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Approach to Curriculum

The WSE curriculum is grounded in our school vision that students become the very best version of themselves that they can be (1 Peter 4:10). We want students to leave WSE as well-rounded young people; sure of who they are, where their interests lie and with the best possible set of qualifications.

They can then move confidently into the next stage in their education, training or employment and, subsequently, onto successful and happy futures. This means having a curriculum which suits a wide variety of students; a variety of starting points, a range of interests, different likes and dislikes as well as students who make quite different rates of progress due to their own unique talents.

Our approach

Students’ timetables at WSE might look broadly traditional. However, we take a novel approach to designing each subject area. We require each subject to design an experience for students that:

  1. Stretches them. Students should have to think hard, a lot.
  2. Is differentiated. Students should be able to work at the level appropriate for them.
  3. Develops their literacy and numeracy.
  4. Is logical. Presented in an order that makes sense, gets gradually harder and helps student
    avoid forgetting what they have learnt.
  5. Is exciting, fun and surprising.
  6. Is rooted in our amazing local area.
  7. Is up-to-date, inspired by the 21st Century not the 20th.
  8. Makes room for big ideas like equality, justice and the environment.
  9. Reflective of our church school status.
  10. Encourages curiosity, independence and responsibility.
  11. Responds to students’ concerns.
  12. Achieves great results.

These last two points confirm for us when a subject has got it right. Feedback from the students is sought regularly through student voice activities and helps mould changes to the curriculum over time. Examination performance has been strong in the school for some time, but there is always room for improvement and our curriculum review process helps keep this in mind. 

Whilst the traditional academic subjects are at the core of our curriculum, the performing arts and technology subjects are of high value at WSE too. We want our students to go out and change the world for the better: whether that be finding a cure for cancer, resolving the climate change issue, leading a sporting team to world victory or filling a stadium as a performance artist.

Curriculum Year 7-9

At Key Stage Three (KS3), students study the traditional academic subjects: Maths, English, Science, Languages and Humanities and alongside these we offer a healthy mixture of Arts and Technology subjects. PE, Dance, Drama, and Music are taught as distinct subjects and students follow a carousel of Technology lessons enabling them to study Food and Nutrition, Textiles and Product Design throughout the year. The Year 7 curriculum also offers the teaching of Mindfulness by qualified practitioners, equipping students with techniques to maintain good mental health. Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) is taught every fortnight to all KS3 students and covers important topics that support our students in becoming good, responsible citizens.

Curriculum Year 10-11

KS4 students all continue their study of the traditional academic subjects at GCSE: Maths, English and Science and one other traditional subject (e.g. History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages or Computer Science) and of core PE to ensure that good physical health is encouraged.

Whilst we believe that studying a language at GCSE is an excellent choice, we do not insist that students do so, because it is not the right choice for all. However, we do aim to meet the government target of 75% of students achieving the EBacc qualification, but as a result of students choosing to do so because they enjoy their language learning and see its value in life.

As a Church of England Academy, all students study RS GCSE and undertake the examination in Year 10, along with English Language and achieve very well in both. We firmly believe that taking these two GCSEs a year early lightens the load for our students in Year 11 and gives them a sense of confidence and success when starting their final year at WSE.

Students also have two other free choices to make from a wide range of Arts, Design and Technology and contemporary subjects.

For some students, this programme of study is not appropriate for their educational needs so we create a personalised GCSE package that is more suitable for ensuring their success at Key Stage Four.

For those students who feel limited by the choices they have to make at GCSE, we ensure that they can continue to develop their passions and interests by way of our excellent after-school enrichment programme (see below). We also offer some additional after-school GCSEs for small groups of students who are keen to take an extra GCSE. This currently includes the offer of German and History GCSEs.

Please click here for detailed information about subject specific curriculum plans

Please click here for information about our KS4 studies (including exam board information)

Please click here for the Pathways Curriculum booklet for 2021

If you wish to know more please email: