KS3 Curriculum

During Key Stage 3 we provide a broad and balanced curriculum offer. We are committed to providing a breadth of study for our students and have a commitment to providing the time to build skills, knowledge and understanding in a more focused approach to the more practical subjects including the arts and technology. In this way we hope to safeguard the future of all subjects in Key Stage 4 and maintain the broad curriculum offer we are proud of at Brighouse High School.

English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Geography, History, Art, Music, Drama, Physical Education, Modern Foreign Languages and Religious Education are studied as part of the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship are delivered through a weekly lesson in Key Stages 3 and 4, as well as some input through Learning for Life (L4L) tutorials and Super Learning Days. ICT is compulsory for all children and is delivered in discrete lessons and through cross-curricular development. Relationships and Sex Education is also compulsory but parents have a right to request their child’s withdrawal from such lessons.

When students arrive, they are placed in mixed ability form groups, taking into account primary school recommendations. Initially they are taught in these groups for most subjects but setting is gradually introduced in Mathematics, English and Science so that they can be taught in ability groups, which match their strengths and interests. All students are tested during their first half-term in the school, using the NFER Cognitive Abilities Test, which provides us with a baseline of information against which to monitor progress. A few students will be placed in Foundation groups, which will create the extra time to improve the students’ literacy and/or numeracy levels. We also test for Reading Age throughout Key Stage 3, so that we can put in place appropriate support for students who need help with their literacy. For example, we make effective use of the Bedrock programme with targeted students.

In Year 8, students are asked to select two of six option choices from the creative curriculum to study in Year 9. This enables students to specialise in areas of creative arts and technology, areas that they are more interested in pursuing, and means they have more time on those subjects too. This system of pre-options has been introduced to allow for a greater depth of study in two of the subjects in the creative curriculum subjects rather than a shallower experience of them all. What this means in reality is that each student will study one subject from Art, Music and Drama and a combination of two of the technology subjects from the choice of Food Preparation and Nutrition; Fashion and Textiles; Materials Technology. In Year 9 students study 2 hours per week of Religious Studies so that they can start the GCSE course which then culminates at the end of Year 11. By frontloading some time in Year 9, we can ensure that the full cohort has the knowledge and understanding to achieve well in GCSE Religious Studies by the end of Key Stage 4 even though curriculum time in Years 10 and 11 is limited to 1 hour per week.


Key Stage 3 Timetable Allocations

Subject Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
English 4 hours 4 hours 3 hours
Mathematics 4 hours 3 hours 4 hours
Science 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
Geography 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours
History 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours
PE 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours
Computing/ICT 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour
French 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours
Music 1 hour 1 hour  
PHSCE 45 minutes 45 minutes 45 minutes
Religious Studies 1 hour 1 hour 2 hours
Art 1 hour 1 hour  
Technology & Drama (carousel) 2 hours    
Drama   1 hour  
Technology   2 hours 2 hours
Art or Drama or Music     2 hours


Please click on the links below to read about the curriculum intent for each subject in Key Stage 3, as well as an overview of the content in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Year 8 Pre-Option Choices 2022
Computing & ICT

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum in each year is designed to provide experiences, opportunities, knowledge and skills that enrich and challenge our students and encourages an enthusiasm and interest in the world of computing and ICT.

Our curriculum will:

  • Provide students will an engaging and motivating computing education that equips them to use computational thinking and creativity to be equipped for their futures in this technological world
  • Help students to develop an understanding of the key principles and concepts of both computer science and ICT by giving them access to a wide range of units from computer programming to graphic design
  • Help pupils understand how to be safe online and how to be responsible, competent and confident ICT practitioners with an ability to communicate appropriately and safely

We understand that the curriculum is key in determining the life chances and choices for our students and therefore we will not compromise in providing the very best opportunities at Key Stage 3, closely mapped to the National Curriculum. Our curriculum will support our students to become independent, creative and problem solvers who are fully equipped for a world where computer technology is rapidly changing and advancing.

