Parents & Carers

Curriculum Information & Policy

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Curriculum Vision

Harrogate High School strives to equip our students with an ambitious and aspirational, knowledge-rich curriculum that empowers young people to have the currency of choice for their futures. Our responsive curriculum will give students the necessary knowledge, skills and habits to become successful learners with balanced lifestyles and become successful adults beyond school, opening the door to university, apprenticeships or employment. Our curriculum acknowledges the importance of building students’ cultural capital, building an awareness of the world beyond their frame of reference and deliberately building the necessary vocabulary that enables them to make sense of the world. We want students to comprehend this complex and ever-changing world through appreciating others, understanding what it means to be a good citizen and how to contribute to their communities. We want students to face challenges within school and in their wider life with courage, curiosity, critical thinking and resilience.



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 build upon student’s learning at Key Stage 2 and 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 option courses 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/computing, 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 (3ppw), Maths (3ppw), Science (3ppw), PE (3ppw), Design and Technology (2ppw), ICT/Computing (1ppw), History (2ppw), Geography (2ppw), RE including Citizenship (1ppw), Music (1ppw), Modern Foreign Languages (2ppw), Drama (1ppw) and Art (1ppw).

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


Key Stage 4 Core Curriculum

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/Computing, 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 enables all students to study English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science, Physical Education or Dance, ICT/Computing, RE and Citizenship. Depending on suitability students can also study single Sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.


Key Stage 4 Choices System

The statutory requirements in relation to the entitlement areas are:

  • Schools must provide access to a minimum of one course in each of the four entitlement areas

  • Schools must provide the opportunity for pupils to take a course in all four areas, should they wish to do so

  • A course that meets the entitlement requirements must give pupils the opportunity to obtain an approved qualification

These subjects do not have statutory programmes of study. The entitlement areas and subjects within each of them are:

  • Arts: Art & Design, Music, Dance, Drama, Media arts

  • Design & Technology: Design & Technology

  • Humanities: Geography, History

  • Modern Foreign Language (MFL)

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 new Choices Curriculum provides students with three option choices, these courses are studied across Years 9-11. Students can pick courses from all four entitlement areas. Where subjects are over subscribed, 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. We continue to offer the suite of English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects as a choice for all students. We strongly advise all students to study at least one EBacc choices subject from Triple Science, MFL, History or Geography.


Key Stage 5

The future Key Stage 5 curriculum is currently under review. Due to a falling Year 11 roll, it was not viable to offer a Sixth Form curriculum for Year 12 students in 2019-20.


Religious Education

Religious Education is delivered to all students through Key Stages 3 and 4 curriculums and the Vertical Mentor Group programme. 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 4 curriculums, the Vertical Mentor Group programme and Stop the Clock days. 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 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. The aim of our careers education is to help every pupil develop high aspirations and consider a broad and ambitious range of careers. Further details can be found in the Careers Education and Guidance Policy.


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 currently under review. The future plan is to deliver this through year group based drop down sessions, assemblies, educational visits and guest speakers. PSHE education includes drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle. This provision is mapped, ensuring students have a sequential provision across all key stages.


Political Education and British Values

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. Harrogate High School actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values are officially taught through the Religious Education and Personal Social and Health Education curriculum, the extended opportunities in Stop the Clock days and are part of all teaching and learning through the school’s ethos and promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) understanding.


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 Student Support Officer. If the issue is not resolved parents should make an official complaint in writing to the Academy Head.


Monitoring and Review

This policy will be monitored by the Deputy Head, who will report to the Academy Head on its implementation on a regular basis. The Academy Head will report to the Governing Body on the progress of the policy and will recommend any changes.


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