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

Our curriculum aims/intends to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced education for all students that’s coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge for skills and future learning and employment
  • Enable students to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations
  • Support students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • Provided a balanced approach to religious education which is broadly Christian but respects and encompasses other world faiths,
  • Support students’ physical development and responsibility for their own health, and enable them to be active
  • Promote a positive attitude towards learning
  • Ensure equal access to learning for all students, with high expectations for every student and appropriate levels of challenge and support
  • Have a high academic/vocational/technical ambition for all students
  • Equip students with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
  • Provide subject choices that support students’ learning and progression, and enable them to work towards achieving their goals
  • Provide a broad curriculum prioritising a strong academic core of subjects, such as those offered in the EBacc
  • Develop students’ independent learning skills, resilience, and perseverance to equip them for further/higher education and employment

These curriculum aims are underpinned by our values.

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.  Our ASPIRE ethos underpins the design, implementation, and review of our curriculum.

  • Achievement – our college believes that every student has special talents and the curriculum is designed to enable all students to excel in at least one area of college life
  • Support –our college believes that all students should be offered the support to enable them to grow and thrive, so our curriculum has opportunities beyond the formal taught subjects to develop the whole child
  • Perseverance – our college believes in learning from the things we find difficult and students are encouraged to fail forward
  • Individuality – our college believes that everyone is individual and strives to provide the education needed to meet the needs and aspirations of each individual
  • Respect - our college values the importance of diversity and respect, so our curriculum promotes cooperation and represents diverse voices
  • Excellence – our college believes in encouraging all community members to be the best they can be 

Curriculum Model

Our curriculum is delivered through a two week timetable with 25 hours of teaching time per week, incorporating two Personal development sessions, one per week of 60 minutes.

The core subjects of English, Maths and Science are prioritised for curriculum time, with between 6-9 hours of each subject taught per fortnight, with a greater number of hours in Key Stage 4. We are committed to providing a broad range of option subjects and currently offer over 26 qualifications. 

Students typically undertake 3 option subjects through to qualification at the end of year 11, alongside their core subjects, plus RE and PE taken in year 10. The option subjects include a range of vocational subjects. 

There are dedicated lessons in every year for Personal, Social, and Health Education taught through PDL by specialist’s teams. 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.

These lessons provide a rich base for important aspects of the curriculum, including:

  • Relationships and sex education, and health education (secondary colleges)
  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • British values
  • Careers guidance 
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Teachers set high expectations for all students. They will use appropriate assessment to set ambitious targets and plan challenging work for all groups, including:

  • More-able students
  • Students with low prior attainment
  • Students from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Students with SEN
  • Students with English as an additional language (EAL)

Teachers will plan lessons so that students with SEN and/or disabilities can study every National Curriculum subject, wherever possible, and ensure that there are no barriers to every student achieving.

Teachers will also take account of the needs of students whose first language is not English. Lessons will be planned so that teaching opportunities help students to develop their English, and to support students to take part in all subjects.

Further information can be found in our statement of equality information and objectives, and in our SEN policy and information report.

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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 short 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: 7 November 2023