Design and Technology

Design and Technology is part of our everyday lives. Learning about Design and Technology helps our students understand the world around them, and actively engage in it.

The Design and Technology curriculum at Brighouse consists of a range of creative, imaginative and innovative experiences of designing and practical based activities. Using a range of materials from Graphics, Resistant Materials, Textiles and Food together with links to other STEM subjects and the Arts, the curriculum is designed to give all students the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to work effectively with materials, components and products.

Students will be encouraged to think about design starting in Key Stage 3 with designs for themselves, others and eventually for target markets leading into Key Stage 4 and beyond so they develop an understanding of how Design and Technology links us to wider society and issues.

Our Design and Technology staff at Brighouse are passionate about their subject areas and provide a safe environment in which students can be innovative and become resilient and independent learners. Students are encouraged to recognise that mistakes can be made, so that they can learn to build from them, thereby allowing for the creation of better products or the knowledge of how things can always be developed or improved.

Design and Technology education makes a unique and valuable contribution to the education and preparation for students’ future lives for work and / or leisure. At Brighouse High we aim to ensure that our students achieve the best possible experiences in Design and Technology, to become lifelong learners sharing the same joy of the subject that their teachers have.

In Design Technology we aim to offer a broad base of experience for all pupils in Key Stage 3, reflecting the many facets of technological influences in our lives. All pupils will become either designers, manufacturers or consumers and the range of experiences offered at Key Stage 3 allows pupils to develop a comprehensive awareness of how technology influences society. At Key Stage 3 pupils work through a series of practical projects, which introduces them to a wide range of technological processes, using the different mediums of Food, Textiles, Resistant Materials, Graphic Products and ICT.

Pupils are taught in a carousel system meaning they will work in four or five different areas across the year. Currently in Year 7 the fifth carousel will be a course of Drama. In Year 9 pupils have the opportunity to study two areas of Technology in more detail on the Pre options pathway. Pupils have two lessons per week consisting of both practical, design and theory based lessons.


We endeavour to ignite student’s love of English Language and Literature by cultivating their cultural capital and exposing them to a varied and rich array of texts and opportunities to develop language and communication. We strive for our students to become:

  • Effective communicators- by developing their written and spoken English. The curriculum aims to build upon students’ writing by developing fluency; written accuracy; grammar; range of techniques and vocabulary as well as the ability to write in different styles for a range of audiences. Cultivating students’ oracy given the opportunity to take part in group discussion; debate and individual presentation builds confidence and skill. Ultimately, we want to equip students with reading. writing and speaking and listening skills for their career and life choices.
  • Effective critical readers- through exposure to a variety of challenging text types; forms; styles and genres. An array of texts from a range of historical, cultural and social contexts should expose students to viewpoints; values and ideas other than their own- developing their critical thinking and response to layers of meaning within texts.
  • Independent critical thinkers- through critical analysis of a range of written and spoken texts.
  • Lovers of language and adults who read for pleasure.

The Key Stage 3 English curriculum is based on a spiral structure- revisiting and developing reading and writing skills to greater depth and competency. The curriculum includes Reading and Writing Fiction and Non-Fiction by studying texts and modelling writing. Half termly topics are structured around the skills examined at GCSE and beyond. Assessments are based on GCSE style tasks to allow students to become familiar with the structure and style of questions they will face in the future.

  • Reading contemporary and historical plays, poetry, novels and short stories to develop an understanding and appreciation of different forms and genres.
  • Developing creative writing skills- giving students opportunities to explore language effectively and creatively.
  • Reading contemporary and historical articles, letters, diaries and other non-fiction to develop critical reading skills and techniques.
  • Writing in a variety of forms for a range of different audiences and purposes.
  • Speaking and listening opportunities for discussion, debate and presentation
  • Recovering and developing reading and writing skills from KS2 and KEY STAGE 3 which may need addressing after the pandemic.

