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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Intent

We design our curriculum so that it:

  1. Fulfils our moral obligation to build a more equal society and develop students who positively contribute
  • by empowering young people through the acquisition of knowledge and the encouragement of their own social and moral responsibility and engagement.
  • by ensuring that the curriculum takes every advantage of the School’s local context and community and teaches about the sustainability of the environment.
  1. Prepares our students to get fully involved and to be successful in their futures
  • by engendering open, respectful, diverse, curious and critical thinkers who can deploy their knowledge and skillset proficiently and make links across their learning (both in and beyond the classroom).
  • by introducing and embracing challenge positively and developing lifelong resilience.
  1. Creates opportunities both in and beyond the classroom for students to develop a passion and flourish
  • by promoting excellence alongside instilling and rewarding a desire to be scholarly. We place our students at the centre of all that we do, shaping a curriculum to suit their interests, abilities and aspirations, as well as preparing them to compete in the most demanding walks of life.

Our own aspiration is that no student should leave our school without knowing what their qualities and abilities are; without having achieved something worthwhile with them; without a clear pathway to show how they can further develop these further so that they can achieve something significant with their lives.

We want to prepare our students so that they live wherever best fits their aspirations. As such, subject leader specialists design a curriculum which builds on subject knowledge and develops skills over time. Subject leaders map out their curriculum and when doing so consider the learning pathway and learning experience required for future progression, future learning and employment. They consider carefully what a ‘scholar’ in their area would like and attempt to engage and raise ambition by offering linked ‘super curricular’. They also address cultural capital deficit and gaps created by our own monoculture in terms of lack of diversity.

We offer a rich range of educational visits, away from the local area in order to provide both cultural and social capital. For example, we are the largest participant in DofE in Hampshire as we recognise the impact of the award on our young people and wider society.

Key Stage 3

At Ringwood School, we decided to follow the National Curriculum and keep a 3-year KS3 to ensure that all of our students gain access to a rich curriculum and ensure that the student’s experiences are wide-ranging across their time in secondary education. KS3 is seen as a broad core entitlement of subjects spanning Maths, English, Science, humanities, performing arts, creative arts, languages, technology and physical & personal development.

There are ​fifty, 1-hour lessons per ​fortnight and ​these are ​allocated between the different subjects as follows:

YEAR 7 & 8

English 7
Maths ​7
Science ​6
French/ Spanish ​5
Geography ​3
History 3
Ethics & Philosophy (Statutory RE taught through this subject) 2
*Technology 4
ICT & Computing 2
PE 4
Art 2
Drama 2
Music 2
​PSHE ​1

*Technology is taught on a carousel curriculum model, with students studying Textiles, Food & Nutrition, Resistant Materials, Graphics, Engineering and Hospitality & Catering over Year 7 and 8.

As a school situated in a largely Christian demographic (e.g. 3 form feeder infant school is a CofE Faith School and 54% define as Christian), we recognise the importance of RE within the curriculum offer. As such, EP is delivered by trained RE teachers to develop the students learning of Christian values but also to introduce other religions and diversity.

Given the prevalence of tourism in our area, we recently adjusted the technology rotation to introduce the Hospitality & Catering unit which feeds into a vocational KS4 pathway. To support this, we secured funding to build and fit an industry standard food room to give the students the best experience in this area.

Year 9

The year 9 curriculum is made up of 8 KS3 learning areas: English, Maths, Science, ICT, Languages, PE, Creativity and Humanities. In order to ensure that all students continue to experience a broad curriculum, all students will continue to study all 8 learning areas. We emphasise the transformational power and impact of creative subjects at KS3, 4 and 5 as a vehicle for developing emotional intelligence, confidence, resilience and communication skills and we recognise the importance of this industry for work opportunities. It is for this reason we place a clear emphasis on these subjects at all stages but particularly in Year 9 where we allow students to choose their favoured creative subjects. This approach allows the creative options to be studied in greater depth as they will read these all year rather than be on a carousel. This approach also allows students to pick up Spanish as an additional language and start a BTEC in Performing Arts.

English ​7
Maths ​7
Science ​7
French/ Spanish ​4
Geography ​3
History ​3
​Ethics & Philosophy (Statutory RE taught through this subject) ​3
​IT & Computing 2
Creative Option 1 ​3
Creative Option 2 ​3
​Creative Option 3 ​3
PE or PE & Performing Arts ​4

We believe in the power of reading not only to develop a child’s vocabulary and language skills but to teach them about the world around them and to help with their development of empathy. We hold it in high regard and as such have a dedicated reading programme that is delivered across Year 7 and Year 8 English lessons. Texts are specifically chosen to develop cultural capital and challenge the student’s perceptions of the world around them.

To find out more information, view the Year 9 curriculum options page:

Key Stage 4: Year 10-11

The purpose of the KS4 curriculum is to prepare students for post 16 progression and for life in modern Britain. Therefore, in KS4 we aim to pair a rigorous core curriculum of essential academic subjects with personalisation from a rich array of optional courses that appeal to their interests and aspirations. The variety of academic and vocational courses on offer match the opportunities that are available both in our own post 16 setting but also to those establishments around us. Advice is always available to ensure the best combination of subjects is selected and part of this comes from our designated Careers Team.

