Curriculum Overview

At Ormiston Chadwick Academy, we pride ourselves in delivering a knowledge rich curriculum that goes beyond the classroom. Our students follow a 5-year journey in which we lay the foundations, get them to explore and then embed their knowledge and understanding of their Key Stage 3 curriculum. They continue this journey into Key Stage 4 where they develop their skills to mastery level in preparation for their GCSE examinations and beyond for a successful future.

Our curriculum is broad and balanced in the subjects it has to offer, alongside being ambitious and challenging to ensure students maximise progress. Underpinning everything we do lies our 5 core values of; originalitycommunityaspirationexcellence and respect, encouraging students to embrace the curriculum both in and out of the classroom. Our Careers and Personal Development programmes are threaded through our curriculum and embedded within each of the subject areas encompassing British Values and SMSC.

The intent of our curriculum is clear, and each subject intent feeds from this (read about these within each subject area). How the curriculum is implemented across the 5-year journey is evidenced through regularly reviewed schemes of learning and adapted to suit emerging needs. Our impact is measured and analysed to ensure what we deliver is fit for purpose.

At Ormiston Chadwick Academy, our curriculum is at the heart of everything we do. We set high expectations to ensure that every pupil excels across all aspects of academy life.  Our intention is to ensure pupils make outstanding progress and that the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning.

We want our pupils to leave with knowledge and skills which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond the academy.

At Ormiston Chadwick Academy, our curriculum intent is to:

‘Provide a knowledge rich curriculum where students make outstanding progress’

By ensuring the following are embedded throughout:

This model is based on a 25-lesson week with 5 periods each day: each lesson will be 65 minutes in length.  We have an additional enrichment period at the end of each day where students have the opportunity to participate in a choice of additional activities ranging from academic intervention, opportunities to enhance skills, perform or support mental well-being.

It is our expectation that every member of staff offers an enrichment activity once a week. This does not have to be in their own subject area, we find that the best enrichments come from staff who are truly passionate about what they are delivering be that oriental cooking, table-tennis or making clothes.  

We believe that a carefully planned. structured and inter-disciplinary curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. The curriculum is designed and implemented in such a way that it builds on prior knowledge from KS2; subject leaders use the national curriculum at KS2 as a starting point to build on at KS3. This prepares pupils for the next stage in their education. This ensures that lessons are engaging and suitably differentiated so that pupils spend time in lessons working at their level of ability through a range of pyramid and linear learning processes.

Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding whilst exploring a wide range of topics. Students begin to consolidate learning by synthesising ideas from many perspectives and consider an alternative way of acquiring knowledge. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and exam success. OCA teaching practice utilises all relevant pedagogy to provide the most effective structure for our students.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

Many of our students enter Year 7 with depressed literacy and numeracy levels, consequently there has had to be a huge focus on developing literacy and numeracy skills early to ensure students can access the wider curriculum and achieve success as they progress through school. Students in KS3 follow an Ark Mastery curriculum in English and the White Rose curriculum in Maths, both have proven to enhance literacy and numeracy skills. We offer our students a broad and varied curriculum which ensures all students have access to a range of subjects including the Humanities, Performing Arts, Technology and Computing.

SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural), FBV (Fundamental British Values) are embedded into the Personal Development curriculum alongside being delivered through all subjects.

PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), Citizenship and CEIAG provision is taught through one lesson per fortnight on a Personal Development rolling programme alongside specific and bespoke days that are derived by staff and experts (as appropriate to student needs).

  • At KS3, pupils are divided into O band and C band. In O band there is a top set and in C band there is a nurture group. In Year 7, there are two nurture groups, one in C band and one in O band. In all other groups, pupils are set by ability in the core subjects and are taught in streamed but more mixed ability groups in the foundation subjects.
  • Group sizes are between 26-30 pupils except the nurture group which has an average of 15 pupils.
  • A nurture group in Year 7 and 8 helps to meet the additional needs of those pupils who struggle with the transition to secondary school and require more intensive intervention.  These students may have an EHCP or a particular SEND.
  • C4/O4 students will learn conversational Spanish & basic reading alongside the Spanish culture.

These are the hours that are allocated to each subject at Key Stage 3:

SubjectYear 7 (Foundation)Year 8 (Exploring) Year 9 (Embedding)
English(bar O4/C4–5 lessons)(bar O4/C4–5 lessons)(bar O4/C4–5 lessons)
Science/Sports Science3 + 13 + 13 + 1
Spanish/French(except O4/C4–1 lesson)(except O4/C4–1 lesson)1 Fr & 1 Sp (O1/2), 2 Sp (O3/C1-3), 1 Sp (O4/C4)
Drama11(within Perf Arts carousel)
Dance1(within PE)(within Perf Arts carousel)
Computing & Business111
Music11(within Perf Arts carousel)
Musical Theatre(within Perf Arts carousel)

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

Core subjects

Core subjects such as English and Maths are taught to all pupils for 5 periods each week. Science is taught for 5 periods in Y10 and 5 periods in Y11 unless students are on the triple (separates) pathway in which case they are taught for 6 periods. All students get the opportunity to study Biology, Physics and Chemistry. PE has 2 periods of practical each week to ensure we are helping to maintain healthy lifestyles as a contextual necessity, particularly in light of dropping fitness levels during COVID.  Sports Science combines PE and Science and students will have 1 period of this per week studying a range of qualifications that are bespoke to their needs including; GCSE PE, BTEC Sport and Duke of Edinburgh Award.   Students are able to opt for the qualifications to achieve the English Baccalaureate qualification and have between 2 and 3 periods per week in their other option subjects.

SubjectYear 10 (Developing)Year 11 (Mastery) 
Science5 & 1 x Period 6 (Separates) (Trilogy)(Separates) (Trilogy)
Sports Pathway3(Bar P1 – 2 lessons)
Option 133
Option 222
Option 322


We operate a pathways approach where students are guided towards a pathway which is most suited to their academic ability. We operate 3 pathways at present, each pathway has a different core package where the level and type of qualification is suited to the learners’ ability. There is also flexibility within the core programme and pupils are able to move onto different qualifications depending on progress and attainment (for example; higher and foundation tiers).  We have also ensured that our Key Stage 4 curriculum has a range of applied subjects within it to ensure students have the right courses available to engage them and prepare them for adult life and the world of work and careers.

Students following all three pathways are able to choose a combination of subjects enabling them to achieve the English Baccalaureate.

Purple Pathway (Academic/Vocational)Gold Pathway (Academic/Vocational)Red Pathway (Academic/Vocational)
English Language/LiteratureEnglish Language/LiteratureEnglish Language/Literature
Triple Science (Biology/Chemistry/Physics) Trilogy ScienceTrilogy ScienceTrilogy Science
History or Geography or Spanish or French or Computer ScienceHistory or Geography or Spanish or French or Computer ScienceGeography
Option 2Option 2Option 2
Option 3Option 3Option 3
Personal DevelopmentPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development
Sports PathwaySports PathwaySports Pathway

Curriculum Impact

Our Ormiston Chadwick Academy, our Curriculum will:

Quality of Education Policy


At OCA, every lesson continues to be uploaded to Microsoft Teams (our learning platform). Therefore, all students have access to this at home to enable them to recall and review their prior learning as part of our standardised homework policy. Every lesson will begin with a 'Do Now' task which will recall and review this prior knowledge and understanding, this way we can utilise the science of learning to build upon long term memory models. Additional homework may well be set alongside this recall depending on subject needs.

Inter-Leaving Curriculum