Curriculum Intent


At King James we want to provide the best possible learning and experiences for every young person for whom we have a duty of care; 'inspiring excellence, building character'.


At King James we believe that education is about transforming the lives of young people so that they become successful students, helping to deepen their understanding of our 4 character values (see here) and developing their aspirations.   

We will deliver a broad and balanced curriculum preparing children for life’s challenges by developing our character values and the holistic approach as follows:

King James is proud to be developing an exciting and challenging curriculum for all our pupils from Year 5 and beyond. We are committed to providing a broad and balanced diet to enable all pupils to prepare for the next stage in their learning whatever their passions and ambitions.

At King James we believe in supporting healthy lifestyles and we offer our pupils 2 hours of PE each, alongside an array of lunch and after school clubs.   Our approach supports the DfE's healthy schools rating (Silver and Gold) scheme recognising schools for encouraging healthy lifestyles.  In addition our pupils are supported through their Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) which is provided through PSHE and dedicated events throughout the year (see here).  Both PSHE and RS are delivered across the school when opportunities arise, but also through delivered via:

●  Designated lessons within the timetable

●  The RE curriculum

●  Dedicated assemblies

●  Guest speakers/companies

To view a copy of the PSHE Learning Journey from KS3-4 click hereThe RS content can be viewed on the subject tab.

Curriculum Implementation

Pupils’ timetables are made up of 25 one hour lessons a week, but the timetable runs over 2 weeks to give us more flexibility to offer a broad and balanced range of subjects (see below). The subjects range from the core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science, PE, PSHE and RE plus a range of foundation subjects.  Pupils spend an additional 25 minutes a day in form time where they have the opportunity to develop skills to support their learning both in and out of the classroom.  

Timetable allocations

Key Stage 2:

Our Key Stage 2 curriculum allows our pupils to begin studying subjects such as Spanish and Design Technology from an early age and yet maintains a primary ethos through students having all lessons apart from Spanish and PE with their class teacher.  Given this and specialist teachers working in specialist rooms our pupils thrive and have the confidence to take on new challenges.

Whilst the adjacent table shows the average distribution of hours per week per subject, our newly created primary style curriculum model allows teachers to deliver subjects in a more integrated and topic-based approach, developing key aspects of the curriculum such as writing and cross curricular links.

Key Stage 3:

Pupils will encounter even more subjects as they move on to the Senior site and into Key Stage 3.  Some pupils are given the opportunity to begin to study a second Modern Foreign Language - French, as part of our curriculum enrichment programme.  As part of our curriculum, learners experience financial planning, media and business studies giving them the opportunity to experience new subjects but also to develop numeracy and analytical writing skills along the way.

Our thought-provoking and enriching provision enable pupils to explore aspects of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) and Religious Education curricula. Activities such as mock interviews conducted by members of our local business community, developing budgeting skills and presentations by the police and fire service help to prepare our pupils for life beyond school.

We believe that knowing our pupils well allows us to maximise their potential in all subjects, whether it be through using Accelerated Reader to boost literacy levels, targeted intervention sessions or in-class support. With specialist teachers working in specialist rooms, our students thrive and have the confidence to take on new challenges. Pupils choose their options in year 9 and we are confident that they can make these decisions with confidence, having studied a broad, balanced and enriched curriculum from year 5.

KS4 Option Choices:

Pupils are guided in the early Spring of Year 9 to make informed choices for their GCSE options.  All pupils study a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science, core PE, PSHE and Religious Studies.  Our pupils have a rigorous curriculum offer and most will study four additional subjects, but will have to ensure maximum lesson time to cover the increased content demanded by revised GCSE specifications (see list of qualifications below).  Our pupils study an academic program by following four options and with many gaining the EBacc.  In Pathways 1 & 2 pupils have the guided option of following either the Separate Sciences (Triple) or Combined Science courses.   Some pupils may need additional support and will follow a Pathway 3 ‘study plus’ which will provide additional support such as literacy and future skills preparing them well for post-16 opportunities.  Our information evenings, subject fairs, subject consultation evenings, careers interviews and one-to-one meetings with members of the Senior Leadership Team mean that our pupils make the right choices to prepare them for post 16 options and beyond.

Curriculum Impact

Teacher assessments form one of the key means for assessing the impact of our curriculum delivery across the academy.  Heads of Departments or Subject Leads will undertake departmental curriculum monitoring which involves talking to pupils about their learning, looking at their work and observing the delivery of lessons.  This enables leaders to triangulate with assessments and then look at potential training opportunities which will both enrich and extend teachers’ practice.  Over time our ambition is that the curriculum is responsive to change and the needs of our pupils.


Pupils will be assessed on their acquisition of knowledge, understanding and skills during day to day lessons.  We call this formative assessment e.g. teacher questioning, quizzes, verbal check ins and so on.  This allows teachers to assess the extent to which pupils are progressing, so they might adapt their lesson that day or plan for future needs.  Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) are delivered in KS2 or KS3 so that teachers can use the data to better support pupils' individual needs.  Cognitive ability tests assess abilities involved in thinking (e.g., reasoning, perception, memory, verbal and mathematical ability, and problem solving).

At King James teachers will assess when pupils have covered a significant body of learning (see Assessment & Reporting overview below) e.g. a topic such as Coasts in Geography at KS3 or KS4 or the study of the Silk Road across the Primary curriculum over a half term or term.   Summative (end of topic) assessments will likely take place at the end of a half term or term for KS3 and KS4.  In the Summer formal internal examinations will take place for Year 10 in most of their subjects and for KS3 this will happen for English, Math and Science.  At KS2 pupils complete assessed pieces through their two years and will undertake mock SATs and SATs in Year 6.

If you would like more information about the curriculum please contact the following staff:

King James Academy Assessment & Reporting Overview
Qualifications taught at King James 2023_24.pdf