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 60 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 a unique scheme designed specifically for students at OCA with elements of  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.

The Personal Development curriculum is a timetabled lesson per week alongside elements that are covered through cross-curricular topics. Additional to this are bespoke days that are delivered by staff and external 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. Students are set by ability from O1 to C4, with 8 sets in Years 8 & 9 and 7 sets in Year 7.
  • Group sizes are approx 30 students except the nurture group which has an average of 20 students.
  • A nurture group at KS3 enables us to meet the bespoke additional needs of some students who struggle with the transition to secondary school and require more intensive intervention.  These students may have an EHCP or a particular SEND.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)

Core subjects

Core subjects such as English and Maths are taught to all pupils for 4/5 periods each week. Science is taught for 5 periods with those students who have opted to study separate sciences having a period 6 one night after school to allow for 2 hours per discipline. PE has 2 periods a week in Y10 and 1 in Y11 to ensure we are helping to maintain healthy lifestyles as a contextual necessity. All students have 1 hour a week of a combined Personal Development and Religious, Philosophy & Ethics lesson. Students are able to opt for the qualifications to achieve the English Baccalaureate qualification and have 2 periods per week in their 4 option subjects.


All students are given equal access to all subjects on offer at Key Stage 4. Any student can select GCSE or BTEC/Vocational qualifications regardless of their level of ability or previous progress. Separate Sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics are also available for all students who which to select this particular science route. Students are encouraged to consider taking the Ebacc qualification as part of their options (English, maths, science, humanities subject and a language), hence these subjects are on offer across multiple option blocks to allow for a variety of Ebacc combinations.

Curriculum Impact

Our Ormiston Chadwick Academy, our Curriculum will:


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 or enable students to retrieve and apply 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, but will be dependent on subject needs.