Design & Technology (2)

PE (2)

Art (1)

Music (1)

Young Leaders Award (1)

PSHE (40 minutes per week)

Literacy (40 minutes per week)


English (3)

Maths (3)

Science (3)

Spanish or French (2)

History (2)

Geography (2)

Computer Science (1)

Religious Education (1)

Design & Technology (2)

PE (2)

Art (1)

Music (1)

Young Leaders Award (1)

Enrichment (1)

PSHE (40 minutes per week)

Literacy (40 minutes per week)


English (3)

Maths (3)

Science (3)

Spanish or French (3)

History (2)

Geography (2)

Computer Science (1)

Religious Education (1)

Design & Technology (2)

PE (2)

Art (1)

Music (1)

Enrichment (1)

PSHE (40 minutes per week)

Literacy (40 minutes per week)

Years 10 & 11: the core curriculum Options x 2
English (4.5)

Maths (4)

Combined Science / Separate Sciences (4.5)

History or Geography (3)

Band A (approx. 65% of cohort): French or Spanish (3)

Band B: additional English (1.5); additional Maths (1.5)

PE (1)

PSHE (40 minutes per week)

Y10 RE (40 minutes per week)

Y11 Study skills (40 minutes per week)


Options subjects offered




Religious Studies

Separate Sciences


Computer Science

Technical Awards:




Health & Social Care

Media Studies



Sports Studies





Subjects offered:
A levels L3 Extended certificates/diplomas



Computer Science

English Language & Literature






Philosophy & Ethics

Product Design



Business Studies

Food & Nutrition

Health and Social Care

Media Studies

Sports Studies





Extended Project Qualification

English & maths GCSE re-takes

All students:

PSHE/RE (40 minutes per week)

Personal Development (40 minutes per week)

a wide range of enrichment and volunteering opportunities:

  • Volunteering partnership with Rowthorne residential home for the elderly
  • ‘Next Generation’ leaders programme (Enactus)
  • In-school volunteering programme (KS3 Enrichment and Sporting clubs support)
  • Charity fundraising
  • Trips to Oxford, Cambridge and Leicester universities
  • Professional development days run by Sheffield university outreach team, throughout the school year
  • Summer term trip to London
  • A level physics trip to Cern, Switzerland
  • Visit to the Holocaust Memorial Centre

Our enrichment curriculum in Year 8 & 9 provides students with the opportunities to take part in the following courses:

Bike maintenance, repair and restoration; Multi-Sports; Trinity Arts Award; Design All-Stars; Creative Textiles; Reading Champions; Angling; E-Sports; Code breaking; Book Illustration; Puzzling; Peer mentoring; Football and Netball Leadership; Bake Off; Tales from Mythology

In addition, students have the opportunity to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities including:

  • Ski & Snowboarding trip
  • Trips to France and Spain
  • A range of PE clubs and teams: badminton, girls and boys football, basketball, netball, KS3 Wellness Wednesdays (after school football, netball, rugby, badminton)
  • KS4 & 5 Art club
  • Year 7 Science club
  • KS3 choir
  • KS3 & 4 chamber ensemble
  • KS4 handbell group
  • Theatre trips run by the Music, Drama, and English Faculties
  • KS3 Language and culture club
  • Library leaders
  • Carnegie book group

Subject Curriculum 

Art provides opportunities to engage and be inclusive to all learners. It provides an alternative method of communication through self-expression and imagination. Due to this, all students are able to take ownership of development, media and choice of artists and techniques to maximise attainment and progress through self-directed learning and reflective thinking. 

Art experiences boost critical thinking, teaching students to take their time and to be careful and thorough in how they observe the world and other cultures. This is demonstrated through sustained work, which in turn instils resilience and inspiration. 

Art Learning Journey

Y7 Art Long Term Plan

Y9 Art Long Term Plan

Y9 Art Long Term Plan

Art KS4 Long Term Plan

Computer science is a specific branch of scientific learning and arguably one of the most important in the modern world, where an algorithmic approach to problems is at the frontline of research in most fields of science and technology. 

In computer science and ICT we believe in inspiring students by creating a context of “fun” project based activities carefully linked to the real world application of the skills and knowledge being developed. It is important to advance students’ understanding of the job roles available in computer science and ICT and their importance in the modern world. 

Computer Science And ICT Learning Journey 2022

Computing At KS4

Y7 Computing Long Term Plan

Y8 Computing Long Term Plan

Y9 Computing Long Term Plan

Computing KS4 Long Term Plan

Students will leave school with the skills and experiences to underpin future training and education for employment in a wide range  areas within cooking, nutrition and food and form the ability to complete everyday functional tasks with confidence and ease producing high quality results.  

