The Curriculum

‘Henley-in-Arden School’ is an Academy school within the Arden Multi-Academy Trust (AMAT); we define the term ‘curriculum’ in its broadest sense; therefore, it comprises all learning and other experiences that are planned for our students. We consider the intent of the curriculum, its implementation and how its impact is assessed. We plan the content children need to know, how we deliver, and sequence the teaching and learning, and the skills required to access the curriculum’s content with confidence.

Our Academy’s curriculum is underpinned and informed by the Secondary National Curriculum Programmes of Study for England (2014). Where there are deviations from these curricula, these are articulated in the individual curriculum statements within the appendices of our policy (below). There are also areas of our Academy curriculum that extend children’s learning beyond the requirements of the NC PoS (for example, in Performing Arts Acting, Dance and the HiAS Agreed Syllabus for RE), which are also articulated within the appendices.

  1. Curriculum Intent

We provide an ambitious, innovative, broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum for all, in accordance with our Academy’s EFA funding agreement; additionally, our Academy places ‘…an emphasis in its secondary curriculum on the performing arts’ (Clause 22, p.10).

High academic standards that lead to the best possible progress from individuals’ end of Key Stage 2 starting points and the development of widely-educated, confident and responsible young people are the dual aims of our curriculum. It is tailored to be challenging for our truly comprehensive cohorts of students, where broadly half go on to study an academic diet of GCE A levels at local sixth forms including Arden, AGS, KES and SGGS, and half pursue applied and vocational courses in the Performing Arts and other disciplines at local specialist further education settings including BOA, Stratford-upon-Avon and Moreton Morrell FE colleges or Apprenticeship programmes with local employers such as Jaguar Land Rover.

Our students follow a balanced academic curriculum with the rigour of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) at its heart. Almost all students are expected to fill all three slots of the Progress 8 EBacc element, and around 60% are entered for the full, academically rigorous English Baccalaureate suite of qualifications. That said, student choice and aspiration is prioritised to give each individual the opportunity to proceed to destinations that meet their interests and aspirations – for example, we ensure that the Key Stage 4 Options process enables students to study up to three from our specialist subjects of Music, Dance, Film Studies and Acting in their Key Stage 4 programme should they wish to do so. This results in a broad curriculum and smaller examination group sizes than is typical in state academies nationally in some of our specialist areas.

Our curriculum aims to prepare students for a rapidly changing world whilst understanding and learning the best that has been thought, said and written. We promote and recognise success in a wide range of extra-curricular activities (e.g. the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; local, national and international educational visits; graded Music examinations; county sports fixtures) to enable students to discover and develop lifelong interests and talents. This rich set of experiences develops students’ strength of character, their cultural capital and enables them to become empathetic, resilient and independent young people.


KS3: Year 7 and 8

The aim of the Lower School Curriculum is to provide a broad, balanced education.  All pupils study English, Maths, Science, Design Technology, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Computing, PE, Geography, History, Music, Art, Drama, Dance and a course in Personal, Social, Religious and Health Education, which includes Citizenship.  Most pupils study French and Spanish, but a small group have extra Literacy instead.


KS4: Year 9, 10 and 11

At the end of Year eight, students choose four option subjects to complement a range of core subjects studied at KS4.  Most of these are GCSE, whilst Performing Arts, Information Technology and Business Studies are applied qualifications.


The subjects we presently offer are: (Click on subjects for more info)

Mathematics English Literature English Language
Science Physics Chemistry
Biology Business Studies Spanish
French History Geography
PSHRE Art & Design Performing Arts (Acting)
Dance Music Design Technology
Information Technology Food Prep and Nutrition Physical Education
Religious Studies Graphic Design Film Studies


The key word in this context is “personalisation”: the curriculum of each year is tailored to the needs of the student. Last year we were able to offer first choice places to 99% of our students which indicates that the variety and range of choices are very well matched to the needs of our students.


What Ofsted say…

“…marking and feedback on students’ work are precisely focused on how to achieve.”


“A small number of students are supported through additional year 7 catch-up funding, which helps the students who join the academy with attainment below the expected levels in English and Mathematics. This is an effective strategy because eligible students are making good progress and catching up well.”



Please click here to view our curriculum policy