Skip to content ↓

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at Barnwood Park ensures that a broad and balanced curriculum is provided to its students. Our curriculum is personalised and inclusive, so as to meet the needs of every student wherever possible. We also provide a range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. For KS4 students a wide range of subjects is offered to provide students with the most relevant pathway for further study or employment.

Our curriculum aims at Barnwood Park are:

1. That students should develop their abilities to their maximum potential.

2. That students who leave Barnwood Park should be articulate, literate and numerate, and have lively, enquiring, independent minds.

3. That students should be aware of the needs of the community and be prepared to contribute fully to the life of the community.

4. That all students should be offered a curriculum that has breadth and depth. It must be tailored to each student and satisfy their requirements.

5. That students who leave Barnwood Park should:

• have developed a love of learning that will last for the rest of their lives;
• be adaptable enough to react to the needs of a fast changing world;
• be confident in their dealings with adults and peers;
• be able to develop good working relationships with others;
• have knowledge of a wide range of cultures and through this come to respect the rights and needs of others;
• be able to make good moral judgements;
• value their learning outside of the curriculum;
• foster strong relationships with local workplaces;
• access to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines;
• make informed and appropriate choices;
• develop personal moral values;
• develop the fundamental British values of democracy, the Rule of Law, individual livery and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.


Key Stage 3

In KS3 all students follow the National Curriculum subjects:

  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages –Spanish or French
  • Personal and Social Development
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Science

Students in Key Stage 3 study 8 different Art and Technology subjects through a yearly carousel of 4 rotations. Two carousel subjects are followed each week for a 9-10 week rotation, and these include Fine Art, Textiles Art, Digital Art, Food Technology, Resistant Materials, Music, Drama and Dance. This gives them a wide variation of practical and academic learning opportunities.

Literacy is a key focus during form time at KS3 and KS4 and this can include both fiction and non-fiction reading.  Over the course of the academic year, students engage with fiction and non-fiction texts and develop their reading comprehension skills.  This includes whole form reading with the form tutor of a fiction novel, and incorporates the skills of skimming and scanning, asking and answering questions about the text and summarising the key points raised.

A small number of students at Key Stage 3 may have additional English lessons instead of Languages in order to strengthen their English progress and their ability to succeed in other lessons.

Students in Key Stage 3 are organised into mixed ability classes, and can be set in Maths.

Students choose their option subjects for Key Stage 4 in Term 3/4 of Year 9. Students in Year 9 receive detailed information, advice and guidance about their KS4 subject choices. Parents are fully involved in this, including through Academic Progress Evenings and Options Evening.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) we offer a wide range of courses to ensure that all students have the opportunity to study subjects about which they are passionate, and to encourage a love of learning. Our focus in KS4 curriculum development is on quality and choice. We review our KS4 offer each year, and we evaluate the success of all courses regularly during the academic year.

All students study GCSEs in Maths, Statistics, English Language and English Literature at GCSE. All students also study Combined Science in Years 10 and 11, worth 2 GCSEs. All students will take core PE, and will study a programme of Personal and Social Development. Students will be set in Maths.

Students in Year 9 are currently able to choose 4 option subjects to study at GCSE. We have introduced in our 2024 offer a wider choice of Vocational subjects, so our non-GCSE offer now includes Retail Business, ICT, Travel & Tourism, Health & Social Care, Child Development, Dance and Sports Studies.

All students are encouraged and supported to choose a combination of subjects to achieve the English Baccalaureate (English, Maths, two Sciences, a modern foreign language and one of Geography and History), however we do not make this obligatory.

We also support some students to achieve Level 1 Vocational Courses (AQA Awards) to meet their needs, and Functional Skills in English and maths as part of their Options.

Currently the option subjects available are:

  • Business Studies
  • Childcare and Development (NCFE Level 1/2 Vocational Certificate)
  • Computer Science
  • Drama
  • Dance (BTEC Award in Performing Arts)
  • Design and Technology
  • Enterprise and Marketing
  • Fine Art
  • Food Preparation & Nutrition
  • French
  • Geography
  • Health and Social Care (BTEC Technical Award)
  • History
  • ICT (Vocational Technical Award)
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Retail Business (Vocational Award)
  • Spanish
  • Sports Studies (Cambridge National)
  • Textiles
  • Travel and Tourism (BTEC Technical Award)

All subjects are GCSEs except those indicated, which are a vocational equivalent of GCSEs.

Some students will also be able to choose additional lessons in English and Maths as one of their option choices to boost their progress in these key areas.

Information about our Options process and the subjects can also be found here:

In Year 10 all students undertake work experience in a wide range of placements to match their different interests and abilities.

We provide support for students to continue their studies when they leave Barnwood Park. All students receive one-to-one careers interviews, and we have strong links with sixth forms and colleges which help each of our students continue their learning successfully.

Alternative Provision

We provide a number of alternative provision opportunities for students who need an alternative to our mainstream offer to be successful or to boost their progress academically, socially and personally.

In line with the government Green Paper on SEND provision this support essentially offers students with additional needs the right support, in the right place at the right time. The Alternative Provision Model offers students bespoke tailored made intensive 6-12 week courses that meet need and support their transition back to school or equip them with the tools needed to be successful.

For example, we work with external tutors to provide some online 1-2-1 or small group tutoring in English and maths. We work with a range of external providers, to provide additional wider opportunities and support for specific identified students. We review the success of these providers to ensure they are meeting the needs of the students and the objectives we have agreed for individuals.


Please contact Mr Fuller the Deputy Head if you have any questions concerning the curriculum at


Please click the links below to view more subject information