Curriculum Overview

At Outwood Academy Acklam we have embraced the Personalising Learning agenda and feel very strongly that curriculum design and redesign has a major part to play in the meeting of students’ needs. We have tried to provide opportunities for ‘assessment when ready’ and choice, flexibility and progression are key elements of our curriculum offer. We see the curriculum as the building blocks on which good teaching and learning can take place.

We believe that learners achieve best when they enjoy and can see a purpose to their work. We strive to meet individual learning needs through a range of curriculum programmes at both key stages.

Older students have the opportunity to follow a wide variety of different curriculum pathways which lead on to college, university or directly into employment. Every student is given support to ensure that they make the right choice for both their ability and interests. We constantly review our curriculum to make sure it meets the current and future needs of our students and society.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is followed in years 7 and 8. Students follow a broad and balanced curriculum which includes subjects such as English, Maths, Science, ICT, Humanities (Geography, History, RE and PSHCE), PE, Design and Technology, a Modern Foreign Language, Drama, Art and Music.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 takes place over years 9, 10 and 11. All students study English, Maths, Science, ICT, PE and Citizenship/RE as part of their ‘core’ studies. We believe it is important that all students study these courses to ensure that they have a balanced set of qualifications when they leave school. In addition to these ‘core’ subjects students will choose a number of option subjects to study over the course of the three years.

Curriculum events which students and parents are invited to, such as Pathway Planning Days and Options Evening, are available on the school calendar and invitations are sent out to parents and students prior to these events. We would encourage all students and parents to attend the academy’s curriculum events – this helps to ensure that all students receive the most appropriate help and guidance in making such important choices.

KS3 (Years 7 & 8) – key features:

• Broad range of subjects: English, Maths, Science, Design & Technology, Languages (French, German), Drama, Dance, Life Skills, Geography, History, Music, Religious Studies, Art, ICT, PE
• Students graduate into KS4 at the end of Year 8 provided that their effort has been satisfactory during KS3
• All students graduating from year 8 are encouraged to take part in the Outward Bound residential which takes place at the start of Year 9

KS4 (Year 9) – key features:

• 15 periods per week for core subjects: English, Maths, Science, Design & Technology, PE, Religious Studies/Citizenship
• 10 periods per week for option subjects – 3 choices for 3 periods each plus 1 consolidation period
• Options subjects designed to be two year courses
• Range of vocational courses on offer
• Opportunities for students to have extra ‘booster’ time for English and/or Maths

KS4 (Years 10 & 11) – key features:

• 15 periods per week for core subjects: English, Maths, Science, Design & Technology, PE, Religious Studies/Citizenship
• 10 periods per week for option subjects – 2 choices each year for 5 periods each
• Options subjects designed to be one or two year courses
• Range of vocational courses on offer
• Opportunities for students to have extra ‘booster’ time for English and/or Maths

British Values

At Outwood Academy Acklam we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.

At Outwood Academy Acklam, we recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our students.

‘British Values’ have been identified as:


The principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for presidential elections. The principle of democracy is explored in History and Religious Studies as well as in Vertical Mentoring Groups (VMG) and assemblies.

Rule of Law:

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

Students are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predicable environment within the school and beyond. An environment of this type enables students to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.

Individual Liberty:

Students at Outwood Academy Acklam are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each student to become as independent as possible.

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We offer a range of enrichment activities which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.

Mutual Respect:

Mutual respect is at the core of Academy life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the Academy and within classrooms.

It is important to facilitate opportunities for Outwood Academy Acklam to be part of the community as the students, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:

Outwood Academy Acklam serves a multi-faith community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.

We offer a broad and balance curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. Our Assemblies help all students to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all students’ experiences and awareness of others.

At Outwood Academy Acklam we strongly believe that tolerance of different faiths and belief is best gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum as well as the routines of daily life at Outwood Academy Acklam, we strive to not only learn about but also demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.