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Curriculum Intent Statement 2023-24

Our vision at FCC is to provide a curriculum and an environment that:

  • Enables all pupils to be engaged, to make progress and to succeed.
  • Is underpinned by academic rigour.
  • Ensures all learners are suitably challenged.
  • Is broad in content.
  • Develops a wide range of skills and knowledge in our learners, so that they have the highest chances of success in the future.

Pupils at FCC study the full curriculum until the end of Year 9 and do not narrow the breadth of their studies until Year 10. This allows two years to study subjects at the depth that is required for GCSE and other equivalent qualifications.

Our curriculum is underpinned by a commitment to high quality teaching and assessment in all subjects which enables all pupils to make good or better rates of progress. Our programmes of study in the earlier year groups are informed by GCSE and preparing pupils for GCSE is, of course, important but this is far from the sole purpose of KS3. At KS3, our desire is to instil a passion for lifelong learning through an enriching and engaging curriculum. Decisions are made, mainly at department level, on what should be taught and when, to prepare pupils for their future studies and to equip all pupils with the range of skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We have a school assessment policy in place, but departments are free to implement this in an appropriate way to suit their subjects.

Whilst the bulk of our curriculum design is focused on ensuring our pupils make genuine academic progress, many of our subjects develop pupils’ practical skills and the importance of pupils’ personal development is a recurring theme across all curriculum areas. We aim to enable pupils to develop personal resilience and an ability to effectively self-evaluate. We have a carefully planned Citizenship programme across the key stages, to help equip our learners to be responsible, respectful and active citizens. We offer a number of services to help those pupils who need extra support to develop their resilience, confidence and independence.

As a school, we follow the National Curriculum for England. Where we use schemes of work, these are in line with the aims and programmes of study that are set out in the National Curriculum in England - Secondary Curriculum. 

If you need more information about a particular subject, please Contact Us.

To find information on our Accessibility Plan, please visit the Policies page.

More detailed information regarding the intent in different subject areas is given within the subject pages.

Key Stage 3 

At KS3, we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum programme of study and that places real value on the importance of all subject areas. Of course, the core subjects of English, Maths and Science are given significant curriculum time, as are the key Ebacc subjects; Geography, History and MFL, as well as Design & Technology, which we judge to be very important for the practical skills it develops. All subjects are taught for at least one hour per week. In addition, in Year 7, students have an “Accelerated Reader” session once per fortnight, to help all improve their reading fluency and further support the reading they do within other lessons.

It is our belief that pupils should be mainly taught in “mixed-ability” groups for the maximum benefit of all learners. At KS3, the only exceptions to this are in Maths (pupils are grouped by ability from Year 7) and in Science (pupils are grouped by ability from Year 8). In these subjects, it is felt that all learners benefit from being in groups more closely matched to their ability.

The allocation of lessons in KS3 is as follows:

Subject Number of hours per fortnight
Year group Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
English 6 6 6
Maths 6 5 6
Science 5 6 6
Design & Technology 5 5 4
History 4 4 3
Geography 4 4 3
Religious Education 2 2 4
Physical Education 4 4 4
Modern Foreign Languages 5 5 6
Art 2 2 2
Music 1 2 2
Drama 2 2 2
ICT 2 2 2
Accelerated Reader 1    
PSHE 1 1  

Key Stage 4

At KS4, our ethos is to offer each pupil a curriculum package that we believe to be in their best interests. We are proud of the broad curriculum we offer and the wide range of subjects and qualifications this covers. As an example, pupils in the current Year 10 study well over 30 different courses, which are mainly GCSEs but include BTECs, Cambridge Nationals and other Level 1/2 Awards. Each year, a number of students with SEND study fewer options than their peers and have additional support with their study from the SEND department.

We do not believe that “early entry” is in pupils’ best interests and so all GCSE courses are examined at the end of Year 11, with just the one exception - RE. The structure of our curriculum allows this subject to be taken at the end of Year 10, to slightly lessen the burden of exams for pupils at the end of Year 11 and to give additional curriculum time for option subjects during Year 11.

When option choices are made in Year 9, we offer a great deal of guidance and support, but we make no attempt to force students to choose a subject they don’t want to study. Success comes from students studying subjects that they are interested and engaged in. We highlight to students the academic importance of studying the full range of Ebacc subjects and all students, with very few exceptions, have to study the core of English Language and Literature, Maths, Science and RE. For the reasons already given, we do not require any individual students to study Geography, History or a Language, meaning that sometimes our entry rate for Ebacc is below the level aimed for by the government.

Throughout KS4, significant emphasis is also placed on providing pupils with excellent careers education, advice and guidance.

Key Stage 5

The ethos and values of key stages 3 and 4 are continued into Sixth Form, though the curriculum offer is narrowed slightly to focus mainly on A levels and, on the whole, more traditional “academic” subjects. This means, typically, a little under half of our Year 11 pupils continue into the FCC Sixth form, with many pupils instead attending nearby colleges, which are better equipped to deliver a wider range of more vocational options.

More information about our Sixth Form subjects.