Our Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact

Our curriculum

Intent, Implementation and Impact

Quality of Education Statement

Strive, Succeed, Surpass


At Caterham High School we place students at the heart of our school with a real moral imperative to change and enhance their life chances enabling them to be successful and to shine in school and beyond. We strive to see our care, development and teaching of our students through their ‘own eyes’- with this shaping everything that we do.

We believe that an aspirational approach to the curriculum and learning is fundamental and central to everything we do, underpinning our aims, ethos and vision. We expect all staff to deliver high quality lessons daily, where all students are fully supported, engaged and challenged whilst achieving their potential. We aim to promote a culture of a passion for learning so that students are enthusiastic, inquisitive, resilient and life-long learners. Through our curriculum design, we strive to empower students so that they can succeed and make excellent progress in their learning, achieve excellent outcomes and become well-skilled and equipped for future life aspiring to be the best they can be. We aim to enthuse students so that they can surpass their expectations and become well-rounded citizens of local, national and global communities growing in self-esteem and confidence.

We believe in and invest in our teachers so that they can become experts of their subject, so they can inspire and teach to very high standards based on real knowledge of individual pupils and their different paces of learning. We share good practice in teaching and learning across all curriculum areas and evaluate and reflect on our practice.

Curriculum Mission Statement

It is our mission to provide an inclusive curriculum, which aims to raise aspirations and equip students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to ensure they are prepared for the next stage of education, employment and adult life. It is designed using an understanding of excellent subject and pedagogical knowledge so that students can make outstanding progress. The curriculum is designed to equip students to have the cultural capital to be successful in life, appreciating human creativity and achievement.

We are unrelenting in our reshaping of the curriculum offer, to ensure it is responsive to the context of our diverse, multi-cultural community being responsive to the changes that are characteristic of an East London demographic. We ensure a breadth of study and ambition for all learners, looking to overcome the barriers and challenges that may cause some children’s lives to be socially disadvantaged. 

Our ‘Curriculum 21’ programme of development is crucial to ensuring that the curriculum is taught and assessed, using pedagogical subject expertise with a clear focus on the sequencing of learning to ensure that knowledge and skills are mastered (the science of learning).

Teaching is designed to ensure the experience of all learners is engaging and creates a passion for the subjects being taught. It is based on high quality and well-planned strategies that lead to every individual being fully supported and challenged to meet their potential.

Regular formative low stakes ‘assessment for learning’ takes place throughout lessons to address misconceptions and aid planning of the ‘next steps’, while summative assessments are designed to moderate and support judgements. The importance of recap and review, the development of oracy and extended writing and a greater understanding of metacognition are fundamental to the school’s implementation of our inclusive Curriculum 21.

The ‘Caterham Way’ underpins the ethos, behaviours and attitudes to learning. Enriching the pastoral curriculum supports the learning process and aids personalised and collective personal development.  The school’s new ‘Caterham Way’ captures the values and culture of the school.

Our students will have an enriched experience that develops their knowledge, skills and attributes to become well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the next stage of life and are equipped to be positive citizens, with an understanding of how their culture is an important part of their development and experiences.

Our students will achieve outcomes beyond those expected, so as to enhance their academic aspirations and ensure they have high quality opportunities. Our ambition is that all students will flourish and thrive as a consequence of our curriculum, teaching, enrichment and pastoral care.

Students who face social challenges will thrive in our inclusive culture and all students will be proud of their school community.


Students at Caterham High School come from a diverse range of cultures and social backgrounds, from 60 different primary schools, so reflecting the demographics of East London.

Believe, Connect, Innovate, Persevere and Excel are the core values of our new Caterham Way for 2021. These values were agreed through consultation with students, staff, parents and governors. We are embedding these values into our rewards, celebrations and enrichment programmes with opportunities in the curriculum to celebrate these values further.

The curriculum is designed to equip students to engage fully with the national curriculum, whilst also providing them with enriching cultural capital experiences that enable them to appreciate human creativity, achievement and endeavour. The curriculum is also designed to show them future pathways to support successful pathways in the future beyond school.

Our inclusive ethos is demonstrated through what we offer to enrich our students lives. We are very proud of our Diversity, Environmental and Peace Days in 2021 which were in response to the needs of our school’s community. We provide a rich and varied range of experiences for students to develop confidence and greater their understanding of the world around them.

