Abbey View School

Subject Overview

Set out below are the subject rationale for all curriculum subjects delivered at Abbey View School. Each subject area details the Overview (curriculum intent) and how it is delivered in each key stage (implementation). Accredited qualifications are identified as well as the wider Impact for each curriculum area.



At Abbey View, in English lessons, there are three main intentions for all our students: to ensure students make progress towards external qualifications; to provide students with the assistance they need to address gaps in their knowledge; to promote a sense of enjoyment and love for the written word and spoken language.  

Key Stage 3

Our key stage three course of study is designed to help students build confidence in their abilities in English whilst starting to expose them to the assessment objectives for GCSE. The text’s set may differ each year, in order to accommodate students who are in our KS3 group for more than one academic year, the area of study will remain the same:  

  • 19th Century Novel 

  • 20th Century Play 

  • 21st Century Text 

  • Shakespearean Play 

  • Thematic Poetry Unit 

Key Stage 4

Year 10 

As students move into key stage 4 we begin to focus much more closely on the skills required for English Language. We continue to use high quality literature texts but instead now use these to help students gain the skills required to access English Language. Our year 10 units are:  

  • Thematic Non-Fiction Unit  

  • 19th Century Novel- Frankenstein 

  • 20th Century Play- An Inspector Calls 

  • 21st Century Novel- Never Let Me Go 

  • Fiction Across Time: Tall Tales and Short Stories 

  • Thematic Non-Fiction Unit- Freedom.  

Students are encouraged to understand the relationship between reading and writing and are given opportunity to take inspiration from what they have read and put it into their own writing.  

Year 11 

In year 11, students prepare for their AQA English Language GCSE. Studying for the GCSE gives students the opportunity to experience a high range of high-quality texts, to understand the importance of rhetoric in the spoken and written word, and to experiment with their own writing. 

Emphasis is put on students using subject specific terminology whilst still honing their analytical skills. Students then have the opportunity to apply these techniques to their writing and develop their own individual style.  

Vibrant discussions are encouraged around the English classroom to ensure students feel comfortable and confident for the spoken language element of their courses of study, which are usually completed in January Year 11.  


By the end of students’ time at Abbey View they should be able to use English and the ability to communicate effectively. They will have gained valuable skills both in their reading and writing abilities and will have completed their English Language GCSE.  



We aim to reengage students and build confidence in mathematics by identify gaps in learning and build on student’s strengths. Students are taught the key concepts of the mathematics curriculum as well as developing their functional maths and problem-solving skills. A variety of resources including interactive technology and physical resources are used to promote a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage 3, we work on skills and increase knowledge by filling in any gaps they may have. To build their confidence and ability using a variety of methods such as: problem solving, games (computer and board), group work, mental arithmetic competition using stop watches for a personal challenge, structured tasks learning, practicing and revising key skills as well as going over past examination papers. 

Key Stage 4

Students work towards GCSE and functional skills qualifications throughout year 10 and year 11. This is to ensure all students can leave Abbey View with one or both maths qualifications. The topics covered are: Number, Algebra, Geometry, Measure, Ratio, Proportion, Rates of change, Statistics and Probability. Students who join in year 11 follow a condensed GCSE course that covers all topics to ensure full breadth of exam coverage.


1.GCSE Mathematics:  

Students are enterd for either the higher or foundation tier depending on predicted grade. At the end of Year 11 the students take three 1 ½ hour exams. Two calculator papers and one non-calculator paper.

2.Functional Skills: 

These exams are taken separately to the GCSE exams and are studied for within the academic year. They can be taken at different levels to suit the student, usually from Entry level 1 to Level 2. Functional skills are based around using everyday practical maths where the student decides on the appropriate method themselves 



An understand of the world we live in is fundamental to the human experience.   Deepening the understand of how our own bodies function as well as how humans interact with their biological and physical environment adds to that experience. Through an engaging curriculum we seek to inspire, motivate and empower our students to be more curious about the universe they inhabit, to make evidence-based judgments and to evaluate the outcomes of those choices. 

Key Stage 3

Mindful of the intention for most of our Key Stage 3 students to return to and succeed in mainstream education settings our science curriculum has been carefully designed to allow full access to the national curriculum.  We do however, recognise that engagement or re-engagement in learning science is key for those student’s success.  Hung on the AQA Key Stage Three Science Syllabus and making use of AQA provided and externally published support materials, key topics are selected to engage individual and small groups of students.   

