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Orchard Park High School

Curriculum Overview

Orchard Park High School provides an enriching curriculum that fosters wisdom and confidence in our students, by empowering them to think about the world beyond their own, make changes on a local and world stage and engage in the great conversations of society.

Our students are aware of themselves as being in a continual state of knowledge formation and engage deeply with the most pivotal contributions to human achievement. They take joy in studying a wide range of subjects and are aware of their responsibilities as knowledge bearers of the future.

We believe strongly in offering students a broad range of subjects to match their interests and prepare them for future study. We encourage students to pursue the rigour of English Baccalaureate subjects where possible and avoid limiting students' access to these. The needs of all learners are met. Students with Special Educational Needs are identified early, where possible, and are supported to access the curriculum at each stage.

We value regular assessment to understand students' learning and support them. This takes many forms including skilled pre-planned questioning and regular mini-white board activities in lessons, multiple choice quizzing and more formal written and performance assessments. Opportunities for and timing of assessments are planned in departments and are therefore consistent for all students. 

Please contact Ms S Walsh through the school office for more information about the curriculum at Orchard Park. 

Curriculum offer at Key Stage 3

We operate a two-week timetable with 25 periods a week from Years 7 to 10 and 30 lessons a week for Year 11. The subjects we offer to each year group are as listed below.

The day is structured as per the table here, with each year group starting the day with roll call and a bespoke tutor reading programme for Years 7 to 10 and an additional lesson with a subject specialist for Year 11 during tutor time and Lesson 6 each day. We also offer a Champions' Hour to support Year 11s develop lifelong study habits in a designated Silent Study Centre, purpose built for Year 11s to use before and after school and during lunch time.

Curriculum offer at Key Stage 4

We firmly believe that giving students choice in deciding their options will prove motivating and will ultimately help them to be successful. Our option structure is broad and relevant, offering exciting routes to further study at post-16, higher education and into employment.

We aim to offer students the opportunity to take 9 subjects in Key Stage 4: 6 compulsory assessed subjects, 3 options and three compulsory subjects which are not assessed but integral to maintaining a broad and balanced curriculum.

The options process starts in March of Year 9 where an Options Evening is run for parents and students with a full booklet guiding students through such a key decision point.


For more information about how we enable disabled students to participate in the school’s curriculum –see the school’s accessibility plan, click here. There is more information about how we support students with special needs in the SEND section of our website click here.

Curriculum Vision

Please see the drop downs below for our curriculum vision and curriculum map in each subject.


The art department at Orchard Park will enable all of our students to fully access the full complexities of our subject by developing their capacities as creative makers and critical thinkers. Key to this aim is fostering an understanding of art as a process of engaging directly with the world around us, by visual and physical means. Through this process of engagement, our students are encouraged to develop their unique vision and voice. We believe that we are at the forefront of developing students resilience and drive to adapt successfully to changing contexts, in which they are able to become the shapers of events.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


Business and retail studies seeks to equip students with the fundamental knowledge of how to run a small business and the broader structures of the world of commerce. Students will have the opportunity to critically think about the structure of the world around them and develop their creativity when problem-solving strategies to develop the business world. In lessons, students explore business concepts through the lens of an entrepreneur setting up a business; we develop an understanding of key business concepts and skills when managing the growth of a business; students apply quantitative skills relevant to business, including being able to interpret financial data and students explore business in the global context and how this impacts business behaviour and decisions. Through business and retail studies, students will become forward thinking, entrepreneurs of the future who have the confidence to step into the world of business and flourish.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.

Computer Science 

Our computer science department is committed to guiding students to understand the fundamental technological systems that underpin global societies and the constantly developing tech within these. At Orchard Park, students develop an understanding of hardware, software and programming, knowledge that will form the bedrock for students to explore emerging ideas and concepts in the world of tech and enable them to create the next Apple or Microsoft multinational corporation. Students will gain insight into how social media can be both useful and damaging, how the money we use is becoming increasingly digital and invisible and how the “Metaverse” is beginning to form and may soon be as commonplace as the internet. Through computer science, students have the opportunity to enrich the mind and understand the backdrop to the world's power, knowledge and political structures and are only limited by their patience and imagination.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


The English curriculum at Orchard Park is underpinned by what it means to be human and the values that underpin this. Through this idea, we aim to develop students’ abilities to communicate, think, explore and question. Our curriculum provides students with the skills required to access all subject areas and engage in academic thinking, both within the literature studied and in the wider world. We nurture our students to express themselves as individuals, to grow emotionally and artistically – to have a voice which is unique, empathetic, relevant and appropriate for life in the modern world, with an appreciation of the past and how this shapes who we are. We build on skills of analysis, interpretation and communication to develop our students’ excitement around the subject but also skills to help them interact and engage with society's important ideas and beliefs. We also expose them to a wide variety and breadth of texts, both full-length and extracts, introducing ideas from outside of their everyday experiences, while also exploring topical and relevant issues that affect our particular learners. Our students study works from pivotal writers allowing them to leave the school having become confident advocates, linguists and writers, who are confidently and articulately able to express their own ideas. At Orchard Park, students become critical and empathetic audiences, not just of literature but of the world as a whole.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


