At Penwortham Priory Academy the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from each key stage, provide challenging learning experiences that require pupils to think hard, allow them to develop leadership and organisational skills and be resilient, learners with initiative who have excellent communication skills and are ready to face the challenges beyond school. High quality academic and pastoral guidance enables this and we provide subject choices that support pupils’ learning and progression, and enable them to work towards achieving their goals. The curriculum remains as broad as possible for as long as possible. Pupils study a strong academic core of subjects through the EBacc.

There is a high focus on developing the character and culture of the pupils to be positive, committed individuals willing to evolve, and show kindness and respect to all.

Knowledge is at the heart of our curriculum and underpins our approach because we are all empowered by knowing things and being able to apply what we have learnt in varied and new situations. We believe that pupils deserve to know the detail of what they will learn, how this links to the schema of the subject they’re studying and how this in turn links to other subjects so they have a broader understanding of how the world works. The knowledge we want pupils to acquire is sequenced and mapped deliberately and coherently and we use strategies such as spaced retrieval practice, low-stakes testing and plenty of repeated practice for automatic responses and fluency to ensure that concepts are understood, knowledge that has been taught is remembered and it is shown through the skill to apply it to specific situations in and beyond school. We put emphasis on the acquisition and use of a broad vocabulary and facilitate this through the reading of fiction and non-fiction texts in various scenarios. 

In addition to the diverse and rich opportunities offered through the teaching, we value opportunities to take pupils out on trips and visits to help put the learning into context, expose them to experiences they might not otherwise have and encourage them to learn about the local, national and international communities of which they are a part.

For further information regarding the curriculum at Priory please email Mrs Cowell (Vice Principal)


At Penwortham Priory Academy the curriculum is split into two key stages, Key Stage 3 – Year 7, 8 & 9, and Key Stage 4 – Year 10 & 11. We have planned and sequenced the curriculum so that pupils cumulatively build skills and knowledge in each subject over time and specialise only when necessary. 


At Key Stage 3, all pupils study: 

English History Design Technology



Food Preparation and Nutrition 



Learning for Life Road Map Lessons (PSHE)



Learning for Life Days (PSHE)













We adhere to the Key Stage 3 national curriculum which sets out the programmes of study for all subjects.  

When pupils arrive with us in Year 7 we allocate them to a group with mixed prior attainment and all their lessons remain with this group. We have found many positives in this approach and reference latest research to ensure we make the most of the opportunities it offers.  

At the end of Year 9, pupils opt for the suite of subjects that they will follow through to the end of Year 11.  

At Key Stage 4, pupils study:  

  Options subjects (chosen in Year 9 and begun in Year 10). All are GCSE unless otherwise stated 

English Language 


Computer Science 

English Literature 


ICT / Creative iMedia 



Child Development 





Graphic Design


Learning for Life Road Map Lessons (PSHE)

Engineering (this is particularly relevant to Lancashire industry) 


(Learning for Life Days)(PSHE)

Food Preparation and Nutrition 


(can be studied extra-curricular) 


Art & Design


Further Maths
(can be studied extra-curricular) 


BTec Performing Arts 


(can be studied extra-curricular) 


Key Stage 4 is rigorous and focuses on the high uptake of Ebacc subjects (Sciences, Languages and Humanities). Other options are relevant to major employers in the county including BAE Systems, Leyland Trucks, Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels, Rolls Royce and the shale gas industry.  

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map


All of our predominantly spacious, bright classrooms are equipped with whiteboards, visualisers and mini wipeable whiteboards for pupil use. Pupils can, and are encouraged to, use mobile technology with supervision from the teacher to enhance their learning.  

Time to develop and review the curriculum is provided every week to middle leaders. They meet and work collaboratively on this. Classroom delivery and pedagogy is a high priority in the professional development programme of the staff. This is overseen by the Deputy Headteacher with the support of a Lead Practitioner in Teaching and Learning.  


Each subject has developed a long-term plan (LTP) that maps out their delivery of content from Year 7 to 11. This is shared with pupils. The LTP is broken down into schemes of learning (SOL) each underpinned by 'BIG’ questions that initiate thought and discussion and act as a hook from which to ‘hang’ other, feeder questions to explore.  

We promote ‘quality first teaching’ for all, asking that teachers plan thoroughly, pitch challenge high and scaffold learning so that all pupils can aim for excellence. 

