Welcome to Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

At Toot Hill School we believe our ambitious and broad curriculum is an entitlement for every student, regardless of their starting point, personal circumstance and previous life experience. Our curriculum empowers every student to dictate their own future and determine their legacy. By engaging with our offer, students experience a transformational learning journey over time that develops them into well-informed, confident and responsible young people who are intellectually curious and have a thirst for life-long learning, underpinned by the principle of being knowledge-led in both the academic and personal development curriculum.

We deliberately teach a knowledge-led Personal Development Curriculum from Y7 to 13 to ensure that our students leave us as thoughtful decision makers who feel secure and safe in their personal identities, and are able to positively and articulately connect with all members of our community, with respect and compassion. We challenge students to reflect upon, and think critically about, the world around them, whilst supporting them to develop the self-belief and bravery required to leave a legacy within our ever-evolving world.

Literacy sits at the heart of our curriculum; students are exposed to and are expected to use high level vocabulary both orally and in their writing. A student’s journey through school will lead them to engage with the most powerful knowledge from a wide breadth of cultures and beliefs, whilst enabling them to comprehend local, national and international perspectives. They will leave Toot Hill School as proud and active members of society, empowered to contribute positively to their community and the wider world throughout their lives.

Every student at Toot Hill School will learn about worlds beyond their own experience, see the previously unseen and forge high level connections to create flexible knowledge. We expect students to learn facts and figures through deliberate practice in order to form a solid foundation of information on which to draw from when considering more complex concepts. In doing so, they grow into independent thinkers, capable of challenging the status quo. Our curriculum is coherent and purposefully sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been learned. It affords effective transitions between key stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 and enables all students to develop their potential, achieve and experience success. We employ evidence, theory and research, such as cognitive science strategies, to ensure students retain and recall knowledge and deepen understanding which expediates future learning.

Our inclusive curriculum remains as broad as possible for as long as possible for all students. The breadth of our curriculum offers a very well-rounded core education for all and will make it possible to follow diverse and ambitious pathways post-16 and 18. We believe that our curriculum is truly transformational and has the power to address social disadvantage.

Whilst we place strong emphasis on the core academic subjects that provide essential preparation for further study, our students enjoy both the full English Baccalaureate suite of subjects together with Music, Drama, Art, PE, D&T, Food Technology, RE, PSHE and RSHE. Students continue both creative and technology subjects throughout KS3 and this rich programme of learning to the end of Year 9 empowers students to be able to make well-informed curriculum choices for Year 10 and the start of KS4.

To further inspire and capture the interest of all students at an individual level, they have the opportunity to study from an additional eight GCSE courses including Citizenship Studies, Sociology, Economics and Fashion & Design complemented by eight further Level 2 Vocational Courses including Engineering and Performing Arts. We are proud to offer such a wide menu of open subjects to our students at KS4, enabling large numbers (over 50%) to study creative subjects.

Beyond the core academic offer at KS4, we build our timetable around student choice to facilitate their needs. The vast majority of our students (79%) access the full English Baccalaureate, with a high percentage studying Triple Science (60%).

At KS5 students choose from over 35 different subjects with an appropriate balance of facilitating subjects, A levels and Vocational courses on offer. This enables students to study a bespoke blend of both academic and vocational courses where appropriate, alongside additional curriculum enrichment such as Core Maths and EPQ. Each subject is further enhanced by active student subject communities, who facilitate wider curriculum enrichment and foster deep connections to the subjects being studied.

The taught curriculum is complemented by our wide-ranging extra-curricular offer. Our weekly extra-curricular programme is designed to both support our students’ academic learning and enrich and broaden their experience. A balanced menu of extended study in the form of master classes, academic support sessions and Home Learning Hall, balances an extensive enrichment provision of Sport, Music, STEM, Cooking and Art to name but a few of the 60+ sessions that run each week after school.

At Toot Hill School, all students, from Year 7 to 13, engage with our Careers curriculum through our careers programme of active tutoring, career focused days, enrichment opportunities and subject specific links to career pathways. Similarly, our PSHCE programme is expertly planned to support the age appropriate needs of our students through the key stages.

As well as prioritising the intellectual development of all students, our whole school experience supports their physical and mental development, spiritual and cultural awareness and nurtures all to achieve their true potential within our ‘Work Hard, Be Kind, Take Pride’ ethos.

Students’ experience of our curriculum enhances their understanding of the fundamental British values that underpin our school values: democracy and individual liberty through our strong student voice and ambassador scheme, RESPECT rules to keep each other safe and our complete commitment to building mutual respect and tolerance so we combat discrimination.

Our ethos encourages our students to take pride in themselves, their actions, their school and their community, developing the following traits and qualities within their unique personalities:


• Sense of PURPOSE

• Sense of RESPONSIBILITY

• INTEGRITY

• DETERMINATION

• EMPATHY

All interactions within our school have these qualities at their core and we are all committed to fostering their growth in everyone within our school, staff and students alike.

School Day

Our school day starts at 8.30am, with a 15 minute Tutor Period, and finishes at 3.00pm (2.10pm on Fridays). Students have a 15 minute break in the morning and a 40 minute lunch break. In Years 7 to 11, students are taught six 50 to 55 minute lessons a day. In addition, the school offers a wide variety of enrichment opportunities after school as part of ‘Extended Study’ to all of our students. These operate from 3.00pm to 4.15pm on Tuesday to Thursday.

August 2022

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