The aim of the Geography Department is for our pupils to think, know, apply and to study like a geographer. The intent of our curriculum is to deepen all our students’ understanding of the dynamic planet on which they live and to develop their interest in global issues that are having an increasing influence on everyday lives. We aim to develop global citizens who begin to understand the complex interaction between the natural and human environment and the possible future consequences of humanity living in an unsustainable way. We want our students to understand the complexities of an uneven world and what it means to people from different places. To achieve these aims we have spilt our KS3 curriculum into three themes:

  • Year 7 – Foundations in geography
  • Year 8 – Earth on the edge
  • Year 9 – Development

Underpinning these themes are key geographical concepts such as place, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental interaction, and cultural understanding. Embedded within these themes are the development of geographical skills, enquiry and graphicacy.

The topics we teach across Key Stage 3 are either topical, such as geography and conflict and the oceans on the edge, or are traditional geographical topics such as tectonics, rivers and map skills. The geography department is a very committed team, working with pupils to reach their potential within the subject. We hope to inspire our pupils to have a curiosity and fascination about the world and its peoples that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Pupils in Key Stage 3 are taught geography for two, one hour lessons a week. Pupils are taught in their form groups and not in sets. However, in Year 7 there is a foundation geography group. These groups are usually small, and are designed to provide extra support to those pupils who require it.

Key Stage 3 geography assessments are based on four assessment objectives; these are knowledge, skills, understanding and application and all follow the same structure with 3 sections. The assessments use GCSE style questions to add rigour. Students will complete an assessment at the end of each topic and will also have an end of year examination.


We aim to spark and nurture students’ interest in, and enthusiasm for, History, and equip them with the academic skills and knowledge they need to write, think and debate like a historian. We want students to challenge perceptions about the world around them. We want to give the students the opportunity to experience good quality history as well as a love of the subject, to be able to formulate and substantiate their own views and interpretations in a critical and analytical way.

We endeavour to develop students who:

  • question the world around them and not just accept what they see and read at face value.
  • think critically and independently about the world around them. To give them a curiosity about the world and other people.
  • develop an appreciation of our similarities and common experiences as well as our differences and who are tolerant of other cultures. Develop empathy with people who have had different experiences from their own. To develop their cultural capital.
  • Engage with events in the past, and draw contemporary parallels which allow them to challenge prejudice and discrimination.
  • develop a wide set of skills that are highly valued by employers. It encourages our students to be able to work independently

Our intent at Key Stage 3 is to provide an overview of 1000 years of British (and some units of non- British history) incorporating three main strands:

  1. The story of power authority and conflict
  2. The story of beliefs
  3. The story of everyday lives (social history)

These three strands will be explored through enquiry based teaching embedding contextual knowledge and a chronological framework underpinned by the key skills examined at GCSE:

  • Cause and consequence
  • Analysis
  • Interpretation
  • Evaluation
  • Significance.


“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” – Paul Halmos

Our vision is for every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of background. Schools today face a range of barriers to success. All of which make building and embedding an effective approach to maths teaching more important – and more challenging – than ever. In the most successful countries, teachers have high expectations for all students, address gaps in learning immediately, ensure that all students have access to rich mathematical content and teach conceptual and procedural maths together.
Our curriculum is developing to be underpinned by research on task design, variation theory, concept development and raising achievement. This evidence is explored in Helen Drury’s books, ‘Mastering Mathematics’ and ‘How To Teach Mathematics for Mastery’.
Our school curriculum approach empowers and equips teachers to improve students’ enjoyment, resilience, understanding and attainment in maths. Our classroom principles are the evidence-based foundations upon which our entire teaching approach is built. The principles are interconnected and together the whole is greater than the sum of its parts:
Every child can enjoy and succeed in mathematics as long as they are given the appropriate learning opportunities. Positive and supportive relationships enable us to help students develop resilience and confidence.
Students must be given time and opportunities to fully explore mathematical concepts. The challenge comes from investigating ideas in new and complex ways – rather than accelerating through new topics. Students can give up too quickly when they are faced with challenges. Supporting them on how to deal with new and different ideas helps develop greater resilience.