Building on our success in Key Stage 4 outcomes in 2019, (Progress 8: All +0.18, High Prior Attainers: 0.41+) we have a curriculum strategy that is designed to be aspirational to allow all groups of students to excel.

Our Sixth Form epitomises our inclusive ethos. We strategically revised our curriculum offer in Sixth Form in 2019, which has led to an increasing number of students accessing a range of courses and giving the opportunity to make confident and supported steps into the next stage of their education. Our own Year 11 students are increasingly making the choice to stay with us (61% in 2021) at Key Stage 5. Our Sixth Form curriculum offer meets the needs of our school and local community. This year 86% of Year 13 students continued in their education to study at university, including 81% first choice places studying subjects ranging from medicine, engineering, fine arts and sport.

The school’s strong commitment to Inclusion and pastoral support means we have a range of provision to support all students’ needs to ensure they access the curriculum and all the school has to offer. These include the Pastoral Care Centre, The Inclusion Zen Den, ELSA trained staff, a Safe Space for Year 7 and a Diversity Lead. We are developing the Conscious Curriculum (October 2021) which is an ambitious project in response to Black Lives Matters.

‘The schools work to promote pupil personal development is good’… ‘Students are sensitive about the need to treat everyone equally and with respect’

Ofsted 2018

Our diverse cohort includes EAL students (55% at Caterham High - 17% National). We have a high mobility factor due to a number of external factors, which means we induct new students regularly. Many of whom are new to the UK. We run an EAL Academy to support their transition, progress and personal development. The EAL Academy supports students to thrive at Caterham High.

‘Support for pupils who speak English as an additional language is effective’

Ofsted 2018

As 33% of our student body are classified as Pupil Premium (27% National) we combat disadvantage through a broad and balanced curriculum and strategic initiatives. The 2021 IDSR report states that students arrive at Caterham High School below secondary ready levels in reading, writing and mathematics. We therefore carry out baseline testing to ensure that our curriculum is fit for purpose and that the support is in place to enable ALL children to fulfil their potential. 

Caterham High School’s Inclusion Department supports students to access our curriculum through in-class support, group interventions and bespoke support (for example through technology to ensure participation). We have a Provision for children with Hearing Impairment who are taught alongside their peers in the classroom with specialised support. Our EHCP is 2.9% (1.8% National).

We have both short and long term strategies to address the impact of the pandemic. Our Covid Catch Up Premium Report identifies how we have built on our intervention strategies to address specific gaps in learning to ensure all Key Stage 3 students are able to access the curriculum.  Building on our Raising Standards strategy, we provide tailored intervention for our exam groups in both Key Stage 4 and 5, and provide wider support to all our students.

Curriculum 21 (C21) is our longer term core strategy. This is designed to ensure students master key skills and learning through consistent pedagogical approaches across departments. The pedagogical approaches are pertinent to subject areas but benefit students across the curriculum. For example, the 9 step approach to extended writing, strategies to develop good oracy, and applying the science of learning are built into our medium and long term plans. The strategy also develops student and teachers’ understanding of how metacognitive approaches aid the learning process. This strategic approach builds on the curriculum already in place at our last Ofsted inspection.

‘the way the curriculum is organised enables pupils to consolidate their learning and deepen their knowledge and skills over time’ Ofsted report 2018

Key Stage 3:

At Key Stage 3 we are committed to a broad and balanced curriculum, offering a range of subjects in our curriculum design, ensuring a strong EBACC offer complimented by at least two hours per fortnight of Performing Arts (Drama, Music), Physical Education (many sports including swimming), PSHCE including RSE, Art, Design Technology (Food, Textiles, Resistant Materials) and Religious Education. At the start of Key Stage 3 students experience French and Spanish before choosing one language for the remainder of their key stage 3 experience. This allows students to make an informed choice.

Our PSHCE and RE curriculum ensures respectful discussion of diversity thus supporting our inclusive ethos. At KS3 students are taught Relationships, Sex and Health education in line with DfE requirements and Local Authority guidance but with flexibility to respond actively to student need and voice.

In Year 9, the curriculums in English, Maths & Science build the knowledge and skills needed for success at Key Stage 4, providing pathways to ensure that the challenge and assessment is tailored to the needs of all students.

At the end of Year 9, we work closely with students and parents to support decisions about the choices of subjects for Key Stage 4 options as this can affect future choices in post 16 study, university choices or when looking for a job. We promote thinking ahead to ensure that choices remain open.

Key Stage 4:

We understand that our students live in a complex and changing world which demands good standards of education and personal qualities such as flexibility and the ability to work well with others. We have devised an offer at Key Stage 4 that allows for all our students to be able to access courses that they find interesting, opening routes to a wide variety of careers as possible and providing a firm foundation for their future.

In their first three years at Caterham High School, students have studied a wide range of subjects. In Years 10 and 11 students specialise in some areas in order to be able to study at greater depth. We offer additional subjects to provide a rich and varied curriculum choice.

In Years 10 and 11 every student will follow examination courses in English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Science. Students will make additional choices selecting four GCSE or Vocational courses. There are personalised pathways where we encourage students to take EBACC subjects or we provide supported studies to compliment the core curriculum.  

We advise students to choose subjects to ensure they have a balance. However, we do not prevent students who have a passion or aptitude for particular subject areas from choosing subjects such as, for example Drama or Music.

The subjects we offer are:

  • Humanities Subjects: GCSE Geography, GCSE History, GCSE Philosophy of Religion and Ethics
  • Modern Foreign Language Subjects: GCSE French, GCSE Spanish 
  • Creative and Performing Arts Subjects: GCSE Drama and Theatre Studies, GCSE Music, GCSE Art and Design, GCSE Physical Education
  • Design Technology Subjects: GCSE Design and Technology, Vocational Hospitality and Catering, Vocational Textiles
  • Business Subjects: GCSE Business Studies, Vocational Business & Enterprise, GCSE Computer Science, Vocational Information Technology
  • Social Science Subjects: GCSE Sociology, GCSE Psychology, GCSE Citizenship, Vocational Health and Social Care

All students will follow non-examination curriculums in Physical Education, Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education including Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) and aspects of Religious Education.

Key Stage 5

We are proud that we are the only Redbridge local authority school with a diverse curriculum provision that enables all students to continue their studies with us. For example, we offer a Level 3 pathway, a Level 2 pathway and, from September 2022, we will be offering a Level 1 pathway to accommodate and meet the needs of our cohort. This means we are able to provide a route for ALL our students, progressing from Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5. Currently, 61% of the Year 12 cohort were at Caterham during Year 11. This is an increasing trend since 2018, as students know that the inclusive culture and positive learning environment provides the basis for an aspirational curriculum for all students at all levels including rigorous academic study.

An added attraction to applicants is our mixed pathways offer which includes key academic subjects at A Level, alongside a growing range of vocational subjects at both Level 2 and Level 3. Students are able to blend A level and vocational courses, sometimes alongside a GCSE resit English or maths. Students can also take on a full Level 2 programme in the first year before moving onto the 2 year Level 3 programme. 

We have a strong history of added value for resit GCSEs in English and maths as we provide dedicated curriculum time with established staff for any students who need to achieve a grade 4 in these core subjects. This curriculum provision ensures students have the core skills needed for further study, training or employment.

Being a fully inclusive Sixth Form does not mean that students do not achieve academic excellence at Caterham High.  We have very high progression rates into education, employment or training, year on year, including those that access their first-choice university.

We are a proud member of The Elephant Group which is a widening access partnership to encourage and support our top 3rd performing students to access the top 3rd performing universities across the UK.

The subjects on offer in our Sixth Form include:

  • Science, Maths and Technology subjects: Biology (A Level), Chemistry (A Level), Physics (A Level) Mathematics (A Level), Mathematics (GCSE resit), Product Design (A Level)
  • Social Science Subjects: Criminology (Level 3), Health & Social Care (Level 3), Psychology (A Level) Sociology (A Level), Health & Social Care (Level 2)
  • Language based subjects: English Literature (A level), Spanish (A Level), French (A Level), English Language (GCSE resit)
  • Humanities based subjects: Philosophy (A Level), History (A Level), Geography (A Level)
  • Business Subjects: Applied Business (Level 3), Business Enterprise (Level 2), Economics (A Level), Finance (Level 3), ICT (Level 2), ICT (Level 3)
  • Creative and Performing Arts Subjects: Art (A level), Photography (A Level), Sport (Level 2), Sport (Level 3), Drama and Theatre Studies (A Level)

To support all of our students, we have a very personalised engaging pastoral programme that is staffed by a well-established and experienced group of Form Tutors who are at the heart of the care we provide our young adults.


Our curriculum is knowledge engaged, meaning we understand the importance of knowledge and the importance of teaching skills.

