Curriculum Overview:

Our curriculum seeks to enable students to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve.
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

The curriculum is a broad and balanced one that reflects positive values in our society that promote personal development, equality of opportunity, economic wellbeing, a healthy and just democracy, and a sustainable future.  These are linked to our Academy Values of Respect, Friendship and Excellence.

An Inclusive Curriculum

The Ormiston Horizon Academy’s fully inclusive curriculum provides relevant and challenging learning opportunities for all children. It follows the three principles set out in the statutory inclusion statement:

1.    Setting suitable learning challenges

2.    Responding to students’ diverse learning needs

3.    Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of students

1.    Setting suitable learning challenges

Teachers should aim to give every student the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve as high a standard as possible. The national curriculum programmes of study set out what most students should be taught but teachers should teach the knowledge, skills and understanding in ways that suit their students’ abilities. This may mean choosing knowledge, skills and understanding from earlier or later stages so that individual students can make progress and show what they can achieve. Where it is appropriate for students to make extensive use of content from an earlier stage, there may not be time to teach all aspects of the programmes of study. A similarly flexible approach will be needed to take account of any gaps in students’ learning resulting from missed or interrupted schooling.

For students whose attainments fall significantly below the expected levels at a particular stage, a much greater degree of differentiation will be necessary. In these circumstances, teachers may need to use the content of programmes of study as a resource or to provide a context, in planning learning appropriate to the requirements of their students.

For students whose attainments significantly exceed the expected levels, teachers will need to plan suitably challenging work. As well as drawing on work from later stages, teachers may plan further differentiation by extending the breadth and depth of study.

2.    Responding to students’ diverse learning needs

The Ormiston Horizon Academy’s curriculum responds to the needs of all students, including boys and girls, students with special educational needs, students from all social and cultural backgrounds, students from different ethnic groups including travellers, refugees and asylum seekers, and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds. Teachers need to be aware that students bring to school different experiences, interests and strengths which will influence the way in which they learn. Teachers should plan their approaches to teaching and learning so that students can take part in lessons fully and effectively.

To ensure that they meet the full range of students’ needs, teachers should be aware of the requirements of the equal opportunities legislation that covers race, gender and disability.

Teachers should take specific action to respond to students’ diverse needs by:

·         creating effective learning environments

·         securing their motivation and concentration

·         providing equality of opportunity through teaching approaches

·         using appropriate assessment approaches

·         Providing feedback on learner’s work.

·         setting targets for learning.

3. Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of students

A minority of students will have particular learning and assessment requirements which go beyond the provisions described above and, if not addressed, could create barriers to learning. These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a student having a special educational need or disability or may be linked to a student’s progress in learning English as an additional language.

Teachers must take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of students to enable them to participate effectively in the curriculum and assessment activities. During end of key stage assessments, teachers should bear in mind that special arrangements are available to support individual students.

Students with Special Educational Needs

Curriculum planning and assessment for students with special educational needs must take account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the student. Teachers will encounter a wide range of students with special educational needs, some of whom will have disabilities. In many cases, the action necessary to respond to an individual’s requirements for curriculum access will be met through greater differentiation of tasks and materials, consistent with school-based intervention as set out in the SEN Code of Practice. A smaller number of students may need access to specialist equipment and approaches or to alternative or adapted activities, consistent with school-based intervention augmented by advice and support from external specialists as described in the SEN Code of Practice or, in exceptional circumstances, with a statement of special educational need. Teachers should, where appropriate, work closely with representatives of other agencies who may be supporting the student.

Students with very specific literacy needs have an adapted Key Stage 3 and 4 curriculum which is tailored to their individual learning needs.

A Curriculum which Develops Key Skills

1.    Use of language

Students in all subjects are taught to express themselves correctly and appropriately and to read accurately and with understanding. Since standard English, spoken and written, is the predominant language in which knowledge and skills are taught and learnt, students are taught to recognise and use standard English.


In writing, students are taught to use correct spelling and punctuation and follow grammatical conventions. They are also be taught to organise their writing in logical and coherent forms across the curriculum.

Students are taught the technical and specialist vocabulary of subjects and how to use and spell these words. They are also be taught to use the patterns of language vital to understanding and expression in different subjects. These include the construction of sentences, paragraphs and texts that are often used in a subject.


In speaking, students are taught to use language precisely and cogently.


Students are taught to listen to others, and to respond and build on their ideas and views constructively.


In reading, students are taught strategies to help them read with understanding, to locate and use information, to follow a process or argument and summarise, and to synthesise and adapt what they learn from their reading.

2.    Health and safety

This statement applies to science, design and technology, information and communication technology, art and design, and physical education.

When working with tools, equipment and materials, in practical activities and in different environments, including those that are unfamiliar, students are taught:

·         about hazards, risks and risk control

·         to recognise hazards, assess consequent risks and take steps to control the risks to themselves and others

·         to use information to assess the immediate and cumulative risks

·         to manage their environment to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others

·         to explain the steps they take to control risks.

  1. Functional Skills

The Academy aims to map Functional Skills across the curriculum at both key stages, in order to allow students opportunities to reinforce these key skills in a number of subject areas as follows:

Functional English

Students can:

  • communicate effectively, adapting to a range of audiences and contexts
  • explain information clearly and succinctly in speech and writing
  • express a point of view reasonably and persuasively
  • use ICT to communicate effectively
  • read and understand information and instructions, then use this understanding to act appropriately
  • analyse how ideas and information are presented, evaluating their usefulness, for example in solving a problem
  • make an oral presentation or write a report
  • contribute to discussions and use speech to work collaboratively to agree actions and conclusions.



  • have the confidence and capability to use mathematics to solve increasing complex problems
  • are able to use a range of tools, including ICT as appropriate
  • possess the analytical and reasoning skills needed to draw conclusions, justify how these conclusions are reached and identify errors or inconsistencies
  • are able to validate and interpret results, judging the limits of the validity and using the results effectively and efficiently.


Students can:

·         use ICT to find, select and bring together relevant information

·         develop, interpret and exchange information for a purpose

·         apply ICT safely to enhance their learning and the quality of their work.

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills

Personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) provide a framework for describing the qualities and skills needed for success in learning and life. The PLTS framework has been developed and refined over a number of years in consultation with employers, parents, schools, students and the wider public.

The framework comprises six groups of skills:

·         independent enquirers

·         creative thinkers

·         reflective learners

·         team workers

·         self-managers

·         effective participants

Students have opportunities to develop these skills across the range of subjects in KS3 and KS4.  Deep Learning Days are planned as enrichment days throughout each term.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

All National Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote students’ spiritual, moral , social and cultural development. Explicit opportunities to promote students’ development in these areas are provided in religious education and the non-statutory framework for personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship at key stages 3 and 4. A significant contribution is also made by school ethos, effective relationships throughout the school, assemblies, and other curriculum activities.

Curriculum Enrichment

At the Ormiston Horizon Academy we believe that students should have access to a range of enrichment opportunities to enhance and enrich the breadth of learning opportunities available.  The Academy offers a range of lunchtime and enrichment opportunities for students


The Core Curriculum

Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8, we offer the statutory curriculum in line with the National Curriculum at key stage 3. Students study Art and Design, Citizenship, Design and Technology (including Food Technology), English, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, Science and Modern Foreign Languages (students with Special Educational Needs have an adapted curriculum for MFL). The teaching of Careers Education, Sex Education is delivered across the curriculum in our vertical mixed age tutor system together with Curriculum Enrichment days throughout the school year. Our integrated programme allows the needs of the students to be covered in respect of ‘sex and relationships’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) issues and careers education (CEIAG). From time to time we will supplement the curriculum with issues that become relevant to the students learning and awareness.

Key Stage 4

The National Curriculum is delivered at key stage 4 are Citizenship, English, Information and Communication Technology, Mathematics, Physical Education and Science. Students are also offered guided pathways for a range of qualifications in our Options Pathways, which is based on prior attainment and student preference. Within this students study a Humanities subject and are strongly advised to study MFL. The needs of the agreed local standards are met with this approach and again, those students wishing to work towards a qualification in RE have the opportunity to do so through our Options Programme.  The teaching of Careers Education, Sex Education is delivered across the curriculum in our vertical mixed age tutor system together with Curriculum Enrichment days throughout the school year. Our integrated programme allows the needs of the students to be covered in respect of ‘sex and relationships’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) issues and careers education (CEIAG). From time to time we will supplement the curriculum with issues that become relevant to the students learning and awareness.

In addition, we also offer all students to access the ECDL course through their ICT lessons and additional support on CE days as we believe this provides underlying key skills which benefit students in their studies and in life beyond the academy.

Key Stage 5

In 2013 our Sixth Form opened and has been developing as more students choose to further their education at the academy. We anticipate large numbers to join the sixth form in 2 years’ time as significantly larger cohorts move through the academy. The curriculum and pastoral systems at KS3 and 4 are a strong feature of our academy and these are now echoed under the leadership of the new Head of OHA6 (our Sixth Form Centre). We offer a range of both vocational and academic pathways and students are offered significant advice from our careers advisor and the Senior Leadership Team to ensure they follow course that both challenge them and allow them to reach aspirational destinations.

Together with our academic and vocational courses, students are given an entitlement to enrichment activities, which includes; careers education (CEIAG), SMSC, guidance and support from a team of tutors and we continue to ensure our students are made aware of issues in the National context to support and guide them in the life beyond the academy.


The academy aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets all statutory requirements enriched by a wide range of additional opportunities for learning and personal development.

In accordance with the requirements of the Educational Reform Act 1988 as amended by subsequent Acts The Academy provides students aged between 11 and 16 with a basic curriculum (i.e. the National Curriculum plus religious education) that

·      is balanced and broadly based;

·      promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical development of all its students;

·       allows students to gain an understanding of British Values and the contribution other cultures have on society

·       prepares them for the opportunities and responsibilities of adult life.


The governing body is responsible for ensuring that these requirements are met and for drawing up the curriculum policy for the Academy. The Principal is responsible for implementing the curriculum and for taking day-to-day decisions on curriculum matters. The governing body ensures that any political or controversial issues included in the curriculum are presented in a balanced way.

The curriculum structure and associated timetables are arranged in such a way so as to make best use of the available resources in order to achieve the above stated aims.