Curriculum objectives Curriculum model Religious education and collective worship PE, sport and health related activities PSHE Equality and links to additional curriculum information

Engaging every learner is at the very heart of the Henry Cort curriculum.  We see each young person’s intellectual, physical, and emotional health as equally important markers of our success. As lifelong learners, prepared for the adult world, our curriculum inspires curiosity, awe, and wonder. We promote essential higher order thinking, vocabulary and oracy skills necessary to become discerning, productive and informed citizens. The value we place on independence, preparedness and responsibility means that young people are partners in learning.  We continue to invest in a broad curriculum that covers a spectrum of knowledge, applied understanding and skills, as unified interleaved elements of our high quality, aspirational educational offer.

The curriculum at The Henry Cort Community College is designed to provide all students with a high quality education appropriate to their needs in order to prepare them academically, socially and personally for the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of further or higher education, employment and adult life.

We believe all our students are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum that challenges their individual abilities; is relevant to their experience and present needs; is inclusive; has application and value in the world outside the college and promotes traditional British values.  The recognition of students as individuals demands approaches to teaching and learning that will engage and enthuse all our young people, including those with special educational needs.  Promoting high quality teaching and learning is a priority.  Information, communication, new media and digital technologies are integral tools of teaching a blended curriculum in all areas. Our ASPIRE ethos underpins the design, implementation, and review of our curriculum.

Curriculum objectives

Our curriculum aims will enable our students to become:

  • successful young people, who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • fascinated by the world around them
  • imaginative, creative and reflective in their learning
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • socially responsible people who can interact with people of varying backgrounds and cultures
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society, upholding the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty
  • positive contributors to our local community through college based and local activities
  • tolerant and respectful of those who have different faiths and beliefs
  • achieve high progress, akin to the top 20% of performing schools
  • maintain high academic standards, and continue our efforts to meet the 90%+ of students entered for the full Ebacc
  • narrow and close the disadvantaged progress gap
  • enable those not achieving age-related expectations at age 11 to catch up with their peers
  • become independent, resilient learners by achieving top 25% scores in the pupil attitudes to self and study survey external link
  • have, and be able to use, high-quality functional numeracy and literacy skills to achieve their potential in all areas of the curriculum
  • have increased commitment to and enjoyment of learning, leading to purposeful educational participation from 16 and beyond with zero NEETs, and full adherence to the Gatsby benchmarks.

To do this, the curriculum therefore:

  • Provides entitlement to a coherent, broad and balanced curriculum,
  • Instils in our students a positive disposition to learning and a commitment to learn,
  • Provides a balanced approach to religious education which is broadly Christian but respects and encompasses other world faiths,
  • Promotes and passes on essential knowledge, skills and understanding valued by society to the next generation,
  • Is relevant to our students and prepares them for the here and now, for the next phase of their education and for their future,
  • Widens their horizons and raises aspirations about the world of work, and further and higher education,
  • Makes our students more aware of, and engaged with, their local, national and international communities,
  • Helps students recognise that personal development is essential to well-being and success,
  • Allows our students to make the relevant progression from the primary phase to the tertiary phase particularly in the core areas of English, mathematics and sciences.
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Curriculum Model

In Key Stage 3 the curriculum is designed to build on the learning experiences that children had in their primary schools. We cover the KS3 national curriculum in Year’s 7 & 8, and transition into Key Stage 4 during Year 9.

We provide in school specialist alternate provision for those most vulnerable students. But all students follow a broad curriculum, one sharply focussed on closing any gaps in learning.   Every year we work with our primary feeders to adapt the curriculum to meet the need of learners.

All students, in all year groups, have access to PDL (through tutor activities, assemblies and a specifically constructed lessons).  This addresses age related topics around 6 broad core themes. 

In KS3 we assess students using a mastery model of attainment.  This move away from the national curriculum levels has allowed subjects to develop new curricula with a much stronger focus on deepening knowledge, and developing skills. 

All students are required to study History and Geography in Years 7 and 8, with a large proportion choosing to continue studying these subjects in Years 9, 10 and 11.  The vast majority of students are expected to continue to study Spanish, French or German at Key Stage 4 so that they have the opportunity to obtain the full EBacc suite of qualification.  In addition, we have a rich options framework leading to high value academic and vocational qualifications. 

