Park Lane Academy

‘We aspire to be the best at everything we do’

Curriculum Rationale 2018-2019

The curriculum rationale at Park Lane Academy is focused upon improving the life chances of students, supporting effective transitions and creating opportunities in life for our students to lead diverse and successful lives. Our curriculum supports social mobility for our community, as our students are encouraged to follow an aspirational curriculum model which we review termly, to ensure that students are following the pathway which supports their future long term career goals and does not cap their potential. At the core of our curriculum are the qualifications our students require to flourish and progress to either an academic Key Stage 5 pathway or follow an alternate apprenticeship or technical pathway.

Our curriculum option choices reflect a labour market evaluation, completed annually, to ensure our offer meets the needs of our local employability market, addressing the growth industries. In January 2018, these included creative digital, hospitality and catering and health and social care employment. All of these employment areas have expected growth in the Calderdale area in the forthcoming years.

Underpinning our curriculum are key skills and attributes which have been identified in consultation with local employers, who have been key stakeholders in our consultation process. These key skills include resilience, problem solving, and the application of knowledge, the latter of which also addressed the new reformed qualifications, of which 85% of the examination papers reflect application questions to unfamiliar contexts.

All students access a curriculum which is broad, balanced and reflects character education, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural learning opportunities as well as embedding British Values. Throughout our students’ educational journey there are many opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills, develop into responsible citizens, embrace charity work, exercise tolerance and utilise their democratic votes on whole school decisions. All these opportunities have been put in place in order that Park Lane students enjoy success in their chosen fields of employment and prosper in their personal lives in our society.

From September 2018, a new weekly activity programme will be available to all Park Lane students will to strengthen their skills and attributes in leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication. Again, this reflects our commitment to the development of the whole child.

We follow a 2 year accelerated KS3 curriculum. This accelerated KS3 is focused upon building upon knowledge already gained at KS2, avoiding repetition, thus preventing disengagement and maintaining pace. Students move from developing new knowledge and skills to mastery level. This strategy has been employed to address the historic Y8 progress lag. This builds upon the findings of the DfE ‘Evaluation of the Two Year Key Stage 3 Project’. Early entry is promoted, where students’ progress demonstrates that they are capable of reaching or exceeding their target grades in the creative subjects.Our two year KS3 model also creates more opportunities for intervention in Y11 for the qualifications fundamental to successful progression, with the aim of reducing NEETs figures (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Our curriculum model is ever evolving to address historic gaps in learning and ensure that Park Lane builds upon the strengths in both teaching and learning and where student outcomes demonstrate strong progress is being made. Where students have areas for development, such as low reading ages, our different curriculum pathways provide extra intervention opportunities for reading intervention and for bespoke phonics support. All students’ reading ages are tested systematically.

Our vision is to ensure that our curriculum enables all children to meet their full potential and join our employment community successfully and will ensure that our NEETs figures reflect increased success.

Park Lane’s curriculum supports our students to aspire to be the best in everything they do.

Curriculum 2017-2018

Park Lane Academy's curriculum is designed to engage and excite our students.  We offer a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which is personalised to each student. We promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students as well as modern British values which prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences when they become young adults. 

Our school timetable comprises of 30 teaching periods (50 minutes each) per week for each year group.  In addition, every day all students spend 20 minutes in registration, participating in our Accelerated Reader scheme or in assembly.  Students enjoy a variety of enrichment activities including sports and arts.

In our two year Key Stage 3, all students study a range of subjects including the ‘core’ subjects (Maths, English and Science) as well as Humanities (Geography, History and Theology Education), Languages, different technologies, Computing, Physical Education, Music and Art.  Homework at Key Stage 3 is differentiated and designed to prepare students in advance for their upcoming lesson - this 'flipped learning' styles gives students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with terminology and concepts beforehand in order for them to get the most out of their lesson. 

Please click here to see  Park Lane Academy's Curriculum Model.  If you require any further information regarding the curriculum  contact Miss R Ahmed via the contact us form.

A summary of the time allocation for each subject at Key Stage 3 is shown in the table below.


Year 7 (Lessons)

Year 8 (Lessons)










Additional Science or Maths 1 0 or 1

Computer Science


1 or 2

Art, Design and Technology



Humanities (History, Geography)






Music/Performing Arts



Physical Education








At Key Stage 4 all students have a personalised curriculum based on prior attainment data, student aspirations and challenging targets, and students are offered the level of learning appropriate to their needs.  We have a strong focus on assessment, progress and creating independent learners whilst ensuring that our courses provide progression and foundation for further education.

In addition to Core and foundation Subjects, a range of other option subjects are available which are in line with legislation and cover the following areas:

  • Arts
  • Design and Technology
  • Humanities
  • Modern Foreign Languages

Subjects offered:

  • Triple Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • French
  • Spanish
  • PE
  • Music
  • Drama
  • ICT
  • Media
  • Child Care
  • Fine Art
  • Photography
  • Textiles
  • BTEC PSD and extra study support

Assessment at Park Lane


At KS3, all students will be provided with 3 target grades based on information from their KS2 point scores.  These targets will be for Maths, English and then one target for all other subjects. This information is kept in students’ exercise books which serves as a reminder to keep focused on the end goal.