Enabling learners to solve new problems in unfamiliar contexts so that they can apply their learning across the wider curriculum and in their lives beyond the classroom, a key aim of mathematics education. Identifying, applying and connecting ideas enables students to tackle new and more complex problems.

Successful mathematicians are known to develop mathematical ‘habits of mind’. To encourage this, we must support students to be systematic, generalise and seek out patterns. Questioning is a key element of this.

Mathematical language strengthens conceptual understanding by enabling students to explain and reason. This must be carefully introduced and reinforced through frequent discussion and group work to ensure it is meaningfully understood. This is important for all students, but especially those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Furthermore, we are keen to avoid as many misconceptions as possible by using accurate language.

Objects, pictures, numbers and symbols enable students to represent ideas and make connections in different ways. This develops understanding and problem-solving skills – while making lessons engaging and fun.

Weaker students benefit greatly from being exposed to representations as they are enhancing their understanding.
We believe high quality; maths-focused professional development for teachers can make this happen. Nothing is more powerful or effective than teachers supporting teachers. Teacher collaboration is key. Ongoing access to high-quality professional development is also important and we are working with White Rose Maths to further develop our key stage 3 provision so that we can adopt further evidence based best practice.

Our aims continue to be to enhance an increase in enjoyment, resilience, understanding and attainment in maths. An independent, randomised controlled trial funded by the EEF found the Mathematics Mastery programme had a positive effect on student attainment after only one year. As we continue to adapt and incorporate mastery into the curriculum, we will see further improvements in outcomes. Students should be able to see relate their learning to real work contexts and understand the importance and relevance of what they are learning.

Pupils entering Brighouse High School are taught in their form groups for the first few weeks of term. During this time, they are baseline tested and these scores alongside KS2 results are used to stream pupils. Students are then taught in mixed ability groups with a single higher set. All pupils are taught the same topics and work is differentiated by supplying depth and challenge rather than moving pupils on to different topics.

At Key Stage 3, pupils cover topics in depth to promote mastery and understanding. The initial content focuses heavily (though not exclusively) on number work and algebra as these are considered essential building blocks for the rest of the content. Pupils are timetabled 4 hours of Maths in year 7, 3 hours in year 8 and then 4 again in year 9.
Each block of content typically takes between 8 and 12 weeks depending on the ability of the class and the pace at which it is delivered. Pupils are tested formally at appropriate milestones in order to monitor progress. After each of these tests, the topics that require strengthening or have proved difficult are highlighted by the teacher and pointed out to the pupils. Alongside the teacher, pupils are encouraged to start taking responsibility in addressing these weaknesses through independent means such as the internet or by seeking assistance at a dinner time session. This independence is a skill necessary to take through to Key Stage 4.


Modern Foreign Languages

Providing our students with the tools to become successful language learners lies at the heart of our MFL curriculum intent at BHS. To ignite and develop students’ interest in, and enthusiasm for languages, and provide them with the appropriate skills and knowledge required to listen, speak, read and write like a modern linguist. We want students to develop their curiosity for language learning and feel the sense of achievement that communicating successfully in a foreign language can provide. We want to give the students the opportunity to develop their understanding of the language and culture of whichever language they are studying, as well as a love of the subject, to give them the building blocks which then allow students to become confident linguists.

We support students in their journey to:

  • develop their confidence in communicating in another language
  • be able to think of how language learning fits into the wider world
  • develop an appreciation of our similarities and common experiences as well as our differences and who are tolerant of other cultures. Develop empathy with people who have had different experiences from their own. To develop their cultural capital
  • develop a wide set of skills that are highly valued by employers. It encourages our students to be able to work independently

At Brighouse High School, we want our students to become independent language learners and confident communicators, whilst at the same time, ensuring that they enhance their understanding of the wider world through languages.

Students in our school receive a broad and balanced MFL curriculum; the vocabulary and structures that they are taught are purposeful and knowledge rich. Lessons are designed to allow our pupils to become confident, resilient and more culturally aware. We teach our students to be aspirational and our MFL lessons enable our young people to be ready for the modern workplace. MFL lessons at Brighouse High School furnish students with both academic and personal skills whilst also developing their future aspirations.

