At Test Valley School our curriculum is designed to support the school’s vision of being ‘In Pursuit of Personal Excellence’.  Staff are firmly committed to the principle of providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum that supports inclusion and is tailored to the wide range of needs, aspirations and interests of all our pupils by providing the highest quality of learning and teaching. 

The main aim of the curriculum is to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, attributes and attitudes that are necessary for each pupil’s self-fulfilment and development as a successful lifelong learner. The curriculum prepares our pupils for further study, employment and adult life by enabling them to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve success;
  • self-motivated and disciplined in their approach to learning;
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives, and
  • responsible citizens who will be able to make a positive contribution to society.

To this end, the school sets out to achieve well-educated pupils by:

  • recognising the individual needs and talents of each pupil and facilitating development of their intellectual, moral, social, physical, spiritual and creative capacities;
  • ensuring that the curriculum incorporates statutory requirements, yet is flexible and relevant to pupil needs;
  • preparing pupils for the world of work.


The curriculum has been designed to meet the individual needs and aspirations of our pupils and the community in ways that:

  • challenge all pupils to achieve by offering a variety of appropriate teaching and learning methods;
  • raise aspirations and sets appropriate challenges;
  • involve pupils in the learning process by discussing work, giving regular feedback through assessment and marking, negotiating targets and encouraging pupils to evaluate their own achievements;
  • develop a sense of enquiry, an ability to question, solve problems and argue rationally;
  • allow personalisation, including one-to-one tuition and individual interventions, when needed;
  • encourage pupils to be independent learners, sound decision-makers and adaptable to change;
  • make sense to pupils so that they can make the connections between different subjects, skills and qualifications;
  • develop self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence;
  • ensure the planned learning experience has a clear sense of purpose relating to and building on pupils’ knowledge and experiences of the world in which they live;
  • foster good learning relationships between teachers and pupils and between pupils and their peers, so encouraging tolerance and challenges to stereotypes;
  • provide opportunities for pupils to learn on their own, in a team, or in large or small groups, encouraging a sense of responsibility and self-discipline;
  • encourage reward and values both achievement and effort through praise in the learning environment;
  • include global, national and local dimensions;
  • ensure pupils develop the skills and abilities needed for success in life that can be applied in a range of contexts;
  • prepare pupils for the responsibilities and opportunities they may face in adult life;
  • provide opportunities for pupils to work at their own pace
  • reflect and makes use of current technology;
  • keep parents regularly informed about progress, achievements and effort.

High Attaining Pupils

Staff will take every opportunity to ensure all pupils, whatever their ability, make the best possible progress and achieve the highest standards in subjects and qualifications.  Pupils will be encouraged to discover their own strengths as staff recognise that equal opportunity does not mean identical provision for all. Pupils identified as being academically more able will be encouraged to achieve exceptionally high standards.  Such pupils will be given extra support, guidance and appropriate opportunities to develop and will receive a challenging experience across the curriculum.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability

Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability will be supported, both within and outside the curriculum. Much of the support will be undertaken in class through ensuring that “quality first teaching” takes place.  Additional support in class will be provided by Learning Support Assistants working closely with class teachers. Further support will occasionally be offered by small group work and on an individual basis through withdrawal sessions. The aim is to encourage mature, confident pupils who are proud of themselves and who can experience success.

Key Stage Three (KS3)

The curriculum in Years 7 to 9 meets the statutory requirements of the national curriculum and is enhanced by the provision of specialist Computing lessons. All pupils follow a core curriculum that provides a balance of academic, practical and creative experiences that provide a strong foundation for the future. This includes the core subjects of:

English, Mathematics and Science, and

the non-core subjects of:

Modern Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Religious Education, Design Technology, Art, Drama; Music, Computing and Physical Education.

In all three years there is also a Personal, Social, Careers and Health Education programme that is taught mostly by form tutors during PSHE days which take place four times each year.

In Year 7 pupils will be taught in carefully constructed mixed ability classes in order to assist the pastoral progression from primary education.

In Years 8 & 9 setting is introduced in English, Mathematics, Science and Modern Foreign Languages according to the ability pupils have exhibited thus far.

The school’s timetable is organised on a weekly basis with 6 periods each day.  Each period lasts for 50 minutes.  The periods for each subject are shown in the grid below:

Subject Year 7 periods Year 8 periods Year 9 periods
English 5 4 5
Mathematics 4 4 4
Science 4 5 5
Modern Foreign Languages 4 4 4
Geography 2 2 2
History 2 2 2
Religious Education 1 1 1
Design Technology 2 2 2
Art 1 1 Carousel**
Drama 1 1 Carousel**
Music 1 1 Carousel**
Computing 1 1 Carousel**
Physical Education 2 2 2

** Pupils study three lessons of one Creative and Performing Arts subject or Computing each week in a carousel, organised into four week blocks

Key Stage Four (KS4)

At KS4 there is a core of English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education, ICT and Computing and a Personal, Social, Careers and Health Education programme that includes Religious Education, Citizenship, Careers, Sex and Relationships Education, Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Education and Work-Related Learning.  This is mostly taught by form tutors during PSHE days which take place four times each year. Pupils then select three other subjects or combine a reduced number of subjects at school with an external course provided by a local college or employer.

 Subject Key Stage 4
Year 10 Periods Year 11 Periods
English 5 5
Mathematics 5 5
Science 6 6
Physical Education (core) 2 2
Options 3 x 4 periods 3 x 4 periods

Examination Entry

It is the school’s policy to enter all pupils for public examinations in the courses they have been following.  In exceptional circumstances, such as a prolonged absence due to medical reasons, the school may withdraw a pupil’s entry for one or more examinations, following discussion with the pupil and their parents or carers.

Enrichment Activities

A wide variety of sporting, academic and expressive arts activities complement the school’s formal curriculum, which also includes theatre trips and an Activity Week held during the summer term. 

Other Relevant Links

More Information

More information about the school curriculum can be obtained by searching for a given subject at the top of this page. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.