There are three assessment cycles where departments assess at least one piece of work with reference to attainment levels which are recorded in exercise books, and provide formative feedback on other classroom work using ‘www – what went well’; ‘ebi – even better if’ and ‘L – literacy target’.  Students are expected to reflect their feedback and improve their work using ‘mri – my response is’.  Students are then given a period of time to fill any gaps the assessment has highlighted, through a period of 're-teach and extend' - students will then be retested.

KS3 Assessment Codes

Departmental assessments support and inform progress which is recorded in whole school data drops  4 times a year.  Following three of the data drops, parents are informed about their child’s progress via a report detailing current attainment, effort level and whether students are on track to meet their target.

In the summer term, students will take examinations or assessments in a range of subjects which will not only assess progress but give students the opportunity to practise performing in a real examination setting.


In our three year KS4, all students will be provided with target grades in Maths, English and one target for all other subjects. 

As in KS3, departments will assess at least one piece of work per half term with reference to exam specifications which are recorded in exercise books. Students are then given a period of time to fill any gaps the assessment has highlighted, through a period of 're-teach and extend' - students will then be retested. In addition, on-going monitoring will take the form of formative and summative assessment. These assessment grades are then used to inform 4 whole school drops followed by regular reporting to parents via a report detailing current attainment, effort level, predicted grade and target grade for each subject.

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 KS4 students will sit formal mock/mid-year examinations where students are tested using examination materials from previous years.  In Year 11 this will take place in January and give valuable feedback as to what grades students are on track to achieve in the summer exam season.

Literacy Across the Curriculum

At Park Lane, we believe that good reading, writing and communication skills underpin academic success.

We have adopted a consistent approach to literacy through marking and assessment as well as ensuring that literacy skills are taught, revisited and revised by all teachers, in all subjects.

 As well as having access to an exceptionally well resourced Library, all our students are exposed to a wide range of literature in their lessons.  In registation, three days a week, the students will follow an 'Accelerated Reader' programme where levels of ability are clearly established and students are given a reading score which directs them to appropriate reading material.  A test is given at the end of each book read to check comprehension and continues to monitor improvements made and areas for development.  Data from reading tests will be ascertained three times a year and intervention will be actioned.

Finally, we love to celebrate our students’ successes in reading and writing and therefore promote a love of these core skills by running a variety of fun and challenging competitions that aim to seek out our future novelists, poets, journalists, teachers, TV presenters and potential Prime Ministers.

  • British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education is delivered explicitly through Assemblies, PSHCE lessons and Religious Education lessons – see below in the links. In addition, all teachers ... Read more

  • KS3 Skills Taught Drama is a valuable subject within the curriculum in that the skills developed in this class can be transferred and used in other subject areas. For example, ... Read more

  • Computing, ICT and Digital Literacy: Key Stage 3 Subject Content: Year 7 Students will complete eight projects designed to develop their skills across a range of software whilst developing theory. ... Read more

  • Geography: Key Stage 3 Subject Content: Year 7 Map skills –An opportunity for students to develop their key geographical skills. Settlements and working life – Students will explore their local ... Read more

  • Mathematics: Key Stage 3 Subject Content: Year 7 Students will be taught topics across the four attainment groups, with differentiated topics dependent on ability. Term 1: data collection, number skills, ... Read more

  • GCSE Media Studies: Year 9 and 10 Exam Board: OCR Subject Content Students will study a full range of media including: Television Film Radio Newspapers Magazines Advertising and Marketing Online, ... Read more

  • Music Key Stage 3 Subject Content: Year 7 During Term one we explore the elements of music. This is explored through rhythm using simple notation, score reading and composing, as ... Read more

  • Key Stage 3 Citizenship is a key aspect of the course and during these lessons students will learn many aspects of the topic. The areas covered are outlined below. Students ... Read more

  • Design Technology is split Into three sections please select the subject you require. Product Design / Resistant Materials Food Technology . Read more

  • Yr 7 Spanish In Yr 7 the foundation for further study at KS3 is laid. Students are taught the basics including numbers, months, greetings, the alphabet, classroom objects and classroom ... Read more

  • Science: Key Stage 3 Subject Content: Year 7 Students start the year by completing a base line assessment and a working scientifically project. The following biology, chemistry and Physics topics ... Read more

  • Year 10 Child's Play Learning and Development: Key Stage 4 Exam Board: BTEC Pearson Subject Content Patterns of Child Development - this unit reflects the importance of child development for ... Read more

  • Key Stage 3 Autumn Term: Subject Content: Students will be taught topics which are differentiated dependent on ability. 1 Analysing and displaying data 2 Number skills 2.1 Mental maths 2.2 ... Read more