“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
Chinese proverb

Cape Cornwall Curriculum Introduction

The Cape Cornwall School Curriculum ensures that all our students have the opportunity for academic and personal development across a broad range of subjects and experiences. Acquisition of knowledge and transferrable skills are the cornerstones of our student’s progress and we place a high value on building their understanding of community, place and social justice. Lessons and other learning experiences are sequenced to build on students’ prior knowledge, and to ensure that students deepen their understanding of each subject, and the interconnection between subjects and their global context.

Our Curriculum is the foundation to achieving our Core Principles:

  • Students leave Cape Cornwall School with high value achievements and the life skills and resilience that provide a platform for future success and happiness.
  • We are inspired to work together to research, design and implement highly effective and sustainable solutions to develop and maintain our thriving school community.
  • Continuous improvement is achieved through a whole school culture of, and commitment to, creativity, engagement and professionalism.

The curriculum embodies Cape Cornwall School’s educational offer and it is through the curriculum that we deliver our promise “Dream, Believe, Persevere, Succeed” for every child in our school.

Students will experience breadth of learning

Our Curriculum gives all our students the opportunity to participate in an extensive range of learning experiences which include a rich variety of subjects, learning opportunities and programmes to develop knowledge, understanding and learning skills.

  • Students study a broad range of subjects within their curriculum: English, Maths, Science, Computer Science, French, Geography, History, Music, Drama, Art, Design Technology, Food Technology, PSHE/Rp and PE. There are planned opportunities to develop recall and retrieval skills to build and reinforce previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded. The curriculum in Year 7, 8 and 9 is at least as good as the National Curriculum and achievements in all aspects of the curriculum are highly valued.
  • Many of the students have a clear understanding of subjects in which they are most engaged and successful and offering some choice in Year 8 engages students as partners in their learning. Together with the full EBACC suite of subjects, in Year 9 we enable students to choose specialise in two creative subjects and so spend more time on their chosen areas of interest to develop the mastery of knowledge and skills required to continue the subject in Years 10 and 11.  Our courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited and this helps prepare students for external examinations at the end of Year 11.
  • A wide variety of extra-curricular activities and trips offer students the opportunity to extend and deepen their knowledge and skills, and to share in new and different experiences which help shape their understanding and perspective.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and other outdoor learning programmes are offered to all our students with specific programmes to encourage less socially confident students to participate and succeed.
  • Our “Be Inspired” programme provides an extensive range of enrichment and extension experiences within the school day. Students may select from a wide range of activities over the year to broaden their learning experiences and develop their social and life skills.

Students will receive personalised learning

  • ‘The Academy’ is a bespoke programme available to all our students. Academic, Sporting and Creative areas ensure that students are challenged with opportunities to broaden and extend their learning and experiences.
  • Accelerated Reader provides all students in Year 7 and 8 with daily dedicated time to read.  Careful assessment of students’ reading level ensures that they are signposted to literature which challenges and extends their vocabulary to encourage a love of reading.
  • Students who arrive with below expected literacy and numeracy skills are supported to catch up through expert teaching and incisive intervention.

Students will develop their learning skills, confidence and aspiration

  • All our students participate in a daily tutor programme which develops social skills, awareness of local, national and international issues and team identity. This enables our students to develop their understanding of active citizenship and local, national and international community. They learn to appreciate and value their own citizenship contribution and that of others. Our tutors are key adults in every student’s school life: they provide academic and personal support and guidance and work with the pastoral team to ensure that each child makes the most of the opportunities available to them.

Students will achieve academic and personal development

  • PSHE, SMSC and British Values are championed at the school in order to develop students as a whole, not just academically, to ensure that they are fully prepared for life in modern Britain. Students are able to envision ‘The Bigger Picture’ and understand that learning is linked to the real world and experiences.  Students are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities.  Links with business enrich the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning.
  • Students will have secure foundations for progression into further education and apprenticeships.  From Year 7, students receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks and this is supported through focused career sessions in tutor time.  Over the course of 5 years, students receive a rigorous and bespoke aspirations programme that exposes them to a huge range of voices and experiences.

Closing the Gap

Our curriculum is the foundation on which our endeavour to ensure the highest quality of education for every child is based. Through our curriculum, we ensure that inequality, from whatever cause, is challenged and repaired.  Fundamental to planning, implementation and evaluation of impact, is the school’s commitment to achieving the highest quality of education so that, regardless of starting points, income or disability, every child makes outstanding progress and achieves their full potential.

Cape Cornwall School Curriculum Structure

 “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach them to learn by creating curiosity,

they will continue the learning process as long as they live.”     Clay P. Bedford

Student’s development of knowledge and skills is scaffolded by the careful sequencing of lessons within and between subjects to link topics, build on prior learning and to provide contextualisation and relevance. Students are supported to develop a clear understanding of what and why they are learning, how topics and concepts link and when or why they might need to use them for life skills or future academic application. Sequencing of learning is led by specialist teachers who have access to local and national learning hubs, and ensure that lesson content is well matched to students’ starting points, learning goals, and qualifications.

