Curriculum Overview

Academic excellence through our varied curriculum

Our Curriculum:

At Ripley, we believe that a good education means that our pupils have the opportunity to discover their talents and become the best they can be. We believe that our young people have been put on this earth by God and, through our curriculum, we must ensure that we enable them to live life in its fullness both during their time at school and beyond.

We aim to ensure that pupils have the chance to discover what their strengths are and where their interests lie. It is our duty to prepare pupils for life after school; we want our pupils to leave Ripley as confident, caring and responsible young people who are literate, numerate, able to solve problems and communicate effectively. We hope that they will also develop a faith to sustain them through their lives.

Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum:

At Key Stage 3, we believe that breadth of study is important. Through our formal and informal curriculum, pupils should have access to a range of different learning experiences. This means that pupils study a wide variety of different subjects throughout key stage 3, including Agriculture and Horticulture, the Arts and Technologies. Gaining a firm grounding in the core subjects is also important and it is our aim to ensure that pupils are well-equipped to begin their GCSE study at the start of Year 9. We believe that reading is vitally important to the development of pupils’ literacy skills and, as such, pupils in Years 7 and 8 have dedicated reading lessons.

In addition to the formal curriculum, we provide opportunities for pupils to develop their skills and talents and to be prepared for the future through our PSHE programme which is delivered as discrete days throughout the year.

To ensure that everyone learns at a pace which is appropriate, pupils are placed in ability groups from the beginning of Year 7 onwards. These are continually kept under review through our termly tracking systems.

We provide an alternative pathway for our pupils who arrive from primary school with extra needs in English and Mathematics to ensure their progress is supported and accelerated before they begin their GCSE study.

Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum:

Pupils at Ripley begin their GCSE courses in Year 9. Studying for GCSEs over a three year period ensures pupils are given opportunities to engage in the subjects in more depth and are supported to retain content over a longer period of time. This will ensure pupils are more capable of coping with the demands of linear exams and more challenging GCSEs.

We believe that a broadly academic curriculum is best suited to our pupils and will equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to enable them to progress to further academic study or the world of work.

In addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, all pupils will study GCSE Religious Studies. As a Church of England school, this is an important part of our curriculum. We need to ensure that pupils have a deeper appreciation of our Christian faith, as well as an understanding of other faiths and beliefs. All pupils have the opportunity to study a Modern Foreign Language and History or Geography. These subjects, alongside a core of English, Mathematics and Science make up the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which is the pathway for all pupils recommended by the Department for Education. We believe that this academic route is correct for many of our pupils; these subjects form the cultural capital that all children need to acquire in order to be successful in their future studies and beyond. In addition, we offer a range of other GCSE option subjects, including: Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, Design Technology: Product Design or Resistant Materials, Drama, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Music, Physical Education and Agriculture (BTEC).

For more detailed information regarding option choices and pathways, please see the options booklet.

Ripley has a long tradition of academic excellence and standards achieved across the key stages and the sixth form are significantly above the national average. Pupils are expected to work hard and to contribute to everyone’s learning in lessons.

For further information regarding the curriculum, please contact Mrs C Walmsley, Assistant Principal, via Parentline or c/o