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Park High School

Park High School

Our curriculum information is available by subject from the menu on the right.

For more our information about our curriculum evenings and curriculum booklets please click here.

Curriculum Statement

Our aim is to provide an excellent education for all our students; an education which brings out the best in all of them and prepares them for success in life and the world of work.  Our curriculum is designed to provide young people with the core knowledge and cultural capital needed both for further academic study, while enabling them to develop as citizens and engage effectively in the world beyond school.

Our curriculum is designed to be balanced and rigorous, in order to maximise students’ knowledge, as well as their cognitive and personal development.  We continually work to provide coherence within and across subjects, while also mapping the curriculum vertically from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5.

The principle of education with character is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense. Everything students learn in school, alongside the taught curriculum, is seen as part of the whole curriculum. This includes the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, as well as the extra-curricular provision, which provides a significant ‘hidden curriculum’.  Our culture is underpinned by the modern British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and values.

Park High’s core academic curriculum is founded on these key principles:

  • Core Knowledge – each department ensures their curriculum is built on the substantive and disciplinary knowledge of their subject. This allows students to obtain foundational knowledge and also to engage in, test and question the key concepts within a discipline.
  • Literacy and communication underpin the whole curriculum. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary play in unlocking the whole curriculum. All staff are teachers of literacy.
  • A spiral curriculum – for core knowledge to be learnt and abstract concepts understood and applied, students need repeated opportunities to revisit the specified knowledge and deepen their understanding.  
  • Entitlement – we believe that all young people have the right to learn what is in our curriculum; it follows that we have a duty to ensure that all of our young people are taught the whole of it. In ensuring that students acquire substantive and disciplinary knowledge, we are able to empower students, irrespective of background.
  • Stability – we are not inclined to make frequent changes to our curriculum: while we should make occasional adjustments in the light of feedback and experience, we will aim for stability over many years, so that teachers can develop expertise, and we constantly build assessments and teaching materials to support the curriculum.  We are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers within the same subject to meet together.

How will this be done?

Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and there are differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects.  The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers within the same subject to meet together. Further subject specialism is provided by partnerships across and between schools, and through subject associations.

Knowledge organisers are used to provide coherence. They are resources which provide a point of reference where core knowledge is distilled. This key information enables students to revisit and develop their understanding of key concepts beyond lessons.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use Allison and Tharby’s Six Principles for Effective Teaching (2015) to develop our teaching practice:

  • Challenge – So that students have high expectations of what they can achieve.
  • Explanation – So that students acquire a new knowledge and skills.
  • Modelling – So that students know how to apply the knowledge and skills.
  • Deliberate practice – So that students have regular opportunities to practise their craft as writers and demonstrate knowledge and skills.
  • Questioning – So that students are made to think hard with breadth, depth and accuracy.
  • Feedback – So that students think about and further develop their knowledge and skills.

In order to ensure that all students access, acquire and master core knowledge, the curriculum is underpinned by literacy and communication.  For those who arrive at school ‘not secondary ready’ early catch up is essential: we aim to promptly identify and support students who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum. Furthermore, we recognise the need to teach students explicitly to speak and write using the appropriate academic register. We expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing. 

Evaluation and outcome

We continue to work to develop a range of formative and summative assessment in all subjects.  We recognise that assessments need to vary to meet the differing requirements of subjects and year groups.  Standardised written assessments, for example, play less of a role in performance subjects such as music, drama and physical education.

Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. Teachers use questioning as a form of assessment to identify gaps in learning and misconceptions: it is imperative that these are revisited and retaught.  Regular oral and written feedback inform teaching and supports student progress.

There are summative assessments which allow students to demonstrate their growing understanding of their subjects and teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. Outcomes from summative assessment are used to review the curriculum offer.

Students are prepared extensively for their future in terms of future careers and education pathways, as well as for public examinations.  Every child has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening curriculum. By teaching this curriculum well, and developing effective habits in our students, we bring out the best in everyone.

Key Stage 3 

Knowledge Organisers

This year, departments have produced knowledge organisers to support students learning the core knowledge they need to know to be successful. Knowledge organisers are a tool our students can use to help them revise and review their learning. Each knowledge organiser is an A4 sheet, which the key knowledge condensed down for students for each unit of work. Students will have copies printed and stuck into their exercise books.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum (Years 7 and 8) will ensure that your child follows a broad and balanced programme combining the core subjects with the Arts, Humanities, Languages, Design Technology and Physical Education. The curriculum is designed to be balanced and rigorous, in order to maximise students’ knowledge, as well as their skills and personal development across a range of interesting subjects. We want them to explore and to experience a variety of subject areas to provide a strong foundation for the future.

The curriculum offer will prepare Year 7 and 8 students to be both well rounded and educated citizens.  All written examinations will place a far higher emphasis on literacy and the quality of spelling, punctuation and grammar.  We would encourage your child to read regularly for enjoyment and pleasure as well as for the specific purpose of education.  Students will be better placed to achieve highly with a broader vocabulary and a deeper appreciation of various styles of writing.