Pupils learn French from Year 7 for three years in mixed-ability groups. We want languages to be fun and work is done individually, in pairs, in groups and as a class using games, ICT, interactive whiteboards and written activities. Homework is usually set once a week from Year 7 upwards and is marked regularly using a range of feedback methods, with clear criteria that are shared with the pupils, so that they can see their progress and how to improve further.

Students have two one hour lessons of French per week throughout Years 7, 8 and 9. They follow a Programme of Study which is designed to allow all students to access the MFL curriculum, whilst, at the same time, preparing them for the rigours of GCSE languages.

The Year 9 curriculum is currently (May 2022) in the process of being reviewed, with a view to amending the programme for Term 3. The intention is to allow those students who may have chosen or may consider choosing GCSE French to focus more on the key skills that they will need for Years 10 and 11.

Students are assessed through standardised summative and formative assessments which are carried out at the end of each topic. Students are assessed in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Performing Arts

Performing Arts, as a powerful and unique form of communication, have the profound ability to transform the way pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.

As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world. The teaching of performing arts develops pupils’ ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of genres and to make judgements about musical and theatrical quality. It encourages active involvement in different forms of performances, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.

As a comprehensive school, the arts are a valuable means of developing confidence and communication skills, and facilitating expression, ideas and feelings. In addition, through purposeful, imaginative and creative activities, pupils learn to take managed risks, trying out new ideas and new ways of working without fear of failure.


Drama Curriculum

It is a common misconception that Drama is for those who want to be ‘actors’.  In fact, it is a subject concerned with the development of transferrable skills that are relevant to all, in terms of personal and social awareness and future employability, whatever the ultimate career choice.

Like the other arts, drama involves imagination and feelings and helps us to make sense of the world. Drama is a creative and cultural activity. The language of theatre is international, understood by everyone. It provides an opportunity for pupils to explore the world of people from other places, times and cultures, and to examine differences and similarities with their own environment. Drama has its own history and body of work, much of which has a unique and important place in our cultural life.

Drama at BHS is exciting, interesting, practical and varied. Students have opportunities to devise their own work, use drama techniques to explore themes, issues and ideas, interpret the work of playwrights and theatre practitioners and realise text.  Practically they develop their physical and vocal skills in performing to an audience and explore how meaning is communicated to an audience through choices of form, style and convention. Students develop both a theoretical, as well as practical knowledge of drama. They respond to a wide and diverse variety of stimuli, exploring a range of social, cultural and historic contexts. 

They also learn how to evaluate and discuss their own work and the drama produced by others including the work of professional theatre makers.

Whilst our curriculum is designed to support students in the development of their skills in making, performing and responding, it is fundamentally about the growth of the individual. Our drama curriculum allows students to develop a number of essential skills for life and is highly regarded both in the world of higher education and of employment. Our expectations are that students consistently challenge themselves and take risks in the creation and performance of drama in their lessons.  As a Department we wholeheartedly believe that drama can enable our students to grow into more rounded and self-aware young adults. Drama, in short, is essential.


Music Curriculum

The Music Department wishes to make Music accessible to all. In particular, we strive to promote independence, persistence and resilience during the rehearsal process, allowing students to take responsibility for their own performances and as a result, opening up performance opportunities.

The Music Department is dedicated to offering a diverse array of extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities that cater to all students.  Moreover, it strongly acknowledges the importance of pushing the boundaries and providing ample challenges to the most talented individuals, enabling them to unleash their full potential in music creations and performance. 

The Music Department aims to commit to individualised learning at all levels where it provides a number of different levels of task involving Listening, Appraising, Performing and Composing at KS3 in a wide range of styles; individual performance and composing styles at GCSE; and a range of options of unit choices, including arts administration, at BTEC level. 