Key Stage 4

Year 10 

In Year 10 we are again guided by the intension to engage or reengage students in science. Using the AQA Entry Level syllabus we encourage students with exam style assessment that a vast majority of students can not only access but succeed with. The practical nature of this syllabus with its Teacher Derived Assessment coursework tasks fosters in students the scientific way of working. 

Year 11 

In Year 11 we support students with the continued progress towards AQA Entry Level qualifications while encouraging those with the ability to extend their horizons and strive towards AQA Synergy Double Award GCSE.  We do this by the continued delivery of the Entry level syllabus with and added emphasis on extension tasks and increased familiarity with the more formal assessment style of the GCSE question papers.


At key Stage 4 we continue to support students on their journey towards GCSEs whenever possible.  We do this while retaining a safety net for those who may struggle with the assessment style of the current GCSE.  By delivering the AQA Entry Level Science curriculum alongside GCSE support and extension material we allow those who have the drive, determination, and ability to access AQA Double Award Synergy GCSE. 



Overview (Intent) 

By studying Art, students will develop a sense of creativity and individual expression which enables them to interact with the world and convey a personal response in an original way. Through the study of our highly structured courses, students learn how to use different skills and techniques successfully and creatively in order to develop final outcomes that realise their intentions.  

As many of our students do not have access to a range of different media at home, at school they are provided with opportunities to use a range of high-quality materials with which to experiment creatively. Additionally, many of our students sometimes find it difficult to talk about and express their emotions, and by studying Art, students will learn that artwork has often been a means for an artist to express their feelings, overcome challenges or fight for a cause. 

The work is individualised as much as possible to accommodate the differing needs of our learners, and all projects are appropriately sequenced to show a logical progression from the initial introduction through to a completed final outcome. 

We aim for students to develop resilience and confidence through controlled risk taking and experimentation and to gain value from engaging in personal creative discovery. We also want students to refine their fine motor-skills, visual analysis and hand-eye co-ordination and in particular we will aim to improve concentration skills and creative problem-solving skills that are so essential in our modern society and the ever-changing career market. 

Key Stage 3

As students may only remain with us for a short time, in key stage three and short-term groups our projects centre around developing the formal elements of art: line, shape, tone, form, pattern, colour and value. These are the core knowledge drivers within our Art curriculum because they can be understood and applied in two ways: both in the analysis aspect of art study as well as the practice of art. We choose projects that are vibrant and practical to re-engage disenfranchised learners so that they may take their enthusiasm and renewed confidence back to their school. 

Students will also, over the year, be introduced to a range of artists from across the globe, as well as art from different cultures, to broaden their cultural appreciation. 

The projects are structured and sequenced in a way that mimics GCSE controlled assessments, so that students will become familiar with the process required to meet all the assessment objectives when they reach Key Stage 4. 

Key Stage 4

In key stage four, our learners follow a very structured programme for the AQA GCSE in Fine Art, beginning at the start of year 10 and continuing into Year 11, where they will fulfil the Assessment Objectives through controlled assessments as laid out by the exam board:  

AO1 – Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources. 

AO2 – Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes. 

AO3 – Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses. 

AO4 – Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language. 

The course culminates in an externally set assessment, which is undertaken over a period of several months, followed by a ten-hour final exam conducted under exam conditions. 

The first project, on food, is teacher-led and constructed to build confidence across various media, ensuring that all assessment objectives are met while developing core skills. The second project – if students have enough time to start (as many join the school too late in the year) is more student-led, and explores identity and elements of ‘self’ allowing for students to interpret the brief in a variety of ways that promote independent-thinking and individualism.  


Our students enjoy the self-expression and practical sessions that they experience in Art. They are keen to learn new skills and often show a sense of pride in the finished outcomes as well as a renewed enthusiasm for the subject, allowing them to return to their original school with increased confidence. 

Engagement in the lessons is usually good and art is often seen as a ‘safe space’ for students that might otherwise struggle. Cultural capital is enhanced through introduction to global artists and the art of different cultures and students that complete the art course often achieve some of the highest grades in the school at GCSE, allowing them to access courses or apprenticeships once they leave. 




Photography at Abbey View encourages students to actively engage with the creative processes of Photography and helps them to become reflective thinkers. The course develops their creative and imaginative capabilities when exploring, creating and producing their images. Students become confident in taking risks, learning from their experiences through exploring the camera and its possibilities. 

Key Stage 3

The KS3 students will work on small assignments looking at basic photography skills, gaining knowledge and confidence to go towards the photography GCSE. 

They are given the opportunity to express their individual ideas and personal skills. 

