Curriculum and Learning at Park Vale Academy

The Academy offers an extensive, flexible and dynamic curriculum that will focus on the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, supported by an extended curriculum providing a broader balance of subjects. We have a major focus on securing excellent examination results for all students alongside ensuring that all students have the necessary academic and social skills for the future. This includes the development of literacy, numeracy and ICT skills across all year groups. All of this will be underpinned by a focus on the highest possible standards of teaching and learning within classrooms.

As students progress through the school a series of curriculum pathways based on students' abilities and interests will direct them to the courses and qualifications that best suit them and which provide the right progression for them as individuals. Tutors, subject teachers, and parents and carer, as well as the students themselves, will all be involved in ensuring that the correct pathways are followed.

The Academy operates a three year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9) and a two year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11). This will ensure that at the end of Key Stage 3 all students have the necessary foundation of skills before they go onto their more diverse routes at Key Stage 4.

The emphasis will always be on preparing students to meet or exceed their target grades. The Academy will continue to use National Curriculum levels to assess student progress despite them no longer being statutory.

Year 7 Curriculum (Key Stage 3)

  • English, Mathematics, Science
  • Languages, History, Geography, PE/Dance, Computing, Food, Art, Drama

Year 8 Curriculum (Key Stage 3)

  • English, Mathematics, Science
  • Languages, History, Geography, PE/Dance, Computing, Drama, Art, Food

Year 9 Curriculum (Key Stage 3)

  • English, Mathematics, Science
  • Languages, History, Geography, PE/Dance, Computing, Art, Citizenship, Food, Drama

This broad and diverse Key Stage 3 curriculum ensures that students will have had the opportunity to experience and explore a range of subjects in order to best inform their Key Stage 4 option process. It also caters to a range of learning styles and offers a mixture of academic, creative and vocational skills.

Years 10 (Key Stage 4)

  • English Language, English Literature, Maths, Combined Science, PE
  • Options: Triple Science, History, Geography, Spanish, Computer Science, Additional English, Additional Maths, PE, Art, Food, Performing Arts, L2 Child Care, Business Studies, Engineering, Dance

Years 11 (Key Stage 4)

  • English, Maths, Core Science, PE
  • Options: Art, Dance, Engineering, Food, PE, Geography, History, Sociology, Spanish, Sport, Performing Arts, Computing, Additional Science, Triple Science, Citizenship, Business Studies, Child Care

At KS4, two pathways for progression are presented to students, covering a wide range of subjects providing an academic and vocational choice based on ability and aspiration.

Drop-Down Days

We ensure all our students study PSHE, RE and Citizenship, including coverage of SMSC as British Values, through our engaging and enriching 'drop-down days'.  These are calendared throughout the year and see the entire Academy suspend the curriculum for a day in order to allow staff and students the opportunity to immerge themselves in the themed days.

Further Information

Further Information on the National Curriculum can be found on the Department of Education website, following the links below.

National curriculum in England:  secondary curriculum (

National curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4