Our Vision

‘Helping our students to know and remember more.’

Cantell celebrates and embraces its diversity, by shaping the curriculum to meet the needs and aspirations of every individual. Students follow a broad and balanced curriculum, with personalised experiences that make learning accessible, challenging, enjoyable and relevant; now and for the future. Our curriculum is underpinned by the Cantell Cs; our core school values of Challenge, Creativity, Cooperation, Courtesy and Commitment.

By working closely with the primary schools within the Aspire Trust, learning builds on prior knowledge and prepares students for the next stage in their learning journey. The transition from KS2 is seen as a pivotal in what we see as one continual learning journey from Year R to Y11 and beyond. We work collaboratively with our colleagues across the Trust to design progressive learning journeys in each curriculum area.

Our Transition week, ‘Mission Transition’, is a programme of activities in place to support students in getting to know their new teachers, classmates and routines. We challenge students to think big and launch themselves into the new adventures that await at Cantell.

Curriculum aims:

  • Fulfill statutory requirements
  • Develop “deep knowledge” – that ALL students are able to recall – “ know more and remember more”
  • Ensure students are able to “apply” their knowledge into different contexts – they understand deeply!
  • If our pupils know more, remember more and are able to apply more – they maximise their progress across a wide range of subjects.
  • Every subject is important. Therefore we keep our curriculum as broad as possible for as long as possible
  • The Curriculum will allow our students to achieve their potential.
  • We want our curriculum and the teaching of our curriculum to inspire the students in our care. We want the passion for our subject areas to be infectious; fostering a love of life-long learning.
  • We will do more than prepare our students for examinations. We want our curriculum to be rich and challenging and prepare our students for their life beyond Cantell.
  • We want our students in the pursuit of deep knowledge to develop key skills – work skills and life skills are equally as important.
  • We want to provide our students with enrichment opportunities so that they can develop their character. We want them to utilise the diverse nature of our school. This is our unique selling point and one that will help our youngsters become global citizens.
  • We want to develop our student`s cultural capital, aiming to close the gap between those that are the most disadvantaged and those that are not. We aim to deliver this cultural capital by offering our students life changing experiences, recognising that this is different between individuals.
  • We want our curriculum to support our students leading a happy and successful life now and in the future.

KS3

  • We will provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all students, which every student has access to and is both challenging and enriching. The Curriculum at Key Stage 3 builds on Key Stage 2 and provides a solid basis of knowledge, experience and skills for life-long learning.
  • The KS3 curriculum is planned for 3 years, from Year 7 to 9. Whilst we endeavor to personalise students learning journeys to match their needs, we do not believe in narrowing their entitlement earlier than we have to.
  • In KS3 students will study English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, RE, Languages, ICT, ART, Drama, Music, Design Technology and PE. All students study Spanish at KS3, some students will study French and Latin alongside Spanish.
  • All curriculum areas have well planned content which is sequenced effectively so that students know more and remember more and therefore can apply more.
  • A range of assessment techniques will be used to determine what has been learned and retained.
  • The curriculum is adapted to ensure equality for students with special educational needs or disabilities.
  • Employability skills also play an essential part of a student’s development at Key Stage 3. These skills have been broken down into five core areas: Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication and form part of our PiXL Edge programme.
  • The PSHE Curriculum is delivered through lessons, tutor time and in assemblies. Topics include Sex and Relationship Education, Careers, Personal finance, Mental Health and Drug awareness.

KS4

  • The KS4 curriculum enables students to gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they are studying, including enrichment beyond the exam specification.
  • The range of KS4 courses offered are based on the needs of the cohort, however there is always a broad range of subject areas and represent routes to post 16 and beyond.
  • We encourage as many students as possible to study the academic subjects that make up the Ebacc. However, our approach is based on what is right for our students rather than fixed targets’.
  • A rigorous process of consultation with students takes place to prepare them fully for the selection of their KS4 courses.
  • Students receive individual advice and guidance so that they are well placed to apply for and succeed in their post 16 choices.
  • Careers advice and guidance is also embedded across the curriculum.
  • PSHE IS delivered through lesson A and assemblies, alongside a series of Enrichment Days which cover expert support on Careers advice, Mental Health Issues and topical issues.

Extra – Curricular Provision

Every student at Cantell has the opportunity to attend an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. The extra-curricular provision supports students learning for life. This includes educational trips and visits, alongside staff led activities and external input. Please refer to our Extra- curricular page to view the extensive range of activities available.

Organisation of the Curriculum at Cantell

The Curriculum is delivered through a weekly timetable, with each day being delivered into 6 periods of 50 minutes. This equates to 25 hours of taught lessons per week. The allocation of curriculum time allocated to each subject varies by year group.

Students are grouped for subjects in a variety of ways using setting and mixed ability. Examples of mixed ability sets include subjects such as Art, Drama, Music, PE and PSHE and Citizenship Education.

When creating a group by setting we use benchmarking data KS2 results, CAT Tests, LASS Tests, Reading Ages and Spelling Ages alongside on-going teacher assessment. Staff in school make the final decision about teaching groups. Teaching groups, are routinely reviewed departmentally at every Data Collection (DC) point (every 10 weeks) and any individual changes to these groups will be notified to parents and carers through a formal letter home.

Subjects are grouped together in to blocks to make the timetable work. English and Maths are never in the same block, which means students may be in different sets for English and Maths, as appropriate for their ability.