Our Curriculum

Every school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school.   It must also prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. DfE

Our aspirations for our students:

A curriculum exists for those it serves.  If our curriculum is successful, it will allow our students when they leave us to “Be The Best They Can Be.”

Our curriculum is underpinned by our values, and as such we seek to ensure our students show the following characteristics when they leave our institutions:


They will understand their place in society, valuing their own contributions to social and economic activity and be always dedicated to lifelong learning and enjoyment of their endeavours.

Our children will be self-motivated to drive their own learning and fully understand the role they can play as citizens of their school, their local community and their world. Our learners understand the different needs of others and believe they can make a difference. Across our Trust we constantly seek to forge, sustain and deepen our relationships to provide the best we can for our children.


British values underpin beliefs and actions. Our children will be tolerant and respectful, taking care of others and valuing personal and shared resources. They will be understanding and reflective; being willing to reason and accept new people, new ideas and new challenges. They will make a meaningful contribution to their communities and families.

We all acknowledge people are good at different things and that we can all learn from each other. We show care for the environment and have the highest expectations of our own behaviours in how we interact with people with different beliefs.


They will understand and embrace challenges, be continual with effort in the face of adversity. As a result our children will develop their own self-esteem and self-respect enabling them to cope with challenge and to accept that personal growth comes from taking risks and experiencing failure. They will develop problem solving skills and self- help strategies to live a fulfilling and healthy life. They will be given opportunities across the curriculum to demonstrate perseverance, build aspirations for the future and experience challenge.

Our curriculum:

  • Is fully compliant with all statutory aspects of the revised National Curriculum for 2014.
  • Always caters for the individual and their needs; making adjustments where reasonable and possible.
  • Is broad, balanced and gives all students fair access to the full range of subjects on offer.
  • Provides opportunities to make and learn from mistakes, achieve success and find enjoyment in learning.
  • Ensures all are exposed to the Arts, Culture, Community and the Outdoors beyond the academic core.
  • Adapts and evolves to meet local and national needs.
  • Fosters high aspirations and enables all to make successful transition to employment or the next steps in their education.

Our Intent – Powerful Knowledge and The Best In Everyone

Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life.  Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the core knowledge they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development, to develop the whole person and the talents of the individual and to allow all children to become active and economically self-sufficient citizens.

The education we provide is designed to endow our students with “powerful knowledge”: We want our students to be able to predict, explain and to envisage alternatives.
  • We will enable our students to grasp knowledge about where they live, surpassing the knowledge that students acquire through everyday life.
  • We will teach concepts that are systematically related to each other so that students are able to generalise and think beyond particular contexts.
  • By drawing on the best that’s been thought, said and done in each subject, we hope that our curriculum enables children to appreciate and participate in the full richness of the human experience.
  • We will ensure students acquire specialised knowledge developed by distinguished groups with a clear focus and field of enquiry. Students will be taught by qualified subject specialists who’s aim is to pass on knowledge and understanding from the leading experts such as mathematicians, scientists, novelists and musicians.
At its heart the CET Curriculum as a core academic curriculum, founded on these key delivery principles:
  • Entitlement – We believe that all children have right to learn what is in the CET Curriculum; schools have a duty to ensure that all children are taught the whole of it.
  • Mastery – We want all students to achieve a full understanding of the knowledge specified in the Curriculum for each year, and teaching should not move on until this is achieved.
  • Stability – We won’t constantly amend the Curriculum: while we should make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support the Curriculum.
  • Concepts not context – The Curriculum is intended as a concise specification of knowledge and content to be taught and learned; it is for schools and teachers to decide how to teach and bring it to life.

The link below shows a student friendly view of our curriculum roadmaps

At each Key Stage we develop our intentions through both the structured curriculum and informal learning to provide the conditions in which individuals can flourish.

Key Stage 3 entitlement

In all CET schools each child will be taught a curriculum which is at least as ambitious at the national curriculum from years 7 to 9.  Each programme of study will be clearly sequenced, with interleaving themes taught at appropriate times across different subject areas.

For years 8 and 9, in order to help our students become ‘the best they can be’ we have introduced an exciting, challenging and rewarding Creative Curriculum.  This allows students to select from 3 subject options per year, studying one choice per term. Our Creative Curriculum will give students the chance to really explore practical learning, focus on projects and, when appropriate, take part in off-site learning.

Students can pick from a range of options:
• Arts Award (T)
• STEM Award (T)
• Creative Media & Design (T)
• Food Nutrition and Preparation (T)
• Outdoor Learning
• Philosophy and Politics

Our Creative Curriculum for Years 8 and 9 aims to:

• Incorporate high-quality STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), outdoor learning and cultural capital experiences.
• Ensure students have full access to a rich technology programme of study.
• Maximise the potential of a strong, creative staff body drawing fully on their professional, creative and academic backgrounds.
• Engage and inspire students in creative learning following multiple lockdowns.
• Develop students’ oracy, literacy, group skills, well-being, and practical creativity.





Key Stage 4 entitlement

At the heart of an effective key stage 4 curriculum is a strong academic core: the EBacc. The government’s response to its EBacc consultation, published in July 2017, confirmed that the large majority of pupils should be expected to study the EBacc. It is therefore the government’s ambition that 75% of Year 10 pupils in state-funded mainstream schools should be starting to study EBacc GCSE courses nationally by 2022 (taking their examinations in 2024), rising to 90% by 2025 (taking their examinations in 2027).  CET intend our schools to work towards the government’s ambition, taking account of different students and their different starting points.  All schools within CET will guide students who’s prior attainment suggests they will be successful in the EBacc towards this pathway.  As a minimum it is expected that all CET schools will have a broadly similar proportion of students studying the EBacc as the national average by 2022 (taking examinations in 2024).

