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Curriculum & Overview

Curriculum intent

At ICC students will;

Experience a broad, balanced and rich curriculum; be literate and numerate; have high expectations of their behaviour and progress; build their character and develop culturally, socially, mentally and physically; be guided in choosing options and pathways that allow them to follow their interests and aptitudes and be ready for the next stage of their life.

A broad, balanced and rich curriculum

All students follow the National Curriculum and our offer at KS3 is broad and rich allowing access to the full range of subjects, learning essential knowledge and ensuring their understanding across the range of subjects. This builds a strong base of learning.

Many students have a clear idea of subjects which engage them (and those that do not) by the middle of year eight and offering choice at this stage engages our students as partners in their learning, valuing their thinking and improving their outcomes. They can, therefore spend more time on their five chosen areas of learning in year nine.

They have a wide choice of subjects at KS4 with a rich choice of arts, technical and vocational learning alongside guided choices of a humanities subject. All are encouraged to follow a language. In a school where a quarter have English as an Additional Language opportunities to pursue their home language are actively encouraged. We believe that our students’ engagement in their learning is enhanced by this wide choice and that this motivates our students to achieve.

Our post-16 offer allows courses for the full range of abilities and progression for all our students.

Be literate and numerate

The development of reading, writing and oracy are vital to development of confidence and to the study of all subjects. We place high importance on our students’ opportunities to develop these skills through school and provide planned opportunities for these skills to be developed. Good communication skills are an essential aspect of a successful life and we strongly support their development.

Numeracy skills are developed across the curriculum, and we are working on common approaches to key numeracy skills to ensure these are secure ready for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

In both literacy and numeracy, if there are students falling behind their expected progress, there are incisive interventions by subjects specialists to support rapid progress.

High expectations of behaviour and progress

We have high expectations of students conduct and progress and strive to support all students, whatever their abilities and strengths, to be successful and ready for the next stage of their development. We give good, regular and impartial advice about the next stage of learning or employment designed to allow students to be ambitious in their thinking.

We ensure all our students have a safe, caring, respectful and supportive environment in which to learn. Our Behaviour for Learning framework rewards positive behaviour and sets out clear consequences for any disruption to learning.

Build character and develop culturally, socially, mentally and physically

We promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our students and ensure that they are prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We have regular provision for personal, social, health and economic education and for sex and relationship education through RHSE days.

Participation in sport is promoted and engagement is good. From sports teams and expert coaching to lunchtime activity there are a wealth of opportunities for students to engage in and enjoy physical activity.

We offer a range of opportunities for students to develop their character, morals and awareness of the world around them. Students regularly engage in opportunities to build their cultural capital in a school of rich diversity.

We allow all students an entitlement to visit cultural centres – an art gallery and museum, the chance to visit the Houses of Parliament and to have a residential experience. All at low cost or no cost to ensure all can access these opportunities to appreciate human creativity and achievement.

Be guided in choosing options and pathways which allow them to follow their interests and aptitudes and be ready for the next stage of their life

At each stage of our students experience they are supported to make choices that allow them to pursue their dreams. Each student and parent have three scheduled meetings a year with the students’ mentor and meetings with a member of the Senior Leadership Team in Year 8, 11, and Sixth Form to help guide them to choices which support their aspirations.

A full programme of careers advice and experience of employers through their school life support their high take up of further study or suitable employment.

Curriculum model

We try to ensure that our curriculum meets the needs of young people, the expectations of universities, colleges and employers, and responds to Government legislation and advice to schools. The school follows a two week timetable A & B. Each year group is split in half to give 2 bands (L and R). Years 7, 8 follow the Key Stage 3 curriculum and year’s 9, 10 & 11 follow the Key Stage 4 curriculum (GCSE). Sixth Form students follow the Key Stage 5 curriculum.

Year 7 & 8 – Key Stage 3

All students are given the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects. In years 7 and 8 the subjects are as follows:

English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Philosophy & Ethics, Computing, French/Spanish, PE, Design Technology, Food, Art, Textiles, Ceramics, Drama, Dance, Music & RSHE (6 whole days a year).

There will be a strong element of support for the key skills of numeracy and literacy at KS3.

At the end of year 8 students undertake the GCSE options process. They decide which subjects they want to study at GCSE.

Years 9, 10 & 11 – Key Stage 4

All students follow a core curriculum of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, PE and RSHE (six whole days/per year). A variety of science courses are offered, which include combined Science and Triple Sciences.

​​In addition to the core curriculum the majority of students have made a further five option choices from various GCSE and ‘High Value’ vocational qualifications

The optional subjects on offer are: 

Art and Design, Business, Computer Science, Dance, Drama, Food, French, Geography, Health & Social Care, History, Media, Music, Psychology, Philosophy & Ethics, Spanish and Sport.

SIXTH FORM – Key Stage 5

We offer a large range of level 3 subjects covering A level and vocational courses (BTEC). In each subject, students receive nine one-hour lessons per fortnight.

Students choose three subjects to study, either all A Levels, all Vocational Level 3 qualifications or a ‘mix and match’ of these. Students continue these courses through Year 13.

The Sixth Form course offer is reviewed annually. Current level 3 subjects offered are:


Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, DT: Product Design, Economics (B), English Language, English Literature, Fashion & Textiles, Fine Art, French, Geography, History, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Psychology, Further Mathematics, Mathematics, Certificate in Mathematical Studies (one-year course), Media Studies, Spanish, Sociology

Vocational Level 3

Applied Law (BTEC National Level 3), Applied Science (BTEC National Level 3), Business (BTEC National Level 3), Creative & Performing Arts (RSL Level 3), Food Science & Nutrition (WJEC Level 3), Forensic & Criminal Investigation (BTEC National Level 3), Health and Social Care (OCR Technical Level 3), ICT (OCR Technical Level 3), Music (BTEC National Level 3), Sport (OCR Technical Level 3), Travel & Tourism (BTEC National Level 3)

Level 2 Programme

We offer a Level 2 programme for students resitting English and Maths or wishing to increase their number of GCSE’s at grade 4+.