Key Stage 4

The students will work towards gaining their photography GCSE. They are encouraged to experiment with different digital and physical processes of image making, giving them the opportunity to work from their own ideas and build on their strengths and skills. 

In Year 10 and 11 we look at themes like ‘Disguise’ and ‘Close up’ where we explore a variety of areas such as portraiture, experimental imagery, macro, street, and documentary photography. 

Students work through purposeful engagement to build their own portfolio of work. They also look at other artists to develop knowledge and understanding of Photography in historical and contemporary contexts. 


Students will gain a very good idea about their own artistic abilities and interests and will be encouraged to express themselves in a variety of ways though their portfolios.  




ICT is fundamental to the modern world and plays a part in all of our lives. At Abbey View we aim to get students to engage in different aspects of IT to develop the basic skills needed in many modern jobs and expose them to more technical aspects to allow them to consider possible future careers in areas such as coding and game level design.  

We also aim to give the students the necessary skills and information to help to keep them safe online and share the with them the possible risks and dangers of the online world. 

Key Stage 3

Students in key stage 3 will develop coding skills. Starting with the software Scratch where students use ‘blocks’ to help to edit and ultimately create games. Following on from this, students will continue their coding journey with software called ‘Code Combat’ in which they will learn to use the computer language ‘Python’ to complete various tasks. Students progress towards computer game level design which will involve them designing, building and evaluating levels on ‘Super Mario Maker’ 

Students explore picture and photo manipulation, using a variety of software including ‘Pixlr’. They will be encouraged to create and edit images to both explore their creativity and to meet specific requirements. 

Internet safety and keeping safe online is key aspect of the curriculum. Students will be taught about the risks and dangers of being online and what actions they can take to help keep themselves safe and what action to take when they don’t feel safe. 


Key Stage 4

The key stage 4 curriculum works towards the functional aspect of using IT and teachings the basic skills required in the work place. This includes the use of word processors and spreadsheets. Students work towards a Functional Skills qualification in IT.

Key stage 4 will also cover Internet safety and keeping safe online. During this student will be taught about the risks and dangers of being online and what actions they can take to help keep themselves safe and what action to take when they don’t feel safe. 


Students will work toward achieving ICT Functional Skills qualification. This is a qualification that shows future employers that the student has the basic IT literacy required in many modern working environments. There are 3 levels of qualification Entry, Level 1 and Level 2 (Level 2 being equivalent to a GLCSE grade 4). Students will work toward the level best suited to their ability.




Life Skills curriculum intends to cover Gloucestershire’s PSHE & Safeguarding curriculum including the statuary Relationships and Sex Education. By carefully selecting topics that are relevant to our students we can tailor our curriculum to meet individual needs. 

At Abbey View Life Skills lessons aim to develop the knowledge, skills, attributes and resilience students need to manage risks to keep themselves healthy and safe and manage the challenges and responsibilities they will face in life. We recognise that young people have to make important choices about the lifestyles they lead and deal with a range of situations that could potentially harm their physical, mental or emotional health or their financial security.  

Key Stage 3 & Key Stage 4

Key stage 3 – all students receive 2 40 minutes lessons a week in mixed ability groups. 

Key stage 4 – all students receive 3 40 minutes lessons a week in mixed ability groups. This also includes post 16 options and careers.  

Across both Key Stages we offer a spiralling curriculum that revisits and builds learning across each of the key PSHE themes: 

  • Living in the wider world – How media, commerce and social issues shape our understanding of the world. Financial education. Employability skills. 

  • Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) – Understanding the dynamics of healthy & unhealthy relationships. 

  • Health and Wellbeing – Developing risk management, Understanding personal change and responsibility. 

We also work with outside agencies to support delivery of some topics including Crime Stoppers - Knife Crime Intervention, Gloucestershire Road Safety team, Cheltenham Town’s – Men’s Talk, Alter Ego Creative Solutions -Chelsea’s Choice theatre production. 


The aim is to enable all students to flourish in an atmosphere of mutual care and respect, developing academically and, just as importantly, on a personal and social level too becoming mature, respectful, healthy members of society. It is largely assessed via student feedback.  



KS3 Citizenship has the intent to develop skills, knowledge and understanding that young people need in order to take an effective role in public life. For instance, rights, responsibilities, laws, justice and democracy are examined.

Students are scaffolded to develop skills including critical thinking, deliberation and debate.

Key Stage 3

KS3 Citizenship is delivered thematically with a focus on human society and culture covered through the context of sociology, ethics and British Values. Over the year students are encouraged to be reflective and are supported in deepening their understanding of issues concerned with ethics and morality. There is a specific focus on what it means to be ‘inspirational’.

