The curriculum underpins our work as a school. Our staff have spent considerable time to plan and sequence learning within and across years to support our students in making strong gains in their learning. These plans are not set in stone but evolve as a result of regular review.

Purpose of our curriculum 

At Ponteland High School we believe that the purpose of the curriculum is to gradually build up students’ level of knowledge and understanding across all subject disciplines and then be able to apply this in a thoughtful and considered manner to suit the demands of any given task. The curriculum should excite, enthuse and develop within our students a love of learning that encourages them to pursue their studies away from school. 

We have ensured that the curriculum is designed with student learning at the core. Subject leaders have thought carefully about what a young geographer, musician or scientist should know, understand and be able to do at various stages of their school life and used this to plan a curriculum that is progressive and challenging. We are committed to meaningful learning rather than superficial coverage of curriculum content recognising that retention of new material requires regular practice, reinforcement and review. 


We focus on ensuring that our teachers have strong subject knowledge to underpin their teaching. We value and emphasise creating positive relationships in classrooms as we believe this enables great teaching to flourish. We are committed to offering a broad and balanced academic curriculum that is accessible to all students across all key stages; this includes a foreign language for the overwhelming majority of students at GCSE.

Our curriculum is designed to specifically develop student’s knowledge, understanding and skills in each subject discipline. We ensure teachers plan lessons and curriculum content with our Great Teaching model in mind so that engagement, challenge and progress are key components and outcomes of learning.

Our curriculum is designed on the following principles:

  • Learning should sharply focus on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in each subject discipline
  • Students need opportunities to revisit and reinforce key knowledge to ensure it is retained
  • Teachers require excellent subject knowledge to support highly effective planning and teaching 
  • The planned curriculum is an entitlement for all students
  • Teaching is evidence informed
  • Teachers are engaged in continual improvement through our professional learning community and engagement in action research cycles
  • Our curriculum is designed to exploit different pedagogical approaches in the classroom so that all learners have the best opportunities to succeed

  • Opportunities are exploited within curriculum planning to ensure learners have exposure to relevant Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects, as well as reinforcing key British Values
  • The curriculum is personalised for students with additional needs
    • Students will be catered for through careful differentiation and reduced curriculum time, where necessary, to allow additional 1:1 support
  • Students have the opportunity to develop themselves as learners.
    • We will use curriculum time to develop collaborative and interdependent skills in our students. We want them to be curious, listen to the views of others sensitively and reflect on different viewpoints and values to their own.
    • Our curriculum approach should benefit the development of emotionally intelligent students
  • Literacy and numeracy underpin learning and are the remit of all subjects.
  • Our curriculum will be enhanced through strong partnerships with our feeder schools
    • We work closely with our Primary partners to ensure curriculum transition avoids repetition and builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through Primary years education
  • We believe that valuable learning takes place outside of the formal curriculum therefore students will be able to access many opportunities to pursue their learning through a wide ranging enrichment offer