Curriculum Intent

At Maplewell, we have created a holistic curriculum which is broad, balanced and aspirational, allowing pupils to reach their full potential.

We believe that the curriculum should enable all young people to become:

  • Active learners, moving towards independence, autonomy and employment
  • Confident young people who effectively communicate their needs, wants, and opinions
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society
  • Resilient individuals who are able to live safe and healthy lives
  • Successful learners who are able to reflect and refine their decision making in order to improve future outcomes

We deliver a range of subjects and qualifications that best suit the needs of our pupils, underpinned by a strong pastoral system, providing care and support throughout each pupil’s time at Maplewell. We offer a real breadth of courses and levels across the curriculum, addressing the needs of all groups of students, combining a strong traditional academic offer balanced with vocational and alternative courses. The balance of skills and knowledge in our curriculum ensures that the individual needs of every student are met as detailed in their Education, Health and Care Plan.

Three Pathways are offered to meet the needs of all our learners:
Pathway A: Stretch & Challenge Pathway B: Step up to Independence Pathway C: Learning for Life

When pupils join us in Year 7, we initially take the time to secure a successful transition from primary. Pupils come equipped with their individual knowledge and skills and learn to apply them in a different setting. In the Autumn Term, time is taken to baseline all pupils, with teachers identifying prior knowledge and gaps to ensure all pupils begin their academic career at Maplewell on the most suitable curriculum pathway. Over the course of their education, some pupils may move between pathways, with the opportunity to personalise pathways to the needs of individual pupils. All pathways centre on the National Curriculum and provide a broad and balanced education.

The Curriculum is constantly revised and developed to not only meet the needs and strengths of our students, but to provide a wealth of opportunities for them to develop a range of skills, academic knowledge and enjoy memorable experiences.

Curriculum Implementation

The School Week

We run a one-week timetable based on five periods a day of fifty minutes each, totalling twenty-four periods each week. Many of these are double lessons, for example in PE, Technology and in Option subjects in Years 10 and 11. Numeracy and a weekly review of EHCP targets take place during tutor times.

Every day we dedicate 40 minutes to reading, with tutors delivering the whole school Reading Curriculum. This time is also used for individual and small group reading interventions, particularly for phonics and DIPT.

A higher than average share of curriculum time is allocated to English and Maths throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 to address EHCP targets and recognise the importance of success and progress in these core subjects.

From Monday to Thursday school provides after school activity clubs and academic intervention (Maths, English and Science).

Curriculum Content

The Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum content is outlined in the new national curriculum which can be found on the DFE website:
National curriculum

Pupils in Key Stage 4 follow GCSE, Entry Level, BTEC and a range of Vocational courses offered by different awarding bodies.

Click for Curriculum Overview Click for Examination boards

In core subjects, pupils work in classes set by ability, and in mixed ability classes for subjects, dependent on the subject and stage at which it is being studied.

In Key Stage 5, students follow Vocational studies. Those with an English or Maths grade below GCSE grade 4 or Level 2 will continue studying for English and Maths qualifications.

Personal Development

Pupils in all Key Stages have at least two lessons a week of Preparation for Adulthood (P4A). This covers statutory areas of Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Careers Studies. Within the subject students are taught Good Health; Employment; Independent Living; Friendship, Relationships and Community Inclusion. Key themes from these areas are also covered by all key stages on our Special Assemblies, Culture Day event, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics event (STEM) and Award Days when the ordinary timetable is suspended to develop broader attributes such as leadership, organisation, initiative, resilience and communication.

Basic numeracy and literacy skills are interwoven within the school day to promote their crosscurricular purpose. Pupils practice their timetables in morning tutor time, and all pupils follow a carefully planned Reading Curriculum in a 40 minute daily reading lesson. Click here for more information on Reading at Maplewell.

A cross curricular focus on building cultural capital allows our pupils to become educated citizens through broad, diverse, knowledge-based curriculum. In practice, this includes exposure to a range of texts from different cultures, authors and time periods across the curriculum and daily in reading time; phonics and DIPT sessions; exploring Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary and daily practise of timetables.

