Curriculum Intent 

At Birchwood, we believe that every student deserves to have thoughtful, purposeful and enjoyable lessons throughout their time at school and across all of their subjects.

This is why we follow a curriculum that is ‘knowledge-rich’. This means that all lessons include information that has been carefully selected and deemed to be of the highest importance. All lessons link together so that all of the content to which students are exposed is vital and part of a bigger sequence. Essentially, the curriculum has been carefully designed so that students build on key concepts during each year of study. 

Each subject ensures that their curriculum complements and builds upon the KS2 National Curriculum. This is further personalised by continuing work with our feeder primary schools to ensure a through build on previously learnt knowledge. We ensure that our KS3 curriculum is centred on the KS3 National Curriculum and teachers strive to go beyond this by covering broader content. Our staff are dedicated to cultivating a curriculum that provides a solid foundation for further study at KS4 as well as a deeper understanding and enriching enjoyment of the subject. At KS4, we ensure that our students feel confident applying subject-specific skills, understanding valuable knowledge and covering challenging content to help students to aspire for KS5 and beyond. 

We recognise that a well-rounded curriculum is not just based on academia but its thoroughly supported by the education around Personal Development. At Birchwood, our Personal Development Curriculum is vast and includes key strands to encourage our key value of aspiration within our students. This includes extensive work around: careers, PSHE and character development.  With this approach, by the time they leave Birchwood, students will have encountered a range of valuable and inspirational learning material – this will empower them to approach their future with aspiration, knowledge and kindness.


Subject Curriculums

Curriculum Structure 

Foundation Years (Key Stage 3: Years 7, 8 and 9)  

Our Foundation Stage is designed to teach students the skills that are crucial, not just for excellent grades, but also for their development as learners. Students will be prepared, academically and socially, during this time to enable them to achieve their potential at KS4 and beyond.  

From Year 7, students follow an ambitious and broad and curriculum which prepares them for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and includes: English, Mathematics, Science, Modern foreign languages, History and Geography, as well as creative and practical subjects including Engineering, Food, Computer Science, PE, Art, Textiles, Music and Drama. Students also take part in one Personal Development lesson and one reading lessons every fortnight.

After Year 7, Music, Drama and Art are incorporated into DCP (Design, Create, Perform) 

SUBJECT  Maths  English  Science  MFL  History  Geography  DCP  Music  Drama  Art  PE  EPR  Computing  Reading  PD   
HOURS  7  7  7  5  4  4  3  1  1  1  4  2  2  1  1  50 
YEARS 8 & 9
SUBJECT  Maths  English  Science  MFL  History  Geography  DCP  PE  EPR  Computing  Reading  PD   
HOURS  7 7  7  5  4  4  6  4  2  2  1  1  50 


Key Stage 4: Years 10 and 11   

In Key Stage 4, we provide an ambitious but inclusive curriculum that prepares students for a variety of post-16 pathways. In addition to the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, students continue to take part in Personal Development lessons every fortnight.  

At KS4, our students can choose from a wide range of subjects during the Year 9 Options process so that: 

  • all students can have the opportunity to achieve the Ebacc 
  • students can select a curriculum that provides a range of choices and opportunities for post-16 study 
  • we can provide a vocational and career-focused pathway 
YEAR 10  Maths  English  Science  OPT W  OPT X  OPT Y  OPT Z  PE  PD   
HOURS  8  8  10  5  5  5  5  3  1  50 
YEAR 11  Maths  English  Science  OPT X  OPT Y  OPT Z  PE  EPR  PD   
HOURS  8  8  9  6  6  6  3  3  1  50 


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