We define learning and progress as knowing more, understanding more and being able to do more both in terms of knowledge and skills. We also note how passion and creativity will help students to aspire to excellence in learning.

Subject experts are best placed to organise and sequence the Long and Medium-Term Plans of the curriculum, ensuring, as a minimum, the coverage of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3. Curriculum Leaders, Subject Leaders and teachers plan for the Key Stage 4 curriculum using the National Curriculum and exam syllabi. At Key Stage 5 the curriculum planning centres on the exam syllabi. The curriculum follows the RHSE curriculum and guidance at Key Stage 3 & 4.

At Key Stage 3 classes are taught in mixed ability groups, across each year group, except in maths where we set students early in Year 7. Setting has been introduced in Science in Years 8 & 9 in conjunction with maths in order to provide personalised pathways to support us in meeting the needs of every student.

We outline our pedagogic approaches in a TL&A Policy (which compliments Curriculum 21), that sets out the expectations for teaching approaches and strategies which are based in research. The policy also maps out professional development for our teaching staff. The teaching and assessment embedded in the curriculum aims to ensure learning and progress based on knowing more, understanding more and being able to do more.  

The TL&A Policy sets out our approach to implementing the curriculum:

  • connections are made between what is new and what has been learnt
  • the teaching is responsive to the needs of individual children
  • a range of effective teaching strategies are used
  • we teach students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • we help students see the relevance of how they are learning
  • students learn how to transfer knowledge from one curriculum area to another
  • students develop and apply a wide range of skills, including reading, writing, communication and mathematical skills across the curriculum
  • students learn in a non-judgmental environment where taking risks in learning is encouraged

Assessment is an integral part of the learning process. A proportion of assessments are low stakes, formative assessment opportunities, that allow teachers to plan and adapt their teaching for the needs of individuals or groups of students.  Assessments are part of the Medium-Term Plans and compliment the learning process to aid long term memory retention. Standardised summative assessments also compliment the learning process and allow students, teachers and school leaders to evaluate the curriculum and ensure the curriculum is fit for purpose and accessible.  

At Key Stage 3 subjects identify the key knowledge, skills and understanding to be assessed. We use ‘Strive, Succeed, Surpass’ to indicate what progress students have made against the curriculum. At Key Stage 4 and 5 Attainment Targets are set against prior data. These are used as indicators to regularly check students’ progress. This also allows us to ensure our embedded PiXL Raising Standards strategies are used effectively to compliment Quality First Teaching. At Key Stage 4 and 5 teachers use these targets to ensure they are able to identify when a student is falling behind and can plan to address any gaps in learning.

The Pastoral Curriculum compliments our subject curriculums. The Pastoral Curriculum addresses the needs of our diverse community and is responsive to local and national events. The Pastoral Curriculum is designed for each key stage to address bespoke need according to age, stage and next steps in education and learning for personal development.

The development of our Academic and Pastoral Curriculum has supported significant improvement in teaching and learning. Since the 2018 Ofsted inspection we have eradicated inadequate teaching. Through curriculum development and a rigorous focus on pedagogy we have been able to give teachers more ownership of their teaching and leadership development. We provide training through a rich and bespoke menu of opportunities. Working in partnership with external providers, our Teaching School Alliance, and our own programmes, teachers and support staff receive professional development throughout their time at Caterham High.


The attainment and progress for individuals and groups (whole school, subjects, years, teachers and groups) will mainly be measured against a range of indicators including:

  • in lesson assessment
  • quality of class work and home learning
  • standardised subject assessments 
  • end of KS4 and KS5 examinations
  • attitudinal questionnaires including through RSHE
  • monitoring approaches such as student voice, work scrutiny and data analysis

Knowledge and skill development will mainly be measured as above but will also be measured against a range of indicators including:

  • monitoring and quality assurance activities such as curriculum reviews, student voice, drop ins and class visits
  • uptake and/or success in school activities, year group challenges, drop days, student leadership, mentoring, events, visits and art, cultural and sporting activities
  • student voice
  • external evaluations

These indicators and quality assurance strategies will inform evaluation of the curriculum and ensure any necessary revision of the curriculum, including the pastoral curriculum or enrichment provision. We also track destinations at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 to inform curriculum planning.

The impact of our curriculum can be seen through the quality assurances processes within the school, the national headline measures (eg 2019), student retention and destinations, and student voice that will give opinions about engagement, feeling safe, enjoyment of learning and being part of The Caterham Way: Believe, Connect, Innovate, Persevere and Excel.