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Curriculum Overview

The Highworth Curriculum


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We are a grammar school – our curriculum is academic and challenging.  We encourage high aspirations and ensure students are ready for university or other career paths. We offer a broad and balanced range of learning experiences and opportunities for all students, which equips them with the cultural capital needed for success in life. Students are engaged in developing a community spirit and our curriculum seeks to foster respect for others and core British values.

The curriculum is underpinned by the Assessment Model, Rewards System and Readiness for Learning scores (RfL), which seek to develop students as reflective, creative, resilient, independent and inquisitive learners.

Highworth is keen to respond positively to national developments and the curriculum is reviewed regularly to adapt to the opportunities and needs of our rapidly changing world. 


Aims and Intent

  • We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that is ambitious and enriching.  Our core curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop character and cultural capital alongside academic excellence;
  • Subject curricula are well planned, carefully structured and sequenced to allow for optimal learning experiences;
  • Our curriculum offers experiences for all students to acquire the knowledge and skills required to be ready for and successful in their lives after Highworth.
  • We want all students, irrespective of background, to have high aspirations and to be eager for life-long learning.


  • We are keen to respond to the latest relevant research-informed practice, such as interleaving, spacing and responsive teaching. This ensures, along with effective planning and sequencing that the learning opportunities are optimised for all students; we wish for mastery of knowledge and skills that will enable students to achieve highly in their examinations;
  • All teachers at Highworth have excellent subject knowledge and use explanation and modelling to ensure progress is made by all.  Staff are encouraged to take advantage of CPD opportunities to maintain their subject knowledge, requirements of examination boards and the latest teaching and learning research;
  • All staff use a range of data (from school information systems: SIMS; 4Matrix; and Provision Maps) to understand the individual needs of their classes and adapt their planning to ensure the curriculum is accessible to all;
  • Highworth offers a wide range of extracurricular activities to support and enrich the standard provision;
  • Homework is set regularly and is viewed as an effective method to consolidate learning and support the development of students as independent learners.

The School Day

The school operates a two weekly timetable of 50 periods. This is separated into 5 periods each day. There is also a 25 minute Mentor Period each day.



















The Highworth Learning Journey: Key Stage 3

All subjects view the Highworth Learning Journey as a 5 year curriculum that runs from years 7 to 11 and beyond into the Sixth Form. In Years 7 to 9, students study a broad and balanced curriculum to build a firm foundation of the skills needed to ensure that students are ready for the rigours of GCSEs in Year 10.

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In Year 9 students follow a programme of wider studies in Citizenship, Physical Activity, Mindfulness and Geography.


Modern Foreign Languages

In Year 7, students are allocated two languages from French, German or Spanish. They then choose one language to study in Year 8 and then on to GCSE. Gifted linguists may be able to choose a second language as part of their option choices.

The Highworth Learning Journey: Key Stage 4


In Year 10, all students will study a core GCSE curriculum of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, a MFL, a Humanity and Religious Education. The Science curriculum includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics as distinct subject areas. Students are offered a wide range of GCSE subject choices listed below. To ensure we maintain a broad and balanced curriculum it is compulsory for students to choose a Modern Foreign Language and a Humanity.  Students then have two free choices and can choose a second humanity or language if they wish. Student demand will dictate whether courses run and we strive to formulate option blocks to accommodate student wishes.

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GCSE Options Subjects

Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, Dance, Design & Technology, Drama, Economics, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Media Studies, Music, Physical Education.

The Highworth Learning Journey: Key Stage 5

Sixth Form

Most students are encouraged to choose 3 subjects to study at A Level. However, some students are welcome to discuss the option of 4 subjects if there are spaces on the courses.   Studying Core Mathematics or the Extended Project Qualification could be additional course choices.  The study programme will also include timetabled supplementary study sessions and students are expected to be involved in a Co-curricular activity, such as a volunteering or work experience placement, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, music lessons or a regular sporting commitment. All A Level courses are linear with examinations at the end of the two year course.

Current A Level Courses 

Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Dance, Design and Technology – Product Design, Drama and Theatre, Economics, English Language and Literature, English Literature, Film Studies, French, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media, Music, Photography, Physical Education, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology and Spanish.

More Subject Information

For more details about each of the subjects offered at Highworth, please visit our subject pages by clicking here.