Students choose four Level 2 subjects to study. In each subject, students receive seven (core subjects) or nine one-hour lessons per fortnight. Current Level 2 subjects offered are:

GCSE English Language, English (Functional Skills Level 2), GCSE Mathematics, GCSE Combined Science, Creative & Performing Arts (RSL Level 2), IT User Skills (BCS Level 2), Photography (GCSE), Public Services (BTEC Level 2), Sport & Physical Activity (OCR Level 2), Travel & Tourism (BTEC Level 2)

*It is a national requirement that all students must re-sit their English and/or Maths GCSE if they do not achieve at least a grade 4 in Year 11.*

Number of Sessions per Fortnight
Subject Year 7 Year 8 Year 9  Year 10 Year 11
English  8 9 8 8 8
Maths  8 7 7 7 7
Science 7 7 8 8 8
Art & Design 2 3 Option Option Option
Dance & Performing Arts  3 3 Option Option Option

Design Technology 

2 2 Option Option Option
Drama 2 2 Option Option Option
Food Technology 1 1 Option Option Option
Geography 3 3 Option Option Option
History 3 3 Option Option Option
ICT 2 1 Option Option Option
MFL 3 Option Option Option
Music 1 1 Option Option Option
Religious Studies 2 2 Option Option Option
PE 3 3 2 2 2
Total 50 50 50 50 50

In years 9-11 option subject have 5 periods per fortnight, most post 16 courses have 9 periods per fortnight. 

For further information about our curriculum, please contact Mr Perkins, Curriculum Manager by email or call 01293 420500

ICC Curriculum Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you offer the range of courses that you do?

Different students have different strengths and different interests. We want to stimulate the students’ interest and ambition so that they are successful in school, seek further study and a fulfilling career. The breadth of choice is to allow as many students as possible to be on courses that stimulate and engage them.

Why do you have a two-week timetable?

This allows for a wider range of contact times for different subjects. For example if a subject has five hours per fortnight, in a one-week timetable it could only have two hours a week (four hours per fortnight) or three hours per week (six hours per fortnight).

What subjects will I study in Key Stage 3?

In Key Stage 3 all students study a variety of subjects within the curriculum allowing them to develop their skills from primary school or even discover new interests in some specialised ways. Each student is timetabled into lessons for: English, Maths, Science, Physical Education, Geography, History, Religious Studies, French or Spanish, Computer Science, Art, Design Technology, Food Technology, Dance, Drama, Music, Performing Arts. Having a broad curriculum helps our students to establish good foundations in the core subjects and enables them to have informed choices for their GCSE options for Key Stage 4

How do you ensure student options are suitable?

We guide one choice to be History or Geography to establish a strong academic base. There are then four further choices. Every year 8 student has a meeting with their parents and a member of the senior leadership team to ensure they have considered balance in their choices during one of their Progress Review Days.

Why do you have a three-year KS4?

We feel that students are more engaged in the subjects that they choose. They have a wide choice and so have a broad curriculum. The requirements of the new GCSE subjects include a large amount of knowledge and the extra course time allows for skills development as well as knowledge acquisition. This allows greater depth to the subjects they choose.

Do all students have to study a language?

All students study French or Spanish in year 7 and 8. Studying languages is then a choice for the parents and students. We encourage, but do not insist on, students studying languages to GCSE.  A language is part of the English Baccalaureate which is recommended for most students by the Department for Education.

What subjects can I study in Key Stage 4?

In Key Stage 4 all students will study the core subjects, English, Maths, Science and have Physical Education. They can choose from Geography or History and four other options. We encourage students to choose a modern foreign language.  The four free options can be any combination from below as we provide option blocks to facilitate as many student choices as possible.

Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, Dance, Design Technology, Drama, Food, French, Geography, History, Health and Social Care, Media, Music, Psychology, RE, Spanish, Sport, Triple Science, Travel and Tourism.

Why do you have RHSE (ICC) days?

Six days of the year the timetable is suspended for all students and staff, so we have the flexibility to deliver RHSE topics in an optimal way. We can allocate the most appropriate staff to the subject matter and have outside speakers and educational trips without disruption to other lessons. We have found this model much more successful and we can ensure all students cover key areas of their wider learning. The days also include some of our futures programme to help guide students with their post 16 choices and entitlement trips to give every student a wider range of experiences beyond the classroom environment.

What is your entitlement curriculum?

We believe every students’ learning is enriched by visits to museums, art galleries and universities. Students’ personal development is enhanced through a residential experience in year 7.

We ensure that every student is able to access these experiences at low cost so that there is not a financial barrier to these important learning experiences.

What choices exist in the sixth form?

There is a range of courses to suit all abilities. There are traditional academic A Levels in a wide range of subjects, vocational qualifications at level 2 (GCSE equivalent) and level 3 (A level equivalent) and opportunities to re-sit GCSE English and Maths if this is required. Please see our sixth form pages for the up to date list of choices.

Interviews are held with Year 11 students to offer advice on both sixth form and external opportunities in the autumn term. Those who wish to apply to sixth form here have a further interview in the spring, and we ensure students have an intended destination through individual support.

For further information about our curriculum, please contact Mr Perkins, Curriculum Manager by email or call 01293 420500 

Our curriculum complies with our duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 about making the curriculum accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs.