Balshaw’s Whole School Curriculum Vision:

  • The breadth and balance of the Balshaw’s curriculum provides students of all abilities with a fully rounded education delivering academic rigour, high standards and qualifications of worth and credibility

  • Tailored pathways allow all students to develop their own thirst for knowledge to support academic achievement on their path to excellence

  • Our Balshaw’s curriculum helps to develop, cherish and encourage our students to achieve their full potential as well-rounded citizens of the world

 

Curriculum Intent:

The Curriculum design at Balshaw’s has always been based around providing the most appropriate, inclusive and balanced curriculum for all students that is as rich, broad and inspiring as possible, in order to provide students with opportunities to widen their horizons in each subject they study. We aim to assist all students regardless of their ability, gender, ethnicity or social background to achieve their full potential in a range of highly regarded qualifications. Our curriculum does not and has not ever been changed to be optimised for performance measures or league tables. It is always based on delivering the curriculum that provides the greatest breadth, depth and challenge to enable students to have full command of the key knowledge and skills essential for each subject.

All subjects cover the National Curriculum as a minimum, but implicit in the way that the Bashaw’s Curriculum is implemented is the desire to make subject content relevant beyond students’ time at school and have meaningful context of their future lives. It is carefully sequenced and provides a solid foundation to enable our students to achieve the best possible educational outcomes for future progression into the adult world and inspire a lifelong love of learning.

The Balshaw’s ‘hidden’ curriculum impacts upon the richness and quality of our students’ lived experience of the taught curriculum. The intent is designed to provide students with opportunities to take their curriculum beyond the classroom to develop and deepen their confidence, independence and creative thinking. Our Christian vision, ethos and values play a huge part in this through their interaction within the Balshaw’s family which fosters the personal development of all children’s individual character, health and wellbeing preparing them to make a valuable contribution to the wider modern world. The experiences that our students have access to through leadership responsibility, club membership and participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities allows students to develop existing talents whilst also discovering new ones to enrich and personalise their own curriculum.

Curriculum Implementation:

Our main driver for curriculum implementation is ensuring that students are exposed to high quality learning experiences and engagement in lessons with a large element of choice and need for independent thinking skills. One of the most outstanding features of the Balshaw’s curriculum is its breadth of subjects that all students are able to access leading to the widest range of pathways. It enables students to achieve the highest levels of academic success and maximise their potential. All students have access to all elements of the curriculum outlined below:

 

Key Stage

Age

Year groups

3

4

11 - 14

14 - 16

7 - 9

10 - 11

National Curriculum Core Subjects

 

 

English                                                                                      EBacc

ü

ü

Maths                                                                                       EBacc

ü

ü

Science (both trilogy and separate at KS4)                                   EBacc

ü

ü

National Curriculum Foundation Subjects

 

 

Art and Design

ü

ü

*

Music

ü

ü

Computing                                                                              EBacc

ü

ü

Design and Technology

ü

ü

*

Languages (French and Spanish)                                         EBacc

ü

ü

*

Geography                                                                               EBacc

ü

ü

*

History                                                                                     EBacc

ü

ü

Physical Education (PE)

ü

ü

Citizenship

ü

ü

National Curriculum Additional Subjects

 

 

Religious Education (RE)

ü

ü

Sex and Relationships (SRE)

ü

ü

Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE)

ü

ü

Non-National Curriculum Subjects

 

 

Film Studies

 

ü

Drama

         ü (Yr 7)

ü

Business Studies

 

ü

Health and Social Care

 

ü

Child Development

 

ü

PE Nationals

 

ü

* Pupils should be able to, and can, study all four of these areas

 

The allocation of time within the curriculum (which is scheduled over a two week timetable) is below:

 

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10/11

 

No. of classes

No. of periods

No. of classes

No. of periods

No. of classes

No. of periods

No. of classes

No. of periods

English

7

8

7

8

8

8

16

8

Maths

8

8

8

8

8

7

16

7

Science

7

5

7

6

8

6

15

11

(16

Separate Sciences)

History

7

3

7

3

7

4

9

5

Geography

7

3

7

3

7

4

9

5

MFL

8

4

8

5

8

4

8

5

RE

7

3

7

3

7

3

16

2

(+5 for GCSE Full)

PE  (Statutory)

8

4

8

4

8

3

16

2

PE

(GCSE and Nationals)

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

5

Music

7

2

7

1

7

1

2

5

D&T / Food Nutrition

8

3

8

3

8

4

15

5

Drama

7

2

-

-

-

-

2

5

Computing

7

3

7

3

7

3

2

5

Art

7

2

7

3

7

3

4

5

PSHE

8

2

8

2

8

2

8

2

Film Studies

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

5

Child Development

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

5

Media Studies

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

5

Health & Social Care BTEC

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

5

 

Each department has its own approach to implementing its curriculum within the framework of intent for the whole school as described above.