Moving into Key Stage 4, our strong core entitlement incorporates compulsory Physical Education, Religious Education (both of which are assessed in Year 10), as well as English, Mathematics and Science.   Options, or choices, allow students to transition into Key Stage 4 and select subjects suited to their individual ambitions and needs.

Teaching and learning is the core purpose of all schools and The Henry Cort Community College devotes a considerable amount of its professional development resources on promoting personalised learning, independent learning, key skills and basic skills.  Students are actively encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, using Personalised Learning Checklists to act on areas of weaknesses.  The programme of study expects each subject to invest 10% of their curriculum time to target specific subject strands which individuals have found more challenging. 

We work in partnership with external alternative providers to facilitate opportunities for students who need to be re-engaged in education. Each follow a unique programme but do provide a core offer of at least English and maths. Our external providers can include the following.

  • Second/Oarsome Chance,
  • Military Mentors,
  • Wessex Dance,
  • The Key or Bridge,
  • Spring Garden Lane,
  • Place to Learn,
  • Portsmouth Football Club
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Religious Education and Collective Worship

Religious Education is provided in college under guidelines set out in the 1988 Education Reform Act and in accordance with statutory requirements.  The approach used is multicultural and multi-faith with an emphasis on Christianity.  Henry Cort Community College has church affiliation and follows programmes of study that are reviewed by the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE).  All students follow these programmes of study throughout Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.  At Key Stage 4 all students complete a full course GCSE in Religious Studies. There is a programme of regular whole-college, house and year group assemblies, supplemented by form tutor periods which are in mixed ages.

Any parent who wishes to exercise their rights under the 1998 Act to withdraw their child from Religious Education lessons or the daily act of collective worship is asked to contact the Principal in writing and to reference our withdrawal policy found online.

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Physical Education, Sport and Health-related activities

The Henry Cort Community College has an excellent tradition of sporting achievement and participation, utilising its 32-acre site and considerable facilities.  As well as encouraging excellence in sport, we aim to promote enjoyment of sport by all students through active participation in well-structured programmes of study and a varied programme of extra-curricular sporting activities delivered by an enthusiastic and experienced PE Department.

Through Physical Education we promote not only participation and competition, but we actively encourage students to foster an interest in and to take responsibility for leading a healthy lifestyle.  In Key Stage 4, students follow an accredited course of Health and Fitness.  Students have a wide range of extra-curricular provision to choose from, and a number have previously become Sports Leaders and support our Primary Schools Sports programme.  In recent years the college has supported and provided several athletes who have represented at either national, county or district level in numerous sports including football, rugby, netball, table tennis, judo, swimming, hockey, ice hockey, gymnastics, trampolining, cricket and athletics.

Physical Education is not only a statutory requirement at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, but we believe it lays the foundation for a healthy lifestyle, and improves student resilience, particularly during the most intense exam periods.

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Personal and social education (PSE) and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) 

Throughout Key Stages 3 and 4, our personal development programme (PDL) focus on key issues relevant to life in modern Britain, as well as supporting individuals to become confident and resilient learners. 

We aim to encourage students to understand the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of people of all faiths, races and cultures.  The programme incorporates 6 broad core themes which include Relationships and Sex education, Respect, Democracy, Citizenship and British Values, Health and Wellbeing, Enterprise and Finance, and Careers.

Throughout, we have a strong commitment to the development of our students’ numeracy, literacy, computing and enterprise capabilities.  We also provide a range of opportunities across the curriculum to facilitate the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students.

We have an integrated careers programme which is built in from Year 7 enabling all students in all years to have meaningful contact with employers, trainers and further and higher educational establishments.  Every student has access to independent careers advice and there is an opportunity for all students to typically undertake work experience placement in Year 10.  We measure our progress against the 8 Gatsby principles and have been heralded as a model of best practice by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

A copy of the policy, lessons and resources used in RSE teaching are available on request. To request this information, please complete an Information Request Formexternal link

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Educational equity depends on two main factors. The first is fairness, which implies that factors specific to a students’ personal circumstances and condition should not interfere with the potential of academic success. The second important factor is inclusion, which refers to a comprehensive application of educational standards and curriculum for all. At Henry Cort these two factors are not mutually exclusive, but closely related and depend on each other. The success of our college is closely related to how consistently we deliver educational services to all on roll. We continually strive to ensure we uphold these principles.

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UPDATED: 8 March 2023