Curriculum at AVC

The curriculum supports pupils’ physical, mental and personal well-being, safety and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and pupils are aware of the meaning and importance of British Values.


Our knowledge-rich curriculum provides a route map for high levels of achievement, developing the mathematicians, engineers, athletes, historians and geologists of tomorrow. We achieve this goal by bringing the outside world in, enabling our students to live inside their subject as if it were a laboratory, a concert hall, or a Spanish market! Designed by subject specialists, students work through a progression of competencies, supported by skills such as resilience to apply the knowledge. Our resources hook students into subjects, driving them to investigate, experiment, solve problems and engage in dialogue.

Through a wide range of enrichment opportunities, students are prepared for the pathways most suited to their interests and their future careers.   As a school at the centre of a community, our curriculum extends past the school bell and past the school gates.

Our ultimate aim is that students talk about lessons after the lesson, that we stimulate their thirst for knowledge. Honesty, Fairness, Endeavour and Mutual Respect permeate the school fabric ensuring students understand that failure is part of success, each mistake teaching us something about the subject and about ourselves.


The curriculum:

·         Exploits opportunities to develop the school values of Honesty, Endeavour, Fairness and Mutual respect

·         Builds confident, curious, life-long learners through a broad and balanced, knowledge-rich curriculum

·         Develops skills to enable students to transform and apply that knowledge

·         Ensures pupils are well prepared for their next steps in education and work

·         Is supported by opportunities that enrich and extend the academic curriculum within the school and the local community


  • Subject areas map their curricula across five years into key competencies (units of knowledge and skills)

  • Opportunities for problem solving, critical thinking, enquiry, building perseverance/resilience are interwoven into the competency framework

  • Full three year Key Stage 3

  • All students take maths, English, science and one EBACC subject - then have a free choice of three other subjects


  • Competencies are assessed at four levels – emerging, developing, secure, mastery – every two (core) and four (non-core) week cycles

·         Data from the assessments are used to stimulate teaching and learning conversations that inform planning for the next competency

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 – 9) all students study English, mathematics, science, history, geography, religious education, Spanish, technology, art, dance, drama, music and physical education.  There is a small amount of choice in year 9 allowing students to specialize in areas of the creativity and languages curriculum that interest them, whilst keeping their options open for their choices in for year 10


At KS3 we aim to enable students to become confident and proficient speakers and listeners in a range of settings, for a widening audience and a variety of purposes, whilst also promoting students’ enjoyment of reading and their ability to respond to what they read. In order to do this we ensure that our pupils have access to a wide range of challenging literary, non-literary texts and multi-modal texts.

English at AVC aims to also develop students’ ability and versatility as writers. To enable them to write for different purposes and audiences, to understand the different stages in the writing process and to provide them with opportunities to succeed as writers.

The skills they learn at KS3 feed smoothly into the KS4 GCSE requirements, ensuring an easy transition.

Ultimately, our aim is to encourage the love of the written word and all that brings with it.


Mathematics is the language of patterns and rules. It allows us to model, explain and predict the world around us. At primary school the focus in on the manipulation of numbers and number relationships. This is extended during secondary school, using what has been mastered and building on the more abstract nature of secondary mathematics.

Students will study number, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics with a focus on mastering ideas and techniques. It is expected that students will take a proactive approach to learning Mathematics, before, during and after lessons. This is aided by excellent online resources, clear detail on when each ‘Key Competency’ is assessed and regular meaningful improvement targets for the students to follow up. The skills developed during the learning of Mathematics; logic, problem solving, and perseverance will impact their lives far beyond the classroom.

The key stage 3 course leads directly into the KS4 course and the requirements for the GCSE.


Science is the study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. At key stage 3 we focus on the following key areas:

·         Enquiring - consisting of devising questions, testing hypotheses, planning to control variables and collecting data.

·         Solving - consisting of estimating risks, examining consequences, interrogating sources and understanding how scientific ideas                    change over time.

·         Analysing - consisting of presenting data, analysing patterns, drawing conclusions and discussing limitations.

·         Communicating - consisting of constructing explanations, communicating ideas, critiquing claims and justifying opinions.

From primary school into Key stage 3 and beyond we build on prior concepts and big ideas incorporating scientific working techniques. Topics covered include Forces, Electromagnets, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes.

The Key stage 3 topics lead directly into the key stage 4 GCSE courses for Combined and Separate Sciences.


Human Studies

Human Studies cover a wide range of subjects, some of which pupils will have had experience of at primary school and some which will be new.  At key stage 3 pupils will study History, Geography and Ethics.  Through these pupils will learn about the world we live in, how it was shaped by natural processes and by humans through time as well as a range of world beliefs and philosophies.  All subjects encourage pupils to develop their enquiring minds, develop their questioning skills and discover new aspects of the world including their lives within it. 

All subjects build the skills and knowledge needed to progress from KS3 into GCSE.  In addition students can also study Sociology – the science of society and Health and Social Care – the study of human growth and changing needs over time.


Studying Spanish at KS3 allows pupils to explore and learn the exquisite culture and language. Pupils will learn day to day phrasing and grammar, whilst becoming confident on a variation of terminology.

Not only will pupils learn to speak and write the language but the course at KS3 gives pupils the skills to progress into KS4 for a GCSE qualification.


Creativity covers an extensive range of subjects that includes Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Design & Technology, Food & Nutrition, and Sport.

These subjects provide students with opportunities to experience things that they will not have done before.  They’ll take risks with different materials and processes; play music; dance, and perform on stage; use tools in a workshop environment; prepare and cook food; and play new sports.

At KS3 students will experience all of these subjects, learning and developing practical skills in addition to a range of other transferable skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

These subjects prepare students for GCSE and Btec courses at KS4.  They are also a platform for popular Post-16 courses that we offer, that prepare learners for University courses or the workplace.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) all students follow a core curriculum of English language, English literature, mathematics and combined science.  During year 9 they will have selected 4 options from a wide variety of subjects.  We encourage students to select options to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum. 

For study in 2018/19 the options were art, food preparation and nutrition, dance, drama, history, geography, religious education, music, media studies, physical education, design technology, health and social care and sociology.

A detailed view of what is taught at Key Stage 4 is available in the 2019/20 options booklet.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure that it offers the right balance of challenge and engagement for all our students.

We take great care to ensure that the choices students make are the correct ones for them and that they will enable the students to progress to the next stage of their education or training. In addition to providing this guidance we also ensure that students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural knowledge and skills are developed so that they can become rounded individuals able to make a positive contribution to their community.

Key Stage 5 :

For more information on the national curriculum please see

·         National Curriculum page:

·         National Curriculum programmes of study by subject:


For more information on the curriculum at Avon Valley College please email:

Key Competencies

Every subject has its curriculum split into a series of key competencies.  Each Key competency is a skill or knowledge that it is necessary for students to master to be able to perform at the very highest level.

Three times a year, from year 7 to year 10, we report to parents how well each student has mastered each key competency.  We will assess each one as mastered, secure, developing or emerging.  If a student is mastered on all key competencies within a subject we would expect them to be tracking towards a grade 7-9 in year 11. 

Below we have a timetable of when key competencies are taught and assessed for each subject.  In addition there is a suggested resource so that students can work independently to improve their chances of success.




Design Technology




Food technology


Health and Social Care (Year 10)

Heath and Social Care (Year 11)





PE (KS3)

PE (Year 10)

PE (Year 11)




If you have any further questions please email








Warning bell


Tutor Period/Assembly



Period 1



Period 2






Period 3



Period 4






Period 5



Period 6



School day Ends