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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Aims

We are ambitious for what our students can and will achieve. Central to our purpose as a school is the curriculum that helps structure the experience students receive each day. We aspire to ensure that our curriculum is inspirational and motivational, helping students of every background to understand and access the vast range of opportunities open to them within and beyond Furze Platt Senior School.

Our aim is to provide students with a curriculum that is stimulating, varied and relevant. Our inclusive school gives each student a broad balanced curriculum which is responsive to individual needs and which provides them with the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for success in further study, in the workplace, and as active participants in all aspects of their lives.

Through our curriculum we aim to ensure that students:

  • enjoy stimulating, challenging and rewarding learning experiences no matter what their social backgrounds may be;
  • develop self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence;
  • develop positive attitudes to learning together with deep and sustained knowledge and understanding;
  • experience a broad range of subjects, content, ideas and concepts in in Key Stage 3, leading to more specialised study in Key Stage 4;
  • have the opportunity to undertake, as far as possible, the full suite of English Baccalaureate qualifications at Key Stage 4;
  • experience effective and varying teaching methods to provide diversity within the curriculum;
  • have their individual needs met in order that they can access the curriculum, or that alternative arrangements are in place where required;
  • develop strong personal moral values, respect for religious values and an understanding of other races, beliefs and ways of life;
  • promote character education and develop the foundations for lifelong learning, fulfilling employment, and active citizenship;
  • are able to make choices for Key Stage 4, post 16 and are well qualified to progress to higher education, apprenticeships and employment.


Key Stage 3 - Years 7 - 9

At Key Stage 3 students enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum, which lays the foundation for GCSE study. Students have previously chosen their GCSE options during Year 8 and from 2020 students will now choose their GCSE options in Year 9. 

Subjects taught at Key Stage 3 are:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • French and either Spanish or German
  • History
  • Geography
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • PSHE
  • PE
  • Technology and food technology (taught in rotation)
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Art

The KS3 curriculum is organised as follows:


If you wish to find more detailed information on individual subjects in Years 7 - 9, then please click on the subject tabs on the left.


Key Stage 4 - Years 10 -11 

At Key Stage 4, students continue to focus on the core subjects of English, Maths, Science, PE and PSHE, while beginning to specialise in other subjects. Religious Education is taught both as a separate GCSE subject, and through our assembly programme, tutorial activities, and collapsed-timetable events. Students choose four option subjects. Most students are expected to take the full suite of English Baccalaureate subjects (two English qualifications, Maths, Combined or Separate Sciences, at least one foreign language, and at least one out of History and Geography).

The KS4 curriculum is organised as follows:

If you wish to find more detailed information on individual subjects in Years 10 -11, then please click on the subject tabs on the left.


Current GCSE subjects:

Art and Design

Business Studies

Child Development (Cambridge National Level 2)

Computer Science

Construction (BTEC Level 1)

ICT (OCR National Certificate in create iMedia Level 1/2)



Food Preparation and Nutrition






Physical Education

Philosophy and Religion

Health and Fitness (NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Health and Fitness)

Product Design


Travel and Tourism (BTEC Level 2)

Key Stage 3 and 4 from September 2020

From September 2020 KS3 will include Years 7-9 and KS4 follow a 2 year model in Years 10 and 11.  This change will allow students to study a broad range of subjects throughout Years 7 to 9.

Following the first students completing the three year Key Stage 4 we have had an opportunity to review the impact of this change. Subject leaders and teachers feel that the longer period studying GCSE and BTEC qualifications detracts from a more focused, concentrated approach and that spending three years studying a two year GCSE course stretched courses out for too long.  In addition, students often have to re-learn topics taught in Year 9 again in Year 11 which takes time away from valuable revision.

Our current Year 8 students did not opt for their GCSE choices during the 2019-2020 academic year and they will choose their options in Year 9.

All current Year 10 and 11 students are continuing the three year Key Stage 4 and complete their courses as planned.

Personalising the Formal Curriculum 

Learning Support - The Learning Support department provides targeted support and intervention for those students finding difficulty in accessing the curriculum. This includes:

  • Fresh Start reading invention programme;
  • Comprehension support;
  • Maths intervention, through the Paired Maths scheme;
  • English as an Additional Language support;
  • Speech and Language intervention run by specialist teachers;
  • Anxiety and Anger Management support, organised in conjunction with the educational psychologist;

This support and intervention either takes place during tutor time, or students are temporarily withdrawn from subject lessons.

Shine – Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) benefit from specialist support from our Shine intervention team. Wherever possible, students are taught in mainstream lessons. Some are withdrawn from a small number of lessons in order to access one-to-one support, to enable them to thrive in the remainder of their curriculum.

Learning Mentors – students who are falling behind in a particular curriculum area may be assigned a Learning Mentor. This may involve academic mentoring during tutorial period or break times. Where necessary, students may be withdrawn from non-examined subjects, in order to spend more time on their examined subjects. Occasionally, Key Stage 4 students are withdrawn from option subjects to work with the Learning Mentors on the remainder of their curriculum.

Alternative Curriculum – students taking Child Development or Construction at Key Stage 4 also take the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme qualification, where they learn a skill such as cooking or swimming, a physical activity such as climbing, undertake voluntary work such as mentoring primary students at local schools, plus a two-day walking and camping expedition. In addition, they spend time working on college or apprenticeship applications, and have extra support from our careers advisor.

The Supplementary Curriculum 

Students at Furze Platt also engage in a significant number of supplementary activities that take place before school, during tutorial periods, at break times, after school or during the school holidays. Some of the most significant - in addition to our ever popular Year 7 PGL trip - include:

Sport, including pre-school fitness activities, post-school training and competitive fixtures and the annual ski trip to Italy. These regularly include netball, hockey, cricket, tennis, basketball, ultimate Frisbee, table tennis, football, rugby, cross country, athletics, rowing and fitness clubs (please see our school clubs schedule for further details of termly activities offered);

Music, including individual peripatetic music lessons, and groups, bands and orchestras that practise and perform throughout the year. These include the Chamber Choir, Girls’ Choir, Lads’ Choir, Theatre Choir, school orchestra, Jazz Band and Community Choir;

Drama, including after-school drama clubs, leading to major performances for all age groups throughout the year;

Science, including a major programme of after-school speakers designed to inspire students into careers in science;

Technology, including the Greenpower club, which builds, tests, operates and races its own racing car;

Business, including a major partnership with John Lewis, which provides internships to Furze Platt students;

Educational visits, including many evening theatre trips, Biology and Geography field visits to the Dorset coast, History visits to the First World War Battlefields and to Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust Educational Trust's programme, Geography visits to Iceland, and Languages visits to France, Germany and Spain, as well as the annual ski trip to Italy;

Opportunities for our very most able, including the Humanities GCSE programme, which is open to those in Years 8 and 9, with students taking the Humanities GCSE at the end of Year 9;

Duke of Edinburgh programme for those on vocational courses at Key Stage 4 (Bronze level), as well as all students in Year 9 (Bronze), Year 10 (Silver) and Year 12 (Gold);

Careers and Higher Education events, including some Year 9 students visiting Oxford University, all Year 10 students visiting a university, the annual Careers and Higher Education Fair, work experience for some students in Years 10 and 11 and for all students in Year 12, and careers advice and mentoring for those most in need.

Curriculum during Coronavirus restrictions

The school's curriculum is largely unchanged under the current coronavirus restrictions. Where groups of students are asked to self isolate, learning will continue with online lessons being taught using Microsoft Teams.

For individual students who are self isolating in years 7-9, students can access learning resources and lessons via the links in the following document:

KS3 curriculum for self isolating students