The hurst 189

Curriculum Overview


Building minds and character for future life success

The vision of The Hurst School is to prepare and inspire our students for a rapidly changing world by developing confidence, resilience and independence alongside a love of learning. Students will aim for success today and be equipped for tomorrow.


Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life and the world of work. Our curriculum is designed to provide young people with the core knowledge and cultural capital needed both for further academic study, while enabling them to develop as citizens and engage effectively in the world beyond school.

Our curriculum is designed to be balanced and rigorous, in order to maximise students’ knowledge, as well as their personal development. The principle of education with character is delivered through the curriculum at every opportunity. Everything students learn in school, alongside the taught curriculum, is seen as part of the whole curriculum. This includes the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, as well as the extra-curricular provision.

The Hurst’s core curriculum is founded around these key values:


  • The school will instil clear expectations in every facet of school life to encourage good conduct and self-regulation.
  • The student will grow self-respect through challenge and success in every classroom. They will be supported to show respect to other students and adults to function effectively in social and formal situations.


  • The school will develop a wider vision of the world for every student raising aspiration to enhance their future.
  • The student will build skills to identify and create opportunities through experiences and positive relationships.


  • The school will strive to realise every student’s full potential while developing skillset to enjoy lifelong learning. It will create a safe environment to make mistakes and build resilience. It will endeavour to improve progress and attainment for every student.
  • The student will show consistently good work and seek to engage with all learning opportunities to the best of their ability.


  • The school will commit to creating an aspirational high achievement culture to enable our students to make ambitious choices at 16.
  • The student will foster perseverance to develop a healthy mind & body leading to a fulfilling life. A student should be able to set and realise goals for self, family and the school.


  • The school will provide an inclusive, safe environment for any student to flourish.
  • The student will endeavour to become an ethical and informed citizen ready to lead a life as a valued member of society.

The Journey of the Child is an important philosophy at The Hurst School. This covers;

  • The subject curriculum journey where the subject specific knowledge of each curriculum area is planned and documented.
  • The personal development journey which covers the statutory strands of RSE, SMSC enveloped in a strong tutor programme and Personal Development Learning (PDL) lessons.
  • The pastoral development journey through key events and opportunities developing the “hidden” curriculum such as assemblies, extra-curricular activities, trips and careers advice.


The overarching philosophy is to put subject specialism at the heart of the curriculum. There are different ways that this is delivered by subject areas which is covered in the Subject Curriculum Plan.

Each department plans, delivers and reviews its curriculum annually via a department improvement plan. Each year group leader also produces a plan to implement and review the delivery of personal and pastoral development.

The delivery of the curriculum sets great store in Quality Teaching and Learning which is underpinned by The Hurst Way. Five strands have been identified which we believe lead to excellent teaching and learning at The Hurst School:

Hurst Star



  • Structured modelling
  • Focused feedback
  • Retrieval practice
  • Powerful questions
  • Purposeful talk



The amount of time given to each subject ensures that students are able to follow a broad and balanced curriculum within Key Stage 3 that helps to foster students’ curiosity and creativity in practical subjects as well as the traditional academic subjects. From September 2023, the curriculum time in KS3 will be distributed as below:


In Key Stage 4 students are offered a wide variety of GCSE and vocational subjects to suit their ability, interests and future direction.  Lessons are apportioned as follows over a fortnight;



The impact of our curriculum will best be evidenced by the progress of our students. They will be prepared well for yearly examinations, both academically and in their ability to manage the experience.

Assessment is an integral part of the learning process and the evidence of impact. It should allow teacher and students to identify their strengths and weaknesses, build on areas for development and plan the next stages of learning. The Hurst School attitude to assessment is best summed up in the following;

  • Learners are at the heart of the assessment process and should be supported to become active participants in the learning process.
  • Although there are main examinations each year, assessment is an ongoing, everyday process which is indistinguishable to the student within the classroom.
  • Engagement between the students, their parent/carers and the school staff is essential for progress and wellbeing.

Students will exhibit the values both in and outside the classroom. They will be more ready for life beyond the school and to get the best from post-16 opportunities.

Further Information

For more information about the school curriculum, please contact Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Billingham.