Through the geography curriculum at Orchard Park High School, our students explore physical and human geography at all scales, from the local to the global. We aim to create the very best geographers through teaching the skills, knowledge and vocabulary needed to effectively explain and understand geographical issues in the past, present and future. We endeavour to foster a life-long love of geography through providing ample opportunities for students to make sense of people and places through data analysis, fieldwork and the exploration of their own personal geographies. Students will finish their geographical studies at Orchard Park as responsible global citizens who are prepared to face new and challenging ideas in our changing world.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


The history curriculum at Orchard Park’s will fire students' curiosity and imagination, inspiring them to engage with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. We will encourage students to develop their own identities through an understanding of history at a local, national and international level. Through the study of history students will learn to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past. history will prepare students for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life. Through the active learning of history, students will become questioning individuals who are prepared to confidently take part in a democratic society.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


Through modern foreign languages we aim to provide our students with the confidence and flair in the learning of Spanish and French. We believe a high-quality language education foster pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. It will enable students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and learn new ways of thinking. At Orchard Park High School we provide an enriching curriculum that fosters wisdom and confidence in our students, by empowering them to think about the world beyond their own and make changes on a local and world stage. We endeavour to develop a love of languages as communication is a vital part to ensuring that students are prepared for the world around them, learning about different countries and cultures and empowering students to see the world as responsible global citizens.

Download the link to the curriculum map for French here.
Download the link to the curriculum map for Spanish here.


Our outstanding teaching creates lifelong mathematicians. Our young people learn to analyse information critically, think through solutions logically and show resilience in the face of challenge. They will develop the skills and confidence to embrace the mathematical challenges in their everyday lives, unburdened by the phobia of maths that many adults experience.

The depth of our curriculum ignites a spark in our young people, allowing them to appreciate the beauty and enjoyment of maths without needing reassurance of its everyday relevance. We aim to drive a passion for maths in our young people, encouraging them to continue their mathematical journey beyond their secondary education.

Download the link to the curriculum map for Mathematics here.

Performing Arts 

The performing arts department provides a broad curriculum that creates confident and competent performers who will love and engage with the arts for life. We are committed to providing the space for our learners to realise their potential by raising their expectations and broadening their knowledge of the most pivotal pioneers and practitioners in music, dance and theatre. Through our schemes of learning, we create the space for learners to use and challenge existing repertoire as a framework for innovation, fostering a love in our learners of both performance and the creative process. We provide the highest standard of extra-curricular provision and have a full programme of clubs for all to access. We pride ourselves on offering a wide range of performing opportunities so that our students can transfer their learning from the classroom to the stage and have excellent links with our local community and professional organisations. Our performing arts curriculum is rooted in the knowledge that art is at the very core of our identity as humans. We believe that the greatest gift we can give our students is an understanding and appreciation of how the arts enrich the mind and soul, giving us a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals.

Download the link to the curriculum map for Dance here.
Download the link to the curriculum map for Drama here.
Download the link to the curriculum map for Music here.

Physical Education 

The vision of the PE department is to create a culture that inspires children to become active for life, whilst encouraging all to engage in competition and a sense of pride. All members of staff will deliver challenging lessons that promote progression, enjoyment and healthy lifestyle decision. At Orchard Park we will endeavour to provide opportunities for pupils to participate in competitive sports and activities both in and beyond the curriculum. This will mean that all pupils have the opportunity to participate in regular competitive sport with the launch of regular interwatch competitions and the ever improving extra-curricular club offers, leading to a strength in character with the aptitude to both win and loose with grace. It is important that all students learn to lead and therefore important that we offer all of our children the chance to lead activities in their school life. Leadership gives children the understanding of what it is like to have responsibility, to show respect for rules and brings the added challenge of organisation, communication and teamwork.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.

PSHE and Citizenship 

Download the link to the curriculum map for PSHE here.

Religious Studies 

In RS at Orchard Park, we are committed to helping the students to foster curiosity of difference, and to help develop a sense of tolerance, acceptance and celebration of diversity. We present students with the opportunity to view society under multiple lenses, considering throughout how faith, culture and identity impact us as individuals, as well as a community. Importantly, students are taken through the process of unpicking commonly held misconceptions about religion and culture, to help them gain a more level-headed, objective view of religious reality in the world. Throughout the Key Stages in RE, students are taken on a journey of self-discovery, as well as learning about different faiths - this is through engaging in some of life's biggest questions, related to morality and ethics, as well as attitudes and perspectives towards some of the world's most contentious issues. Students will leave their education at Orchard Park having taken part in an RS curriculum that fosters thoughtfulness, encourages compassion, respect and critical thinking. Through the students' time here, RE helps students to reflect on who they are, what makes them different, where they belong and who they want to be.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


Our science department is committed to ensuring that all our students experience a rigorous, engaging and stimulating knowledge-based curriculum, with practical elements that deepens their understanding and contextualises the material taught. We will empower our students to make observations about our physical world and the processes around them. Our students will be able to engage in conversations about the most important global issues facing humanity and our planet. Through our own professional development and our high expectations of students, in an environment that upholds the values of our school, our students will achieve academic success, laying the foundations for their further education.

Download the link to the curriculum map here.


Download the link to the curriculum map here.

Direct Instruction

Please see below for information about direct instruction.