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The Curriculum offer at The Cooper School

Our whole school curriculum offer can be read below.

More detailed curricular information is available by clicking on the year group relevant for your child.
Individual department information can also be found using the ‘Departments’ dropdown menu.

The curriculum offered is a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum which supports each student’s learning needs, providing additional support or acceleration where necessary.
Our aims in developing our curriculum are to provide support for students to develop to their full potential as individuals and as members of society.

Curricular aims for students:
 To develop enquiring minds and a spirit of curiosity
 To strive for excellence in all they do
 To become highly motivated lifelong learners
 To achieve the highest possible standards in all curriculum areas
 To be able to work as a team and independently

Curricular aims for the school:
 To provide a broad and balanced curriculum accessible to all, where appropriate
 To provide a safe, healthy, stimulating environment for learning
 To provide a range of up to date and stimulating learning resources
 To provide innovative and varied teaching methods to stimulate students’ desire for learning
 To provide and ethos of support, challenge and encouragement to succeed

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-8)

Our current key stage 3 courses build on the foundation work of primary schools and take into account revisions to the National Curriculum and to assessment at Key Stage 3.

In Years 7-8 students study English, Mathematics, Science, Spanish or French (with some taking German as well), Drama, Music, Art, Technology, Physical Education, Computer Science, RE and Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship education (PHSCE).

Further opportunities exist in each year group for students within and in addition to the standard curriculum to develop a range of personal development skills.

Much of the teaching in years 7-8 is in mixed-ability groups although some students are given additional support in smaller groups where appropriate.

In year 8, students choose their option subjects for years 9, 10 and 11 according to the subjects specified by the DfE.
Details of the curriculum and relevant assessments followed in each subject area can be found under the relevant year group tab. We will also provide information on the methods of assessment in years 7-8 in each subject area. In years 7-8 The Cooper School will assess students through the use of Bands which will reflect the knowledge and understanding each child has in each module they study. Bands in each subject will range from Band 3 to Band 8, with 8 reflecting exceptional achievement.
The number of taught hours per fortnight for each subject at Key Stage 3 is as follows:

Subject Year 7 Year 8
English 7 6
Mathematics 6 7
Science 6 6
Modern Foreign Languages 5 5
Technology 4 4
Physical Education 4 4
History 3 3
Geography 3 3
Religious Education 2 2
Music/Drama 3 3
Art 2 2
Computing 2 2
PSHE 1 1

Key Stage 4

In years 9, 10 and 11 students follow GCSE courses in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science, RE and PE. PSHE is followed as an additional programme fused throughout the GCSE courses. For Science students either follow Triple Science, gaining three GCSEs or Combined (Double) Science (these students will be given extra English and Maths).

Students select four option subjects from History, Geography, French, German, Spanish, Fine Art, Contemporary Mixed Media Art, Food Technology (GCSE or VCert), Textiles, Product Design,  Engineering (VCert), Computing, Drama, Music, Business Studies (GCSE or BTEC), Media Studies, Sociology, and Psychology. The exact mix of subjects varies from year to year as we offer flexibility in the curriculum offer in an effort to allow each student to take a combination of subjects that is right for them. Students pick 2 option subjects which are 2 year courses, finishing in year 10 whilst the rest are 3 year GCSEs (mostly for the EBACC subjects) finishing in Year 11. This approach allows us to offer a broad range of subjects to students to meet their interest and needs, whilst also enabling them to study the EBACC subjects. Finishing a number of courses in year 10 also enables us to reduce year 11 exam-related stress for students.

Subject Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
English 8 6 8
Mathematics 8 7 8
Science (Triple) 6 12 15
Science (Combined) 6 12 12+2
Humanities GCSE 4 4 8
Languages GCSE or
Option Subject C
4 4 8
Option Subject A 6 6
Option Subject B 6 6
PE 2
3 2

Key Stage 5
In years 12 and 13, students follow linear A Level courses in a whole host of subjects including all of the facilitating subjects and a wide range of options, including Core and AS mathematics.

Students select three A Levels to study across Year 12 and Year 13. Student are timetabled for 10 hours of lessons per subject, per fortnight and are expected to complete one hour of enrichment activities per fortnight. In Year 12, students also have a one hour coaching period per fortnight. Beyond the facilitating subjects of English Literature, Maths, the sciences, modern languages, History and Geography we offer a wide choice of A Level subjects such as: Art, Textiles, Music, Drama, Business Studies, Computing, Economics, English Language & Literature, Further Maths, Government & Politics, Food, P.E, Philosophy and Ethics, Media Studies, Sociology, and Psychology. During years 12 and 13 university guidance is offered through the Post 16 team and tutors support students with their University applications.