The Music Department works extremely closely with the Drama Department to ensure students have a consistent learning experience within the Performing Arts. There are also plans in the curriculum to develop a unit to explore the role of the Actor-Musician and develop the required skills to allow students to consider this as a career choice, as well as other more traditional professions within the Arts such as Actors and Musicians. This also allows far more opportunity for sharing of good practice and an ability to widen the extra-curricular experience and community links.

The Music Department wishes to educate gifted students in Music to such a level that they are widely respected in the Community and are asked to perform with different organisations in local community events.

The strongest vision that the Music Department has, however, is to ensure that all students participate in music making for at least their KS3 years if not beyond, enjoying creating and performing their own work, learning the skills of teamwork, organisation, persistence and determination whilst striving for accuracy and precision in their work, thinking flexibly and taking responsible risks. As a result, it is hoped that the students will enjoy the experience, build confidence in them and foster a sense of pride in their achievements which comes from performing their own work to the best of their ability to a variety of different audiences.

When a student leaves BHS they will have been able to: 

  • take peripatetic lessons in an instrument of their choice
  • perform as part of a group including guitar ensemble, string group, keyboard club, choir, drama club or musical theatre group
  • perform music in solo, duet and larger group settings
  • perform in a variety of venues including church, outdoor, auditoriums and larger venues
  • learn how to use music technology software to record, edit, and develop their work
  • study how to compose music and create several pieces of their own work
  • study the work of famous composers from throughout music history and look at the development of music and musical instruments since the medieval period
  • study music theory throughout Key Stage 3, and in greater depth at KS4 should they choose music at GCSE level
  • develop an appreciation of music by learning how to critically listen to music, analyse and understand how music works
  • experience Performing Arts in both live and recorded form, with enrichment from visiting live performances where appropriate


Physical Education

Students are actively engaged and involved in a range of physical activities and sports, which allow them to holistically develop by promoting interpersonal skills and building their individual character and morals. Furthermore, from lessons students are able to recognise the importance of physical activity and the positive impact this can have on physical, social and mental wellbeing, aiding the promotion of lifelong participation in sport. Throughout all activity blocks, there is clear differentiation, which ensures all students, regardless of socio-economic background, gender, ethnicity and religion feel supported, able to be challenged and achieve success. Students are encouraged and prepared to take risks and explore new activities to build new experiences which leads to students feeling a sense of accomplishment. Students can recognise the importance of learning within Physical Education and can demonstrate understanding of the intent.

Through Key Stage 3 PE at Brighouse High School we aim:

  • To develop safe and supportive classroom environments which allow students to take risks, learn from mistakes and build hopes and aspirations for the future.
  • To promote the importance of becoming resilient and independent learners who can rise to individual challenges allowing them to build individual character.
  • To encourage students to become citizens of a successful democratic society by promoting vital character traits such as resilience, creativity, responsibility, generosity, and enterprise through a range of practical settings.
  • To encourage students to practically explore various sports, activities, and health related topics.
  • To inspire students to successfully work both independently and collaboratively with their peers to foster confidence in their own ability.
  • To encourage students to embrace new opportunities, allowing them to recognise the importance of participation in a wide range of activities, preparing them for life beyond education.
  • To nurture academic habits such as critical analysis, self-reflection, and peer assessment. The development of these skills is relevant and applicable to wider academic subjects and life beyond education.

Through critical analysis and self/peer reflection we provide a foundation for students to secure their knowledge within the subject alongside developing their literacy and numeracy skills which can be applied across the wider curriculum.

Religious Studies

We consider RS to be an important subject in a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the “spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development of all pupils”. All pupils have one lesson of RS per week at Key Stage 3, with the exception of Year 9, who have two hours a week in order to allow them to better adapt to the GCSE course.

