Curriculum and Guided Pathways Overview

Year 8 Guided Pathways Process 2017

Our Guided Pathways Evening for current Year 8 was held on Thursday 5 January 2017 from 6.00pm – 7.30pm. Many thanks to parents, carers and students who attended, at over 85% of the year group. Please note the deadline for the return of Guided Pathways Forms was Friday 27 January 2017.

A copy of the Guided Pathways Booklet, issued at the Options evening can we viewed or downloaded by following the links below, alongside the parental invitation letter and the full presentation from the event:


Year 10 Guided Pathways Process 2017

Our Guided Pathways Evening for current Year 10 was held on Thursday 5 January 2017 at 7.00pm. Many thanks to parents, carers and students who attended. Please note the conversations between members of the senior leadership team and each student are ongoing, and expected to be completed by 3 February 2017.

A copy of the presentation given at the evening can we viewed or downloaded by following the link below, alongside the parental invitation letter to the event:

Our Curriculum

At Outwood Academy Bydales we have embraced the Personalising Learning agenda and feel very strongly that curriculum design and redesign has a major part to play in the meeting of students’ needs. We have tried to provide opportunities for ‘assessment when ready’ and choice, flexibility and progression are key elements of our curriculum offer. We see the curriculum as the building blocks on which good teaching and learning can take place.

We believe that learners achieve best when they enjoy and can see a purpose to their work. We strive to meet individual learning needs through a range of curriculum programmes at both key stages.

Older students have the opportunity to follow a wide variety of different curriculum pathways which lead on to college, university or into apprenticeships. Every student is given support to ensure that they make the right choice for both their ability and interests. We constantly review our curriculum to make sure it meets the current and future needs of our students and society.

Students are set homework which they record in their planner. Homework is expected of all students and is carefully designed to extend the learning that has taken place during lessons. A C4 sanction is applied should a homework not be completed by the deadline set.

KS3 (Years 7 & 8) – key features:

  • Broad range of subjects
  • In each year students study English for 4 hours, Maths for 4 hours, Science for 3 hours, Design and Technology for 2 hours, MFL for 2 hours, Humanities for 3 hours, Life (including Religious Education and PSHE) for 1 hour, PE for 2 hours, Art for 1 hour, Music for 1 hour, Drama for 1 hour and ICT for 1 hour.
  • Students graduate into KS4 at the end of Year 8 provided that their effort has been satisfactory during KS3.
  • All students graduating from Year 8 are encouraged to take part in the Outward Bound residential which takes place in June/July at the end of Year 8.
    Please see the Departments tab on the Home page for subject specific information.

KS4 (Years 9, 10 & 11) – key features:

  • Up to 16 periods per week for core subjects: English, Maths, Science, PE and Life (including Religious Studies).
  • Up to 12 periods per week for option subjects. Students generally complete 3 option qualifications at the end of Year 10 and may complete other option qualifications in Year 11.
  • Range of vocational courses on offer.
  • Opportunities for students to have extra option time for English, maths and/or separate sciences.
  • Opportunities for students to attend after school enrichments to support achievement in core and option subjects.
  • Current options in Year 9 include, Art & Design, Computer Science, Performing Arts (Acting), Engineering, Hospitality & Catering, French, Geography, History, ICT, Music. Some students study Option Maths instead of one of their 3 options for Years 9 and 10.
  • Current options for Year 10 include Art & Design, Catering, Computer Science, Performing Arts (Acting), Engineering, French, Geography, History, ICT, Sport, RE. Some students study Option English or Option Maths.
  • Current options for Year 11 include Business Studies, Citizenship, History, Media, Music and Statistics. Some students study Option English, Option Maths or a further Triple Science Option.
  • All students are entered for English, Maths and Science GCSEs at the end of Year 11.
  • Students studying for Geography, History and French sit these examinations at the end of Year 11.
    Please see the Departments tab on the Home page for subject specific information.

Religious Education

As part of our commitment to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, students study religious educations with the academy’s Life programme. Life lessons also promote students’ personal, social, health and citizenship (PSHCE) development and understanding.

Personalisation through Setting

As part of our commitment to ensuring that every student has the best possible chances of success, we personalise the learning provision for every student in the core subjects of English, maths and science by placing each student in a learning group that is appropriate to his/her ability. Every student be stretched, challenged and supported through this personalisation of the curriculum.


Students are provided with opportunities to add depth to their learning and develop personal skills through a rice and varied enrichment programme. Students will have the chance to enjoy ned experiences and consolidate their timetabled learning through this programme. For information about follow this link: Enrichment

British Values

At Outwood Academy Bydales we promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our students.

‘British Values’ have been identified as:

The principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for student voice president and vice-presidents. The principle of democracy is explored in History and Religious Studies as well as in Vertical Mentoring Groups (VMG) and assemblies. Student Voice ensures that our students exercise their democratic rights and feel part of big decisions within the Academy. All Vertical Mentor Groups have representatives as a key link to the student voice ambassadors.

Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the classroom, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

Students are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predicable environment within the school and beyond. An environment of this type enables students to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.

Individual Liberty:
Students at Outwood Academy Bydales are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each student to become as independent as possible. There is a strong culture of giving time and energy to voluntary work and charity fundraising.

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We offer a range of enrichment activities which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.

Mutual Respect:
Mutual respect is at the core of Academy life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the Academy and within classrooms.

It is important to facilitate opportunities for Outwood Academy Bydales to be part of the community as the students, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
Outwood Academy Bydales serves a multi-faith community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. Our Assemblies help all students to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all students’ experiences and awareness of others.

At Outwood Academy Bydales we strongly believe that tolerance of different faiths and belief is best gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum as well as the routines of daily life at the Academy, we strive to not only learn about but also demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.

The new government measure for students and schools?

From 2016, the government has introduced a new method of gauging a student’s overall performance in their Key Stage 4 exams. This new Level 2 threshold uses a new method called ‘Attainment 8’. An examples of how Attainment 8 works can be found below. In is anticipated that this attainment 8 measure is likely to ultimately be used by many colleges, apprenticeships and universities in their admissions criteria, to determine the suitability of candidates for particular courses. For information, students will still receive graded certificates for each course to show their final result for each subject. There will also be an Attainment 8 score which will be used as a measure for admissions criteria at some post-16 and post-18 institutions.

What intervention will Outwood Academy Bydales use to ensure students are successful?

We have tailored our curriculum to ensure that every student has the opportunity to obtain a good Attainment 8 score. Some students may need to take extra English and/or maths and/or science options to help them achieve their best possible grades in these key subjects. We believe that for some students this is the right course of action and would ask that parents work with us see that this is a positive opportunity.

We are committed to equipping our students with the Key Stage 4 qualifications needed to ensure that they have the best possible chance of success in the next phase of their life.