Thurston Community College

Our Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is what our students learn. It includes all of the lessons, activities and experiences planned and delivered by the College within the timetable and outside of lessons. Through our curriculum we aim for all our students, regardless of their starting point, to be a part of an inspirational and empowering learning community that achieves ‘beautiful work’.

Inspire Empower Achieve

Our Purpose:

Our purpose is to inspire a love of learning and empower our college community with the knowledge, skills and experiences to help them make meaningful choices, to contribute positively to the world in which we live and to achieve excellence in all aspects of school life.

At Thurston Community College we seek to provide an ‘ambitious and diverse’ curriculum that:

  • Is broad and balanced, truly comprehensive and accessible to all students.
  • Embodies and ensures a deep understanding and respect for diversity.
  • Delivers opportunities for students to learn to be successful, to gain useful, transferable skills and acquire powerful knowledge.
  • Ensures high standards of academic achievement where outcomes enable students to progress to Further Education and Higher Education.
  • Promotes and develops character and the personal, social, spiritual, moral and cultural opportunities to promote a sense of moral and social responsibility.
  • Ensures all students are able to thrive and develop as healthy individuals and good citizens.
  • Ensures that all students are safe and understand how to stay safe.

Curriculum Principles

Rich in powerful and empowering knowledge and language.

  • Powerful knowledge is knowledge that provides an understanding of our natural and social worlds. It helps us go beyond our individual experiences. Powerful knowledge enriches us with cultural capital.
  • The curriculum specifies the knowledge that pupils will learn in detail. This should be outlined in subject curriculum plans.
  • Vocabulary and language are important for pupils to articulate and apply their knowledge and to acquire new knowledge. Therefore, the vocabulary and language that is most important for students to learn should be specified within subject curriculum plans. 

Coherently planned and sequenced.

  • A well sequenced and coherent curriculum is important if pupils are to develop strong and enduring schemas.
  • The order in which knowledge is taught needs to be carefully sequenced and planned. Careful consideration should be given to prior and prerequisite knowledge.
  • Plans make explicit when knowledge is revisited.

Reduces workload through collaboration, shared planning and the use of high-quality resources.

  • Curriculum planning makes it clear what needs to be taught, in what order and how it should be assessed. This is achieved through schemes of learning, subject assessment expectations and assessment calendars.
  • A well planned and resourced curriculum enables teachers to focus on how to teach the curriculum and to check that pupils are learning it.
  • Resources such as assessments, modelled answers, knowledge booklets, knowledge organisers, schemes of learning and core activities should be easily accessible to all teachers in a subject.
  • Resources and assessments should be designed following research-informed design principles.
  • Subject and faculty time is used to develop, debate and discuss curriculum plans and the best way to teach subject content. 

The curriculum is organised into five faculties

Physical Education, Creative Arts & Performing Arts

This provides a holistic structure for understanding artistic expression, health and well-being. The dynamic nature of the expressive arts can engage, motivate and encourage learners to develop their creative, artistic and performance skills to the full.

View our Art Curriculum

View our Performing Arts Curriculum

View our Physical Education Curriculum

Humanities and Social Sciences

This area of the curriculum seeks to awaken a sense of wonder, fire the imagination and inspire learners to grow in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. These courses encourage learners to engage with the most important issues facing humanity, including sustainability and social change, and help to develop the skills necessary to interpret and articulate the past and the present.

View our Child Development Curriculum

View our Geography Curriculum

View our Health & Social Care Curriculum

View our History Curriculum

View our Philosophy, Beliefs & Ethics Curriculum

View our Psychology Curriculum

View our Sociology Curriculum

English and Languages

Understanding language and how it can impact on our understanding of culture is one of the fundamental aspects of human communication. We learn through listening, reading, speaking and writing. Our learners study English, French and Spanish.

View our English Curriculum

View our Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum

Mathematics, Business and Computing

The development of mathematics has always gone hand in hand with the development of civilisation itself. A truly international discipline, it surrounds us and underpins so many aspects of our daily lives, such as architecture, art, music, money and engineering. While it is creative and beautiful, both in its own right and in its applications, it is also essential to understanding how information technology and computing can enhance our lives and the way we learn.

View our Computing & ICT Curriculum

View our Mathematics Curriculum

Science and Technology

The importance of science and technology in our modern world cannot be overstated. Developments in these areas have always been drivers of change in society, underpinning innovation and impacting on everyone's lives economically, culturally and environmentally.

View our Design Technology Curriculum

View our Science Curriculum

Life Skills

In addition to our faculty areas, we teach our students key life lessons, through our Life Skills curriculum. The Life Skills curriculum was written with the students' voice very much at its centre. Students expressed what life lessons they felt they needed to learn to be prepared for life beyond Thurston Community College. Our Life Skills curriculum also covers the government requirements of Relationship and Sex Education. The Life Skills curriculum is carefully planned alongside the character curriculum, Well-being Wednesdays and year group assemblies, using the different forums to build on knowledge.

 View information on our Life Skills programme here

The Thurston Community College Learning Journey

  • Lower School: Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
    At Thurston Community College Key Stage 3 is a three-year programme which has been carefully crafted to ensure that students learn beyond the requirements set out by the National Curriculum. 
  • Upper School: Key Stage 4: Years 10-11
    At the end of Year 9, students opt for subjects that they will study in years 10 and 11 and they complete those subjects by the end of Year 11. Our highly flexible two-year curriculum delivered in years 10 and 11 allows us to create personalised guided pathways for our students.
  • Key Stage 5: Thurston Sixth
    Students can study three, with some scope for four, A Level or equivalent, courses.  The curriculum offers a wide range of A Levels and Technical Awards alongside other qualifications such as the Extended Project Qualification.

    Our Post-16 curriculum is built upon, and informed by, a destination-led approach.  Advice and guidance is high profile and ensures that choices are informed and appropriate.  A variety of opportunities are offered to support and prepare students for transition post-18.

There are also after school lessons in various different courses as well as many different extracurricular activities. Each subject area/course in the curriculum plays its own unique role. This is expressed through its:

  • Intent - a clear understanding of the purpose of each course - its role and place in our curriculum.
  • Threads of powerful knowledge - the key themes and skills throughout the course.