Our Curriculum is underpinned by our core values

Ambition                     Inclusivity                    Excellence

Kindness                      Resilience                    Leadership


The Joseph Whitaker School aims to provide a curriculum which:


  • Is rich, broad and balanced – designed to inspire and motivate students and to broaden their horizons
  • Is well sequenced to ensure that foundations are well placed to enable future progression
  • Provides appropriate levels of challenge, and is ambitious for students of all abilities
  • Is adapted to ensure inclusivity for students who require a bespoke approach to education
  • Continually provides opportunities for reading, leading to the development of students’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment
  • Provides students with the choices and support to secure a broad range of academic and vocational qualifications and high levels of academic success
  • Uses the school’s specialism of Sports and Performing Arts to provide students with opportunities to promote and support the development of their character, health and well-being
  • Enables students to nurture existing talents and interests as well as supporting the development of new ones
  • Invites all students to take their learning beyond the classroom, participating in activities beyond their comfort zones, and encouraging them to think creatively
  • Supports students to raise their aspirations, by facilitating the development of the knowledge and skills required for their chosen careers
  • Enables students to become knowledgeable and confident through the various leadership opportunities provided
  • Engenders a culture for students to play a positive role in creating a school environment in which all are educated to appreciate and value our individual differences and understand that bullying, harassment and violence have no place in our society. Ensuring that students are well-rounded and fully prepared for life in modern Britain



The Curriculum and Covid-19 Recovery

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures have affected many of our students and their families with not only a loss of learning but also a loss of routine and wellbeing that are essential to a successful education.  Support needed during this recovery phase will differ from student to student and will range from academic to pastoral support.  We regularly review our curriculum by making short and long-term adjustments to ensure that any learning gaps in knowledge are filled and students are confident in the fundamentals of each subject discipline.

Additional intervention has been put in place to assist some students who have found the transition back to full time education challenging.  We aim to support both students and families to re-establish the routines and high expectations of all of our students through interventions and pastoral care.

Catch-up tutors offer individual or small group support in the core areas or English, Maths and reading.  Students are selected through a combination of student data and teacher recommendation.

Our Curriculum Experience

The Joseph Whitaker School has clear values and ambition for all our students both academically and in the wider curriculum.  It is important that our students gain a variety of experiences and skills that will ensure our young people are ready to thrive in the world.  We endeavour to achieve this through our formal and informal curricula which runs in parallel to our extra-curricular offer.


  • Ambition
  • Inclusivity
  • Kindness
  • Resilience
  • Excellence
  • Leadership


  • 25 lessons per week
  • Broad and balanced
  • Catch-up & Interventions
  • Reading Focus
  • Lexia and Switch-on Reading
  • PSHE
  • On-line learning platforms e.g. Hegarty/Sparks
  • Google Classroom


  • Student Mentoring
  • Leadership
  • Sports and Performing Arts Specialism
  • Assemblies
  • Careers
  • Well-being
  • SMSC
  • British Values
  • Celebration of Diversity
  • Remembrance


  • After school Clubs
  • School performances
  • Music Recitals
  • School Council
  • Student Voice
  • Trips and visits
  • Competitions
  • Anti-bullying Ambassadors
  • Charity Work
  • Prom and Rewards Evenings

KS3 Curriculum and Assessment

Students follow a fortnightly timetable with 25 hours per week. The table shows the number of hours per week for each subject.

SubjectYear 7Year 8Year 9

In order to personalise the curriculum for some children this offer may be adjusted according to need.

KS4 Curriculum

Students follow a fortnightly timetable with 25 hours per week.

In Year 9 a comprehensive options programme provides support and guidance for all students in determining their subject choices for Key Stage 4. This includes:

  • Assemblies
  • Options evening
  • Parent consultation evening
  • Careers education, information, advice and guidance
  • Tutor mentoring
  • Subject mentoring.

The table shows the number of hours per week for each subject or option

SubjectYear 10Year 11
Option A2.52.5
Option B2.52.5
Option C2.52.5
Option D2.52.5

**In KS4, provision for PSHCE is made through units of work in RE and during collapsed timetable days.

All students study both English and English Literature. Triple science is offered via a combination of the core curriculum and the options programme, giving pupils a total 7.5 hours per week.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum


The Post 16 Curriculum is broad, balanced and ambitious.  The curriculum is both academic and vocational in order to provide first rate transition post 18 either to university or employment/further training.  A full suite of A levels is offered alongside a selection of Vocational, Applied and BTEC choices.  Please see out prospectus on the website for full details about all the courses we offer.


English and Mathematics GCSE re-take lessons are fully embedded into the students’ timetables to best ensure all students leave school with a strong pass in English and Mathematics


Alongside the academic curriculum is an outstanding enrichment programme to prepare our students for their next steps post 18 which includes, UCAS preparation, apprenticeship opportunities, employment, study skills, Oxbridge support, wider careers advice, mental health/stress awareness, current affairs and work experience.  In addition to the timetabled enrichment session all Sixth Form students use two of their non-teaching periods to complete additional enrichment activities which may include ‘Directed Study’, completing an Extended Project, supporting the ‘School Reading Programme’ or acting as a mentor for younger students.