The Curriculum at Woodham


The curriculum at Woodham Academy has been designed to maximise the learning potential of all students and promote ‘Achievement for All’. All students have equal access to a challenging and stimulating curriculum that provides opportunities, for the most able as well as supporting those from a lower starting point, to be successful. The curriculum balances the requirements of the need for the school to demonstrate its effectiveness through a progress 8 curriculum as well as providing a genuine element of choice for students during the options process as students enter KS4.


Key Stage 3

Students are grouped into pathways, red, blue and green. All pathways follow a curriculum that includes English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Religious Education, Design and Technology, Computing, Science, Art, Music, French, History and Geography.  Success and progress allow high aspirations for all. The main differences between pathways are essentially the pace and depth of study of complex topics.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 the pathways take on a more distinctive flavour to initiate the 14-19 learning continuum. Their characteristics are described in documentation provided for students and parents in Years 8 ready for Key Stage 4 studies in Years 9, 10 and 11. Students have a significant element of choice to allow them to put together a programme which leads to examinations and qualifications and which meets their needs and future aspirations. Where appropriate, students will be guided into pathways that allow them to access a full range of English Baccalaureate subjects.

GCSE options include Art, History, Geography, Computer Science and Media Studies.

Health and Social Care, Sport, Creative iMedia, Engineering and Music are vocational options.

The curriculum is made up of 30 taught sessions per week (6 per day). PCC is delivered during 4 Specialist days calendared throughout the year and covers all elements of Personal Social and Health Education with Citizenship, RSE, Careers and Enterprise Education (PCC).

The Curriculum - By Year

Year 7

Core subjects taught in pathway (ability) groups:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Art
  • Computing
  • Music

Core subjects taught within blocking arrangements:

  • Design and Technology
  • Physical Education
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11

The Curriculum - By Subject


Full title of subject:  GCSE English Language

Qualification goal:  GCSE

Awarding Body:  AQA

Specification Code:  1EN0 Language

Allocated periods per week:  2/3

Assessment scheme (% examination, % coursework etc.)  100% terminal exam

Examinations:  Terminal – 2 papers

Tiers or Levels:  No differentiated tiers

Awarding Body web-site or other information source: 

Other information:  GCSEs will be fully assessed by terminal examination and students will have to study a range of different texts from Shakespeare to modern poetry.  Students will also have to develop skills in imaginative writing and analysing non-fiction texts.

English Language

Students will sit two examinations for Language – one based on a fiction text and one examination based on non- fiction texts.  Both examinations have 4 reading questions and a writing task.

Throughout KS4 we help students to develop the skills they need to achieve the best possible outcomes in the examinations whilst also preparing them for life after school.  For example, they will learn how to critique and analyse a newspaper article; how to write a convincing and persuasive letter and how to describe a scene. 

Throughout Key Stage 4 we spend time reading the prescribed texts and getting to know the stories and characters well.  Once students are confident with the texts we then start to explore essay writing skills and preparing students to be able to write effective responses to any question that may come up in the exam!

Head of Department:  Mrs M I’Anson

Overview of Key Stage 3 English

In Year 7 we introduce students to the rigour and demands of secondary-level English with an emphasis on the following:

  • Study of a range of fictional short stories from classic authors and from a range of genres to introduce and build key inferential and technical skills which are essential for success throughout KS3 and beyond.
  • Teaching students to utilise their knowledge of writer’s craft to inspire their own creative writing and improve the technical accuracy of their writing.
  • An introduction and exploration of a Shakespeare classic, introduces students to the features of plays whilst inspiring them to gain knowledge about the history of literature and enhance their imagination through in-depth exploration of Shakespeare’s unique use of language.