Our primary aim is to enable pupils to understand the nature of religious beliefs and practices and the importance and influence of these in the lives of believers. To this end, a multi-faith syllabus is followed in the first two years and is designed to take into account the needs of the pupils form a variety of religious backgrounds or, no religious background at all. Conversion to any one faith is not the role of education; instead we seek to create an environment in which pupils learn to appreciate the faith and practices of others and are challenged to examine their own beliefs and values. We see this as a development of our pupils’ global perspectives: developing their own world view and their understanding of the world view of others. GCSE study begins in Year 9 and the course is grounded in moral and ethical questions as well as an intensive study of beliefs and practises of two world faiths.

In Year 7, pupils are provided with an introduction to the six major world faiths through a series of peer activities, with a later focus on Buddhism. We then move onto more secular content with Poverty and Injustice, examining the life experiences of people both similar and different to ourselves.

In Year 8, we focus on the key ideas of dominion and stewardship with a particular focus on animal rights in term one and then the environment term two. We finish the year with a study of Hinduism, which marries the 2 concepts of global perspectives and key belief systems.

In Year 9 students begin to study the GCSE RS syllabus. They conduct an in depth study of Christian beliefs and practises (Paper 1) as well as examining the more global theme Peace and Conflict (Paper 2).

Year 7, assessments will focus on Practices and ways of life, as well as sources of authority. Pupils will be assessed on these themes in relation to the topics they have studied.

Year 8, assessments will revolve around the themes of sources of authority and similarities within/between different religions.

Year 9, assessments are focussed on GCSE exam papers, developing the skills of analysis and evaluation.


We want all students to enjoy Science lessons. We develop confident and resilient students, who are engaged with their learning and aspire to achieve their potential. We are focused on the development and retention of key knowledge and skills, whilst nurturing a curiosity about Science in the wider world.

Students will leave with a love of Science and an understanding of how it explains the world around them. We want them to have a rich knowledge of scientific concepts and theories, and to be able to use this to explain the phenomena they observe and experience every day. This will enable them to fully appreciate how amazing the world is, and empower them to share this with others they meet.

They will have developed the Science Capital required to engage with a changing world. We want them to have a clear understanding of the scientific process, and how this underpins decisions that are made at all levels of society. We want them to be able to apply their knowledge and skills to critically analyse information presented to them. This will enable them to make informed decisions relating to the issues they encounter, so they can play a role in solving the big questions we face, however big or small this role may be.

Units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics are studied, organised into knowledge blocks which cover a term. The curriculum is organised so that units build on and consolidate content covered in previous units, with each unit fitting into a particular strand within each science. Students knowledge is tested in mini tests at the end of each unit and in larger exams covering blocks of work. In the final term of Y9 students begin studying for their GCSEs. An outline of how these units are organised within the key strange of each science are attached below (ScienceKnowlegeBlocks_KS3).

The learning of Working Scientifically Skills is embedded into each unit within the curriculum. Each skill is revisited several times throughout the curriculum, and in each block of work there is a focus on particular skill areas. Students skills are tested in mini tests and in larger exams covering blocks of work. An outline of the Working Scientifically Skills is attached below (WorkingScientificallySkills_KS3).

Visual Arts

We believe the arts are for everyone. They enrich us as people, build confidence and help us view the world from a more considered perspective.

At BHS we want to encourage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and understanding to experiment and create their own works of art, craft, and design.

We want pupils to recognise the importance of creativity in our future workforce and the joy, and mental well-being, it brings to the individual and community around us.

As a comprehensive school the arts are a valuable means of developing confidence and communication skills, and facilitating expression, ideas and feelings. In addition, through purposeful, imaginative and creative activities, pupils learn to take managed risks, trying out new ideas and new ways of working without fear of failure.

The core experience in Art is about providing opportunities for students to develop their creativity by means of the following:

  • Developing their skills and confidence in a wide range of media; allowing them to experiment and take risks but also teaching them how to control and refine.
  • Developing their recording skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and annotation using a range of sources.
  • Developing their knowledge and contextual understanding about numerous artists’ works, both historical and contemporary.
  • Enabling students to develop their own ideas, inspired by the work of others, to lead to a successful, creative and personal outcome.
  • Develop a wide set of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.

Join us for an Open Day

Join us for an Open Day