In Year 7 all pupils study a broad curriculum of subjects including English, Reading, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Religion, Philosophy & Ethics, French, Technology, Art, Music, PE, Games, Drama and PSHE.

Most teaching in Year 7 takes place within the same teaching group to help aid the transition to secondary school though pupils are streamed in English and Maths based on KS2 prior attainment and Cognitive Ability Test results.

Within PE, Games and Technology, the course is split into rotations so pupils get the opportunity to experience different aspects of the course and learn different skills throughout the year. Additional teaching time is given in French in Year 7 to help pupils master the basics of the language and to give more time to develop oracy skills. Reading is given additional time in Year 7 given the importance of reading, particularly for boys and to support vocabulary development from the start, though reading is a focus across all subject areas. Creative and practical subjects have a strong presence on curriculum as often pupils have not had the opportunity to study them in such detail in primary school. We also ensure all Year 7 pupils visit Tir-y-Cwm (the school’s cottage near Brecon) as part of their induction for a three day outdoor activity programme to start building the character traits we believe are important.

In Year 8 and 9 pupils continue to follow the same broad curriculum of subjects and in addition the majority pick up a second language: German, Italian or Spanish. The structure of the curriculum overall is very similar to Year 7. In Year 8 and 9 pupils are streamed in English and Maths/Computing based on attainment and all other subjects are taught in mixed ability groups as in Year 7. Languages continues to receive additional time compared with other English Baccalaureate subjects to ensure cultural understanding and to develop speaking and listening skills, and reading also remains a focus across all subjects.

The Key Stage 3 PSHE curriculum covers all statutory requirements and is delivered via discreet PSHE  lessons and through assemblies, our tutor programme and through other curriculum subjects. For example reproduction is also taught in Biology and online safety is also taught in Computing. Key Stage 3 careers education takes place via PSHE lessons and collapsed timetable days.

Across Key Stage 3, learning is carefully unpackaged so that all pupils can achieve the learning objectives set. In addition, appropriate support is provided for pupils with SEND within lessons to ensure the curriculum is accessible and that pupils are sufficiently challenged and supported.

All pupils have timetabled reading lessons to encourage a love of reading and to develop their literacy, so that they have the knowledge, skills and competences to succeed. Additional curriculum hours are provided in Year 7 to ensure all boys have mastered the basics required to access the curriculum. 

Allocation of curriculum hours:

Subject Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
English  6 6 6
Reading 2 1 1
Maths 6 6 6
Science 6 6 6
History 3 3 3
Geography 3 3 3
French 5* 4** 4**
Second Language (German/Italian/Spanish) N/A 4** 4**
Technology 4 4 4
Religion, Philosophy & Ethics 2 2 2
Computing/ICT 2 2 2
Art 2 2 2
Music 2 2 2
Drama 1 N/A*** N/A***
PSHE 2 1 1
Physical Education 2 2 2
Games 2 2 2
Total 50 50 50

*Achieve Curriculum

Across Key Stage 3, additional reading, literacy and numeracy lessons are provided for a small group of pupils for whom we have identified gaps in their knowledge and skills. This is designed to ensure any gaps in reading age are closed, that pupils have the literacy and numeracy knowledge to access the curriculum in all subjects and improves their progress across the curriculum at Key Stage 3. It also ensures they are ready for the next stage of their education. Pupils taking these classes instead of learning french, however they use some of the time to study Spanish instead, as the phonetic nature of Spanish means it is more suited to their needs. This also allows them to continue to study a language into Key Stage 4 should they desire to do so. 

**Second language allocation

As many of our pupils have higher than average prior attainment, and as we intend for our curriculum to be broad and challenging for all pupils, in years 8 and 9, many of our pupils study a second language and have a wide choice of Spanish, Italian or German. However, for some pupils for whom this may introduce unnecessary additional cognitive load, we allow more time to study French and English to ensure they are supported to make good progress.


Drama was introduced into year 7 in September 2022 in order to provide our pupils with an opportunity to develop their performance arts, oracy skills and to provide further opportunities to explore a range of social issues and texts, thus broadening the curriculum. The intention is to introduce this into years 8 and 9 in the coming years.

Across Key Stage 3 a mixture of low stakes knowledge tests and formal assessment takes place. Formal assessments, including end of year examinations which help teachers to determine how effectively pupils can apply the knowledge learned.

During Year 9 option choices are made in January for the courses that will begin at the start Year 10. A full, broad curriculum is continued throughout the year. Some subjects such as Science, English, History and Geography begin aspects of GCSE courses after Easter in Year 9. These bridging units are carefully chosen to ensure the curriculum is not narrowed and the full National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 is met or exceeded.