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Our Curriculum

At Tanbridge House School we believe in providing an atmosphere and ethos that promotes quality learning through high quality teaching. Our timetable spans ten days, with each day consisting of five sixty minute periods.

The curriculum encapsulates students’ whole learning experience during their time in the school. All maintained schools in England are legally required to follow the statutory national curriculum which sets out subject content for those subjects that should be taught to all students.

Click here for further information on the National Curriculum 

The national curriculum – the taught knowledge and development of skills that support the acquisition of excellent exam results – does, however, form only one part of our school’s curricular offer.

Our rich extra-curricular provision coupled to an over-arching ethos of kindness, resilience, acceptance of diversity and inclusivity prepares students for life beyond Tanbridge House School as informed and active global citizens with a secure foundation for deep learning for future life.

Please contact the school if you would like to find out more about the curriculum at Tanbridge House School.

Key Policies

A copy of our Curriculm Policy, Marking and Assessment Policy and Teaching and Learning Policy can be found on our Policies webpage.

Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8)

 Within the two year Key Stage 3, students follow a broad and balanced curriculum based on the National Curriculum for England. The fortnightly teaching hours and groupings for each subject (2019-2020) is summarised in the table below.


Year 7

Hours per fortnight and groupings

Year 8

Hours per fortnight and groupings

English 7 – Taught in mixed ability tutor groups 7– Mixed ability
Maths 6 – Set initially in September using KS2 data, reviewed termly 6– Set and reviewed termly
Science 6 -Taught in mixed ability tutor groups term 1, set thereafter 6 - Set groups
Art  2 – mixed ability 2 – mixed ability
Drama 2 – mixed ability 2 – mixed ability
Faith, Philosophy & Thinking 2 – mixed ability 2 – mixed ability
Geography 3 – Set against Science. Led by Science but with Geography/IT input 3 – Set against Science. Led by Science but with Geography/IT input
History 3 - Taught in mixed ability tutor groups. Set against English 3 – Mixed ability. Set against English
IT 1 – set against Science 2 – Set against science


For a small group of students, additional literacy and numeracy lessons will be taught from after the October half term instead of either German or Spanish.

6 – Taught in mixed ability tutor groups for first half term, thereafter set by ability. Students will start with two languages from the start. All will do French and then either German or Spanish according to band. 6– Set by ability and second language
Music 2 – Mixed ability 2 – Mixed ability
PE 4 – By tutor group term 1, then by learning route thereafter 4 – by ability/ activities
PSHE 2 – Mixed ability 1 – Mixed ability
Technology 4 – Mixed ability 4 – Mixed ability

Good literacy is key to raising student attainment in all subjects; pupils need vocabulary, expression and organisational control to cope with the cognitive demands of all subjects and to sustain and order thought. This in turn leads to improved self-esteem, motivation and behaviour. Students receive seven lessons of English a fortnight to give an enhanced focus on literacy and we have introduced extra classes in all three teaching bands to enable smaller, more focused classes.


Key Stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11)

Within Key Stage 4 students follow a core curriculum (below). There are a range of optional subjects available to students, which are accredited through either GCSE or BTEC Technical Awards. Each optional subject is studied for five hours per fortnight:

Art & Design Dance Design & Technology
Drama Food & Nutrition French
Futures* German Geography
History Media Studies Music
Music BTEC Technical Award Performing Arts Philosophy & Ethics
Physical Education Psychology Travel & Tourism
Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) Spanish Cambridge National Sports Studies

We have invested heavily in our digital media offer in subjects such as Media and Business Studies, increasing the number of classes in these subject areas.

Directed Studies is used to support students who would benefit by not selecting their full allocation of option subjects. Futures* is not an examined subject but is delivered to invited students focusing on life skills and basic literacy.

Subject Hours per Fortnight
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
English – set by ability in sets 1 and 2, mixed ability for the remaining groups 7 7 8
Maths – set by ability 7 8 8
Science – set by ability 6 8 9
IT– set by ability 5 4 3
PE – Yr9 select their route whilst Yrs 10 and 11 select their activity every 4 weeks 4 2 2
PSHE 1 1 0
Optional Subjects – mixed ability unless multiple classes for a subject within the same block allow for setting by ability. 5 5 5

Helping students to access the curriculum and be successful

In some individual cases, student, parents and teachers agree that a student needs a different curriculum in order to enjoy and achieve. This is organised on an individual basis according to the needs of the student. Support can continue throughout years 7 to 11 according to need and is reviewed regularly.

Interventions are based on KS2 scores, reading ages and CATs and may include: extra support within lessons, a blended curriculum offered through mainstream lessons and small group work in The Bridge, Competency, Literacy Plus, Sound training and Reading Catch Up lessons. In addition, students may opt for one less subject and instead receive supported study time (Directed Studies) or follow the Futures curriculum which helps students develop life skills and basic literacy.