Knowledge gained will provide students with a wider perception of the skills gaps in the employment market and what future roles may develop as technology and product demand changes including technological advances in the future employment market.  They will develop a strong understanding of the role the hospitality and catering industry has within the jobs market and in maintaining a strong economy within the UK.  

Students across all Key stages will develop an increasingly wide breadth of knowledge surrounding the process of design and manufacture for our everyday food products and be able to rationalise the impact these have on the environment we live in.  

Students will be able to recall and compare traditional methods of preparation and cooking within the UK over time, and be able to analyse the decisions that were made compared to now in how we shop, prepare and eat together as families drawing conclusions about changes in the way families function.  They will also develop the ability to test and evaluate products they and others have made and make adaptations for use, across design and manufacturing stages leading to detailed evaluations which take into consideration target market/user feedback.  

We promote a KS3 & 4 curriculum that enables students to relate learning and practical experiences to the wider world and provide opportunities for students to reflect on differing cultural and social situations as well as understanding the historical foundations of their chosen subject within British culture.    

Cooking Nutrition & Health Learning Journey

Students will leave school with the skills and experiences to underpin future training and education for employment in a wide range of industries and sectors and the ability to complete everyday functional tasks with confidence and ease.

Knowledge gained will provide students with a wider perception of the skills gaps in the employment market and what future roles may develop as technology and product demand changes including technological advances in the future employment market.

Students across all Key stages will develop an increasingly wide breadth of knowledge surrounding the process of design and manufacture for our everyday products and be able to rationalise the impact these have on the environment we live in.

Students will be able to recall key people within industries and how they have changed our use and desire for products, processes and services over time and be able to analyse where design might be heading based on current trends and predictions for the future.

A well developed ability to test and evaluate products in their current context and make adaptations for use, across design and manufacturing stages leading to in-depth product study tests and evaluation which takes into consideration target market/user feedback.

We promote a KS3 & 4 curriculum that enables students to relate learning and practical experiences to the wider world and provide opportunities for students to reflect on differing cultural and social situations as well as understanding the historical foundations of their chosen subject within British culture.

Technology Learning Journey

Y7 Design And Technology Long Term Plan

Y8 Design And Technology Long Term Plan

Y9 Design And Technology Long Term Plan

Catering KS4 Long Term Plan

Construction KS4 Long Term Plan

Engineering KS4 Long Term Plan

IMedia KS4 Long Term Plan

Media Studies KS4 Long Term Plan

Reading – by the end of year 11 students will have:

  • Read a range of increasingly challenging texts.
  • Read high-quality pre-1914 and contemporary prose, poetry and drama.
  • Read three Shakespeare plays.
  • Read seminal world literature.
  • Developed a wide vocabulary which allows them to access a wide range of texts.
  • A secure understanding of layers of meaning in texts.
  • Understood the importance of context and how this enhances understanding of a text.
  • Explored texts critically through the study of the writer at work.
  • Made critical comparisons between a range of texts.

Writing – by the end of year 11 students will:

  • Use their understanding of vocabulary, grammar and text structure in their own writing.
  • Apply their understanding of literary techniques in their own writing.
  • Be confident and skilled in planning, drafting, editing and proof-reading their writing.
  • So that they are able to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length.

Speaking and listening – by the end of year 11 students will be able:

  • Use Standard English confidently.
  • Give short speeches and presentations.
  • Take part in debates and structured discussions.
  • Take part in the performance of texts.

English Learning Journey

Y7 English Long Term Plan

Y8 English Long Term Plan

Y9 English Long Term Plan

English KS4 Long Term Plan

At Swanwick Hall we aim to create the very best geographers. Our curriculum designed around the teaching of powerful geographical knowledge thereby ‘enabling students to acquire knowledge that takes them beyond their own experiences’ (Michael Young). Through their learning students develop a critical understanding of key geographical principles of the human and physical world, how the two interact and change over time. In an increasingly interconnected world, the study of geography is essential, enabling students to find their place and make a positive, sustainable impact to their world locally, nationally, and globally now and throughout their lives. This includes developing a critical understanding of the opportunities and challenges presented by geographical concepts such as globalisation, development and climate change whilst also learning to use and apply the geographical skills necessary to become a competent geographer.

Learning cycles have been carefully planned to sequentially develop students’ geographical substantive and disciplinary knowledge, with frequent opportunities for knowledge recall and retrieval planned into lessons. Throughout KS3 students receive a broad foundation of knowledge, building on learning from KS2 and allowing successful transition to GCSE and A Level. However, subject content is chosen not simply to meet the needs of what is examinable through specifications but to give students the powerful knowledge and cultural capital to actively engage and contribute to the world around them.

Geography Learning Journey

Y7 Geography Long Term Plan

Y8 Geography Long Term Plan

Y9 Geography Long Term Plan

Geography KS4 Long Term Plan

History is getting students not to just accept the world for what it is, but to question it and the societies they live in.

