Our Curriculum

Article 28: (Right to education): The Convention places a high value on education. Young people should be encouraged to reach the highest level of education of which they are capable. 

At Trafalgar School, our core values of resilience, aspiration, inclusion, community and respect are at the heart of everything we do. Our school is a community where we have the highest expectations of every student. Our aim is that every student excels in every aspect of school life.


As a Unicef Rights respecting school, we want students to leave Trafalgar School ready for adult life with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible global citizens.


Aspiration: Trafalgar School aims to improve the life chances of the students it serves. Our curriculum is planned to encourage a depth of skill and understanding as well as encourage extra-curricular and enrichment activities to enable students to become confident, engaged learners. Our Gatsby benchmarked careers programme means that students are encouraged to consider aspirational next steps and our developing links with colleges and universities exposes students to a wider range of educational experiences


Resilience: The development of student’s reading (both skill and for pleasure) is at the forefront of our curriculum as we understand how reading can bridge cultural capital deficits and improve student’s educational outcomes and life chances. We ensure pupils have opportunity to access challenging reading texts across subjects, have opportunities to read for pleasure and have access to a wide range of reading intentions. A significant proportion of students enter Trafalgar School with standardised reading SATs scores below 100.  As such, literacy and numeracy catch up funds are used to make certain that students with below average starting points, flourish, thrive and are able to access the next steps in education or employment.


Community: Through our Personal Development curriculum, Trafalgar School supports students’ in developing their understanding of the world around them. Personal Development days (linked to one of our school values) allow students to develop their understanding about the world they live in in themselves, exploring themes such as sex and relationships, keeping healthy, justice and the law and careers advice. Our increasing links to local business allow enrichment to the curriculum and begin to contextualise learning.


Inclusion: Trafalgar School is ambitious and inclusive of all students. Our accelerated learning cycle and 100 minute lessons allows our curriculum to be adapted to suit the needs of individual learners. Personalisation is at the heart of what we do at Trafalgar School.  We believe that all children deserve the opportunity to be successful, our alternative provision allows students who may otherwise struggle in mainstream lesson to have the opportunity to succeed and we create personalised curriculums to enable this success.


Respect: At Trafalgar school we have high expectations of all students, providing them with opportunities to learn how positive relationships are created and maintained. Our restorative approach and house system encourages students to learn behaviour skills required for living. Our students will develop high expectations of themselves and embed our core values through our three school rules: Be ready, Be respectful, Be safe.

Article 29 (Goals of education): Children’s education should develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. It should encourage children to respect others, human rights and their own and other cultures. It should also help them learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.

At Trafalgar School our curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced to ensure that skills are built up and developed across. This links to our schools accelerated learning cycle which ensures learning is chunked, suitably differentiated and allows all students to make progress. We have chosen 100 minute lessons so that all students have the time to develop a depth of knowledge within their lessons.

Subject leaders construct a curriculum that meets the need of our pupils and allows students to become engaged. Teachers ensure that the curriculum is differentiated so that students are supported to work independently. 

Building depth of knowledge is integral to curriculum planning and teachers plan learning activities that allow students to embed and recall knowledge over time. This builds firm foundations for learning, ensuring students are able to reach their potential in assessments and exams. For information about assessment, please see our assessment policy.

We aim to offer a personalised curriculum for all our students so that it continues to be broad, balanced, progressive and relevant to students of all abilities. Students select options as per our options selection document.

Curriculum Implementation - Roles and Responsibilities

The Headteacher will ensure that: 

  • All statutory elements of the curriculum, and those subjects which the school offers, have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the school and indicate how the needs of individual students will be met;
  • The amount of time provided for teaching the curriculum is adequate and appropriate and is reviewed by governors annually;
  • The procedures for assessment meet all legal requirements and students and their parents/carers receive information to show how much progress the students are making and what is required of them to help them improve;
  • The governing body is fully involved in decision making processes that relate to the breadth and balance of the curriculum;
  • The governing body is advised on statutory targets in order to make informed decisions. 

The Governing body will ensure that:

  • It considers the advice of the Headteacher when approving this curriculum policy and when setting statutory and non-statutory targets and monitoring progress against these;
  • It contributes to decision making about the curriculum;
  • They review CPD needs of their own and of those in their departments regarding curriculum planning and delivery within their area of responsibility.

Teaching staff and learning support staff will:

  • Ensure the curriculum is implemented in accordance with this policy and departmental policy;
  • Keep up to date with developments in their subjects;
  • Have access to, and be able to interpret data on each student to inform the design of the curriculum in order that it best meets the needs of each cohort of students;
  • Work in partnership with other agencies to provide an appropriate range of curriculum opportunities.

Trafalgar School’s curriculum will:

  • Lead to qualifications that are of worth to employers and for entry to higher level education;
  • Fulfil statutory requirements;
  • Enable students to fulfil their potential meeting the needs of students of all abilities;
  • Provide equal access for all students to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines and requirements;
  • Prepare students to make informed and appropriate choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond;
  • Help students develop lively, enquiring minds, an ability to question, to debate and argue rationally and an ability to apply themselves to challenging levels of work;
  • Ensure continuity and progression within the school and between phases of education increasing students’ choices during their time at school;
  • Help students develop numeracy and literacy skills which can be applied across the curriculum;
  • Ensure that students' social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding is at the heart of the school's work in promoting fundamental British values and addressing prejudice and extremism by building resilience, confidence and a sense of belonging.

The governing body will receive an annual report on:

  • The standards reached in each subject compared with national and local benchmarks and any changes to the curriculum as a result;
  • The standards achieved at the end of each key stage taking into account any important variations between groups of students, subjects, courses and trends over time, compared with national and local benchmarks and any changes to the curriculum as a result;
  • The number of students for whom the curriculum was dis-applied, the reasons for this, the arrangements which were made and the impact of this.

The governing body will review this policy at least once a year and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.