To further address issues of disadvantage for pupils who are eligible for Pupil Premium funding we: 

  1. Ensure their books are marked first to constantly refresh ourselves about who these students are 
  2. Identify them on our seating plans 
  3. Challenge them relentlessly to reduce their gaps in knowledge 
  4. Seat them strategically according to our judgement of what will help them progress 
  5. Talk to them and question to get to know them more and remove any barriers to learning  

Teachers are aware of strategies they may need to implement for individual pupils as a result of pupil premium, prior attainment or special educational needs for example.  

When you go into our classrooms you may see a wide variety of delivery styles. Subject matter will be presented clearly and introduced through ‘The Big Question’. Teachers provide challenge by asking additional questions and scaffolding appropriately for the needs of their learners. They respond to misconceptions and use visualisers and interactive whiteboards to provide models, use dual coding, co-construct answers, model expectations and demonstrate how to approach tasks. They introduce new material in coherent steps and guide student practice, giving feedback along the way.

Teachers recognise that ‘on the spot’, verbal feedback can be the most impactful. Content is regularly reviewed to help pupils to commit it to memory and teachers use a variety of methods to systematically check understanding and retention e.g. low stakes testing, homework tasks, class discussion, online questioning packages. Assessment of progress is regular and informs teaching. Pupils are given dedicated improvement and reflection time (DIRT) and are expected to respond to written feedback in green pen when their teacher’s feedback warrants it.  

The knowledge being gleaned from each SOL is assessed by means of homework, low stakes testing and end of unit tests. Pupils track their progress using personal learning checklists (PLCs).

We use a simple ‘behaviour for learning’ model referred to as ‘warn, move, remove’ to ensure that all pupils are working well in lesson and disruption is eradicated.


All pupils study personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons in a series of whole school Learning for Life days. Sex and relationship education is delivered predominantly through this programme with topics such as ‘positive relationships’, ‘consent’ and ‘sexual health’; aspects of this are also covered in Science and RE. Learning for Life lessons also impact on pupils’ understanding of British values as an aspect of their personal development and this fundamental understanding of citizenship is also found throughout the curriculum and extra-curricular activities.  

Careers guidance 

All pupils in all year groups receive careers guidance. We have access to a part time school careers adviser. Pupils can self-refer for an appointment and equally, staff can refer pupils. There are many forms of careers advice open to pupils throughout the school year e.g. guest speakers, assemblies, 1:1 appointments prior to choosing options, careers fayres, etc.  

Learning for Life Road Map Lessons

Each afternoon pupils are engaged in a twenty minute Learning for Life lesson or activity to develop skills in leadership, organisation, resilience, initiative and communication (LORIC). These include a weekly assembly with key messages and celebrations of academic and pastoral achievement, Everybody Reading sessions, discussion topics, Year 11 additional numeracy and literacy support.  

By engaging in LORIC activities, pupils can work towards PiXL Edge Awards, nationally recognised achievements which provide valuable evidence of LORIC skills to colleges, universities and employers. 

More information regarding Everybody Reading can be found on the Learning for Life page.


All pupils read widely and often to develop their vocabulary and enhance their progress. In lessons this is encouraged through the use of relevant, topical, non-fiction materials.

In English lessons in Years 7-10, the first 10 minutes of every lesson is devoted to private reading, the comprehension of which is tested through the use of the Accelerated Reader programme. A bespoke library supports this aspect of the curriculum. 

In Learning for Life, reading is developed by all pupils engaging with an age appropriate fiction text read by the teacher in sessions known as ‘Everybody Reading’ (ER). In this, teachers use reciprocal reading strategies to help pupils engage with the texts. To add breadth, non-fiction articles are introduced that relate to the books being read. 

Pupil Destinations

(Education and employment after Key Stage 4 for 2019 leavers)

This data is for pupils who completed Key Stage 4 in 2019, which is the most  recent data available.

Pupils staying in education or employment


Pupils staying in education or employment for at least 2 terms after key stage 4


Total number of pupils included in destination measures



Pupils staying in education


Pupils staying in education for at least 2 terms after key stage 4


Further education college or other further education provider


School sixth forms


Sixth form colleges


Other education destinations



Pupils in apprenticeships


Pupils staying in apprenticeships for at least 6 months after key stage 4



Pupils staying in employment


Pupils staying in employment for at least 2 terms after key stage 4



Pupils not counted as staying in education or employment


Pupils not staying in education or employment for at least 2 terms after key stage 4


Destination unknown