Students should look at past events and interpretations of them and be encouraged to think independently, critically and objectively about them.

Students should be encouraged to understand their place in History, which will allow them to make sense of the world they live in and to challenge.

So students can engage with complex and emotive issues from the past so they can draw contemporary parallels. This will challenge them to have an open mind and confront any prejudice.

It allows students to think freely, making links to social, economic and political history which involves the human experience.

It provides students will a range of skills from writing to source analysis.

It exposes students to a range of cultures which helps promote tolerance and understanding.

Implementing History at Swanwick Hall School

Students will be engaged and find enjoyment in studying history and want to pursue their own areas of curiosity.

Students will be inspired to want to continue their studies at A Level.

Students will have the ability to use information critically.

Students will be able to see both sides of a situation, being able to form their own opinion and giving a balanced response.

Students will be able to communicate effectively in a wide range of situations.

Students will develop an appreciation of empathy when studying sensitive historical events.

History Learning Journey

Y7 History Long Term Plan

Y8 History Long Term Plan

Y9 History Long Term Plan

History Y10 Long Term Plan

History Y11 From 2024 Long Term Plan

Students progress through the content at a pace that is appropriate to their own learning journey.

For each concept students first develop their fluency and reasoning before developing their ability to apply these skills to problem solving contexts.

Year 7

In year 7 we increase competence and confidence in multiplicative structures to highlight students’ misconceptions, build on what students already know from KS2 and support the use of appropriate feedback. We encourage students to collaborate and talk enabling them to gain insights from each other and at the same time enable teachers to find out what the students understand.

In year 7 students use different representations, such as the double number line to help better understand mathematical concepts such as ratio and make connections between number relationships. Students explore different ways to represent and structure their answers by developing their knowledge on basic concepts.

Students start to explore the idea of using symbols to represent numbers through sequences and substitution.

Year 8

We start to explore algebraic reasoning in year 8 to make connections between mathematical ideas. We teach algebra in ways that bring together the often-fragmented activities of tabulating values, solving equations, drawing graphs, and forming and transforming algebraic expressions and relations.

We develop their basic knowledge of substitution from year 7 to apply to formula for more complex areas such as circles and sectors.  Students are also introduced to Pythagoras theorem.

Students learn to analyse data using statistical measures and represent data by selecting appropriate tables or charts.

Students are introduced to probability linking to their work on fractions, decimals and percentages.

Year 9

We often revisit material used in year 7 & 8 to allow students to become fluent with maths and be able to tackle non-routine problems successfully, using their in-depth knowledge of topics to adapt to any situation.

Students develop their numerical fluency further by starting to look at different structures of how we represent numbers such as standard form and surds.

They develop algebraic and graphical eloquence, including understanding linear and simple quadratic functions.

Students learn to compare bivariate data using the language of correlation.

Students get the opportunity to explore relationships between sides and angles in right-angled triangles, which allows them to independently discover trigonometric ratios.

Probability is developed further by introducing the concept of tree diagrams to show all outcomes of events.

Year 10

Students consolidate their knowledge from key stage 3 further developing their mathematical vocabulary and competency. They are encouraged to solve problems by identifying which mathematical concepts are required and applying them consistently.

They further explore and analyse statistical data using cumulative frequency and histograms for continuous data.

Trigonometry is extended to non right-angled triangles and 3 dimensions through the use of complex formulae.

Students learn to solve simultaneous equations using a variety of methods.

Their number fluency is developed further by exploring recurring decimals and rationalising numbers.

Year 11

Students investigate the effects of rounding by considering upper and lower bounds.

Students learn about kinematics by considering graphs and calculations. This includes finding gradients of curves by considering tangents.

In algebra the knowledge of equations and graphs is extended to circles. Students learn about different functions and how to evaluate them.

In probability students learn about the language of set notation and apply this to Venn diagrams, which often includes algebra for more complex problems.

Students learn revision techniques and recall methods in order to prepare for their assessments.

Maths Learning Journey Higher

Maths Learning Journey Foundation

Y7 Maths Long Term Plan

Y8 Maths Long Term Plan

Y9 Maths Long Term Plan

Studying a foreign language at Swanwick Hall School aims to build students’ confidence, communication skills, spontaneity, and fluency. As well as gaining understanding of a new language, it will also develop their understanding of their native language and encourage them to identify similarities and differences between the two.  Additionally, students will gain knowledge and understanding of the culture, customs and history of the countries that speak the language they study. Students will also become aware of the value of foreign languages in enhancing prospects for the future in terms of both study and employability as they consider their role as a global citizen. 

