Curriculum Overview

Please see below for information on the wide curriculum we offer our students at Winterhill. 

For specific information of subject areas, please see the subject information pages. 

Winterhill School is a learning community. Central to this vision is a curriculum which has breadth and balance, but also has coherence, relevance and ensures excellent progress and progression for all our students.


To enable all learners to make outstanding progress both academically and personally through the experience of an inclusive, engaging and challenging curriculum.

Our curriculum teaches and develops; behaviours, essential learning dispositions such as resilience; skills, such as the ability to work as part of a team and knowledge, such as essential subject specific information.
A key aim for our curriculum is that students become more independent and able to manage their own learning effectively so that they are able to succeed in examinations (GCSEs), whilst also preparing students for further study and for life.
Therefore, in addition to subject areas such as English, our curriculum provides strong support for personal development and;


  • offers a wide range of enrichment opportunities that include sport, music, drama, art and a wide range of other activities and cultural events. These may be clubs, competition, celebrations or visits. All students are actively encouraged to join in with as much of this as they can but Key Stage 3 students must make  an enrichment pledge and commit to taking part in at least one activity per term. We believe this creates good habits for personal development and enables students to explore the many opportunities that the school has to offer which they might otherwise find out about.

  • develops fundamental values and beliefs in line with out ethos; ‘Other people matter’. All subjects consider the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of their areas of study (see subject content documents for an overview) in addition to specific lessons in PSHCE, the tutor programme and through whole school events such as assemblies. Teaching respect for self and others, rights and responsibilities as a citizen of modern multi-cultural Britain and tolerance of others is central to what we do.


A firm foundation in Year 7 and Year 8:

It is our strong belief that these skills and personal qualities must be taught alongside relevant, challenging and engaging subject knowledge from the very start.

Year 7 students follow the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC), an internationally renowned curriculum based on the UK’s National Curriculum used by both state and private schools around the world. This curriculum develops rigorous subject specific knowledge for discreet subjects eg. English, Geography, etc. alongside a theme which connects the learning from each subject together. This theme, known as ‘THE BIG IDEA’ encourages and develops independent learning and specific learning behaviours and skills. For more details see the separate information on the IMYC which can be found in the curriculum section on the website.

This year Year 8 students will follow our existing Key Stage 3 schemes of work. Subsequently Year 8 students will also follow the IMYC.

A personalised pathway to success:
Year 9 students begin their GCSEs and other high value qualifications, providing a personalised curriculum for each student. Each student chooses up to four option subjects as part of a comprehensive package of support and guidance which includes; input from career lessons from Year 7 onward, careers guidance sessions and a one to one parental interview with a member of school staff.

It is expected that all students will study and achieve at least eight subjects. In addition to English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Double Science and PE (Core);

  • The curriculum includes both GCSE and Vocational provision with an increasing and varied range of qualifications (eg. OCR national in sports studies and BTEC music).


  • More able students have the opportunity to pursue separate Science, Additional Maths, Computer Science as well as a wide range of other challenging GCSE and Vocational courses.

  • Students who need more support to succeed have the opportunity to follow a range of Level 1 courses which are designed to produce real vocational opportunities.


  • Students who require even more support to make progress have bespoke provision which may include work related courses at alternative providers for part of the week and small group teaching of core subjects in the Flexible Learning Centre (FLC).

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