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Test Valley Curriculum Intent

Senior leaders and subject leaders have designed a curriculum that is ambitious for all students at all key stages. This reflects our goal that we want all pupils to be ‘in pursuit of excellence’ in their time at our school and are thoroughly prepared for their life beyond. We do this by offering an exciting, creative, broad, and balanced curriculum that aims to provide all students with the core and facilitating knowledge and skills that enable them to leave our school academically, socially, and morally successful.  We intend that, by experiencing this curriculum, all students will be able to access the best further and higher education pathways, apprenticeships, or the world of work, and lead successful, happy, and fulfilling lives as citizens in our 21st-century world.  

At the heart of our curriculum intent is 'We are a small, rural high achieving school'. This means that: 

  • We know our pupils and meet their needs through our adaptive teaching  
  • We ensure our pupils are well informed and keen to learn about their rural context 
  • We build the aspirations of our pupils through the challenge offered in our lessons, and the opportunities that are constructed outside of lesson to enrich them 

The curriculum across all subjects is carefully sequenced so that prior core declarative and procedural knowledge is built upon, with continual opportunities for core knowledge to be interleaved throughout both key stages so that students know more, remember more, and can apply that knowledge in a range of contexts.  Facilitating knowledge adds important local, national, and global context to core knowledge, and our curriculum intends to provide a richness and diversity that enables our students to experience learning in real-life contexts.  

The school curriculum is built so that it is aspirational, accessible, and diverse to meet all needs. This happens through:

  • Reading and comprehension that aims to ensure all students leave with a reading age at least equivalent to their chronological age  
  • Excellence is learning in fulfilling, enriching, creative, safe, and happy in disruption-free classrooms.

Knowledge is delivered by expert, passionate teachers.  There is challenge in our curriculum through the breadth of subject offer and through the resilience and perseverance that is developed in all learners. Working hard at Test Valley is a key value. All pupils will be supported and challenged to achieve academic excellence and to participate in the wider extra-curricular. Alongside this, the curriculum will develop students to be global 21st Citizens.  

To ensure any gaps in prior or new knowledge are quickly identified, we check progress frequently through a range of assessment opportunities, from lesson-by-lesson declarative knowledge tests, end of topic tests that assess knowledge retention and application, to more cumulative common assessments that assess students’ ability to remember and apply knowledge in a range of contexts.  The information from these assessments is used to adapt the curriculum, intending to quickly close gaps in knowledge and keep students on track to achieve at our ambitious academic flight paths.  

For pupils with additional needs, we support them to excel through deliberately planning and supporting purposeful talk, using and explaining challenging tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, one to one support, and allowing pupils to work with their peers.  

Our whole school approach to oracy supports all our pupils in participating in our wider 21st Century world.  All teachers will engage pupils in speaking and listening through, group work, presentations, and planned questioning. At Test Valley our pupils are always the voice of our school. It is pupils who are our tour guides, speakers, ambassadors, school performances and peer mentoring, deliberately encouraging and preparing them to be confident and fluent speakers beyond Test Valley. 

At KS3 students access all subjects within the ‘basic’ curriculum and our school curriculum meets and often extends National Curriculum requirements, lasting for 3 years to ensure breadth and depth.  We are ambitious in what we expect students to achieve during this key stage and aspire for all our students to make strong progress from their entry points to the school that enables them to confidently access Level 2 courses at KS4.  

At KS4, we intend that all students continue to follow a broad ‘basic’ curriculum over 2 years building on the breadth of experience at KS3.  All students have the option of studying the suite of EBacc subjects. Students and their parents/carers receive careful guidance to help them make informed choices to ensure the highest education pathways post GCSE studies.  

Our main school curriculum is enhanced by our extensive co-curricular opportunities in areas of sports, the Arts, catch-up sessions, wellbeing, visits to places of interest, and visitors coming into our school.  

If you would like to find out more information about the curriculum, please fill in the form below and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.