Curriculum Overview


Our curriculum policy exists to support colleagues in achieving our core purpose, Ut Prosim, and to reflect our school vision:

Twynham School’s curriculum is distinguished by its focus on children’s conceptual understanding within each of the subject disciplines. There is an emphasis on teaching for meaning that goes beyond simple rote learning or teaching to a test. The curriculum recognises the importance of embedding substantive knowledge within subject areas and is designed to challenge all students. The curriculum is supported by the pedagogical approach of Responsive Teaching that requires teachers to focus on what students should know, understand and be able to do. The curriculum is also designed to support the development of exceptional skills in literacy and oracy that will enable students to flourish in all manner of  arenas.

Our curriculum policy defines our approach to structuring the whole school curriculum offer. It also details how our individual curricula should be continuously developed and improved to ensure our students leave that subject, be that at Key Stage 3, 4 or 5, with a secure understanding of how that subject contributes to their understanding of the world.

The approach which is defined in our curriculum centres around two facets of teaching and learning that have been at the heart of pedagogical development at Twynham School for many years.

The first is the approach outlined in Howard Gardener’s book The Disciplined Mind focusing specifically on the four elements of curriculum design:

  • Identify essential topics in the discipline.
  • Spend considerable time on these few topics, studying them deeply.
  • Approach the topic in a number of ways
  • Develop performances of understanding

The second is the pedagogical model created by Dr Terry Fish which has been used to develop colleagues’ understanding of teaching and learning. This model led us to deeply examine students’ conceptual understanding within our subject areas and how we respond to this within our lessons and planning.

To respond to the removal of National Curriculum levels we employed our understanding of curriculum which had been developed through the two approaches outlined above. We redesigned our Key Stage 3 curricula by deeply considering what we wanted students to know, understand and be able to do. How the curriculum is delivered continues to remain a central part of our teaching and learning CPD and the impact of our curriculum is regularly monitored through benchmarking processes and analysis of national examinations. Our policy exists to ensure that the curriculum remains ‘balanced, rigorous, coherent, vertically integrated, appropriate, focused, and relevant’ – the seven principles set out by the SSAT in Dylan Wiliam’s Principled Curriculum Design. Above all we wish that our policy ensures our curriculum serves those it is designed for.

If you do have any questions regarding our curriculum, or wish to find out more about the curriculum that we offer, please do not hesitate to contact the School Office using the details at the bottom of this page.

Key Stage 3

Years 7 and 8:

Students follow the curriculum below.

  • Art (2 lessons per fortnight)     
  • Computing (2 lessons per fortnight)
  • Design and Technology (3 lessons per fortnight)  
  • Drama (2 lessons per fortnight)
  • English (6 lessons per fortnight)
  • French or Spanish (6 lessons per fortnight)
  • Geography (3 lessons per fortnight)
  • History (3 lessons per fortnight)
  • Maths (7 lessons per fortnight)
  • Music (2 lessons per fortnight)
  • Personal Development (PD) (1 lesson per fortnight)
  • Physical Education (PE) (4 lessons per fortnight)
  • Religious Education (RE) (3 lessons per fortnight)
  • Science (6 lessons per fortnight)

Some students may be invited to take part in a specialist Literacy group. This is done in consultation with parents and involves the students concentrating on key Literacy skills such as reading and spelling in place of studying a modern foreign language.

Year 9:

In March of Year 8, students are involved in a mini Options process. They are asked to choose three of the subjects below in which they would like to specialise during Year 9. Students then receive three lessons per fortnight of the subjects that they have chosen during Year 9.

Art                                                         Food

Dance                                                   Graphic Products

Drama                                                  Resistant Materials

Music                                                    Textiles

They continue to study the remainder of the curriculum, as outlined above, as normal.

Key Stage 4

Years 10 and 11

All students study the Core Subjects at GCSE:

  • English and English Literature
  • Maths
  • Science (or Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

Students then have a choice of subjects at GCSE and Vocational Levels.

All students continue their core Physical Education, Religious Studies and Personal Development lessons.

Please see the individual subject pages for more detail on the courses that we offer at Key Stage 4.

Sixth Form

Please see the Twynham Sixth Form website for details of the courses that are available.