Curriculum overview

The Curriculum at Acland Burghley School


We believe that all students are entitled to study a rich, stimulating curriculum, within a nurturing and inclusive community, within an excellent culture of behaviour for learning.

Our curriculum focuses on literacy and numeracy, creativity and personal development. Literacy and numeracy are taught across the curriculum, giving students the core skills to succeed.

Academic and creative subjects allow students access to powerful knowledge, as defined by the subject community. Increasingly, children learn creative habits (imaginative, disciplined, collaborative, inquisitive, persistent) which will support them to apply their learning in real life situations.

Our emphasis on personal development means that students grow up in a positive environment which supports and enhances physical and mental health and wellbeing. By promoting positive values, and teaching students about a wide range of perspectives and views, children learn skills to navigate the complexities of modern life.

We have high expectations for students’ behaviour and achievement. In school, children are expected to be ready to learn and achieve. We actively teach them to have good behaviours for learning, including developing the skills, and having the resources and accountability, to engage in regular and effective home learning.

We encourage them to be calm and purposeful around the site, to help create a supportive, friendly context for excellent standards and achievement. Above all, we require that children learn to operate within a culture of kindness and respect.   

Our taught curriculum uses the National Curriculum as its baseline, to ensure that all children are taught the essential knowledge in the key subject disciplines.


Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Literacy and Numeracy

Literacy and Numeracy are embedded across all subjects. The English, Maths and Science curriculum are aligned with the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum, to ensure that students build on their previous knowledge.


Broad and Balanced

All students take up the study of a modern foreign language, either French or Spanish. All students also study Latin from Year 7. Some take on a second language in Year 9.

Students study Humanities as the separate subjects of Geography, History and RE.

All students study Art, Music, Dance, Drama, and Design Technology. In Y9 students study these subjects at greater depth in preparation for KS4 pathway choices.


Provision for Learners with SEND

A small number of our students with additional educational needs and an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) study an adapted parallel curriculum which has an additional focus on literacy, numeracy and independence and life skills. These lessons are delivered by both SEND trained teachers as well as by mainstream teachers. The groups are regularly reviewed by the wider SEND team and students may move back into mainstream classes having received that additional targeted support.

At KS3 there are nurture groups in the following subjects:
• English
• Mathematics
• Science
• Geography
• History
• Religious Education
• Computer Science
• Classics
• Life skills

At KS4, there is a bespoke support pathway for those students in the following subjects:
• English
• Mathematics
• Geography
• Personal Development and Employment Education (The Prince's Trust)
• Home Cooking Skills


Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At Key Stage 4 we offer a wide range of subjects for students to choose from. We provide a comprehensive pathway and CEIAG program to assist students to make the best choices for them. We strongly encourage students to choose subjects from the English Baccalaureate pathway and to keep their options open ready for the next stage of their education and learning at Key Stage 5 and beyond. We design specialist bespoke pathways for students with additional educational needs to ensure all students are successful.


Key Stage 5 Curriculum

At Key Stage 5 we offer a wide variety of L3 subjects in the form of A-Levels and Applied Courses as part of the LaSWAP consortium. Students have strong Personal Development and CEIAG provision in addition to the subject curriculum offer and enrichment opportunities. Pathways advice is a particular strength at KS5.