Curriculum Aims

Our curriculum aims are to:

  • develop the skills, resilience and depth of knowledge required for learners to be successful in the next phase of their education and give them the cultural capital required to succeed in life

  • inspire the imagination and develop an aspiration and a work ethic that will enable all learners to achieve their ambitions in a World of Opportunity

  • provides opportunities for students to gain useful and transferable skills as detailed in our Coombe Learner Profile

  • create self-regulating learners that uphold our values and are READY, RESPECTFUL and RESPONSIBLE citizens who play an active role in our global society

  • afford opportunities for all learners to develop the high level of literacy and numeracy required for success in the wider curriculum and in adult life

  • challenges injustices and develops a sense of community that links to the culture, ethos and local context of the school

Curriculum Intent

Our strategic intent is to create a curriculum that:

  • Is knowledge rich and interlaced with the development and application of skills

  • Is broad, balanced and ambitious for ALL

  • Is coherently planned and well sequenced

  • Is successfully designed, adapted and developed to meet the needs of ALL learners including those with additional needs and our disadvantaged learners

  • Links new subject knowledge to the strong foundations of existing knowledge to build cognitive pathways

  • Prioritises reading and subject specific vocabulary to unlock learning for ALL

  • Builds in opportunities for repetition, interleaving and retrieval practice that supports students to remember more and apply their learning

  • Uses assessment for learning strategies to check learning, address misconceptions and drive learning forward

  • Reflects the diversity and multicultural nature of our society and school.

Curriculum Principles

Strong Foundations

  • Sufficient time is given to English and Maths to develop essential skills needed for life in ALL learners, supporting them to achieve in the full range of subjects.

  • High expectations, our knowledge of each individual and outstanding relationships support the development of confident, ambitious learners who are happy, resilient and committed to shaping their world.

  • A belief that language, oracy and literacy unlock learning and ambitious futures; every teacher is responsible for teaching disciplinary language, oracy and literacy.

Aspiration for All

  • Ensure every learner has an entitlement to a World of Opportunity.

  • Nurture and develop the aspirations of all our learners, ensuring every child and young person has meaningful life opportunities.

Broad and Balanced

  • A belief that an ambitious and broad curriculum where arts, creative subjects and languages are pivotal in developing well-rounded young people READY to embark on their chosen pathways.

Enriched Experiences

  • An entitlement for learners to extend their learning beyond the curriculum through a range of inspiring extra-curricular activities that broaden their horizons and prepares them for a World of Opportunity.

Challenge and Depth

  • Provide ALL learners with the opportunity to gain useful and transferable skills as detailed in the Coombe Learner Profile.

  • A personalised approach that builds on strong foundations, challenges all learners and deepens their understanding.

Organisation of the Curriculum

Key Stage 3

At Coombe, we believe in a well rounded education where students have the opportunity to experience the full range of subjects. Our KS3 curriculum is broad, balanced, exciting and rooted in the principal knowledge and skills detailed in the National Curriculum. It carefully builds on the progress made at KS2 with subjects considering the starting points of all learners, appropriately and ambitiously challenging them to learn, know and understand more than they did before. This progression through well sequenced learning experiences builds a solid foundation for future learning. The KS3 curriculum is enriched further by the use of regular PSHE and SMSC sessions that deepen understanding and awareness of how learners should keep themselves healthy, safe and prepared for life and work, enabling them to contribute positively to the wider society.

Students study the following courses at Key Stage 3


  • English

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • Modern Foreign Language

  • (French, German or Spanish)

  • Geography

  • History

  • Art

  • Music

  • Drama

  • Design Technology

  • Computer Studies

  • Religious Studies

  • Physical Education

  • PSHE


Students also follow a Pastoral curriculum through an active tutorial programme.

Key Stage 4

To ensure that all pupils are given the opportunity to glean and enjoy a range of different skills and experiences from all subjects on offer at Coombe and to therefore give them ample time to develop a clear picture of which subjects they like the most, the options selection process begins in the Spring term of Year 9 for all pupils. Our uptake of the English Baccalaureate subjects remains high, with over 70% of our learners currently in Years 10 and 11 electing to follow this pathway. We continue to offer a broad and inclusive range of choices at KS4, so that ALL learners are supported and motivated to achieve their ‘World of Opportunities’ beyond KS3.

At KS4 all departments enrich teaching to ensure that pupils are introduced to knowledge and skills beyond the GCSE specification. This develops pupil interest and ensures that pupils are KS5-ready and prepared for the challenges of further study. Modelling, scaffolding, retrieval activities and other memory strategies are embedded to enhance knowledge acquisition for learners of all abilities, including those with SEND. In addition, opportunities for independent learning and thinking hard are emphasised. The explicit teaching of subject specific vocabulary remains a key focus in further consolidating knowledge acquisition and developing important cross-curricular links.

Students study the following courses at Key Stage 4

KS4 Subjects

To prepare students for the experience of real GCSEs at the end of year 11, all students take ‘mock’ exams towards the end of year 10 and towards the end of the Autumn Term in year 11.

Key Stage 5

At KS5, we offer a broad and creative curriculum with a large range of subjects at KS5 including A levels and BTEC qualifications. The KS5 curriculum is designed to prepare learners for the independence required in higher education or the workplace. Subject curriculums are planned to facilitate maximum progress underpinned by best practice and pedagogy, with sequencing, interleaving and opportunities for independent learning evident throughout.

In year 12 students study three subjects (either A Level or BTECs) with the possibility of completing the Extended Project Qualification. In year 13 students complete the courses they embarked on in year 12 to attain the full level 3 qualification.

Like KS4, we deliver a structured programme of PSHE and Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance through active tutorials, assemblies and ‘drop down days’.

Equality and Inclusion

At Coombe we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all our students, whatever their race, gender, gender identity, background, physical need or learning ability. The curriculum challenges injustice and develops a sense of community that links to the culture, ethos and local context of the school. Students' perspectives expand as they develop their understanding of cultural, social, moral and personal development through tutor programmes, PSHE lessons and through the wider school curriculum. There is a focus on British values and individuals’ rights and responsibilities, where students learn how their choices impact on themselves and the wider community. We continue to work closely alongside our student body to drive the importance of equality and diversity across the school, staying abreast with any national or global events which require discussion or action.

The SENDCo and pastoral teams effectively coordinate information, care and guidance pertaining to the curriculum needs of students, parents and carers with protected characteristics.

We pride ourselves on being a boys’ secondary school and are fully committed to developing our students to become confident, resilient, successful leaders that are READY, RESPECTFUL and RESPONSIBLE citizens that play an active role in our global society.


Curriculum overview for subjects

(Overviews for other subjects coming soon)