Curriculum Overview

At Admiral Lord Nelson School we are a Rights Respecting School and as such provide a curriculum experience for every student that enables them not only to make progress in their learning and achieve high academic standards but also to enjoy learning for its own sake and to develop the skills and understanding to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.


The purpose of our Curriculum is to enable our students to:

  • develop lively, creative, enquiring minds, studying a full range and breadth of subjects and specialising at Key Stage 4
  • acquire knowledge and skills relevant to adult life and a world of rapid and continuous change, following an appropriate pathway to ensure students achieve their very best
  • use language and number effectively
  • develop personal and moral values, respect for shared values and for other cultures, religions and ways of life
  • develop an understanding of the world in which they live
  • appreciate human achievements and aspirations
  • experience success and celebration of their achievements
  • take their place in society as informed, confident and responsible citizens

Our Curriculum addresses statutory requirements within the Curriculum, namely that it:

  • Is broad, balanced, coherent and relevant
  • Is accessible to all students and promotes high expectations
  • Is delivered using a range of appropriate teaching and learning styles
  • Is differentiated so that it provides appropriate challenge and engagement for all
  • Is positively managed and promotes the recognition, monitoring and celebration of achievement
  • Is flexible, so that it continually adapts to the changing needs of our students
  • Reflects and enriches the community that we serve


We design our curriculum to enrich students learning through memorable experiences and activities that inspire the imagination, create curiosity and actively promote a sense of awe and wonder throughout the curriculum.

To aid students’ development of knowledge and understanding we make learning experiences relevant to real life, their own experiences and to what is happening in the world around them today. We recognise that successful learners need a deep comprehension of a wide and rich vocabulary so throughout the curriculum we progressively develop literacy, actively seeking opportunities to encourage reading in all its forms and cohesively building students’ abilities to both understand and use their growing vocabulary.

In designing how subjects are delivered we interleave the learning to help students build the links they need in their memory for knowledge acquisition and understanding. Opportunities are sought across the curriculum to develop common skills such as; literacy, numeracy and problem solving, explicitly supporting students in building connections between their current knowledge and new learning.


The Core curriculum that all students study consists of English, English Literature, Mathematics and Science (either double award or separate sciences). All these are GCSE subjects. The Core also contains non examined elements such as Personal Development (encompassing citizenship, RE and equalities), Aspiring futures (encompassing enterprise, work related learning, drugs and sex education) and Physical Education. More details of the core curriculum and the optional subjects available can be found in the Pathway documents at the top of this page and our Which Way Now booklets for previous year groups:

There are curriculum evenings planned throughout the school year to ensure parents and students have all the information they need to make the right choices.

Personal Development

In addition to subject lessons, the Formal Curriculum also comprises a range of planned experiences called Personal Development Days (PD Days). These days are designed to provide learning opportunities where staff and students work together for extended periods of time to develop students’ Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS), namely to be:

  • Independent Enquirers
  • Creative Thinkers
  • Reflective Learners
  • Team Workers
  • Self-Managers
  • Effective Participators

PD Days are planned and delivered collaboratively by cross-organisational teams of teaching and support staff. This supports our philosophy that every adult who works at ALNS plays a part in delivering the ALNS Curriculum. PD Days are planned so that they provide learning opportunities that develop knowledge and understanding within the Cross-Curriculum Dimensions below:

  • Identity and Cultural Diversity
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Community Participation
  • Creativity and Critical Thinking
  • Enterprise
  • Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development
  • Technology and the Media

Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills are ‘taught’ within Humanities lessons and, like Literacy, Numeracy and ICT skills, are developed and applied across all aspects of the Formal Curriculum. We aim to provide coherence by linking learning on PD Days with learning in other areas of the Formal Curriculum. Off-site visits, International trips and the use of outside ‘experts’ (from our local community and beyond) that enhance and enrich the learning experience for students are a key feature of our PD Days.

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