The Joseph Rowntree School


Curriculum Intent


The JRS curriculum gives a broad and balanced learning experience that promotes the academic profile, personal development and cultural capital of our young people. 

Through a personalised approach, we aim to equip students for their next step in an ever-changing world. We want students to develop into well-rounded and resilient individuals ready to succeed in modern society.


Students study a wide range of core and foundation subjects during their time at the school. Details of individual subject areas can be found under the different Key Stage options in the menu.



Curriculum Implementation


Key Stage 3

Students at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) take the following subjects across a two-week timetable:


English and Maths take the greatest share of time allocation across KS3 and this reflects the school’s belief that a child’s confidence and competence in these areas will impact on their performance across all other subjects. It also reflects the importance of these subjects as students transition to education and training post 16.


English: all students have seven hours of English teaching across the fortnight in Years 7 and 8 and six hours in Year 9. One hour of this time allocation for each year group, is dedicated as a library lesson.

Maths: all students receive seven hours across the fortnight throughout KS3.

Science: in this core subject all students receive six hours a fortnight throughout KS3. Students will cover key topics in Physics, Biology and Chemistry to prepare them for the rigours of GCSE study.


Physical Education: all students receive four hours of compulsory physical activity across KS3, focusing on fitness and competitive sporting activities.

Religious Studies: students receive two hours a fortnight of RS teaching throughout KS3, before completing the RS GCSE Short Course at the end of Year 10. Under Section 71 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons. If you do not want your child to study Religious Education, please contact our Deputy Headteacher Mr Coleman at

Citizenship is delivered in one hour per fortnight throughout KS3. In addition to its taught hours, the whole school follows a Citizenship programme that takes key themes in each half term and is developed through tutor time, assemblies and timetable drop down events. The majority of the schools work on Relationship and Sex education is also completed within Citizenship lessons, with Science, Religious Studies and ICT also contributing to this.

Modern Foreign Languages.  We aim for all students to study a foreign language and most will study this through to GCSE level. This is something that the school views as central to being a citizen in today’s world. MFL is allocated five hours a fortnight throughout KS3. On entry to Years 7 students are allocated to study either French or Spanish. The most able linguists are given the opportunity to select an additional language to study in KS4.

History has an allocation of four hours a fortnight in Year 7 and three hours a fortnight in Year 8. 

Geography has an allocation of three hours a fortnight in Year 7 and four hours a fortnight in Year 8.  

Both History and Geography are allocated four hours each fortnight in Year 9.

The Art and Design faculty includes Design Technology, Graphics, Textiles, Art and Food Technology (including nutrition and healthy eating). Students study all of these specialist areas and spend five hours a fortnight in the faculty throughout KS3.

Information Technology is delivered across two hours a fortnight across KS3 and includes Computer Science units in which students learn programming skills.

The Performing Arts faculty includes Drama and Music, both of which have a two-hour allocation per fortnight across KS3.

Click to view all KS3 Subjects  


Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11), all students follow a core curriculum that makes up 60% of their timetable. The remaining GCSE subjects are chosen through the Guided options process.

The KS4 Core Curriculum runs over a two-week timetable and includes:

  • Seven hours of English in Year 10 and nine hours in Year 11, leading to one GCSE in English Language and for most another in English Literature.
  • Eight hours of Maths, leading to the GCSE.
  • Nine hours of Science in Year 10 and ten hours in Year 11, leading to the dual award GCSE (students can opt to take Triple Science through the guided options process which results in additional time to study a total of 3 GCSE’s instead).
  • Three hours a fortnight of Physical Education in year 10, dropping to two hours in Year 11. This is statutory for all learners but doesn’t lead to a qualification – students may however opt to take additional PE/Sport lessons through the guided options process which would lead to a GCSE or BTEC qualification.
  • Two hours a fortnight of Religious Studies in Year 10, in which students complete the RS GCSE Short Course. Students recieve further RS input in year 11 through tutor time, assemblies and curriculum drop down events.
  • Citizenship is delivered in one hour per fortnight across KS4, with students following a ‘curriculum for life’ that includes a unit on teenage mental health, work on careers and destinations post-16, Sex education as well as money management. Students will also follow the whole school Citizenship programme through tutor time, assemblies and curriculum drop down events. The majority of the schools work on Relationship and Sex education is also completed within Citizenship lessons, with Science, Religious Studies and ICT also contributing to this. 



KS4 Option Subjects: 

In addition to the core curriculum taken by all students, The Joseph Rowntree School offers a wide range of GCSE and BTEC Options to students in KS4 to make up the remaining 40% of their timetable. 

We run a Guided Options Process during year 9, where pupils are placed onto one of three pathways (Orange/Purple/Green) for study across KS4. All pathways are designed to ensure that students maintain breadth and variety across their choices. 

Through these pathways, the majority of students are expected to continue to study both an MFL and Humanities subject. In addition to this, each pathway gives students a minimum of two additional free choice options

Each of the four subjects identified through the Guided Options Process are taught across five hours a fortnight throughout KS4.

The courses currently offered to students can be viewed on each subject page – however classes can only run if there is sufficient student uptake.


Click here to view all KS4 Subjects 


Key Stage 5 

In year 12 and 13 students all have a choice of subjects that they can pursue, from our wide range of A level and Level 3 BTEC and Applied General qualifications. This gives all students the academic freedom to select a range of courses that suit their interests and academic strengths. Students choose three or four subjects to study.

 Each subject within a student's timetable is given nine hours per fortnight of contact time, with most subjects splitting the teaching between two members of staff.  In addition to this, students also have between four and eight hours of supervised study time allocated on their timetable per fortnight. These are sessions where students are supervised by a member of teaching staff where they are able to undertake private study or continue with coursework. Students also have one period of Enrichment per fortnight, where they meet as a year group and receive input on a wide variety of topics that pertain to progression, Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural (SMSC) development, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and much more.  In addition to this all students also have 50 minutes per week of tutor time, with their form tutor, which takes the form of an extension of the enrichment assembly programme, providing opportunities to discuss contemporary issues, religious festivals and also time for pastoral conversations and supporting students with their applications for Higher Education and Apprenticeships. 

All students also have the opportunity to undertake activities to support their personal development. Students can pick from a range of opportunities including team sports, physical education, in class volunteering and guided reading with lower school students, Duke of Edinburgh Gold, National Citizen Service (NCS), charity fundraising, student led committees and groups including book club, chess club and debate club.  Students create and lead some of these groups, which makes this a genuine opportunity for students to take time to develop their wider skill base.


For more information on any aspects of the school curriculum, please contact us at 


Click here to view all KS5 Subjects


Go Top