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The Harefield Academy Curriculum

All areas of our Curriculum are fully inclusive of all students, and can be accessed by all students as per the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. You can see full details of the subjects that we offer on the learning and curriculum tab of our website, curriculum content by subject.

Our Core Vision

  • Our purpose is to provide all students with the highest quality education through the delivery of an outstanding, well-balanced and creative curriculum in a supportive, safe and caring environment. 
  • Our aspiration is that all children are driven, ambitious and self-motivated; that they are supported in fulfilling their potential in order to enhance future life chances and develop into well-rounded, honest, articulate human beings who make a valued contribution to society.
  • Our ethos is one of mutual respect and kindness within the school community and beyond; it is a school where every child matters and is valued; where diversity is embraced and where high expectations, hard work and exemplary behaviour are the norm.
  • Our aim is to create an Educational Centre of Excellence for the whole community that is successful, innovative, cohesive, energetic, healthy, inclusive and filled with opportunity

Our Strategic Intent

  • To have high expectations of all students and to facilitate all in making exceptional progress through outstanding teaching, learning and assessment.
  • To remove barriers to learning, close attainment gaps and provide opportunities for all students to achieve excellence.
  • To develop resilience, integrity, ambition and a “can-do” attitude in all members of the organisation.
  • To deliver a challenging and creative curriculum which is inspiring, nurturing and appropriate for all students, underpinned by an effective approach to SMSC development which promotes tolerance and respect for people of other faiths, cultures and lifestyles in modern Britain.

Curriculum Principles

  • To ensure that the Curriculum is designed to support progress over the 5 or 7 years the students stay with us, to accelerate their progress and allow them access to the next pathway of choice.
  • To ensure that we offer a breadth of Curriculum, in all subjects and at all key stages that  maximises learning opportunities for all students.
  • To ensure that our core values underpin our curriculum design.
  • To support and guide students about future pathways, with career opportunities signposted through all areas of the Curriculum.
  • To offer targeted support and additional challenge where required so that all students make at least national rates of progress. 
  • To offer a broad and balanced extended learning curriculum which includes trips, masterclasses and enrichment beyond the classroom.

How we do this

  • Targets are set for all students from year 7, which can be refined when students start their GCSE’s.  Targets are set using national comparators for students with similar academic profiles to ensure they are both robust and challenging.   We use ALPS (A level Performance System) to set aspirational targets for A-level.  We ensure our students always strive to be the very best they can be.
  • Progress towards targets is reviewed continually and reported to parents twice a year at Key Stage 3 and three times a year at Key Stage 4 and 5.
  • At Key Stage Three we report using attainment descriptors to measure progress as well as reporting on attitudes to learning.
Attainment Descriptors What this means in Years 7 & 8
Accomplished Has mastered the skills and knowledge learnt at this stage
Confident Able to meet the challenges with confidence and independance that leads to consistantly secure achievement in that subject at this stage.
Consolidating Is able, with some support, to meet most of the challenges of the curriculum at this stage.
Developing Not yet securely demonstrating skills against aspects of the curriculum at this stage.
Emerging Beginning to demonstrate skills against some aspects of the curriculum at this stage.


  • This stage refers to Years 7 to 9., Year 9is broadly a transition year that enables students to consolidate learning in all key curriculum areas whilst facilitating  the opportunity to try out less familiar options that can be considered for their later GCSE studies.

Year 7 , 8 and 9  Curriculum offering 2020-21

Year 7 and 8


Number of lessons per week


5 lessons

Maths, Science

4 lessons


3 lessons

History, PE, Geography, Computer Science, Food Technology

2 lessons

PSHE, RE and Performing Arts , French

1 lesson


Year 9


Number of lessons per week


5 lessons

Maths, Science

4 lessons

History, PE, Geography, French

2 lessons


1 lesson


  1. Ethics and Food Technology
  2. Computer Science and Art

2 lessons  2 x 8 week blocks

Option 1 – students’ study two of the three subjects on a rotation

Performing Arts, Business Studies, BTEC Sport 

2 lessons  2 x 8 week blocks

Option 2 – students’ study two of the three subjects on a rotation

Media, Sociology and Child development 

2 lessons  2 x 8 week blocks

Additional support offered at Key Stage Three

Students who have barriers to their learning in Years 7 – 9  are well accommodated through our  comprehensive Inclusion provision.  The support offered includes:

