The Horsforth curriculum is based on the mastery of the core knowledge and skills at each stage.
As an English department, we deliver a programme of study that aims to unlock every student to their full potential, not only for exam success, but to help them navigate the world around them – a world where the ability to communicate successfully and interpret effectively is vital.
Our intention is to provide students with stimulating and challenging texts and tasks that will, over time, give them the opportunity to become active, interrogative and perceptive readers, capable of fine-grained analysis, as well as thoughtful, detailed and fluent writers that have the ability to skilfully influence their audience. Throughout each key stage, students will build on their core knowledge of writers’ methods and contexts to explore texts critically, whilst developing their own vocabulary, understanding of structural devices and use of punctuation in order to express their ideas and feelings convincingly. Our hope is that through this, all students, at every level of ability, are interested in and inspired by their study of English Literature and Language, fostering an appreciation and enjoyment that goes beyond the classroom.
The Mathematics department at Horsforth School create opportunities to ensure the very best achievement for all. Our curriculum is built on three key strands which aim to enable all students to: become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, reason mathematically by developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language and build the desired skills to solve problems including breaking questions into a series of simpler steps and building resilience for the very toughest mathematical problems.
It is our intent that Mathematicians at Horsforth will have the ability to apply skills developed in the classroom to address real-life problems that are present in our fast-paced and evolving society. We deliver lessons that are creative and engaging and include the use of technology to meet the demands of a rapidly developing working world. We want our students to make rich connections across strands of mathematics and be able to confidently apply their mathematical knowledge in other subject areas and contexts. We want our students to realise that mathematics has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. Horsforth School’s students will know that Mathematics is essential to everyday life, underpins all of science, technology and engineering, necessary for financial literacy and crucial in most forms of employment. As our students progress, our main intention is to ensure they have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, develop resilience in problem solving and gain a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
School students are naturally curious, and science is the perfect subject to explore the world and discover new ideas. Today, more than ever it is crucial that we equip young people with knowledge and skills to understand the world around them. In science we seek to inspire all students to consider how their everyday decisions will not only affect themselves, but will have an impact at national and international levels. Science is a set of ideas about the material world and students will develop this understanding through investigations, experimenting, observing, researching and evaluating. Science is a dynamic subject, constantly shifting as new evidence is uncovered. If students are to succeed in the modern world then we need to provide them with the opportunity to understand key concepts in all areas of science, to raise achievement and to motivate and enthuse our nation’s future scientists.
“Opportunity and achievement for all” is exemplified in the fact that we have two routes through the science curriculum. Not only are we bringing through the next generation of doctors, engineers and scientists, but also ensuring that all students are scientifically literate and able to think critically and analyse in the 21st Century.
The history department at Horsforth School believe in “Opportunity and achievement for all.” Our curriculum forms a platform for learners to have a wide knowledge of the world around them and how the modern society in which they live has been shaped by the past. Students will have a cultural awareness and be able to form their own opinions about a variety of past events and be able to link them to the present and embed them into their future lives.
Horsforth School history students will have critical, analytical and evaluative skills to be able to make life decisions. We aim to promote a local historical understanding of the area students live and are educated to give them a sense of belonging and identity. Historians at Horsforth will have the ability to raise questions about the past and challenge misconceptions in society. History at Horsforth School will give learners the opportunity to build a wealth of skills and knowledge that are transferable in to an ever changing and fast paced society.
At the heart of the geography department is the aim of engendering a sense of awe and wonder about the world around us. It is essential for students to leave school with an understanding of their impact on the planet and have the knowledge and tools to be a ‘global citizen’, being more willing to take part in measures to protect and conserve the environment. Also, through an appreciation of different cultures, traditions and ways of life, they will be more likely to exercise tolerance of people that are different to themselves.
Geography is a subject that encompasses a wide range of subject areas, skills and opportunities for personal development. Fieldwork conducted by GCSE and A Level students, helps to promote independent thinking and investigative skills along with the tools to analyse and evaluate a wide range of stimuli. There are many contemporary elements of the syllabus such as studying conflict, environmental challenges and economic development that garner a wider interest in current affairs. All of these elements together, set students up brilliantly for the world of work and their future lives.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Our vision in the Modern Foreign Languages department is that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world. We enable students to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences, ensuring that each topic contains an element of cultural reference to not only the target language country, but also the wider Francophone and Hispanic spheres.
The department is committed to developing strong, lifelong linguistic skills and to encourage students to become curious and interested in the world. Ultimately we want our students to have a love of languages and aim to achieve this by nurturing a linguistic curiosity and an intrinsic motivation to explore and respect other cultures and people. We endeavour to inspire all MFL practitioners/peers through collaboration, support and modelling exceptional practice, no matter what stage of their career journey.
The MFL team actively seeks to raise the MFL profile of language learning in the diverse world that we live in today, celebrating this diversity through music, food tasting, virtual tours, festivals and customs and foreign language films and videos. It is imperative that students do not see MFL as an isolated subject taught solely within the confines of the MFL classroom.
The Design & Technology department at Horsforth School believe in “Opportunity and achievement for all.” Our curriculum gives our students the opportunity to be creative, imaginative and innovative. They will be able to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Our students will develop the creative, technical and practical skills needed to apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products. They will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Students will learn how to take risks and become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Our curriculum provides students with a framework for analysing, researching and evaluating design solutions for our modern world.
Food Preparation & Nutrition
The food department reflects the school values of ‘’Opportunity and achievement for all.’’ The Food Preparation and Nutrition curriculum equips students with the knowledge of how to follow a balanced diet and the lifelong importance of a healthy lifestyle. Students will have an understanding of the importance of sustainability and be able to take a moralistic view on farming methods and animal welfare. Students will learn how to prepare food in a safe and hygienic manner giving them valuable food preparation skills to use into their adult lives. Cultural awareness is an important element of food preparation and nutrition; students will explore foods from other countries and also have an understanding of the religious needs of others. Students will take a scientific approach to food preparation in a belief that to understand cooking on a molecular level will give them greater mastery of their practical skills. The curriculum aims to encourage students to be resilient and work independently and to instil a lifelong love of food.
The Drama department believes in creating exciting and challenging learning opportunities for all students, offering them the chance to explore and develop individual creativity in an encouraging and supportive environment.
The development of ‘soft skills’ will allow students to communicate and thrive in the world around them. Transferable skills – confidence, leadership, cooperation, facilitation, group work, independence, presentational techniques and creative imagination – are all at the heart of what we do.
Our choice of challenging topics, themes and texts reference the contemporary world (in which we live) whilst examining the past through contextual social, cultural and historical content. Empathy is developed as, in role; students examine varied experiences through the eyes of others.
We aim to develop analytical insight and evaluation skills which will support textual analysis not just in drama but across the curriculum. Opportunities are embedded for students to be able to hone and develop performance and, equally importantly, the ability to understand the purpose of different kinds of theatre. The latter is facilitated through the experience of live theatre to inspire and challenge them.
With a passionate belief in “Opportunity and achievement for all” we nurture talent, ignite the imagination, encourage experimentation and develop confidence and independence. Our intention is to provide a safe place to create, perform and analyse drama as actor, designer, director and audience member.
The aims for the media studies department begin with the ethos of enriching the students understanding of the media world around them and its role in their daily lives. Students will learn how to critically analyse and evaluate media texts and their place within political, social and historical contexts. “Opportunity and achievement for all” links to the media department facilitating an environment where all students are able to develop practical and creative skills across all media platforms from print and online to moving image. Notably, students will become independent in research skills, in their application of their practical work and in developing their own views and critically autonomous interpretations of the media saturated world of the 21st century.
In the Business Studies department we have a vision to develop a curriculum to provide real world, enterprising, higher education and employability skills for tomorrow’s leaders. With a dynamic, ever changing, global business environment it is important our curriculum equips our students with knowledge about business functions and profitability within the UK and World Economy. Our qualifications encourage our students to learn about businesses from a variety of stakeholder perspectives allowing students to problem solve, and make well informed decisions that consider the internal and external business setting. Whether our learners choose to become an employee, a small business owner, a corporate executive or a government official, the core purpose of our Business curriculum is to consider how each lesson can create unique opportunities and high achievement for all. We aim to enable every student to leave with an accredited vocational or academic qualification with options leading to further education or employment and personal economic wellbeing.
Health and Social Care
The health and social care department vision is to encourage young people to develop their understanding into the world of health and social care. They will be able to evaluate care values and to understand the potential barriers to successful health and social care. They will be able to devise and develop long and short term care plans. They will be enriched with the knowledge of healthy options and consequences of life styles and lifestyle choices. Students will learn how to critically analyse and evaluate health and social care and its place within political, social and environmental contexts. “Opportunity and achievement for all” links to the health and social care department with the aspects of research coursework, case study evaluation, role play, self and peer evaluation and controlled assessments.
The aim of the Psychology Department at Horsforth School is to equip all students with the skills to critically analyse the underlying mechanisms and motivations behind behaviour. Our curriculum promotes the development of a number of transferable skills vital to academic study alongside experiencing an engaging introduction to psychology. Students are challenged to question and evaluate theories based on empirical evidence, consider how we perceive and interpret the world around us, how and why we develop throughout our lifetimes and the rationale behind how we interact with others. Considering the role of evolution, physiology and genetics, alongside the impact our environment has on us, students are shaped to question the causes of mental disorders and therefore the most effective treatment. Through support, all students develop their practical research skills and knowledge of the methods psychologists use and ability to question the theoretical issues and debates occurring in the academic community. Above all, students are supported to develop an inquiring mind and an understanding of human behaviour, which they are encouraged to apply to a number of occupational settings, supporting the diverse opportunities and achievement for all.
The ethos of “Opportunity and achievement for all” underpins the principles and values of the economics department. Economics is the study of how societies use scarce resources to produce valuable commodities and distribute them among the people. We aim for our students to gain a knowledge and understanding of the aspirations of economic agents and societies to use these resources in the most efficient manner, creating growth and the potential for improvement in the standard of living. Our curriculum provides students with a framework for analysing, researching and evaluating the complex and rapidly evolving surroundings they grow up in. It generates important insights into the impact of individual and aggregate behaviour on the global environment. Students are encouraged to become resilient leaners, weighing up the benefits of different viewpoints and be critical of the evidence they encounter.
A Horsforth School we have a range of faith and belief systems. Our aim/intent is for all Horsforth students to gain specific Religious knowledge of beliefs and practices. RS will help our students to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion, philosophy and ethics. To aid this RS will ensure students can develop skills of reasoning, analysis, critical thinking and evaluation.
RS will secure students understanding of the world around them and how beliefs influence individuals and communities, locally and globally. RS at Horsforth School will build understanding in the personal narratives of people of faith as well as the wider story telling within the six world faiths. This aids students’ understanding of the identity of faith members.
We want students to read and understand scripture and holy texts and where required the use of scholastic work to provide students with academic religious studies. RS will encourage the students’ Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development with time to reflect and empathise with the topics studied.
PSHCE (Personal Social Health and Citizens Education)
The intent of the PSHCE programme is for all Horsforth students to grow into well rounded, happy, healthy individuals who can relate to and deal with the challenges of the modern world. Our curriculum ensures our students make informed decisions about their health, safety, relationships and decisions for their future. It provides the tools they need to thrive in school and beyond. PSHCE lessons will promote respect, empathy and tolerance and provide a safe, sensitive environment for discussion and questioning.
PSHCE promotes key character traits of confidence, resilience and responsibility. It is fundamental to our SMSC education, it promotes Fundamental British Values and the Horsforth Character builders.
Students will experience PSHCE throughout the curriculum. It is embedded in our co-curriculum and we take a whole school approach.
The Music department aims to provide every child the opportunity to benefit from the cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits that music provides. As music exists in every culture, we aim to allow students to connect with the world around them on a global scale. Our challenging and inspiring curriculum from early key stage 3 requires our students to use creative, expressive, analytical and motor skills both fine and gross. This intends to form neural pathways; improving cognition, developing speech and language and raising academic performance across the entire curriculum. We aim to offer students a sense of identity and belonging, through the running of extra-curricular ensembles and by developing a strong sense of community among our key stage 4 and 5 groups. Our focus on group singing aims to improve our students’ mental health and wellbeing, and we intend to create opportunities for involvement in lifelong experiences, giving unparalleled self-esteem through public performances and events. We hope to produce musicians that can leave our school with the skills and understanding to continue their love of music whether on a personal or professional level.
With regard to access we believe that the following are important and they are guiding principles in all our work:
- Provide equality of opportunity for all;
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination;
- Promote positive attitudes and encourage the participation of all students;
- Provide appropriate support for a child or young person to achieve their full potential;
- Ensure all students have the opportunity to be educated alongside their peers within continuum of provision which supports each student appropriately;
- Plan for continuity and progression.
Horsforth School recognises that many of its students, visitors and staff, whether disabled or otherwise, have individual needs when seeking to make use of the school and facilities. However, Horsforth School also recognises the fact that for some users, the nature of their disabilities may mean that they experience specific difficulties related to accessing a curriculum, accessing sites of education whether internally and/ or externally, and accessing information. As part of its ongoing commitment to Equal Opportunities and the delivery of an inclusive educational service, Horsforth School will endeavour to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made in order that people with disabilities receive the same standards of service as everyone else.
Horsforth School Accessibility Plan (Curriculum)
This plan has been designed to consider the extent of which students can access the school building and curriculum offer.
Access to the Curriculum
Strategy / Task
|Ensure all students can access the full curriculum in line with their needs||Purchase Read Write gold and continue to use in exam settings if favoured by students||July 2027||All Students in year 11 who would benefit, have received training and practised using RWG. They will have completed exams using assistive technology software||SENDco|
|More devices will be available for in class use to support SpLD such as Dyslexia||July 2027||Higher usage rate of ICT for SEND students
Staff more aware and able to support student learning through ICT in the classroom
|Students who require specialist support may have a risk assessment or additional individual support plan in place||July 2027||SENDco|
|Learning passport in place for all SEND students and on shared drive||July 2027||SENDco/ Pastoral team|
|EHCP sumamries for all staff to be read at the start of September and on each update (evidenced)||July 2027||SENDco|
|Staff will have a greater awareness of student need through passport sharing in central area and through SEND briefings and CPD cycle||Ensure effective information sharing between phases to include; additional visits, environmental audits using specialist services, transfer of information; SEND parental meetings, SEND profile composition and carefully managed transition plans||All students on SEND register will have learning passport in place and be reviewed at least annually||SENDco|
Transition between phases will ensure information is correctly transferred and planning implemeted
All students with SEND will be supported in their transition as reported by them and their parents.
SENDco/ primary colleagues/ parents/ professionals working with the young person