In Year 8 we seek to build on the core skills established in Year 7:

  • Exploring writer’s craft in a well-known text from the dystopian genre sharpens students’ ability to search for meaning and critically analyse the effect of language choices made by the writer.
  • Studying a range of non-fiction texts, relevant to the world we live in today, enables students to identify how writers craft their work for a range of purposes. Students use this knowledge to inform their own writing style and to express their perspective in a clear and convincing way for a variety of different purposes and audiences.
  • Studying another of Shakespeare’s classics, this time a tragedy, students focus on the presentation and complications of familial and romantic relationships in addition to exploring some explosive character dilemmas as we continue to expand students’ literary horizons.
  • Exploring a collection of WW1 poetry from a range of well-respected and iconic authors, builds students understanding of the power of words and emotional impact poetry can have. Students use these poems as a springboard to inspire the content of their own creative writing whilst expanding their vocabulary choices and learning how to create specific effects through the development of more imaginative language techniques.


Year 9 represents the highest level of challenge and acts as a bridging year between KS3 and KS4:

  • We begin the year by studying a classic text from the 19th Close study of this expertly written novella encourages and challenges students to include more sophisticated vocabulary, a wider variety of sentence structures and more stimulating language techniques to refine their own creative writing.
  • An in-depth study of another of Shakespeare’s classics continues to build students’ understanding that behind every text ever written there is intent and purpose. Careful exploration of the language, structure and universal messages within this text enables students to identify, understand and express a critical and personal response to a range of questions on both characters and themes within the play.
  • Students study a thematically-linked poetry anthology as part of our aim to continue to develop students’ confidence and ability in developing a personal response to texts and exploring multiple meanings and alternative interpretations when analysing the effect of writer’s language.
  • We are committed to developing students oracy skills and in year 9 all students are asked to research a topic of their choice and prepare a spoken presentation. This presentation is formally assessed and contributes towards their GCSE English Language qualification.
English Literature
Design & Technology

Full title of subject:  GCSE History

Qualification goal:  GCSE

Awarding Body:  Edexcel

Specification Code:  HI0

Allocated periods per week:  3

Assessment scheme (% examination, % coursework etc.)  100% exam

Examinations:  Terminal

Tiers or Levels:  No differentiated tiers

Other information:  This Edexcel GCSE in History comprises of 3 assessments. All are written examinations.  Paper 1 (30% of final mark) includes a thematic study and questions on a pre-selected historic environment. This is based around Crime and Punishment through the ages and Jack the Ripper Paper 2 (40% of final mark) includes both a British depth study and a period study. We will be studying Saxon and Norman England and Super Power Relations 1943-1991 Paper 3 (30% of final mark) comprises of a modern depth study of Weimar and Nazi Germany.

Head of Department:  Miss S Aitken

Key Stage 3 History


Topic overview

  • History through the Romans - The Roman Empire, Roman customs, the expansion of the Empire and the collapse of the Empire
  • Norman Conquest and Medieval Life 1066-1509 – The battles of 1066, how England changed after the Norman conquest, the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain, including how our local landscape developed
  • Monarchy, Society and Crime 1485-1685 – The change in monarchs and religious instability within the country, in turn how this impacted crime and punishment
  • From Slavery to the Whitehouse 1745-Now – the development of the New World, the modern economy, diverse societies, cultures, and the impact of individuals on the Civil Rights Movement


Topic overview

  • World War One – Long and short-term causes of the First World War, why men signed up – locally and nationally, events during the war for civilians and soldiers and how technology changed during this time
  • World War Two – Causes of World War Two in 1939, the impact of war for soldiers and on Home Front, why and how Germany lost the War
  • The Holocaust – Why did the Holocaust start, how did persecution increase overtime, who was to blame and what was the impact of the Holocaust? How can we learn from the past?
  • Crime and Society 1850-1901 – How and why did crime, policing, and punishment change over this period, why did crime increase during this time and how did individual cases such as Jack the Ripper provoke change in society?
  • A World Divided after 1945 and Our Place in the World – political ideology, military and economic tension in recent world history and how this has impacted our society today
Religious Education
Art & Design
Computer Science
Physical Education
Health & Social Care


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