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Our Curriculum

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The Coopers curriculum is inclusive and aims to ignite all students with a lifelong love of learning.

The Coopers curriculum is inclusive and aims to ignite all students with a lifelong love of learning. Our curriculum is broad, knowledge rich and engaging, underpinned by a set of relevant skills to broaden students’ horizons and ensure the holistic development of all our young people.

Our students are exposed to high level academic and social opportunities that raise their ambition and empower them for success in the real world to prepare students for their future.

Our ambitious curriculum and the personal wellbeing of every child is at the heart of what we do and extends beyond the classroom for our students.

We are committed to increasing the cultural capital of our young people within a community built on the values of Trust, Respect and Resilience, that endeavours to achieve strong outcomes for all.



  • Inclusion and Equity are guiding principles for all policies and practices
  • Curriculum and assessment systems are designed to be effective for all learners
  • High-quality support in place for all learners to access a full, broad and balanced curriculum
  • Diversity is celebrated and all non-inclusive, discriminatory and inequitable practices are challenged


  • Some knowledge is of greater importance and use
  • The most important knowledge for each unit has been carefully considered
  • This most important content is intentionally shared repeatedly with pupils
  • Assessments are created to track students’ progress through this powerful knowledge
  • Responsive teaching results in teachers identifying and repairing gaps in this powerful knowledge


  • Curriculum content is mapped to ensure that pupils meet new content when they are ready for it
  • Curriculum plans ensure that linked content is revisited at regular intervals
  • This provides opportunities to check prior learning
  • Students remember more content because of this spaced practice


  • Big Ideas are used to create threads throughout the curriculum (schema)
  • Big Ideas organise knowledge in the minds of students
  • New information is connected to prior learning more easily
  • Pupils can better understand why they are learning new content

At Coopers we promise to

  • Embed a knowledge rich sequential curriculum in all subjects.
  • Identify the most powerful knowledge to teach through big ideas subject knowledge organisers to scaffold and support your child’s learning journey.
  • Embed teaching and learning strategies that ensure that effective learner habits are established that lead to strong outcomes for every student.
  • Offer high quality SEND provision to ensure strong outcomes for our students.
  • Increase the opportunities for literacy across the disciplines, for every child to develop a love of reading.
  • Ensure that all students are exposed to CEIAG and Higher Education opportunities in each year group.
  • Deliver high quality PHSE provision to enable students to make the right personal choices at all stages of life including Relationship and Sex Education.
  • Raise cultural capital across the disciplines including British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural development.
  • Offer a wide range of extracurricular activities to allow our students to excel in both academia and within their own specialist areas outside of the normal classroom.


Our curriculum is sequenced for knowledge to be revisited and built on over time. Through this process of interleaving, the most powerful knowledge is taught and learned by our students. We have created subject knowledge organisers in each subject discipline which is revisited frequently over the Key Stages to develop students long term memory.

Lesson Length: Our lessons are 50 minutes long, with some year groups receiving 100-minute lessons for practicals and some Sixth Form lessons. This allows learners to be fully immersed in the essential knowledge and skills they require to progress in lessons. This allows more time for deliberate practice and greater fluency of practical skills.

SEND: Provision is made within the school for all learners’ special educational needs or disabilities- using provision mapping to plan their intervention and share useful strategies to enable staff to meet the individual needs of students. Our aim is to develop equality and equity within the area through working with external organisation to support SEND learners. We are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum which is broad and balanced for our SEND learners to promote positive post 16 and 18 destinations. Staff in the department are trained to deliver quality intervention including Dyslexia Gold, Speech and Language Therapy and Fresh Start Phonics to support SEND learners effectively.

Literacy Strategy: At Coopers we are dedicated to ensuring that every student is constantly developing their reading and literacy. Not only is this fundamental for the exams but also in preparing them for whatever next steps are to come. We have embedded reading time in every single tutor group, choosing texts that not only stretch and develop their vocabulary and hone their grammar but also excite, activating their love of reading for years to come. 

Key Stage 3

Setting : The timetable allows for students to be put into sets in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science, ensuring that all students are able to receive the appropriate level of challenge. The year group is split into 4 with each quarter having an upper and lower set in these subjects. Students are able to move between sets regularly, three times a year. Research shows that reducing the number of sets, ensuring that students are not put in a set across more than one subject (streaming) and reviewing them regularly, reduces the potential for students to be negatively impacted by attainment setting.

Broad and Balanced: All our students are entitled to a broad curriculum over a 3-year Key Stage 3. The National Curriculum is followed and students study English, Maths, Science, MFL (French, Spanish or German), History, Geography, Computer Science, Music, Drama, ADT (Art, technology, textiles, and Food), PE (including Dance) and PSHE.

Options Process: In Year 9, students choose their GCSE options before commencing a 2-year programme of study in Year 10. Not only does this give students the opportunity to study subjects they have enjoyed and excelled in through their broad and balanced KS3 curriculum, but it also crucially gives them more time to develop the depth and knowledge needed to succeed in challenging GCSE qualifications.

Key Stage 4

In Y10 and 11, our students commence their GCSE or Btec courses. Student’s study 9 GCSEs in total. All students study the statutory requirements of GCSE English Literature, GCSE English Language, GCSE Maths and GCSE Science. Students are then able to select 4 subjects from our broad offer. It is expected that a high proportion of our students will study the full Ebacc qualification of English, Maths, Science, Geography or History and MFL which is open to all.

Core subjects Ebacc GCSE/Btec options*
English Literature Geography Physical Education* Design Technology
English Language History RE Food Technology
Maths Spanish Media Business Studies
Single Sciences: Biology Chemistry, Physics French Business Studies Drama
Double Award Science  Computer Science* Art Music
 Our Big Ideas fit into our curriculum principle coherent, ensuring our curriculums are built on coherent schema running across the 5 years.  Schemas (sometimes referred to as mental models, scripts, or frames) are structures that organise knowledge in the mind. When learning, the mind connects new information with pre-existing knowledge, skills, and concepts thereby developing existing schemas. 

Our curriculums, develop and refine learners’ prior conceptions as opposed to teaching something entirely new. Approaches that compare, organise, and map concepts try to make schemas clear and visible and are thought to support learners to organise and extend their ideas. The flexible nature of schemas does mean that specific teaching and learning strategies foster a more desirable order to a learner’s pre-existing and developing knowledge.

Our approach to working with schemas focuses on pupils organising and elaborating on their ideas to develop more complex mental structures.  We do this through the development of our subject specific Big Ideas that run through the 5 year curriculum.  The relevant Big Idea is referenced at the start of each lesson through the curriculum slide, to orientate the learners within the curriculum.

In all of our 5 year curriculum plans you can see the Big Ideas outlined, mapped and developed over time.

Please click each topic within in the subjects to access Subject Knowledge Organisers. 





Key Stage 5

We are an 11- 18 School and therefore work to the belief that the majority of our students will stay with us beyond 16.  Our Guidance Programme gives impartial advice to all students to enable them to make the best decision for their future. Our curriculum is innovative and looks at progression Post 18. At Coopers students can choose to study:

A Level – most of our student’s study 3 A Levels, although students can study 4 if they choose.

Vocational – this creates a specific pathway for vocational students and helps prepare them for either FE courses, apprenticeships or the world of work.

Students can study a mix of A Level courses and vocational courses.

The full details of our Sixth form provision can be found on our website: Post_16_Information