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Curriculum Overview

Our central aim is to meet our students’ needs and to raise their aspirations so that they flourish socially and academically, during and beyond their time at Waddesdon.

As well as a coherently designed, ambitious and broad timetabled curriculum, students’ knowledge, cultural capital and confidence is built through daily assemblies, weekly citizenship and PSHE lessons, educational visits and other co-curricular experiences.

The school curriculum is offered within the requirements of the National Curriculum and the agreed syllabus for Religious Education. In addition, the school is mindful of the tenets of the Church of England, the recommendations of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education and the policies of the Buckinghamshire Education Authority, when implementing its curriculum plans.


Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3 all students follow a common course of general education along the lines of the National Curriculum. Our two year Key Stage 3 is an opportunity for our students to deepen their understanding and hone their skills. For this reason we use the language of Mastery. A fuller explanation of what this is and a detailed breakdown of the Mastery Bands can be found in our Key Stage 3 Curriculum Booklet.

Citizenship, PSHE and RSE courses are taught by an experienced team of staff who have a particular interest and expertise in these areas of the curriculum. During CP lessons students have the opportunity to understand about how to become happy and productive members of society and about the rule of law and democracy. They also learn about well-being and positive mental health, along with information relating to adolescent development and healthy relationships. Students are shown how to become successful learners and are given age-related careers information, advice and guidance.


Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 all students study English Language and English Literature, Mathematics, Science and a full GCSE in Religious Studies.  Students are required to follow up to four additional courses leading to GCSE examinations. Some students choose, or are guided to take, additional lessons to support their English and Maths. They continue to have a weekly Citizenship, PSHE and RSE lesson and are supported through a programme of Successful Learning. 


Students are taught in sets according to ability in Mathematics, Modern Languages (where possible) and Science at Key Stage 4, but otherwise they are taught in mixed ability groups. All students’ progress is closely monitored. The school has a dedicated team of Learning Support Assistants led by an experienced SENDCo. Throughout the year staff offer a wide range of enrichment classes, revision classes and extra-curricular opportunities.

Waddesdon Church of England School offers a broad curriculum within the school day and in extra-curricular activities. It maintains high standards and expectations for all students.

The school culture and ethos nurtures students to be committed to their learning and to have pride in their achievements. The curriculum supports the aspirational culture that underpins the success of the school.


Sixth Form (KS5)

The Waddesdon Sixth Form curriculum provides a wide range of academic, creative and vocational qualifications in order to challenge and engage our students, as well as to enable them to pursue their interests and to achieve their future aspirations.  We offer a wide variety of facilitating subjects, social sciences, creative and performing arts subjects, and applied qualifications.

Our Programmes of Study are designed to meet the needs of students across the ability spectrum and to enable all to flourish. There are numerous opportunities for stretch and challenge for the more able through the facilitating subjects, EPQ, super-curricular activities and Oxbridge preparation. Our Applied Pathway provides a more vocational route for students, with teaching to support resit GCSE English and/Maths, if appropriate.  We provide targeted support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including the 16-19 Bursary, mentoring and one-to-one support.

Carefully planned opportunities enable students to make informed decisions about their futures, be those at university, on a degree/higher apprenticeship or through employment.  These include assemblies, Extension Studies, visits, workshops and one-to-one support.  There is a focus on independence and agency through Extension Studies, the EPQ and self-managed study periods.  Our linear approach to A levels allows flexibility and additional time, to tailor the curriculum to students’ needs.

There are numerous opportunities for students to develop employability skills during our weekly Wednesday period 5 Enrichment hour as well as annual work experience and Student Leadership programmes. Skills are recognised in our Employability Award at the end of Year 12 at bronze, silver or gold level.

We ensure students are well-informed about contemporary issues, including politics, justice, safety, health & well-being in Extension Studies and the assembly programme which enables them to be healthy, active citizens in modern Britain.

The curriculum is enhanced through numerous visits across the year, including an annual Global Leadership visit to Bishop Heber University in southern India and a World Challenge expedition every other year.

Looking for more information?

For further information on the school curriculum, please contact Mr Cahill, Deputy Headteacher.