Students are explicitly taught about shared positive human values. Over the academic year the values-based learning supports students in identifying core values exhibited by others, exploring fundamental British values and developing an awareness of their own personal values. Through this process students look critically at how we make decisions and choose to live our lives and are encouraged to think beyond their own desires and self-interest. Perceptions of social inequality are explored and students are supported in identifying and challenging their own perceptions of limiting factors in their own lives.

As well as producing a range of final outcomes students have opportunities to participate in a range of speaking and listening activities including debating emotive issues on human rights and moral conduct and evaluating viewpoints and presenting reasoned arguments.

Throughout students are expected to work co-operatively and respectfully alongside others accepting differing views calmly. Discussion and collaborative work are central to the learning and students are taught how to actively listen, accept the views of others and model the values of tolerance and respect.


KS3 Citizenship develops a range of transferable skills and aptitudes which can be utilised across the curriculum including critical thinking, analysing information, expressing opinions, taking part in discussions and debating.

KS3 Citizenship helps to provide students with knowledge, skills and understanding that better prepares them to play a full and active part in modern British society with an increased awareness of both British and personal values as well as an increased awareness and confidence in the unique contribution they can make.



KS3 Humanities is delivered thematically : mysteries, disasters, firsts and changes. Significant incidents linked to the focus theme are explored. These explorations extend students’ knowledge and develop students’ understanding of well-known events through written and visual sources.

KS3 Humanities has the intent to introduce students to high profile events and phenomena with a view to increasing cultural capital. Students are scaffolded in understanding potential causes, effects consequences and impacts; distinguishing fact and opinion and growing their own perceptions of the focus study.

The intent is to inspire a curiosity and fascination that promotes engagement and produces a confidence to share an opinion that is supported with evidence learnt throughout the theme.

Key Stage 3

To maximise engagement at the outset, students identify potential areas of study within the themes. Students shape and own the curriculum by identifying high-interest content they wish to focus on. As such the KS3 Humanities curriculum is student interest led and changes cohort by cohort.

Discussion and collaborative work are central to the learning and students are taught how to actively listen, accept the views of others and model the values of tolerance and respect.

To promote independent learning and transferable life skills students are guided in undertaking their own research and are supported in developing research skills appropriate to the level at which they are working.

Students have ownership of the final outcomes over the year, presenting findings in a variety of ways and ultimately choosing their own best fit form for sharing what has been learned.


Having exposure to significant national and international events over time, students are enabled to express an informed view with increased confidence.

KS3 Humanities develops a range of transferable skills which can be utilised across the curriculum.

KS3 Humanities provides a context to support students in becoming learning ready so that they can access wider learning more readily and with increased confidence.

Physical Education (PE): 


The aim of PE at Abbey View is for students to positively engage in a range physical activity to improve their fitness and self-confidence. A variety of sports including, football, badminton and boxing are used to promote exercise. Lessons focus on promoting exercise as fun and accessible to all, whilst also promoting the development of soft skills such as team working and perseverance.

Key Stage 3 & Key Stage 4

PE is taught as a whole school activity to ensure the group size is large enough to be able to work in groups and offer choice. The school use external facilities to improve access to equipment and to promote out of school engagement in physical activity. This includes local leisure centers, parks and boxing gyms. Sports are taught on a rolling programme to provide variety and exposure students to possible interests out side of school. Staff work alongside students to promote engagement and develop wider skills such as team working and perseverance.



The aim of Enrichment at Abbey View is for students to positively engage in a range of activities to promote personal development wider and interests. Students can further these interests outside of school as part of making healthy lifestyle choices. The focus within individual lessons is to gain new skills and enjoy partaking in an activity, whilst working on important skills such as working as part of a team and perseverance.

Key Stage 3 & Key Stage 4

Each term students choose from a variety of activities including, fishing, boxing, cooking, art and gardening. Students learn new skills within their chosen activity which can then be applied further outside of school. Lessons work as a framework to support students in developing important skills including perseverance, improved emotional literacy and team working skills.

Multi-agency-project (MAP): 


The aim of MAP at Abbey View is for students to positively engage with a range of people including, peers, school staff and other professionals. By working with each other, school staff, and professional including youth workers, the students build closer bonds and develop their soft skills including communication and interaction

Key Stage 3 & Key Stage 4

Each term students choose from a variety of activities including, fishing, boxing, cooking, art and gardening. Students learn new skills within their chosen activity which can then be applied further outside of school. Lessons work as a framework to support students in developing important skills including perseverance, improved emotional literacy and team working skills.