Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Statement

At Ormiston Horizon Academy, we have further developed the purpose of our curriculum to meet the diverse needs of our learners.

 Intent – OHA Five Pillars

At OHA our curriculum is:

• Broad and Balanced: All students have the opportunity to study all subjects on the National Curriculum including PSHE and SRE. This should allow all students to develop emotionally, intellectually and creatively and provide an opportunity to follow their own journey towards their own aspiration.

Preparation for the Future: We believe that all students should experience a solid foundation at Key Stage 3 and therefore all students follow a three-year Key Stage 3. This ensures that OHA students have the skills, knowledge and understanding to have a successful Key Stage 4 and open doors to both Post-16 study and future employment.

 • High Aspirations: We have designed a curriculum which is enjoyable, ambitious and motivates all students including SEND and the most disadvantaged towards lifelong learning.

Promotes the Academy Values: Our students will demonstrate Respect, Resilience, Inspiration and Responsibility to have an appreciation of their own well-being and the multi-cultural society which we live in.

Rich Knowledge Based: Students will leave OHA following five years of study, fully prepared for a variety of ambitious destinations. By providing students with extended and independent learning, our students will be ready to embrace the wider world around them.


The OHA Curriculum is delivered through a programme of a three year Key Stage 3 and a two Year Key Stage 4. The curriculum is delivered through a twenty-five lesson timetable per week. Students study all subjects on the national curriculum and follow pathways as well as core subjects at KS4.

All subjects follow the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum and GCSE Specifications at Key Stage 4. We aim to build upon the prior learning students have undertaken during their primary education phase.

During each Key Stage, students are given ambitious assessment opportunities so that teachers can measure the progress that each child makes during their secondary education phase and to provide opportunities to plan and implement further strategies for improvement.

We have a team of empowered subject leaders who design their own curriculum for Horizon students. They oversee a committed team of skilled specialists who ensure consistent delivery from the Scheme of Learning. We provide bespoke training for all staff: professional development is increasingly subject specific. Additional training includes safeguarding and leadership. External training is available. Teachers are specialists in their subject, who regularly collaborate and train emerging specialists.

At the heart of strong delivery is challenge and appropriate pitch. We teach to the top whilst giving support where needed. Teachers identify and refer explicitly to subject skills; they raise aspiration and ensure cultural capital – there are a wealth of opportunities inside and outside of school, curriculum enrichment days, careers programme and personal tutor time.

Students are well prepared and informed for all assessments. They are used to help direct future learning. All subjects use similar methods/structure that allow for reliable and robust analysis and follow up. Assessments are challenging and inclusive for all. They are shaped to develop the value of employability and transferable subject skills.

Key Stage 3 2023/24

In our new three-year Key Stage 3 curriculum design we provide breadth and balance through the study of National Curriculum subjects. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum focus is the mastery of knowledge and skills needed for future learning whilst also providing a plethora of enrichment opportunities for students.

At Ormiston Horizon academy, our three-year KS3 curriculum is knowledge-led, challenging in terms of content and rich in experiences which will help to develop the cultural capital of our students; our students will be independent, confident and love learning. The curriculum is coherent, interleaved with prior learning to deepen students’ long-term memory and therefore their resilience. Every subject area outlines the key concepts the students must master in the form of a knowledge organiser. To build long term memory, regular, routine testing takes place in lessons. All students have the same curriculum entitlement but where needed, there is intervention through KS3 for the development of core knowledge and skills, with particular emphasis on supporting reading.

Key Stage 4 2023/24

There is a balanced and broad range of challenging and rigorous courses in Key Stage 4 where students are explicitly aware, at every stage, of what they are learning and what they will be tested on. We pride ourselves on developing artists, linguists, historians, geographers and athletes of the future.

We start our Key Stage 4 curriculum in year 10; all students follow courses with appropriate guided learning hours for course completion. During this two-year period all students study: English, Mathematics, Science, PE, PSHE, RE and Careers. British Values, SRE and Citizenship are developed within the taught academic curriculum.

The curriculum is broad and well balanced with English Baccalaureate (Ebacc.) qualifications available for all.

All students have an opportunity to consider studying a language and all students have the choice to study either history and/ or geography and select three further options.

Students can follow pathways through Vocational Qualifications, traditional GCSEs or a combination of both. Curriculum options in years 10 and 11: Art & Photography, Textiles, Business Vocational, Child Development, Health and Social Care, Catering, Construction, Geography, History, Creative iMedia, ICT, Spanish, Triple Science, Sports Studies, Dance, Drama, Music, Product Design and RE.

Trust purpose

The purpose of the curriculum is based on our purpose as a Trust:

  • Teach – the curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills pupils are entitled to
  • Develop – the curriculum sets out how pupils will develop socially and emotionally
  • Change – the curriculum should be designed so that any pupil can excel, so that no one is disadvantaged

Our aims for the curriculum also support the OAT values, which are:

  • Anyone can excel
  • Share what is best
  • Be inclusive
  • Enjoy the challenge