Curriculum and Assessment

You can find a copy of the options booklet here

The Crossley Heath School is committed to ensuring that all of our students follow a broad and balanced curriculum setting the foundations needed across a range of subjects.  Therefore we deliver the full range of National Curriculum subjects in years 7 and 8.  Students are taught in mixed ability forms throughout Years 7 and 8.  Subject content is based around that set out in the National Curriculum but individual departments may plan and deliver varying subject content so as to optimise engagement and enjoyment whilst also ensuring that students are able to embark on GCSE level study from the start of Year 9.

All students entering the school in Year 7 and 8 study a broad curriculum, in the following subjects:

  • English Language & Literature (including Drama)
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • Computing
  • Art
  • Design Technology (Graphic Products, Electronics, Food, Resistant Materials)
  • French
  • German
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies

In addition students in Y7 will follow a STEM DT course which aims to promote engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

From September 2017, one form group in Year 7 will follow the prestigious Mandarin Excellence Program (MEP) whereby students will study Mandarin Chinese instead of German and French throughout Key Stage 3 leading to GCSE Chinese in Key Stage 4. More information on the MEP is available here.

All of these subjects are eventually available at GCSE level and some of them become optional after Y8.

All Crossley Heath students follow a programme of Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship Education.

Guided pathways to GCSE: the curriculum from Year 9 to Year 11

From the beginning of Year 9, students follow a programme of courses leading to their GCSE qualifications. Some of the subjects they take are Core Subjects which are compulsory for all students: English, Mathematics, Triple Science, PE, and PHSCE. You can find a copy of the options booklet here.

The Core (Compulsory) Subjects

English Language & English Literature
All students will complete GCSE Language and GCSE Literature in Year 11. 

Students in the top set on either side of the timetable will sit their GCSE Mathematics examinations at the end of Year 11 and at the same time they will study IGCSE Further Mathematics.  Students in the middle sets will have the option to attend additional lunchtime sessions and then sit the GCSE Further Maths in addition to their standard exam.

A student starting GCSE study will be on the separate science pathway and will complete three GCSE’s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Guided Choice (Optional) GCSE Subjects
In order to ensure that all students follow a balanced curriculum students’ remaining four subjects are grouped into specific curriculum areas.

Students choose 1 MFL from French or German (or for MEP students, Chinese).

Students choose 1 Humanity – from Geography, History, Religious Studies

Open Option
After stating their modern language and humanity preferences, students have 2 additional open options for GCSE subjects from the list below:

Taking an arts/performance subject (Art, Music or PE) and Design & Technology or Food Preparation and Nutrition gives a broad and balanced curriculum but this is not compulsory. Alternatively, students may wish to specialise in an area of particular strength, for example by taking an additional Humanity or Language.

  • Design & Technology
  • Engineering
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Computer Science
  • Art
  • Music
  • PE
  • Religious Studies
  • Additional MFL (French / German)
  • Additional Humanity (Geography / History / Religious Studies)

Please note that by studying at least one Modern Foreign Language and either History or Geography students will have the opportunity to achieve the English Baccalaureate.  Students taking RS as their only Humanity will not be able to achieve the English Baccalaureate.

Core Non-Examined Subjects

PHSCE (Physical, Health, Social and Citizenship Education)

The PSHCE course provides opportunities for students to participate in discussion and to listen to others, as well as participate in project work on a range of issues. Topics covered are directly relevant to students of this age group. The curriculum is flexible and is designed to adapt to students’ needs throughout the year.

After Year 8, the statutory requirement for Religious Education is also contained within the PSHCE programme and lessons are provided to develop students’ knowledge of world religions and other cultures.

Across years 9, 10 and 11 the aims of the programme are:

  • to develop self-awareness and self-direction;
  • to encourage self-discipline and personal responsibility;
  • to help each individual become part of a caring group, with an understanding of collective responsibility;
  • to help students develop their relationships with others;
  • to help each student prepare for a period of hard work, revision and examinations;
  • to enable students to make informed decisions about post 16 options;
  • to widen horizons and give information about life after school, money matters, citizenship, consumer affairs, the world of work etc.