  • All Year 7 and 8 students have additional Literacy support with bespoke classes for students within English lessons.
  • Support with reading where KS2 results and reading age are below chronological age. This is through use of the Renaissance Accelerated Reading programme. (is this correct??)
  • Targeted provision is offered by our SEND Department to support the needs of all students. This can be through TA support in class or small group/1:1 bespoke and measured provision within the Integrated Learning Centre (ILC).

Key Stage 4

Year 9 – 10 transition

During year 9 we offer bespoke support to enable informed choices for GCSE pathways.  This includes tailored options lessons in PSHE, subject talks in the theatre and an options evening.  We also set up a 1-1 meeting for each student with a members of senior staff to raise the profile of the decision making process and to enable personalised guidance from our most experienced staff.  Students will also have had the opportunity to experience  option subjects through the year 9 Curriculum, as outlined above. 

Key Stage Four

At Key Stage 4 Students must study all of their ‘CORE’ subjects and then they are able to choose an additional four subjects.

Core Subjects: :  Maths, English (usually 2 GCSEs – Language and Literature, Science (2 or 3 GCSEs), Physical Education (no GCSE exam), PSHE (No GCSE exam). 

Most students will additionally choose one subject from History, Geography, or French  as these subjects (Ebacc) typically lead to a broader range of pathways for future studies.  Where students find humanities and languages to be particularly challenging, they will not be compelled to study them.

 Students will then select three further subjects which could include:  Business Studies, Food preparation and nutrition, Sociology, Child development, Computer Science, Philosophy and Ethics, Media, Art and design, PE amongst other more traditional choices.  Those for whom an Ebacc subject would not be an appropriate choice, will be able to select 4 open options.

Students in Year 10 will also be able to opt for Triple Science. 

As well as offering Religious education as an option (Philosophy and Ethics) we cover the mandatory elements of Religious education, following the SACRE guidance, throughout our curriculum including PSHE and assemblies.

Students unable to follow the full GCSE curriculum due to SEND need will be supported through a comprehensive Interated Learning Programme. This may include:

  • Supervised independent study via SENECA with support materials from curriculum subjects, to ensure curriculum coverage and to monitor progress.
  • Bespoke TA support in classes
  • Assessment for Exam Access Arrangements/training in assistive technology, as required.

Key Stage 5

  • Students normally study 3 subjects.   This is flexible in order to meet the needs of students and where appropriate work experience placements can add towards guided learning hours. We also allow students to start on 4 subjects if they are unsure about subject choice.
  • Sometimes a more personalised combination is required which is explored on a case by case basis
  • Students receive a programme of Personal, Social and Health Education within Tutor Time as well as supervised study and study skills sessions to support effective self-regulation and ownership of learning.
  • The majority of students undertake 600 hours of study.
  • Students are offered personalised careers sessions and support with future career pathway applications.
  • Students receive 1-1 support for UCAS applications and bespoke careers guidance for employment or apprenticeship routes.
  • Work experience is offered and encouraged to all students in Year 12.
  • Students who have not yet achieved a Grade 4 in English or Maths GCSE are provided with lessons, support sessions and revision materials and up to 4 exam opportunities to improve their grades.
  • Students are encouraged to immerse themselves in the wider school and local community to broaden their knowledge, skills and confidence. Students are encouraged to proactively support school events, assemblies, peer mentoring and peer tutoring.
  • The 16-19 Bursary Fund is made available to all those meeting the criteria who would benefit from financial assistance during their post 16 studies.

We offer a variety of different A level subjects including, Maths, Sociology, Psychology, Business Studies, English Literature, History, Geography, Art and Photography, Philosophy and Ethics, Further Maths and, Media Studies.  Our vocational offer includes BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport, BTEC Level 3 in Cookery and BTEC Level 3 in Child Development.