Curriculum Overview



The development of our curriculum builds on an already existing framework that focuses on transforming our students from compliant but passive learners into truly active and engaged learners. The development of the curriculum feeds through all aspects of school life at Matthew Arnold. We aim to widen horizons for all our students. We currently have a two-year key stage 3, and a three-year key stage 4 but are in the process of transitioning to a three-year key stage 3. Whilst we believe that both models have inherent benefits to students, the latter enables our students to access a broad and rich curriculum for as long as possible before making choices – including the possibility of an extra language, greater access to the creative arts and practical aspects of the technology carousel. 


Our vision for the school, for students, staff and parents continues to be: ‘There is nowhere I’d rather be.’ To this end, our mission is to ensure that all members of our school community are fully prepared for the next stages in their lives and can expect to find all doors open to them: ‘Widening Horizons.’ They will be aware of their responsibilities as global citizens and excited about their contributions to a brighter future. An intense focus on the curriculum has paid dividends. Almost without exception, our teaching staff understand how to interpret the school’s curriculum intent and produce highly accessible and ambitious student learning journeys which significantly increase collaborative working and cross-curricular opportunities for all.  We continue to focus on the planning and delivery of lessons within the classroom so that students build on previous knowledge and are skilled in knowledge recall and application.  We share a core purpose: To widen the horizons of our school community.


The intention of the nine-step curriculum plan is to ensure everyone across the school is on the same journey:

  1. Curriculum development
  2. Learning journeys
  3. Transition from primary and to post-16
  4. Oracy
  5. Making it every day
  6. Classroom delivery
  7. Enrichment
  8. Community
  9. Exceptional performance

Typically, we successfully implement our curriculum through a collaborative approach: Shared best practice pedagogic approaches, daily learning walks, middle leader meetings, Trust training and conferences, visual learning journeys around the schools and staff personal research projects.


Our core purpose is to educate children and to ensure a bright future for them. Academic progress and achievement are a hugely important part of this, and we demonstrate our dedication to this part of our mission in our focus on the curriculum, high-quality teaching, and the learning journeys we provide, as well as in our students’ GCSE results.

We also recognise curriculum impact through ever improving student engagement, staff collaboration, less variability in department outcomes and student behaviours. We will also celebrate greater inclusivity and equity of opportunity for all. Equally important are emotional, social, and mental health, creative, technological and physical development, extra-curricular and curriculum enrichment, contributing to the community and taking risks while at the same time understanding how to control risks to limit harm. Simply put: “Widening Horizons."

Curriculum Review

We constantly review our provision through discussion with our students, teachers, subject leaders and parents. We review curriculum ambition, inclusivity, breadth and how things are taught. For further information about our curriculum, please contact Mr Price, Interim Headteacher -






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