Curriculum Intent

Beechen Cliff is a comprehensive boys’ school with a mixed Sixth Form, taking pupils from the City of Bath and the surrounding area.  As our pupils arrive from a large range of different primary schools and with a wide range of experiences of education, our curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils can achieve their full potential.

As a boys school we aim to give plenty of opportunities within the curriculum for reading and to develop both speaking and listening skills. High expectations are embedded and we aim to provide a good balance of academic challenge, creative and practical opportunities and physical activity, which is important for boys.

Whilst we have the full range of abilities, a large proportion of our pupils have achieved above the national average at KS2. As such our curriculum exceeds the National Curriculum. It is broad, ambitious, is based around academic subjects and recognises the requirements of the English Baccalaureate. It is designed to ensure all pupils and students are challenged and supported to achieve their full potential.

We do this by quickly identifying and then addressing the specific needs of our pupils. 

We intend to quickly identify gaps in knowledge and understanding so that these can swiftly be caught up so as to ensure all pupils have the best opportunities moving forward. 

In line with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 pupils with SEND are supported to access the curriculum, and a bespoke or adapted curriculum is provided where required.

Our curriculum aims to  provide a balance between learning and embedding knowledge, application of knowledge and skill development. Knowledge acquisition allows our pupils to develop their communication and language skills, gain a deeper understanding of subjects being taught and to expand their vocabulary. By developing knowledge that is transferable this benefits pupils both across the curriculum and outside of school by broadening opportunity and raising aspiration.

We aim to foster a love of reading which in addition to expanding knowledge and vocabulary also allows pupils to develop an understanding of others from different socio-economic backgrounds and cultures to their own.

Reflecting the 2010 Equality Act, the curriculum provides learning opportunities that takes into account protected characteristics including gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, beliefs etc. It ensures students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and promotes British Values. 

Throughout, the curriculum also aims to promote healthy lifestyles and good well-being with a clear link to the school vision and Core Values.  Ultimately, we want our pupils to become well-rounded and confident individuals who have the knowledge , skills and character to go on to live fulfilled lives. 

Our curriculum offer ensures that our students have a wide understanding of the world around them, which is much more diverse than our school in Bath, which is predominantly white British.

Our PSHE programme covers all the most recent RSE and health education statutory guidance.  It ensures that our students are kept safe online and tackles contemporary issues such as identifying and tackling harmful sexuliased behaviour, prejudicial attitudes and peer-on-peer abuse. In addition, part of our careers education is delivered through our PSHE programme and this is complemented by collapsed timetable days.

Beyond the curriculum we also intend for all pupils to enjoy and benefit from a comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities . The intent is that these promote healthy lifestyles and good well-being and enable pupils to develop further knowledge and skills along with confidence, resilience, leadership experience and other character traits which will benefit them across the curriculum and in life beyond school.

Key Stage 3  (Years 7-9) Intent

Key Stage 4 (GCSE) Intent

Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is delivered through a two week 50 period timetable and is broadly divided in three stages: 

  • Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)
  • Key Stage 4 (GCSE: Years 10-11)
  • Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form)

The curriculum model and structure is set by the Senior Leadership Team. Where pupils and students have the opportunity to make subject choices we ensure they have choices available that maintains a breadth of study and also fits with their ability. In addition, we endeavour to give the broadest range of choices possible to allow them to select subjects that fit with their interests and aspirations.

Pupils make progress by learning and remembering in a more complex way as they move along their curriculum journey.  We have ensured that each Key Stage not only builds on the former learning but also allows pupils to build knowledge needed for their future learning, beyond the classroom and in life beyond school.

We ensure that we teach our students how to recall information through a range of recall and reinforcement techniques that help pupils retain knowledge they are taught. Learning is carefully unpackaged so that all pupils can achieve the learning objectives set.

Assessment is through low-stakes quizzes to help teachers understand how much our students have learnt and retained. Our formal assessments then help teachers to determine how well students can use their knowledge in different situations.  At GCSE we do not teach to the test. We help pupils be prepared for the demands of examinations by ensuring they know and can remember more and therefore apply this knowledge effectively.

The schemes of work and sequencing of lessons are determined on a subject level overseen by Heads of Subject and Heads of Faculty. In order to do this effectively teachers have looked at the National Curriculum, educational research including OFSTED’s subject research reviews and guidance from professional organisation. Across the Trust subject teams meet regularly to share best practice and to ensure both topics and individual lessons are logically sequenced to allow pupils to build knowledge and develop connections between information that has been learned. In the Core Subjects curriculum alignment ensures the best practice from across the Trust is in place.

In addition to timetabled lessons, tutor sessions and assemblies we provide an array of extra-curricular activities for pupils including outdoor education, trips, clubs, sports fixtures, instrumental lessons and concerts. These allow pupils to develop further knowledge and skills but also to develop confidence, resilience and other character traits to benefit them across the curriculum and beyond. All pupils are encouraged to take part and this provision is a significant part of the education we provide.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) Implementation

Key Stage 4 (GCSE) Implementation

Intended Impact 

The intention of our curriculum is to enable pupils to achieve strong outcomes and make excellent progress in their academic studies whilst also securing excellent personal development and good well-being.

They will have a strong understanding of what they have learned, of how it can be applied and will be able to articulate this clearly.

Pupils will have developed a strong cultural awareness, an appreciation of equality and diversity and understand British Values. They will have developed a good sense of self-awareness, will understand healthy lifestyles, know how to form respectful relationships and know how to keep themselves safe, including online.

This is an extension of our school vision: to enable our pupils and students to achieve their aspirations and become well-rounded, confident and compassionate individuals who go on to live fulfilled lives and make a positive contribution to society.

The intention is that all pupils achieve their full potential and that any knowledge gaps identified have been closed during their secondary school journey. They will be aspirational when looking to the future. This will then provide all pupils with the best possible life chances beyond school and the opportunity to move on to their intended next stage in education, employment or training. In addition, we intend pupils to have developed the knowledge, independence, leadership experience, communication skills and character, which will benefit them in the future.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) Intended Impact

Key Stage 4  (GCSE) Intended Impact


Please click on the downloads below for further curriculum information including:

  • our GCSE Options Booklet 
  • our Sixth Form Prospectus 
  • statements on our  RE provision

Alternatively, the curriculum booklets for for each individual subject are available here.

If further information is required please email: