Curriculum Intent

“Pupils study a broad and interesting curriculum. You have devised a programme, particularly in key stage 4, that develops pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding across a wide range of subjects, including, for example, music and art.” Ofsted 2019

“Because of the work and attitudes of teachers, pupils are keen to learn. They enjoy lessons and take pleasure in learning.” Ofsted 2019

Our vision

Everything we do at Settle College is rooted in our vision to support all our students to ‘be the best they can be’.  Through developing a rich and exciting curriculum that is relevant to our locality and implemented with high quality teaching, we aim to not only secure outstanding progress and achievement for all, but to also develop confidence, independence and resilience in our learners.  In this ever-changing world, we need to equip our students with the knowledge and skills that they need to thrive, with the ability to lead and communicate in a thoughtful and respectful way.  We must instil in our students that they can do whatever it is they aim to achieve and to help them to overcome any barriers in their way.  All of this aims to provide them with the vital skills for life-long learning so that their personal progression continues beyond their years at Settle College.

Our curriculum is designed to ensure that, despite being a small secondary school, we offer a broad curriculum to all students at every key stage.   

Students complete key stage 3 from years 7 to 9 to allow them to study a wide range of subjects in sufficient depth to really understand the very nature of each subject.  In each of these year groups, students study: English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, Religious Studies, MFL (French and Spanish), PE, DT (to include a range of disciplines, including Product Design, Engineering and Catering), Computing, Drama, Art and Music, as well as PSHCE, which is delivered to tutor groups. 

At key stage 4, students continue with English, Maths, Science (either separate or combined), PE, PSHCE and Religious Studies. To maintain a broad curriculum, we operate a ‘stage not age’ options process, where students complete these GCSEs in one year, in classes with both year 10 and 11 students.  Whilst some subjects only run every other year, all students are given the opportunity to select the subjects of their choice within the options route to which they are directed.  The first route requires students to select at least one language and one humanity to complete the traditional EBacc, with two free option choices.  The second route requires students to select at least one language or humanities subjects, with the other three options choices completely open.  However, we do recognise that not all of our students will be best suited to these routes and so, as a school that knows its students as individuals, we are able to provide personalised advice for every one of our students during the option selection process. 

The option subjects currently offered at key stage 4 are: Art & Design, Computing, Creative iMedia, Drama, Engineering, Enterprise & Marketing, Food Preparation & Nutrition, French, Geography, History, Hospitality & Catering, Music, PE, Photography, Product Design, Spanish and Sport Science.  These subjects ensure a breadth of curriculum choices to allow all students to thrive, irrespective of their strengths and interests, and to allow them to select the required courses for progression towards their future aspirations. 

Our curriculum offer at key stage 5 is currently: Applied Science, Art & Design, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Drama & Theatre, Engineering, English language, English literature, French, Geography, History, IT, Maths, Music, PE, Photography, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, Spanish and Sport, as well as offering the extended project qualification to all students.  As with key stage 4, the curriculum offer is designed to cover a diverse range of subjects to cater for students’ interests and future goals whilst recognising that, as a small sixth form, we cannot offer every possible subject choice.  In some subject areas, for example PE, the A-level or vocational course is chosen on a year-by-year basis to best suit the cohort. To maintain this range of courses, when appropriate, both year 12 and 13 students are taught together or different courses are run within the same class, with some courses run in collaboration with our neighbouring school.  We also offer work experience as an option to run alongside two vocational subject choices. 

At the heart of our whole-school curriculum is a clear understanding from each department of what is required to fully master their subject.  Departments have their own intent for their subject area and ensure that their curriculum is built and sequenced to develop a strong knowledge of the subject and the skills required to succeed.  With the time dedicated to key stage 3, subjects are able to enhance their curriculum to fit with our locality as a rural, North Yorkshire school, to fit with our students’ interests and needs.  In geography, for example, students ‘look at how the local environment impacts on where and how we live’.  However, our curriculum is also designed to extend the students beyond our locality, for example by learning languages to ‘contribute to mutual understanding and a sense of global citizenship’.  It is also vital that our subjects’ curriculum is designed to challenge students’ misconceptions about the world around them, where their day-to-day experiences are unable to dispel these ideas.  It is also designed to ensure a breadth of subjects so that, through the arts, students can ‘think creatively and independently, building an imaginative and original approach to the development of ideas and the solving of problems’.  We also need to prepare students for their future, with the English department recognising that we are living at a time of social media and ‘fake news’ and so they continue to develop their curriculum to ‘encourage and empower students to be confident in expressing themselves through careful selection of language’ but also to ‘experience the world and its diverse richness’ through literature.  The curriculum intent for each department can be found on the subject pages of the school website. 
To ensure that the curriculum is of the highest quality, staff are supported to participate in professional development.  This allows them to extend both their knowledge of cognitive science and its applications within the classroom, as well as keeping abreast of the evolution of their subject so that their subject knowledge reflects the world in which we live. 

At Settle College, we recognise that every member of our school community is unique and so we aim to provide a curriculum that can be adapted to meet the needs of all students.  This may be through adding extra challenge or support in the classroom, or through providing our students with an alternative provision when appropriate.  This is all done with a clear knowledge of our individual students and so will not restrict a student’s opportunities but will instead provide them with the ones that are most appropriate for them. 

We recognise the value of developing our students’ literacy skills to enable them to share their voice and access opportunities in their future.  It is vital that we teach our students to communicate effectively with those around them, but to be able to adapt to the people with who they are communicating.  They must be able to infer meaning from written texts, as well as evaluating the reliability of the information that social media so readily exposes them to.  They must be able to write clearly and without error so that their meaning is fully understood.   

As a school, literacy has been identified as one of our largest barriers for both academic success, but more importantly for later life and is therefore a key aspect of our school’s curriculum.  To overcome this barrier, we will continue the drive to teach these literacy skills within every lesson.  Every classroom will have a display and resources for students to access during the lesson to ensure that literacy does not prove to be a barrier to success.  Rigorous monitoring of students’ literacy ability will allow staff to be aware of the level of students’ literacy skills, as well as strategies to support or challenge students, regardless of their ability.  Whilst we provide students that require extra support with suitable interventions, coordinated through a dedicated literacy higher level teaching assistant, the key to improving our students’ literacy is to ensure that it is taught in the classroom alongside the key subject knowledge.  Subject departments have identified the key literacy skills for their subject discipline, identifying where these are explicitly taught and refined as part of their curriculum. We also see this as an opportunity to share a diversity of thought with our students, with a range of texts from different cultures and perspectives, which take them beyond our locality and expose them to the wider global community in which we now live. 

Throughout our curriculum, we are mindful that it is not only important to develop our students’ subject knowledge, but also to support them in becoming responsible, tolerant and active members of society who embrace diversity.  Our curriculum aims to support students in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness, as well as deepening their understanding of the fundamental British values.  We also aim to expose students in every year group to a wide range of careers throughout our curriculum, to ensure that students are aware of the different opportunities that are available to them once they have completed their education at Settle College.  This is not just delivered through our PSHCE programme, which adapts to meet the needs of our students at that time, but is also incorporated across all subject areas to provide students with a wide range of careers information, as well as showing them how each subject prepares them for both the next stage of their education and their future careers. All subject areas also work to develop students’ employability skills so we can best equip our students for their futures and give them the greatest chance to succeed.  We offer students in all years the opportunity to speak to, and meet with, external organisations, which will be supplemented through talks from a range of employers, as well as work experience for students in year 10 and 12, to increase awareness of the available opportunities both locally and further afield. For example, to suit our local context, we have worked with the National Farmers Union to show students the range of aspirational opportunities available within agriculture and the breadth of further and higher educational courses on offer in this field. 
The Settle College Diploma will allow all students, at all key stages, to actively develop and enhance their personal development and respect.  The Diploma will allow students to challenge themselves to contribute across the following areas: academic, community, extra-curricular and cultural.  Students will independently review and assess their cultural capital, resilience, British values and career aspirations.  An achievement ceremony at the end of the school year will promote each individual's character and pathway to becoming an active citizen, locally, nationally and internationally. This academic year we are focused on extending our work within the community, so that all young people in our community aspire to become a Settle College student. 

We believe the curriculum will develop behaviours and habits to allow all our students to become effective learners, who are ready to learn, make progress and achieve.  We encourage them to be respectful and responsible citizens, who make a positive contribution to school and society.  We also develop them to become confident young people, who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives. 
From early September in year 12, students begin a supported programme to help them achieve their goals and ambitions as they embark on research into further education or career pathways. University and apprenticeship talks allow students to plan the correct route for them as an individual and to find answers to their questions. Visits to career exhibitions and university fairs allows students to engage with employers and fellow students, whilst seeing what life could be like beyond Settle College. All students are supported by tutors and the sixth form team with help on references, personal statements, curriculum vitaes and interview practice to ensure they are a competitive applicant. Oxbridge applicants are guided by external support and we link with a local school for the preparation of interviews. 

Within the sixth form, leadership opportunities are offered through the Head Boy and Girl positions. These prestigious roles are a position of responsibility as they head a sixth form committee who form a valuable link between the school community and the wider world. Change is at the forefront of their ambition as they bring awareness of issues such as climate change, mental health and equality, raising money to support the charities of their choice.  Leadership skills are not only developed in the sixth form, but also as part of a school-wide student leadership programme from Years 7 – 11, involving the school council, subject mentors, researchers and ambassadors, sports leaders, prefects and assistant tutors, as well as transition, anti-bullying and mental health ambassadors. 

When considering our curriculum, it is vital to consider how we can extend the students’ experiences beyond the taught curriculum in the classroom.  These include extra-curricular activities, which take many forms at Settle College.  For example, we offer clubs in sport, music, drama, Duke of Edinburgh, eco-club and chess club to name but some.  We also offer our students many different educational visits, both to different parts of the UK to contrast with our very rural setting, but also to several different countries in order to expose our students to different ways of life and to widen their horizons.  All year 12 and 13s enrol on one personal and one community activity in our enrichment programme. Students choose from a variety of options such as reading buddies, sports coaching, community volunteering, subject ambassadors and peer mentors. Students commit one hour of their time to these activities per week.  This wide range of activities are on offer to all students and allow them to pursue the activities of their choice, in order to enrich the curriculum in their lessons.   
It is all these factors that come together to create the Settle College curriculum and guide the students on their path to becoming the best that they can be.  

It is all these factors that come together to create the Settle College curriculum and guide the students on their path to becoming the best that they can be.

Additional information on the curriculum can be obtained by contacting Miss Nutter (Assistant Headteacher for Quality of Education) on or by contacting the relevant subject leader for subject-specific questions.