Parents & Carers

Curriculum Information & Policy


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Aims and Introduction

Students at Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8) follow a two year broad and balanced curriculum.  A wide variety of effective teaching styles aims to stimulate and challenge students as well as developing their interests and self-confidence. Students are taught in groups which are set, based on ability in the subject, or in mixed ability groups. The focus of the curriculum at Key Stage 3 is to provide learning and enjoyment as a foundation for Key Stage 4.

At Key Stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11) there is a wide range of options available which allows students to tailor GCSE or vocational courses to suit their individual strengths and interests.  Assessing and responding to the needs of each student is vital to their success.  We therefore provide a flexible curriculum that personalises each student´s learning.


Key Stage 3

The statutory subjects that all pupils must be taught at Key Stage 3 are: Art and Design, Citizenship, Design and Technology, English, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education and Science. The teaching of careers education, sex education and religious education is also statutory.

The Harrogate High School Key Stage 3 curriculum covers all of these statutory subjects. In Year 7 students receive English (4ppw), Maths (3ppw), Science (4ppw), PE (2ppw), Design and Technology (2ppw), ICT (1ppw), History (2ppw), Geography (2ppw), RE (1ppw), Music (1ppw), Modern Foreign Languages (2ppw), and Art (1ppw).

In Year 8 students study English (4ppw), Maths (3ppw), Science (3ppw), PE (2ppw), Design and Technology (2ppw), ICT (1ppw), History (2ppw), Geography (2ppw), RE (1ppw), Music (1ppw), Modern Foreign Languages (2ppw) and Art (2ppw).


Key Stage 4 Core Curriculum 

Key Stage 4 National Curriculum requirements are set out in section 85 of the Education Act 2002, as substituted. Students study a mix of compulsory subjects (core & foundation) and, if they so elect, a course of study in a subject within each of four ´entitlement´ areas. The compulsory subjects (with statutory programmes of study) are: English, Maths, Science, ICT, PE and Citizenship. In relation to Science, students have a statutory entitlement to have access to a course of study leading to at least two Science GCSEs

The Harrogate High School Key Stage 4 Core Curriculum meets these statutory requirements. All students study English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science, Physical Education or Dance, ICT, RE and Citizenship. Depending on suitability students can also study the single Sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


Key Stage 4 Choices System

The statutory requirements of the entitlement areas are schools must provide access to a minimum of one course in each of the four entitlement areas (Arts, Design and Technology, Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages).

At Harrogate High School students are given a free choice of subjects within the options available, as far as the constraints of timetable and class size allow. Our choices curriculum provides students with option choices at the start of Year 9 and a further choice in Year 11. Students can pick courses from all four entitlement areas. Where subjects are oversubscribed, and discussions with students have not led to sufficient changes, the school will look at suitability for the course and hold discussions with parents.  If subjects do not attract a sufficient number to be viable the school reserves the right not to run them.

The choices courses offered in 2016 were: GCSE Psychology, GCSE History, GCSE Geography, GCSE Art, GCSE Music, GCSE Drama, GCSE Hospitality, GCSE Resistant Materials, GCSE Textiles, GCSE French, BTEC Travel and Tourism, BTEC Business, BTEC Sport, BTEC Health and Social Care and Option Maths.


Sixth Form

Students are given a free choice of subjects within the options available, as far as the constraints of timetable and class size allow.  All students are interviewed to assess their suitability for courses. Where subjects are oversubscribed, and discussions with students have not led to sufficient changes, the school will look at suitability for the course as a criterion for selection.  If subjects do not attract a sufficient number to be viable the school reserves the right not to run them.

We offer a wide range of subjects at different levels to meet both the interests and potential of our students. We also provide courses with different methods of assessment and qualifications to meet the different learning styles of our students. These subjects and courses are reviewed annually taking into consideration student interests and preferences. The subjects offered in past years are Art & Design (A-Level and BTEC National), Biology, Business Studies (Applied A-Level and BTEC National), Chemistry, Design & Technology (Graphics, Product Design & Textiles), Drama & Theatre Studies, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Extended Project, French, Geography, Health & Social Care (BTEC National), History, Hospitality (BTEC National), ICT, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy and Ethics, Physics, Psychology, Spanish, Sport (BTEC National) and Science (BTEC National).

Any student wishing to enter the Sixth Form who has not achieved a grade A*-C or 9-5 in GCSE English and/or Maths will be required to continue to study these qualifications in the Sixth Form.

We have established collaborative Post-16 partnerships with other local providers to provide students at both schools with the best possible courses for their future career aspirations.

Schools must also provide religious education, sex education and careers education at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.


Religious Education

Religious Education is delivered to all students through Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education.


Sex and Relationships Education

The school provides sex education for all students through the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum, the Vertical Mentor Group programme and through Stop the Clock days. A full statement of the school´s sex education policy is available to parents. In accordance with the law the biological aspects of human reproduction remain compulsory for all students - this is delivered through Science. Parents may withdraw their children from any other part of the sex education provided without giving reasons. Further details can be found in the Sex and Relationships Education Policy.


Careers Education

The school provides careers education and guidance for all students in Years 7-13 about the pathways and choices which are open to them. This is done through meetings with Careers Coordinator, Vertical Mentor Groups, Stop the Clock days, assemblies, external agencies and guest speakers and through Guidance lessons in Key Stage 5. The aim of our careers education is to help every pupil develop high aspirations and consider a broad and ambitious range of careers.


Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education and wellbeing

Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education is a non-statutory subject but important and necessary part of all students´ education. The delivery of PSHE is done through the statutory Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum, the daily Vertical Mentor Group programme, Stop the Clock days, assemblies, educational visits, guest speakers and through Guidance lessons in Key Stage 5. PSHE education includes drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.


Political Education

The promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school is forbidden by law. Political issues are introduced in a number of courses and are presented in a balanced manner.


Equal Opportunities

Entry to all programmes of study is based on suitability and appropriateness, regardless of race, disability, religion or belief. In accordance with the statutory requirements relating to disabilities, the school aims to make the curriculum accessible to all students as far as is reasonably practicable. 


Concerns and Complaints

Parents who have concerns about any aspect of the curriculum should discuss these in the first instance with the student´s Learning Manager. If the issue is not resolved parents should make an official complaint in writing to the Executive Principal.


Monitoring and Review

This policy will be monitored by the Deputy Principal (Deep Experience), who will report to the Executive Principal on its implementation on a regular basis. The Executive Principal will report to the governing body´s Education Committee on the progress of the policy and will recommend any changes.

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