Curriculum overview

Ofsted inspected the Avon Valley School in November 2013 and stated that, ‘the range of subjects that students follow is extensive and subjects are well matched to their individual needs’.
The more recent Ofsted inspection in July 2017 reinforces the positive design of the curriculum:
‘Leaders are very focused on raising pupils’ aspirations and their cultural horizons. To this end, the broad and balanced curriculum has been carefully designed to meet the needs of pupils rather than to improve the school’s position in national performance tables. It includes a good range of vocational and functional skills courses. Some off-site vocational provision is available, and some early entry is used where these approaches are judged to be in the best interests of pupils. The school’s aim is to fully engage pupils of all abilities in order to maximise their individual success’.

As a school, we strive to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all our students and provides them with the skills and abilities to face the demands of the employment market in the 21st century. The curriculum in Key Stage 3 is broad and balanced, with students entitled to studying a range of courses within the Faculties of Technology, Art, Performing Arts, Computing as well as the traditional subjects of Maths, English, Science, PE and Modern Foreign Languages. The Performing Arts is the school’s specialism and remains firmly embedded within the curriculum in Key Stage 3, with discrete lessons in Dance, Drama and Music.
The curriculum is designed to challenge students of all abilities to achieve their academic potential. From Year 8, students with an aptitude for Modern Foreign Languages study either German or Spanish, alongside French. In Year 9, students begin studying towards their GCSE qualifications (or equivalent), to optimise academic success at the end of Year 11, and to allow for greater time for extensive teaching and learning within the subject. In Year 9, students also study the Arts Award at bronze level, or the John Muir Award, to offer variety and the opportunity for accreditation at the end of Year 9.
Alongside the traditional curriculum, there are many opportunities to extend the experiences and learning of students. There are a wide range of extra-curricular activities, with a mix of academic and physical activities. The school organises day visits to museums, universities, sporting activities, all of which add memorable experiences to support student self-development. A range of residential trips within the UK and abroad is offered, with an annual trip to France for students in Years 7 and 8, a bi-annual European ski trip and visits to: Le Touquet (October 2016- KS4 French), Cologne (July 2017- KS4 Business, Media and Computing), Yorkshire (September 2017- GCSE PE), Ardèches (July 2018- KS3 & 4 French). The school also organises Splash days - complete days where the timetable is collapsed and students engage in a range of learning opportunities; team work; PSHE focus days; revision conferences; study skills days; leadership workshops and a variety of other activities.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Years 7 and 8, all students follow the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Students study English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, RE, PSHE, Technology (a carousel of Food Technology, Product Design and Textiles), Dance, Drama, Music, PE, ICT, Art, French (and more able linguists study German or Spanish).
Students are placed in ability groupings for Maths, Science, English, Social Studies and Modern Foreign Languages. Other subject areas are delivered as mixed ability groupings.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In Years 9, 10 and 11, the Key Stage 4 curriculum is varied and challenging and designed to meet the interests and academic ability of all students.
All students study a core of Maths, English Language, English Literature, Science, PE, and PSHE/RE, along with an EBACC option.

Alongside these core subjects, the school offers over 39 option choices delivered either at school or through carefully selected partners.
Key Stage 4 options offered in the academic year 2017-2018:


Further details about the curriculum can be obtained from the Deputy Headteacher responsible for the curriculum or the Faculty Leader.
David Pearson
Deputy Headteacher
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Information is correct as of October 2017