Our curriculum is designed to foster curiosity and a desire for learning in all students regardless of their backgrounds, strengths and needs. It aims to develop resilience and creativity, and cultivate well‐rounded, intelligent and socially‐aware students.
All students have access to a broad, balanced and rich curriculum which has an emphasis on the critical importance of knowledge acquisition. We want our students to remember and connect learning. The curriculum provides students with an introduction to the knowledge that they need to be educated citizens, and it helps to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
At UVHS, our curriculum aims to:
- Meet statutory rules and, consequently, meet the spirit of government philosophy
- To secure solid foundations for future learning at every stage of education or employment locally, nationally, and internationally.
- To give a broad and balanced experience for our children.
- Develop students’ individuality and mould them into successful citizens with a responsibility for their actions.
- Be adaptive to ensure that all children access the curriculum and achieve well no matter their starting point.
- Attract students to the school at KS3 and KS5.
- Secure excellent results for all our young people.
The Curriculum provides opportunities to meet the aspirations and intentions of all students and prepares them for a wide range of destinations. It goes beyond the national requirements and is rooted in our own locality and context.
Research around memory and how children learn best has been used to inform our curriculum planning. Knowledge and skills are sequenced so knowledge is taught in a sensible order allowing for regular revisiting and retrieval of knowledge as the complexity and depth build over time. Carefully considered and memorable learning activities help students to embed and use knowledge effectively as well as develop their understanding of key concepts. Lessons engage and challenge all students to apply their knowledge fluently.
Students are guided to become independent learners and are encouraged to work collaboratively. They are encouraged to take risks, think for themselves, to learn from their mistakes and take ownership of their learning.
Developing students’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading are integral to our aims of securing good foundations for future learning and securing excellent results for our young people which allow them to access the further education and employment they choose.
The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students in different Year Groups.
At Key Stage 3, all students study English, maths, science, two languages, history, geography, BPE, PE, art, drama, music, design technology and computing. In Year 9, students can opt to increase the time they spend on the arts, languages or technology while maintaining a broad and rich academic curriculum.
At Key Stage 4, students take a core offer which includes a compulsory Humanity along with a free choice of up to three other GCSEs taken from 12 subjects.
At Key Stage 5, students choose three or occasionally four A Levels to start with. Subjects are chosen from 14 A Level courses offered.
Students are taught in mixed‐ability groups in some subjects or in dynamic groups determined by their aptitude, in some other subjects such as Mathematics.
Questioning is used skilfully to check understanding, deepen learning and encourage higher order thinking; students are routinely asked to hypothesise, evaluate and justify.
Questioning is used very successfully to offer challenge and extension, develop the skills of critical analysis and promote independent thought.
High quality formative and summative assessment informs teachers and students of progress and the next steps in learning. Students are guided to consider strengths and areas for improvement. Students routinely respond to feedback and identify strengths and weaknesses in their own and in each other’s work.