Our Curriculum combined with our Teaching and Learning approaches challenge our students to achieve their best and to explore their learning and personal skills beyond their comfort zone. Our curriculum is responsive to student’s needs and reviewed each year to ensure it continues to build on prior learning, and provides a platform for success post-16.  Our Curriculum is designed to regularly and frequently revisit topics, and to make explicit and build on links to past and future knowledge. Lessons are planned to enable students to “over” learn via repetition, revision and opportunities for application and reasoning.  This leads to development of deeper, sustained understanding and the ability to communicate learning.  Our students are challenged to look and think beyond the immediate topic of the lesson: they have opportunities to apply their learning to different contexts and situations without fear of failure and as a result, they are confident and keen to learn.

Curriculum Structure

Foundation Stage Learning (Years 7, 8 and 9)

Students follow a broad course of study in Years 7, 8 and 9 with strong links to our community heritage.  As an integral part of the curriculum, lesson time is dedicated to reading at an age-appropriate level, supported by effective use of the Accelerated Reader programme.

In Year 9 students continue to study a broad range of subjects and the Subject Curriculums focus on a clearly sequenced balance of National Curriculum, foundation for GCSE and breadth of learning. Students choose two creative options in Year 9 which allows them to become a partner in their learning journey.  In their chosen subjects’ students benefit greatly from the increased time allocated which supports their development of key foundation knowledge and skills upon which they can build in Years 10 and 11. Students are supported in this decision making process by teachers, tutors and parental communication.

Options choices for student to study in Year 9 will include Art, Drama, Design & Technology, Food & Nutrition, Computing and Music.  The final suite of options will be based on student preferences and numbers.

Year 9 Curriculum 2020/21

English6(15%)Maths6(15%)Science7 (17.5%)Geography3(7.5%)History3(7.5%)French3(7.5%)Option X3 (7.5%)Option Y3(7.5%)PE3 (7.5%)PSHE/Rp2(5%)Be Inspired1(2.5%)

As our Year 9 students process into Year’s 10 and 11 they will all follow a course of:

  • Core Subjects; English, Maths
  • EBACC subjects; Science, French and Geography or History
  • 2 Option subjects (usually continued from Year 9) – with the potential to change these choices to select a second Humanities or BTEC Sport
  • PE, PSHE and the ‘Be Inspired’ programme

Transitional Stage Learning (Years 10 and 11)

The majority of our students will take between 9 and 10 GCSE qualifications as well as continuing their PE and PSHE/RP studies and their ‘Be Inspired’ learning programme.  

The significant majority of our students will to take the EBACC suite of qualifications as a foundation for accessing Further Education.  In this way, student’s breadth of learning continues throughout their time at Cape Cornwall School and remains further enhanced by our extra-curricular opportunities and the strong emphasis we place on learning beyond the classroom. The proportion of students continuing to study the EBACC to GCSE level is rising and from 2023, the school will exceed the Department of Education benchmark of 75% of students studying the EBACC suite with close to 100% of students studying the EBACC suite of subjects. Our curriculum is designed to reflect the high value placed by many different institutions and pathways, including the Russell Group universities, on facilitating subjects balanced with student choice and aspiration for the future.

In Year 10 students will all follow a course of Core Subjects; English and Maths, EBACC subjects; French and Geography or History, 2 Option subjects (continued from Year 9) and PE, PSHE and the ‘Be Inspired’ programme.  Students wishing to study both Geography and History will have the opportunity to drop one of their Year 9 choices in favour of the humanities subject.

To ensure that our Curriculum continues to best meet the educational needs of our students we will regularly monitor student voice and progress.

Year 10 Curriculum New (2021/2022)

7 (17.5%)
6 (15%)
7 (17.5%)
Option A Geography or History
Option X *Continued from Year 9
Option Y *Continued from Year 9
Be Inspired
     Potential for change to sports/second humanities option   

Year 10 & 11 Curriculum Legacy 2020/2021

English 6 (15%) Maths 6  (15%) Science 7 (17.5%)Four options choices (4 lessons 4 @ 10%)
Art, Drama, Design & Technology, Food & Nutrition, French, Geography, History, Computing, Music, Photography, Triple Science, BTEC Sport
(All students will study at least one of History, Geography & French)
PE 2 (5%) PSHE / Rp
2 (5%)
Be Inspired 1

Included within our GCSE programmes, are opportunities to learn beyond the GCSE specifications with teachers reinforcing connections to future education and employment to promote readiness for the next stage of education post-16 through A Level, Technical or Apprenticeship qualification routes.

Core Skills

Literacy, numeracy and IT skills are developed for all students, where relevant, sound opportunities to teach these arise within the curriculum for subjects. Teachers plan to include and reinforce complex vocabulary (Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary) in their lessons. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are explicitly taught using carefully selected teaching strategies. Numeracy skills are taught using consistent methodology where they occur naturally within the curriculum in subjects like science, geography, PE, DT and music. The school’s approaches to developing literacy and numeracy are set out in detail in specific policies. 