All KS4 students study English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Combined Science. They all have an entitlement to CORE PE or a practical non-examined course of Performing Arts. The majority of students will read French or Spanish but students can change this as long as they are taking either Geography or History in a different option block. The push towards the humanities subjects, when French or Spanish isn’t taken, is our safeguard to ensure that students continue to understand the wider world outside the confines of Ringwood and the south.

All students will be able to access the full E-bacc if they and their parents choose to. No student will be compelled to study the full E-bacc. The school strongly recommends that students who might want to keep open the possibility of studying at a Russell group university should complete the full Ebacc by choosing Geography or History GCSE in addition to the core subjects of English, Maths, Foreign Languages and Science. Currently, EBACC entry is 41% (last published data 2023).

English 8 8
Maths 9 7
Science 9 12
Physical Education or Performing Arts 3 2
Option A 5 5
Option B 5 5
Option C 5 5
Option D 5 5
PSHE (statutory RE and RSE taught through this) 1 1

The programme of optional subjects are crafted to:

1) Span a wide range of subjects so that all students can access courses that relate to their interests, and which prepare them for their desired futures.

2) Provide a choice of assessment frameworks so that students can achieve well because the way they are assessed matches the way they personally prefer to work (whether this is through exams, coursework, projects, portfolios, practicals or a combination of these).

3) Give students the opportunity to specialise in curriculum areas they wish to pursuit for their future, or those in which they have a passion. The core and compulsory element of the formally examined curriculum provides students with six academic qualifications (English Language, English Literature, Maths, Combined Sciences and either a MFL or EBacc Humanities). This offers breadth as well as academic rigour. Therefore, students are given a high degree of freedom in choosing their 4 optional subjects however, the discounting codes from the Department of Education do apply to students choosing options to ensure that specialisation does not become duplication. No limitation is given to students based on ability alone. We pride ourselves on our inclusivity. Therefore, all subjects are open to all students. This includes those wishing to read Triple Science.

To find out more information, view the KS4 options page:


We are very proud of our reputation as being one of the best and highest achieving Post -16 providers in the region. 6 GCSE Grade 4-9 including English and Mathematics are required to enter the sixth form in addition, many subjects have individual academic requirements. Ringwood Sixth Form is full of challenges and opportunities, both academic and personal. We have high expectations for all students and provide an environment that is intellectually stimulating and supportive. We embrace challenges and develop independence and self –confidence through flexible programmes of study and close working relationships between staff and students. Beyond their studies we expect students to immerse themselves in the wide range of opportunities on offer so that they develop as responsible, confident global citizens.

Students in Year 12 are full time and all begin a programme of study that includes three subjects. The subjects are selected from our option blocks. Students have the opportunity to study A Levels, Vocational courses or a combination of both. This flexibility allows students to tailor make their programs of study. A broad range of support and study skills are delivered to support students. Students are also encouraged to study the EPQ and complete MOOC’s. All Year 12 students sit summer entrance exams. The successful completion of these enables students to transition into Year 13 and be guided appropriately to their next steps including university. A wide variety of courses are offered: Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Design and Technology, Extended Project Qualification, French, Geography, Geology, Photography, Health & Social Care, History, Computer Science, BTEC ICT, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, BTEC Media, Music, Music Technology, Photography, PE, Physics, BTEC Production, BTEC Performing Arts, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, CTEC Sport, Textiles and Drama & Theatre Studies.

Each subject is taught for 10 periods per fortnight and all students are expected to undertake private study in each of their subjects on a weekly basis and this is supported by 3 timetabled lessons of guided study. A diverse programme of enrichment is delivered throughout the year. Enrichment is an integral part of the Post- 16 programme of study and compulsory for all students in Year 12. It offers an opportunity to develop character, skills and confidence in areas outside of the student’s chosen academic study. The programme is designed to enhance studies and gives the opportunity to prepare for employment or higher levels of study. In addition, all Year 12 and 13 students receive 1 hour of PSHE per fortnight as part of their timetabled lessons offer.


Lower than expected Literacy and Numeracy skills on entry are recognised as a barrier to general curriculum access. Where students are identified as behind in literacy skills, we offer catch- up sessions to quickly improve reading and writing. These take place as soon as possible in KS3 to ensure that students have the skills needed to access the curriculum. The Year 7 & 8 curriculum is also modified so that these students have discrete literacy lessons timetabled in their week and experience learning Spanish. For students behind their peers in numeracy, their technology carousel is modified so that they receive precision numeracy teaching for a module.


The school meets its obligation for relationship, sex and health education through PSHE. This is delivered in curriculum time during Year 7 – 13 as well as tutor time. Students are also educated by experiencing specialists services visiting the school in drop down days as year groups throughout the year. We recognise our vulnerabilities in living here such as county lines. We have therefore bought into the Hampshire Safe initiative. We also know that we lack diversity and so have to work harder to raise awareness of social issues such as racism and homophobia. Therefore, we actively educate ourselves and our young people e.g. with focussed events such as Pride Month, Anti-bullying week, Show Racism the red card etc.

Ability & Setting

We currently teach students in different teaching groups in KS3. In Maths, Science, IT and Languages subjects, students are taught in ability groups. These teaching groups are determined by CATS test data collected at the start of Year 7/ KS2 data and termly Assessments. In Maths, Science and Languages these ability sets are continued at KS4. Non-core, English, Humanities and option subjects are taught as mixed ability in both KS3 & 4.