Supporting Your Child With Revising And Using Knowledge Organisers

“Learning, in turn, is defined as a change in long-term memory. If nothing has been changed in long term memory - nothing has been learned.”

The Leitner system:

The Memory Clock:

Step 1 - Review:

Students should go over their notes and reread their previous work. This is why it is really important that you monitor their work and check they are completing all work to a standard.

  • Review and look over their knowledge organisers.
  • Check for gaps in their knowledge. They need to focus on the sections of the topic where they are least confident.
  • Choose a review activity:
  • Create flash cards and put the answers on the back of the flash cards
  • Mind maps
  • Look, cover, write, check. Create a table of questions and then fill in the answers.

Step 2 - Practise:

Students should then engage in a short activity to test their existing knowledge.

  • Flash cards: Test them on their flash cards. Create two piles – one for correct and one for incorrect answers. Then use the Leitner system.
  • Mind Map:  Put your mind map away. Take a new template and fill it from memory.
  • Look, cover, write, check: Fold the page to the thick dotted line – can you fill in the third column? Check. Now fold to the next line, can you fill in the fourth column?

Step 2 - Practise Again

Step 3 – Check:

Finally, students need to engage in a short activity to check what they have done.

  • Test: Students should take out notes and, using a green pen, correct any answers.
  • Look at model answers and compare them to their own. Identify what their answer is missing and what they need to improve.
  • Students should then redraft.

This is an on-going cycle and is something students should be doing throughout the year.

Support Vocabulary Development And Building Cultural Capital

Read at least one article a week from The Day:

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Read The Week Junior and other current affairs magazines. Encourage them to watch the new every evening.

Students should aim to read a range of high quality novels over the course of the year. Try some of these award winning novels:

Take advantage of the huge number of interesting things to do and see in London:

Curriculum Overview

In Years 7 and 8, our students follow a broad curriculum acquiring knowledge, skills and understanding, and, learning from experience in order to provide a solid foundation for the next steps in their academic life.  English, mathematics and science form the core of the curriculum and this is complemented by a wide range of creative, practical and artistic subjects.

The importance of literacy and communication is recognised with a bespoke weekly lesson which develops students’ ability to articulate and express themselves fluently and with confidence – both orally and in writing. Students who arrive ‘Not Secondary Ready’ receive additional interventions to develop this vital element of their education.

We value PSHCEe* (Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education) at Park High and our commitment to this curriculum has been recognised nationally. We have achieved the FPA Brook award with our Healthy Relationships programme, shortlisted by a panel of young people as being in the top five in the country for showcasing excellent delivery.  Every student has one PSHCEe lesson per week; these occur on a rotational basis, throughout the week, across the entire year.

We are committed to developing the whole child reflected in a broad and balanced curriculum and allocate lessons in Years 7 and 8 as follows:

Subject Number of Lessons
Year 7 Year 8
English 3 3
Mathematics 3 3
Science 3 3
Literacy 1 1
Art 1 1
Computer Science 1 1
Design & Technology 2 2
Geography 2 2
History 2 2
Spanish or French 2 2
Music 1 1
Performing Arts 1 1
Philosophy & Ethics 1 1
PSHCE* 1 1
Physical Education 2 2

Further subject specific information can be found on the blue menu to the right hand side of the top of this page.

At the end of Year 8, students select subjects which, with outstanding careers advice and guidance, allow them to make informed choices in preparation for Key Stage 4.

Key Stage 4 

In Years 9, 10 and 11 students take a smaller number of subjects and concentrate on them in preparation for the Public Examinations at the end of Year 11.

Every child takes the compulsory core of examined subjects which includes English, mathematics, science and philosophy & ethics.  Students then choose from a range of subjects and qualifications which complement both their interests and style of learning. Typically students will study for 8 or 9 qualifications in total, although this does vary according to need.

The majority of students are encouraged to achieve the English Baccalaureate which recognises achievement in the following subjects:

English Language



Humanities (either Geography or History)


Recognition of wellbeing and an understanding and appreciation of the need to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle is evident in the valuable experience and learning which takes place in weekly PSHCEe and physical education lessons for every student.

Key Stage 4 lessons are allocated as follows:

Subject Number of Lessons
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
English 5 5 4
Mathematics 5 5 4
Science 5 5 5
Philosophy & Ethics 2 2 1
Preference 1 2 2 3
Preference 2 2 2 3
Preference 3 2 2 3
PSHCE* 1 1 1
Physical Education 2 2 2

Further subject specific information can be found on the blue menu to the right hand side of the top of this page.

Preparing for success does not happen by accident and we encourage parental involvement throughout their child’s education. The document found here identifies the course, specification and recommended resources for each Key Stage 4 subject. It is very helpful if used in conjunction with other resources utilised by departments.

Park High School

Thistlecroft Gardens, Stanmore,
Middlesex, HA7 1PL

Headteacher:Mrs Colette O'Dwyer

Phone:020 8952 2803

Map of Park High School Location
  • SSAT Leading Edge
  •  Variety of teaching approaches
  • Teacher Development Trust
  • Arts Council
  • The Quality in Careers Standard
  • Healthy School
  • Stonewall
  • CSW
  • Ofsted
  • 4Stars