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Our curriculum is designed to achieve the aims set out in our mission statement: ‘achieving excellence in a learning community’. At EPHS we believe that the goal of achieving personal academic excellence can be achieved through the delivery of a curriculum that is broad and ambitious.  We believe that all students have this entitlement, irrespective of starting-point, background and need, and that these aims can be effectively met through the delivery of a curriculum that is carefully sequenced and research informed so as to provide a secure bedrock for lifelong learning, values and achievement.

A broad curriculum 

We believe that students learn best when they are taught a broad and balanced curriculum that allows them to flourish intellectually, artistically, emotionally and physically. This intentional breadth of learning is evidenced in the learning opportunities provided across all key stages, both in terms of the range of subjects taught and the scope of each individual subject curriculum. We recognise the effectiveness of a curriculum that offers both traditional programmes of academic study and applied courses of study and believe that this breadth of academic opportunity can meet the needs of all of our learners as an 11-19 community school. 

Our curriculum develops the skills and knowledge that are the bedrock of future success such as literacy and numeracy. We believe that text is at the heart of learning and the development of reading skills is central to student development and the ability to become a successful lifelong learner. Explicit teaching of reading skills is embedded within the KS3 curriculum to develop the overall learning abilities of our students.

An ambitious curriculum 

We believe that every student is entitled to a rich and demanding curriculum and that students must be provided with the opportunity to engage in complex thought to make intellectual gains. We recognise that cognitive challenge is at the heart of learning and that periods of intellectual struggle are integral to effective learning.  We believe that true expertise and understanding can only be developed over time, otherwise the intellectual gains are likely to be shallow and underdeveloped. 

To ensure that each student is provided with this ambitious curriculum entitlement, EPHS organises students into progression pathways and monitors their progress against ambitious targets that aim to motivate all students, irrespective of starting-point, background or need. These pathways help to inform teachers of appropriate curriculum delivery and are used to assess progress and set further learning goals. Our KS3 curriculum fully meets the requirements set out in the National Curriculum and a  significant number of students are guided towards EBacc subjects through the allocation of pathways at KS4.


A sequenced curriculum 

All learning is sequenced so that students engage with new concepts, knowledge and skills in a hierarchy of increased intellectual complexity. It is informed by the curriculums that come before and after it to ensure a smooth and purposeful transition to the curriculum in Year 7 and then builds logically towards the challenges of Key Stages 4 and 5. 

All learning is captured in well considered curriculum plans that promote intellectual development through the careful mapping of new learning against the prerequisite understanding required to learn new knowledge and skills. Careful consideration is given to the sequence of learning to ensure that concepts are revisited so as to create ever deeper understanding; this structure helps students to remember, not merely encounter, the knowledge and skills that are learnt.

Research informed 

Our curriculum is the conscious product of the research, intellectual debate and expertise of our subject-specialist teachers and post-holders. Through engagement with the significant substantive concepts of each subject and their disciplinary processes of knowledge construction, we have created a curriculum that imparts a rich and critical understanding. As a school, we actively consider and balance our statutory responsibilities towards the National Curriculum with our own discerning subject expertise to create a curriculum that ignites intellectual curiosity and promotes the development of knowledge and skills.  

We have embedded a culture of scholarship in our teachers and wider support staff. We actively engage all staff in action-research that is supported by wide and varied academic reading. This has created a well-established classroom culture of using an innovative range of pedagogical strategies such as ‘communication friendly’ practices to enable students of all cognitive abilities to access our curriculum. These are captured and promoted through our EPHS Teaching and Learning Toolkit and enable us to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum to all students.  

Lifelong learning, values and achievement 
We are committed to providing a rich and nourishing curriculum that promotes the positive personal development of all of our students so as to equip them to lead responsible, respectful and active lives as future citizens. We have five core aims for students that underpin all of our provision for personal development: EPHS students are proud and can celebrate their achievements and the achievements of others; they are active participants and are prepared for the next stages of life; they persevere and have well-developed qualities of resilience; and they are principled and understand the difference between right and wrong and have a strong sense of justice.

English (English Language, English Literature and Film Studies)