Cleeve School

the cleeve curriculum

Teaching and Learning at Cleeve

Our mission is to provide an engaging and challenging learning journey that motivates, inspires and develops all students during their time at Cleeve School. Each student is supported to achieve their full potential through high quality teaching within a fully inclusive, personalised and aspirational curriculum.

Alongside the highest quality teaching, students’ attitude to learning is a key factor in this learning journey, as is the partnership between school and home. Via a number of sources: feedback to students, student progress reports, Parent Information Evenings and written information, we endeavour to always ensure that all parties are fully involved in this learning journey. We ask you to support us by talking to your child daily about their learning and ensuring that they are fully supported by you in their learning journey through Cleeve.

The Importance of Reading

We know from research that reading regularly has a significant impact on a young person’s learning in all areas. At Cleeve we place real emphasis on building on the work done in primary schools to ensure that all students are reading at their chronological age or above.

We ask parents for support with this crucial aspect of development by ensuring that EVERY student reads at home for at least 20 minutes a day.

All students follow the Accelerated Reading Programme in Year 7 and Year 8. At the start of Year 7, students take a reading test, known as a ‘Star Test’ which generates a reading level and their reading age. The reading level is known as the ZPD range.  Each book in Explore has a ZPD range and students choose a book to read within their level. Once a week, during their English lessons, students read and quiz on their books. This is monitored by their English Teacher and also our Librarian. When a student has finished a book they take an online quiz. They should aim to get 100% accuracy. Frequency of reading and quizzing is essential to ensure that students make progress in their reading and comprehension skills. Frequently achieving 100% in quizzes increases their ZPD range so that they can read more demanding books. Each term students take a ‘Star Test’ to assess their reading ages and to enable their English Teacher to monitor their progress. Students record their reading ages to track their own progress.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

Year 7

The Year 7 Curriculum ensures that, in all subjects students will access the right level of challenge, alongside support, based on their KS2 results. The majority of lessons for most Year 7 students will be taught in mixed ability groups, thus ensuring that the curriculum is fully inclusive, and puts no ceiling on what every student can achieve. Year 7 students will enter a system where they are able to aspire, without limits, to reach their full potential.

Literacy and numeracy forms the heart of the curriculum, with a generous allocation of time devoted to these subject areas. Students who join Cleeve with high levels of literacy and numeracy, and are therefore performing above the expected level, will have the opportunity to follow a more personalised pathway.  In addition to this, students who have an aptitude for languages will have the opportunity to study an additional language from the Spring Term and this allocation will continue throughout KS3. Any students joining Cleeve not at the required standard in literacy, numeracy, or both, will have targeted support to ensure that they are ‘secondary ready’ by the end of Year 7: leaving no one behind.

A successful transition is essential to enable all students to thrive and achieve to the very best of their ability. To ease the transition from primary to secondary school, students will be taught in fewer teaching groups.

Years 8 and 9

The Curriculum in Years 8 and 9 becomes increasingly personalised, building on the foundations of Year 7, with students now set in the most appropriate groupings to lead into KS4 courses. In Year 9, students are supported through the ‘Options’ process, ensuring that they choose the most appropriate pathway leading into KS4 courses.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

In KS4, all students study three ‘Core Subjects’. These are compulsory subjects that everybody must study and be examined in; English (Literature and Language), Mathematics and Science. All students also take part in Games (Physical Education) and Contemporary Values (Work Experience, Personal, Social and Health Education, and Religious Education). 

In addition to these subjects, students study a number of ‘Option Subjects.’ The majority of students at Cleeve study four Option Subjects, ensuring enough time is given to prepare for GCSE examinations, but also enabling flexibility and choice from the wide range of subjects on offer.

Option subjects on offer:

- Fine Art, Graphics, Textiles, Business Studies, Chinese Mandarin, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Smart Product Design, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Drama, French, Geography, Health and Social Care, History, ICT (Cambridge Nationals/CiDA), Music, Physical Education, Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, Separate Sciences (Triple) and Spanish. 

Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)

The Sixth Form curriculum provides personalised routes of learning for students by facilitating a choice of A levels, BTEC Nationals or a combination of the two.

We offer a wide choice of subjects in the Sixth Form, including a suite of subjects that are not part of the KS3 / KS4 Curriculum. Our brand new Sixth Form Centre of Excellence provides a ‘state-of-the-art’ facility for the highest quality Sixth Form study experience. 

The Cleeve Scholars' Programme

What is the Cleeve Scholars' Programme?

The Cleeve Scholars' Programme is an additional support intervention for our most academically able students. It comprises a varied programme of activities designed to challenge students beyond the core curriculum.

Examples of Scholars’ Programme activities:

Trips: Oxford University, Architect Practice, Houses of Parliament, Student Sixth Form Conferences

Guest Speakers: Barristers, Structural Engineers, Planning Officers, Admissions’ Tutors, Oxford Professors, Cleeve School Alumni

In-house Activities: Design and Technology Challenge, ‘Archaeology Week’, Employability Skills Workshops, Essay Competitions, Debate Clubs and much more.

Scholars’ performance is closely monitored by the Oxbridge Aspirations’ Leader. Additional mentoring is offered to ensure the Scholars are setting themselves appropriately ambitious targets and are supported to reach these.

As students’ progress through school, the Scholars' Programme has increased focus on encouraging students to make aspirational choices for university and beyond. Students are supported to make these high aspirations a reality through the Oxbridge Preparation Programme in the Sixth Form.

How are the Cleeve Scholars selected?

Cleeve Scholars will be selected by the Oxbridge Aspirations’ Leader and the Senior Leadership Team using prior attainment data to identify the top 5-10% of each year group. For this, we use student performance data from Key Stage 2, 3, 4 and 5 (when appropriate).

Approximately ten Year 7 Scholars are selected on entry to Cleeve School; there is then potential for additional students to be added to the programme as they progress through school if their performance, relative to their peers, improves.

The Access Programme


The Access Programme is designed to offer support to students who may struggle with some of the challenges that face them at secondary school; these will include difficulties with literacy and or numeracy. Our Head of Personalised Learning liaises with local primary schools and parents to determine those students who may require such support to ensure that this is ready when pupils arrive in September.

For the small number of students who take part in this programme they will follow an alternative curriculum; instead of studying a full range of subjects they will receive additional lessons in literacy and numeracy. During these lessons, teachers are able to intervene at the point of mis-comprehension and assist students.

Careers Education Advice and Guidance

From Year 7 to Year 13 students at Cleeve are offered guidance on employment, careers and courses in further and higher education. This guidance begins in Year 7 as part of the PixL Edge Tutor programme. Our objective is to raise aspirations and to ensure that all of our students progress onto an appropriate career path that they have chosen with our help and guidance. The majority of our students continue education into our Sixth Form and then proceed to higher education.

The Careers and Work Related Learning sessions and activities in Years 10 and 11 are built around the key learning outcomes of self-awareness, opportunity awareness, decision-making, information seeking and careers research. We aim to give students an awareness and understanding of the world of work. To this end, students undertake a whole week’s Work Experience in Year 10, for many this experience is vital in guiding important choices about their future.