Secondary (KS3&4) Curriculum: Core Values and Aims

Below you will find a description of our values and the broad aims of our curriculum at KS3&4.

For further information about the curriculum routes offered please CONTACT your child's teacher or Dan Hearne (KS3) or Michelle O'Reilly (KS4).



Our teachers aim to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum

Our curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development, cognitively, socially and linguistically. We understand that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.

Regular literacy targets are set according to the needs of individual pupils. The targets set are carefully chosen to ensure that pupils succeed, therefore developing confidence and a positive attitude to work. During lessons pupils work towards individual or group targets in reading, writing, and speaking and listening whilst experiencing the full range of literature set out in the National Curriculum. Targets are also taken into account during the teaching of other subjects. Targeted reading intervention strategies enable us to set ambitious expectations for reading in school and at home.

Our teachers aim to develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Pupils are supported to read with increasing fluency, to understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure. 



At Cedars we see Mathematics as a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and all forms of employment.

Cedars mathematics education aims to provide a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

We aim to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, with the introduction of increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication. 



At Cedars we understand that a high quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world. Pupils are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

As they move up through the school pupils become familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, in collecting, presenting and analysing data. They are encouraged to  make their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and teachers ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.


Humanities (History, Geography, Citizenship)

At Cedars we believe that quality humanities education should inspire in pupils an understanding, curiosity and fascination about the world  that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

The curriculum equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Teaching aims to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, historical times, resources and natural and human environments, and of the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. 


Modern Foreign Language

For our students learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures, it fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. Our teaching is designed so that pupils can express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers.

The prime aim is to enable our students to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.  


Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

At Cedars we understand that a high-quality ICT education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

Crucially computing ensures that pupils become digitally literate; able to use, express themselves and develop their ideas through information and communication technology, as active participants in an  increasingly digital world.


Physical Education

Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build confidence, character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Our curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils develop appropriate competence to enjoy a broad range of physical activities, are physically active for sustained periods of time, engage in competitive sports and activities and learn to lead healthy, active lives. 


Art and Design

Our art and design curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.

Pupils are given opportunities to produce creative work, explore their ideas, become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. As they progress pupils begin to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design, learn about great artists, craft makers and designers, and begin to understand the historical and cultural development of art forms.


Design and Technology

At Cedars we aim for design and technology to be an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils develop creative, technical and practical expertise needed in an increasingly technological world.


Performing Arts & Drama

Our performing arts curriculum is designed to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of performing arts, music and drama, and their talent as performing artists, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.


Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Sex & Relationship Education (SRE) 

It is vital that our curriculum prepares our pupils for life in modern Britain. We have a critical role to play in helping to shape rounded, resilient young people that can face the challenges of the modern world with confidence. 

Our PSHE curriculum aims to provide our young people with both the knowledge and skills to manage their lives, stay safe, make the right decisions and thrive as individuals and members of society.

It provides children with opportunities to develop skills and qualities such as resilience, leadership, communication, empathy and perseverance

We focus on developing pupils’ awareness and understanding to be able to explain confidently how to keep themselves healthy and safe in different situations; to make informed choices about matters concerning their well-being; and to have an appropriate understanding of healthy relationships and how to stay safe from abuse and exploitation.

At Cedars we understand that a high-quality citizenship education helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. In particular, citizenship education is designed to foster pupils’ keen awareness and understanding of democracy, rights & responsibilities, and how laws are made and upheld.  


Beliefs & Values

At Cedars Beliefs & Values is an imaginative and creative subject; it makes a strong contribution to our pupils’ well-being and social skills. There is an emphasis throughout the school on values and the learning in RE supports and helps develop our ethos. Our curriculum is designed to support children to explore RE in a way that values their powerful life experiences rather than a traditional deficit model based on their limited literacy.

Beliefs & Values requires students to develop an enquiring, critical mind in response to the world around them and the many complex issues they will face as members of our society. 

We want our students to have awareness of, as well as respect and tolerance for, all people and their religions. As we live in a multi-cultural society we feel that our teaching should reflect this along with a strong emphasis on moral teaching and values.