Closing the Gap

A range of curriculum approaches are used to close the gap and ensure no student is left behind. Sequences of lessons are carefully planned to build the ‘social and academic capital’ of knowledge needed for students to access their learning. Teachers are adept at identifying potential misconceptions and use pre-teaching and a range of other teaching strategies to remedy these. Subject specific vocabulary is explicitly taught in lessons and all teachers recognise the importance of Tier 2 vocabulary in their lesson planning. Progression in reading skills is scaffolded by effective use of Accelerated Reader and subject specific opportunities to read non- fiction texts.

In addition, individual students receive financial subsidies for resources to support learning and to access educational opportunities.

Cultural capital is also expanded by our Be Inspired programme, introduced in September 2019. This broad range of options, delivered fortnightly challenges students to take on a new hobby, broaden their skills and learn in a different context.

Timetable Structure

Our timetable is structured around four 75 minute lessons per day, on a fortnightly cycle (Weeks A and B). There is a daily tutorial session of 20 minutes each morning.

Foundation Stage Learning, Years 7 & 8

 Years 7 and 8English Maths Science Geography History French Music Computing Drama Art Product Design Food Technology PEPSHE/RPBe Inspired

In addition, students in Year 7 & 8 have 30 minutes dedicated reading time within their lessons, four days a week (for the Accelerated Reader programme), and one Be Inspired session per fortnight.

Year 9 Curriculum

 Year 9EnglishMathsScienceGeographyHistoryFrenchOption XOption YPEPSHEBe Inspired

Transitional Stage Learning, Years 10 & 11 (fully implemented 2022/23)

 Years 10 & 11EnglishMathsScienceFrenchOption A Geography or HistoryOption XOption YPEPSHEBe Inspired


“Our Curriculum enables students to leave Cape Cornwall School with high value achievements and the resilience and life skills that provide a platform for future success and happiness.”

Cape Cornwall School Core Principles

Assessment of the impact of our curriculum is achieved through a range of strategies: formal exams and in- class assessments, review of levels of participation, discussion, aspiration, community contribution, destinations and use of student voice to inform evaluation. Using a range of information to determine impact ensures that our evaluation is robust and rigorous, and that actions as a result are based on a sound understanding of our curriculum strengths and areas for development. Our assessment of impact includes:

  • In class discussion and feedback; groups, peer to peer and teacher led discussions allow students to identify their knowledge and skill strengths and be clear about their next steps in learning.  
  • Formative and summative testing, including frequent ‘low stakes testing’, allows students to demonstrate their progress made. In addition, these assessments provide a valuable opportunity to promote revision and memory skills and exam technique.
  • Summative attainment and progress information from key assessment points including end of year, end of key-stage and GCSE exams.
  • Marking and feedback – students have the opportunity to practice, improve and extend their learning through specific tasks which are assigned to individual students from their teacher’s marking of their work. All marking takes the form of ‘highlights, next steps and over to you’ (see Feedback and Marking Policy for more details).
  • We keep a barometer of the confidence, engagement and resilience of our students via regular learning walks and lesson observations. In addition, regular student surveys (at least annually, e.g. Pass and Headstart) provide valuable insights into student well-boing, confidence and resilience.
  • Behaviour is carefully monitored through lesson visits and scrutiny of merits and behaviour points, to ensure that our students develop with a confident, positive view of themselves and others and that our expectations for cooperation and participation are achieved in every classroom.
  • Destinations of school leavers are evaluated to ensure that students are well prepared for their next stage of education and employment, post 16. This includes review of 16-19 qualifications chosen (apprenticeships, A Level and vocational learning) and longer term destinations into university education at age 18, as available from local colleges.
  • Parents are encouraged to actively engage with the school and to provide feedback about their child’s experiences. We place a high value on clear communication pathways to inform parents and carers about the development, progress and opportunities for their children and to listen to their views.

These many and varied processes facilitate our understanding of how our students have progressed in knowledge, vocabulary, skills and confidence through the various stages of their education at Cape Cornwall School to ensure that all our students can achieve high value qualifications and the resilience and life skills that will provide a platform for future success and happiness.

Points you may like to consider when choosing your Options:

1Make your choices for the right reasons!

Make your choices based on what you enjoy and what you are good at. Do not make choices based on what your friends are choosing.

2Try not to limit your possibilities…

Most careers, education and training opportunities are open equally, regardless of gender and disability. Courses should be selected on the basis of personal interest and needs, not because they are considered stereotypically as boys‘ courses or girls’ courses!

3Your future…

It is important to think about what you might be doing after your GCSEs. Subject choices could affect your future prospects, eg if you want to become dentist, a good qualification in Science is essential.  All of the courses available at Cape Cornwall School have been designed to ensure balance and breadth and to leave as many avenues open as possible.

4Exam passes are essential, but they are not everything…

Courses leading to examinations are important and we want these to be as successful as possible, but personal qualities and attitudes are as important in getting and keeping a job, training or going on to Further or Higher Education. Remember, your extra-curricular activities and achievements will all be important in demonstrating what you can do.