In addition the school is committed to educating young people about e-safety and appropriate online behaviour, working with safeguarding experts, the police and the Safe Hands charity to promote safe online activity.

Physical Education

In Year 9, every student will continue to have one Games and one PE lesson per week.  These lessons will utilise many of the activities covered in years 7 and 8 and there will be some choice of activity based on pathways options.  The use of conditioned games and learning through competitive situations will have a greater emphasis.

In Years 10 and 11 students are taught a minimum of two different activities, at least one of these being a major game. The students must participate in frequent physical activity conducive to a healthy lifestyle. To fulfil these requirements the programme takes its roots from Key Stage Three and opportunities are developed to allow for the expression of skills or new experiences.

The structure of the course is the same for boys and girls, although the choice of activities differs.  There is a focus on ‘Healthy Active Lifestyles’ with health-related exercise forming the basis both the boys’ and girls’ courses.  The boys follow a programme including HRE, rugby, association football, tennis, baseball, and athletics.  The girls have the options of JSLA, Zumba, squash, yoga, badminton, basketball, rounders, fitness and netball.

A full range of extra-curricular activities is available in the form of inter-house and inter-school activities and more informal opportunities to participate simply for recreation. 

Sixth Form

Post 16 students can choose to continue to study subjects they have taken at GCSE level aat GCE A Level. New options such as Psychology and Business Studies are taught at A level and other subjects are also available through the Calderdale collaborative block whereby students study an A level with another post 16 provider in the Local Authority (A levels in Goverment & Politics, Sociology and Spansh are recent examples).


KS3 (Years 7 and 8)
At KS3, all students will be provided with target grades for each subject studied based on information from KS2 levels and other school data by the end of week four of the autumn term.  Subject tutors will discuss with students and agree upon a challenging and aspirational target. This information should be kept in the student’s planner and teachers will find the time during their lessons for students to transfer this information to their planner.

At KS3, departments assess at least one piece of work per term with reference to current progress and provide formative feedback on at least a further two pieces of work.  Students, parents and teachers can use feedback from these assessments to monitor progress towards targets on a termly basis.

The form tutor will then be able to discuss with the student appropriate strategies on how to improve across the whole range of subjects studied.

KS4 (Years 9-11)
At KS4, all students will be provided with target grades for each subject studied based on their KS2 outcomes.

From September 2015 revised GCSE are being introduced with the new specifications where grades will be awarded on a 1 – 9 scale.  Targets for these subjects will be set on the new scale but they are likely to be modified as more assessment data, on the new specifications, becomes available.

Departments will assess at least one piece of work per term with reference to exam specifications and provide feedback on a further two pieces of work.  This is in addition to on-going monitoring which will take the form of formative and summative assessment.

These assessment grades are then used to inform the information given in the regular Progress Updates which are sent to parents over the course of the academic year.

KS5 (Years 12 and 13)
At KS5, all students will be provided with target grades for each subject studied using the ALPS system. Subject tutors will discuss with students and agree upon a challenging and aspirational target.  Students are then monitored throughout KS5 regarding their progress towards their target grades.

Assessment methods have a significant emphasis on examination material and assessment tasks, with appropriate formative assessment, should occur at regular intervals throughout the course (at least three times per term).  It is common practice for staff to refer to exemplar answers, examiner reports and exam mark schemes in their feedback.


In addition to the ongoing assessment outlined above students in years 7, 8 and 10 will have a formal examination or assessment week towards the end of the year where they are tested across a range of subjects.  This will provide an opportunity for both summative and formative assessment and will not only inform the reporting system but should give students valuable written feedback.

In the key examination years of 11, 12 and 13 there will be season of formal mock/mid-year examinations where students are tested using examination materials from previous years.  Mocks will take place in January and give valuable feedback as to what grades students are on track to achieve in the summer exam season.