KS3 Implementation:

Almost all students follow a broad and balanced curriculum of:

  • 13 subjects in Year 7
  • 12 subjects in Year 8 and 9

We aim to keep as many students on this broad pathway as possible before making option choices at the end of Year 9.  There is a nurture path for an identified group of students in Years 7 – 9.  The nurture pathway is delivered when other students study MFL in order to support the development of literacy and numeracy which in turn can impact upon improved confidence and well-being.

KS4 Implementation:

At Key Stage 4, students choose options in 9 blocks and receive CEIAG to support them in making appropriate option choices.

A diagrammatic representation of these pathways is below:

 

The Most Able Pathway = 9½  GCSEs 

Including MFL and potentially Separate Sciences.

Approximately 55%+ of students will be on this pathway.  This is an Ebacc pathway, but it is important to note that this pathway was here prior to it ever being an Ebacc pathway.

 

Typical Pathway = 9 ½ GCSEs

Including BTEC or Cambridge National vocational based qualifications.

Most other students will follow this typical pathway.

 

 

Supported Pathways = 6 – 8 GCSEs/Btec

Supported Pathways are more bespoke and are personalised as required.
To meet more appropriately the needs of some students, they may be withdrawn from subjects to support their progression. Alternative
provision is put in place, sometimes using approved external providers,
to provide additional supported study to support positive outcomes and increase curriculum engagement.

 

Curriculum Impact:

The overall impact of our curriculum offer is to help to raise students’ aspirations and equip them with the knowledge, confidence and skills to flourish in their future careers whilst making a positive contribution academically and physically to society. Students of all abilities are fully prepared for the next stage of their education or training. Apart from the positive progress measures that students achieve, securing places to their onward destinations is highly important and all our students continue in education, employment, or training from the September after they finish at Balshaw’s. Our students leave with a pride in our school and a set of values and skills that provides the foundation from which they develop into self-assured, responsible and resilient young adults with a strong moral compass.

Students keep returning to Balshaw’s decades after they have finished studying, because to study at Balshaw’s is to become a Balshavian.

Curriculum Diagram

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
1 English English English English English
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9 Maths Maths Maths Maths Maths
10
11
12
13
14
15
16 Science Science Either: Biology, Chemistry or Physics Science Either: Biology, Chemistry or Physics
17 Science Science
18
19
20
21
22 Design & Technology Design & Technology
23 Design & Technology
24
25 French
26 French/Spanish French or Spanish
27 Design & Technology  Design & Technology
28
29 History
30 History
31 History
32 Geography Option 1: History or Geography Option 1: History or Geography
33
34 Geography Geography
35 Religious Studies
36
37 Religious Studies

Option 2: Art, Business, BTEC Music, Computer Science, Drama, Film Studies, GCSE PE, History, Religious Studies (full course GCSE)

Option 2: Art, Business, BTEC Music, Child Development, Computer Science, Drama, GCSE PE, Geography, Media Studies, Religious Studies (full course GCSE)
38 Art Religious Studies
39
40 Drama Art
41 Art
42 Music Option 3: Art, Business Studies, Child Development, French, Spanish, Sport Nationals Option 3: Art, Business Studies, Child Development, French, H&S, Spanish, Sport Nationals
43 Music
44 ICT & Computing ICT & Computing Music
45 ICT & Computing
46
47 PE PE Religious Studies (short course GCSE) Religious Studies (short course GCSE)
48 PE
49 PE PE
50

 

Department Information

You can access the information about the Departments using the links below or via in the menu on the left:

Please contact us if you have any questions about our Curriculum. You can find our contact details on our Contact Us page here.

You can find a copy of our School Prospectus here.

You can find details about Admissions here.