The arts (comprising art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts), design and technology, the humanities (comprising geography and history) and modern foreign language are not compulsory national curriculum subjects after the age of 14, but all pupils in maintained schools have a statutory entitlement to be able to study a subject in each of those four areas.

The statutory requirements in relation to the entitlement areas are:

  • Schools must provide access to a minimum of one course in each of the four entitlement areas
  • Schools must provide the opportunity for pupils to take a course in all four areas, should they wish to do so
  • A course that meets the entitlement requirements must give pupils the opportunity to obtain an approved qualification.

It is CET’s intention that all students will have access to at least one course in each of the four entitlement areas.

Guided learning hours and option subjects

Recommendations are that GCSE subjects receive between 120-140 guided learning hours over the duration of the course. Schools will manage their curriculum to provide appropriate curriculum time for all subjects. The number of option subjects studied by students should allow sufficient time to learn all the content and practice the relevant skills for the course.

Typically a student’s core diet at Key Stage 4 will consist of:

English (language and literature)


Science (Trilogy or Triple- see below)

Personal Development (including Citizenship and CEIAG)

Physical Education

Provision for triple science should be made where appropriate and students must be provided with additional time to study all three sciences.

A further three options will be chosen from a suite of subjects, arranged to ensure students take an appropriate balance of subjects for them.  They will choose these from subject areas including Humanities, the Arts (including music), ICT & Computing, Modern Foreign Languages, Design Technology, PE/Sport and vocational learning.  Some schools may choose to offer more than three option subjects to some students, where sufficient guided learning hours can be provided to ensure sufficient knowledge is retained to enable success for these students.  No student should be placed at a disadvantage because they are studying more GCSE’s than their peers with the resultant workload, nor should students be asked to sit more than the expected number of qualifications outlined above, where to do so would not benefit them in preparing them for further study or the workplace.

Key Stage 5 Pathways

The CET key stage 5 curriculum consists of three pathways which are aimed at meeting the personalised needs of all students.

The A Level Pathway

Consists of many subjects and all students will additionally study core maths or an extended project, subjects on offer include the facilitating subjects of Biology, MFL, Further Maths, History, Physics, Chemistry, English Literature, Geography and Maths.

The Combined Pathway

Offers a choice of A Levels, extended project and vocational level 3 qualifications. The vocational subjects include BTECs in Business Studies, Drama, Sports Studies, Science and Childcare.

The Vocational Pathway

Consists of a choice of vocational subjects or completion of an extended diploma.

All the above pathways also offer students PSHE/Citizenship and CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) opportunities.

Transition between Key Stages of the Curriculum

Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3

All students and their families entering secondary school will be provided with appropriate support that will ensure the transition is effective.  Students that do not meet the secondary ready requirements may be placed in the Transition Curriculum.  The Transition Curriculum aims to accelerate progress so that students can return to the main curriculum when ready to continue their education.

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4

All students will be provided with a range of advice and guidance to support families in making appropriate choices at GCSE.  Different pathways will be available to meet the needs and abilities of learners thus enablin of advice and guidance to support families in making appropriate choices at GCSE.  Different pathways will be available to meet the needs and abilities of learners thus enabling them to have the best chance of achieving a range of qualifications.  Consideration of the wider expectations of the proportion of students required to take the EBACC will be considered, alongside the needs of the individual.  All schools will endeavour to ensure that the curriculum offered meets the needs of students, whilst maximising progress measures for the individual and school.

Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5

Personalised support, advice and guidance will be provided to all students who apply to study post 16 qualifications at a CET secondary academy.  Offers to prospective students will be based upon prior attainment at GCSE.

KS3 Curriculum Overview

Year 7 Curriculum  Hours p/w
Art 1
Computing 1
Design and Technology 2
English 4
French ** 2
German (additional language with French time)
Geography 2
History 2
Mathematics 4
Music/Performing Arts 1
Personal Development/ Religious Education 1
Physical Education 2
Science 3
Year 8 & 9 Curriculum  Hours p/w
Art 1
Computing 1
Creative Curriculum 2
English 4
French ** 2
German (additional language with French time)
Geography 2
History 2
Mathematics 4
Music/Performing Arts 1
Personal Development/Religious Education 1
Physical Education 2
Science 3

KS4 Curriculum Overview

Year 10 Curriculum  Hours p/w
Mathematics 5
English 4
Science either (Combined or Triple Science)
Combined Science 5
Triple Science 5
Physical Education 1
Personal Development 1
Option Choice 1 3
Option Choice 2 3
Option Choice 3 3
Year 11 Curriculum  Hours p/w
Mathematics 4
English 5
Science (Combined or Triple Science)
Combined Science 5
Triple Science 5
Physical Education 1
Personal Development 1
Option Choice 1 3
Option Choice 2 3
Option Choice 3 3

For further enquiries about our curriculum please use the contact details below:

Email: Emma Graham, Admin Manager: schooloffice@whitehavenacademy.org.uk

The Whitehaven Academy

The Whitehaven Academy
Cleator Moor Road
CA28 8TY

Tel: 01946 595400