Our rich curriculum takes account of prior learning and experiences and helps pupils to develop the full range of knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes We provide pupils with opportunities for discussion, debate, exploration of ideas, independent responses to new material, individual research and development of own lines of enquiry.

Career Education and Information Guidance (CEIG)

Careers education and information guidance is mapped out across all years 7-14. Careers advice ensures that the needs of all individual students are met. Our guidance ensures that students can:

  • achieve in line with expected outcome for their Key Stage by following an appropriate course;
  • access the GCSE subjects when appropriate and progress to facilitating subjects at higher level;
  • access a number of vocational options where appropriate, which will develop the skills required for the world of work.

A Curriculum for All

We offer a curriculum that allows all to succeed and does not cap potentional. In Year 7, for example, a number of students who are identified to have a reading age below 7 will receive intervention during some of their lesson time, with an enhanced focus on reading (phonics and comprehension) until they are ready to access the curriculum in all areas. Equally, higher attaining students are constantly challenged by, for example, the opportunity to sit the higher tier of GCSE in Maths, both Language and Literature GCSEs in English, and triple science GCSE.

 Curriculum Impact

The curriculum we have built is progressive, dynamic and flexible, suiting the individual needs of our learners. Pupils have the opportunity within the curriculum to progress and succeed. Last year,100% of our pupils went on to gain nationally recognised qualifications in further education, apprenticeships, or employment destination compared to 88% nationally.

The needs of learners are recognised significantly within our curriculum through the development of different pathways, regular academic intervention, COMPASS sessions (to support pupils’ wellbeing), and alternative packages in and out of school. Achievements within the curriculum are celebrated through our Pastoral Leaders, Heads of Department and planned assemblies.

In the latest Parent Survey, 99% of parents believed that their children were making good progress at the school:

‘Maplewell Hall School is excellent at helping and supporting my child as well as keeping us well informed. Best decision we ever made sending him here. More importantly he loves it there as is progressing well as a person and academically.’

Our curriculum planning allows students to succeed in reaching nationally recognised outcomes for their age group. In 2019 (most recent sitting of exams due to COVID) 100% of Year 11 pupils achieved at least 1 GCSE (1-9) or BTEC qualification.

Monitoring and Evaluation

In principle, courses on offer should:

  • allow students to succeed in reaching national recognised outcomes for their age group
  • promote work readiness
  • entitle students of appropriate ability to access aspirational progression pathways

Quality assurance procedures, including (but not limited to) observations, book scrutinies and learning walks, provide evidence of curriculum impact.


At MHS we subscribe to a system of mastery assessment, allowing all pupils to progress at their own pace and to take their time to focus on honing skills and retaining knowledge before moving on to the next step. We take a ‘map-master-move forwards’ approach; when teachers identify gaps, pupils demonstrate they are secure in their knowledge and skills before introducing new content.

The benefits of mastery assessment:

  • Mastery ensures that everyone receives the same level and scope of teaching without the risk of pupils being left behind – it exists to enable all children on one particular syllabus to receive equal knowledge.
  • Mastery assessment, recording, reporting and feedback is a continuous and on-going process and is part of the cycle of learning.
  • Summative assessment, used mainly to measure performance and identify a standard of student attainment (eg. end of unit test, external exams)
  • Ongoing formative assessment (through range of method quizzes, range of questioning, games) to check pupils’ daily understanding of the topic
  • Curriculum dictates the formative and summative assessment; our curriculum is not driven by tests or exams.

Through the assessment process, we gather information, which enables teachers to:

  • evaluate and record each pupil’s attainment and progress
  • identify individual pupil’s strengths and weaknesses and plan intervention when necessary
  • evaluate teaching effectiveness
  • plan future learning and teaching experiences

The curriculum is constantly monitored at all key stages by Heads of Departments and their Senior Links, with reviews of progress at KS3 and results at KS4 & KS5 taking place annually with the Headteacher.