School Curriculum

Our Curriculum Vision:

At The Elton High School we offer a knowledge-rich curriculum based on our vision: we want to develop in students a love of learning that enables them to fulfil their potential and support them to become articulate, resilient, socially aware young adults.

We offer a challenging and well-sequenced curriculum which is broad and balanced, promoting the acquisition of new knowledge and skills as pupils progress from the beginning of Key Stage Three to the end of Key Stage Four and the next stage in their education or career.

Our curriculum is continually reviewed, but never moreso than at present, as our teaching staff are engaged in examining every unit of study across all subjects to identify any barriers created by Covid-related absence and school closure, and planning for how best to address these.

Our Curriculum Intent:

•To provide every student at The Elton High School with a fully inclusive, broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum that will enable them to continue their learning journey post 16 and onwards.

•To offer a diverse curriculum that is relevant, enjoyable and challenging so that our students develop as articulate and resilient individuals.

•To employ research-based approaches to learning and teaching so that lessons are engaging and relevant.  

•To ensure that every individual will be cared for, supported and challenged to maximise their potential in order to create a feeling of self-worth and ambition.  

We teach a broad and balanced curriculum across a 5-year learning journey which aims to allow each individual to achieve their full potentially both academically and personally. The curriculum is broad, balanced and covers the full requirements of the National Curriculum as well as exceeding it in many areas.

Key Stage 3:

Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum (years 7-9) is designed to enable students to achieve a deep understanding of a range of skills and knowledge. We cover all of the National Curriculum as well as striving to go beyond this, with an additional focus on Oracy, where students receive one lesson each week in year 7 dedicated to supporting the development of communication skills. Each student in year 7 delivers a formal speech to an audience of parents, governors and peers.

Teachers continue to develop pedagogy so that students can remember and recall information from a deep understanding of their learning. The learning in Key Stage 3 provides a platform for students to be able to access the next stage in their learning journey as well as learning for their future and becoming positive citizens within their community.

In Year 9 students are supported to select options subjects to continue with at Key Stage 4. We strongly encourage at least 50 per cent of students to pursue an ebacc pathway by opting to study a language and a humanities subject, but we take a flexible approach to this in consultation with students and families.

Weekly Lesson Allocation KS3 2023-24

 Year 7Year 8Year 9
Design Technology222
Drama** 1

* Throughout year 9, a small nurture group of students have an additional English lesson and one fewer lesson of MFL each week

**Each student will access Drama on a carousel thoughout the year 8 and 9.

Key Stage 4:

The Key Stage 4 pathway provides students with the opportunity to build on their strengths, equip them with the necessary skills and experiences to further their career aspirations and prepare them for further study and the world of work.

All students study English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (either Triple Science or Combined Science), Physical Education, PSHE and Religious Education. The National Curriculum for Computing at Key Stage Four is delivered through activities in other core subjects.

In addition, students choose three options from the subjects below:

GCSE: Art, Textiles, Music, Spanish/French, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Religious Studies, History, Geography, Photography, Design Technology, Media Studies, Computing, Business Studies.

Cambridge National Level 1/2 Certificate: Sports Studies, Creative Imedia and Vocational ICT.

We strongly encourage at least 50 per cent of students to pursue an ebacc pathway by opting to study a language and a humanities subject, but we take a flexible approach to this in consultation with students and families.

Weekly Lesson Allocation KS4 2023-24

 Year 10Year 11

 *Students in Year 11 who follow a Triple Science Pathway have one fewer lesson of RE/PD each week.

SEND Provision

At The Elton High School we aim to provide Quality First teaching to support the best possible outcomes for all students. Please refer to our SEND policy for further details.


Target Setting

We use national progress expectations to set challenging target grades. These are reviewed on an annual basis. We believe at Elton that students should be able to aim to achieve beyond their ‘national expectations’ and targets should not be ‘capped’.

In recent years, in the absence of Key Stage Two attainment data, we have used a range of information to set targets for students, including WRAT tests, Reading Age assessments and baseline testing in Maths. We review these targets regularly to ensure they provide an appropriate level of challenge for all.

Assessment, Monitoring and Reporting

We use a range of methods of assessment at KS3 to enable us to monitor student progress. In all years students will experience a range of assessment types, including: low stakes testing to gauge if students are on track to achieve endpoints, end of topic tests, end of term tests and formal end of year exams carried out in the hall. All assessments are appropriate to the subject and therefore are a mix of practical and written assessments.

We analyse and use this data to inform us of the following:

  • Identify the skills gaps of all students
  • Inform planning for teachers and subject coordinators to ensure teaching and learning reflects the skills and knowledge gaps for all students.


At Key Stage Three, we assess students using numbers which have an equivalence to GCSE grades. These grades are broken down into stages (1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 etc) to allow students to see their progress clearly. The descriptors for these grades in each subject relate to Key Stage Three programmes of study and assessment.

During Key Stage Four, attainment is reported in whole GCSE grades.


Students’ progress is monitored with information collected from all teachers three times each year.  From the information we analyse progress overall and individual groups to identify students that need intervention of some kind. This is then tailored to meet the needs of the individual student and their barrier to making progress.


Assessment information is communicated to parents three times each year. Built into the reporting cycle is department standardisation, moderation and quality checking of progress data by Heads of Department, Learning co-ordinators and the Senior Leadership Team.

Attitude to Learning Descriptors

We have created ambitious expectations regarding expectations of students’ attitudes to learning and homework completiong. This is to drive standards and provide a more consistent benchmark of how students are approaching the curriculum and their learning. This is reported on alongside progress data.

These are descriptions of the students approach to their work; the bulleted list gives an idea of the types of attitude and behaviour teachers say that students might display. It is a best-fit model and you may not display all of the characteristics in the category.

4In lessons this student is highly motivated and engaged. Effort is consistent and sustained. This student responds well to challenge and perseveres even when work is difficult. This students also takes steps to find out more about a topic without being prompted.The quality of homework and independent learning is outstanding.  It is clear to see that the student is spending time and effort on homework tasks. All homework is handed in on time.
3In lessons this student is mostly engaged and contributes actively in class. This student generally responds well to challenge and usually perseveres even when work is difficult.The quality of homework and independent learning is good. The standard of work matches the student’s target grade. Homework is generally handed in on time.
2In lessons this student’s effort is variable. This student does not always respond to challenge or contribute actively in class. To make improvements this student needs to use more strategies to persevere when work is more difficult.The quality of homework and independent learning requires improvement. The standard of work is generally lower than expected based upon the student’s target grade. Homework is sometimes incomplete or late.
1In lessons this student is frequently disengaged. The quality of work and effort in lessons needs significant improvement. This student needs to make use of support provided and keep trying even when work is more difficult.The quality of homework is inadequate. Work is often incomplete, handed in late or not completed at all.
Parents or other members of the public, can find out more about the curriculum our School is following by contacting Sarah Warden, Deputy Headteacher, by email at, by phone on 0161 863 1434 or by post.
The Elton High School