MFL Learning Journey

Y7 Spanish Long Term Plan

Y8 Spanish Long Term Plan

Y9 Spanish Long Term Plan

Y9 French Long Term Plan

French KS4 Long Term Plan

Spanish KS4 Long Term Plan

Enterprise KS4 Long Term Plan

In their music lessons students will be engaged in listening, performing and composing in a wide range of musical styles from different historical settings.   Music education is an enjoyable learning experience that engages and inspires learners to develop a love of music, increase their self-confidence, develop social skills, creativity and sense of achievement. Music is an integral part of life whether in the workplace, at home or socially.  It is our duty to enrich, through music making, listening and appreciation, the lives of young people in ways that support emotional development and growth. 

Music Learning Journey

Y7 Music Long Term Plan

Y8 Music Long Term Plan

Y9 Music Long Term Plan

Physical Education at Swanwick Hall School aims to encourage students to actively engage in lifelong physical activity. This is not only as a participant but in roles such as a leader, coach and official. We offer a diverse curriculum to inspire students’ curiosity of the subject where a passion for physical activity is enthusiastically promoted. This is pivotal to establishing a love of sport and exercise at a young age which will encourage lifelong participation, develop valuable life skills and prepare students to lead a healthy active lifestyle. 

PE Learning Journey

Y7 PE Long Term Plan

Y8 PE Long Term Plan

Y9 PE Long Term Plan

PE KS4 Long Term Plan

PSHE is focused on the personal, social, health and economic aspects of education. The lessons are designed for students to engage in topics that will help them navigate their own lives now and in the future. PSHE education gives students the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. PSHE education helps students to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up.  

PSHE education also helps students to develop skills and aptitudes – like teamwork, communication, and resilience – that are crucial to navigating the challenges and opportunities of the modern world, and are increasingly valued by employers. 

PSHE Learning Journey

Y7 PSHE Long Term Plan

Y8 PSHE Long Term Plan

Y9 PSHE Long Term Plan

PSHE KS4 Long Term Plan

The overarching concepts for Religious Education at Swanwick Hall School are:

  • Asking Big Questions – communicating effectively and listening to others
  • Personal Growth – developing compassion and empathy
  • Respect – showing understanding and interest in the beliefs, opinions and cultures of others
  • Morality – understanding right from wrong, investigating rules and boundaries
  • Courageous Advocacy – challenging injustice and standing up for the rights of others

RE is a vital subject that enables students to develop their values, their beliefs and explore the reasons for their behaviour.

It provides a point of reflection and thought in a world where students are bombarded with information that is hard to digest and make sense of.

It ensures that students are aware and respectful of diversity and thus upholds directly two of SHS Values of inclusivity and respect.

The SMSC education of the students, whilst embedded across the whole curriculum, is significantly addressed through RE lessons.

RE provides an environment for students to debate and consider how their actions impact on others, this in turn fosters empathy and contributes to the literacy of the students.

By the end of Key Stage 3 students will be familiar with the key concepts of Christianity as the major world religious tradition of Great Britain, as well as the other major world religions of Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism. They will also understand the Humanist tradition and be able to compare and contrast the key ideas found in these worldviews.

Students will be able to describe a range of religious concepts including the reincarnation and the concept of God

Students will understand the significance of religious rules such as The Ten Commandments and The Five Pillars of Islam and their lasting importance in contemporary society.

Throughout Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students will develop confidence in becoming courageous advocates, challenging injustice and suffering in the world and through personal experience, foster empathy and tolerance within a diverse world. This will be approached through using the examples of religious leaders and philosophers whilst considering their inspiration.

Throughout RE the teaching of the Golden Rule (which is upheld by all religions) and other religious stories and parables will instil and reinforce the qualities of kindness and tolerance and support the need for equality for all.

Students will engage in meaningful debate about the big questions in life and also consider moral dilemmas that are faced by people in everyday life, this will help to prepare them for adulthood and future situations.

RE Learning Journey

Y7 RE Long Term Plan

Y8 RE Long Term Plan

Y9 RE Long Term Plan

RE KS4 Long Term Plan

The Science curriculum provides students with powerful scientific knowledge in biology, chemistry and physics. They will learn to apply this knowledge and consider the ethical implications of scientific applications. This goes along side providing the essential skills to not only become scientists, but to see how scientific evidence can enhance wellbeing, and change the world for the better. It is also a great transferrable skill that will help the students in other areas of their education.

The science curriculum follows a cyclic learning journey with the aim of securing scientific knowledge and deepening students understanding and then revisiting topics throughout to ensure that the learning is concrete as it is revisited and consolidated frequently.

Science Learning Journey

Y7 Science Long Term Plan

Y8 Science Long Term Plan

Y9 Science Long Term Plan

Biology GCSE Long Term Plan

Chemistry GCSE Long Term Plan

Combined Science KS4 Long Term Plan

Physics GCSE Long Term Plan