Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Curriculum Overview

In an ever-changing and highly competitive global community, it is more imperative than ever to teach students the skills they need to flourish.

We have designed our curriculum to be broad and well-balanced, to meet the needs, aptitudes and interests of all of our students. We aim to ensure that all of our students leave Oasis Academy Brightstowe with the qualifications, confidence and range of skills to stand as equals in any circle and for any opportunity. 

Our students need to be resilient, adaptable and able to think, in order to solve the complicated problems and challenges that will come their way as adults. Through high-quality teaching and learning, we provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential academically. In addition, we also set them up to become lifelong learners that can achieve well beyond GCSEs.

Our staff receive regular CPD (continued professional development) to support them in becoming outstanding practitioners, so ensuring consistency and a relentless drive for excellence across the curriculum and in all that we do.


Year 7 and 8

In Year 7 and 8, our students have approximately 50% of their curriculum time on the core subjects of English, maths and science.  All students access creative and artistic subjects.  In addition, we teach a unique Aspire programme which includes personal, social and health education, careers, IT, eloquence and philosophy. The majority of students will study both French and Spanish in Key Stage 3.


Year 9

In Year 9, our students enter Key Stage 4. They choose their option subjects at the end of Year 8. All of our students will choose three options from a broad range of subjects and qualifications. We make every effort to ensure students have the widest range of options available to them and are provided with sound advice when selecting their option subjects. 


Year 10

In Year 10 students continue their studies towards GCSEs, and will find the amount of home learning and independent study increases, in order to prepare for lessons and examinations.


Year 11

By Year 11 our students are given the opportunity to attend additional intervention sessions. This is backed up by after school Prep and increased regularity of assessments and mock examinations, which will support all students to develop better independence and study techniques, as they move towards 6th form, college and beyond.


Our approach to sets

At Oasis Academy Brightstowe, students are set in some subjects and taught in mixed-ability groups in others. The rationale for this is based on the belief that students learn best when their needs can be appropriately met. 

The setting process is regularly reviewed within departments. This involves the scrutiny of a broad range of information, such as class teacher records, class work and home learning, examination results and progress tests.

In addition, the setting process will consider the needs of students with special educational needs, disabilities, English as an Additional Language, or social-emotional concerns. Any changes to sets are communicated clearly with students, parents and staff.

Year 7 and 8: Core Subjects (English, maths, science, humanities and languages)

Each year group is divided into two equal halves. Each half of the year has three groups: upper, mid and lower, depending on each child’s Key Stage 2 results and information gained following discussions with primary teachers. The aim is to make these groups as balanced as possible, with fairly equal numbers of girls and boys, and from a mix of different primary schools.

Year 7 and 8: All other subjects (art and photography, catering, PE, Aspire, music, drama)

Students are taught in mixed-ability classes. Each group follows the same broad curriculum map, with some students accessing additional literacy support where necessary.

Year 9, 10 and 11

Students are set in English, maths and science. All other subjects are taught in mixed-ability groupings to work towards their GCSE/alternative qualifications. 


Key Stage 3

During Year 7 and Year 8, students access a broad and balanced curriculum, developing a sound platform from which to make educational choices. Students follow discrete programmes in the traditional subjects of: 

  • English language and English literature  
  • mathematics 
  • science (biology, chemistry and physics) 
  • humanities (geography, history and philosophy) 
  • modern foreign languages (Spanish, French) 
  • music 
  • drama  
  • art and photography
  • catering 
  • physical education 
  • Students may also be selected for extra literacy and numeracy support. 

Key Stage 4 - Curriculum options and outcomes

At the end of Year 8, students make Option choices and move into a three-year Key Stage 4. Option choices are supported by guiding students onto one of two pathways for students.

Students’ qualifications are grouped into “Buckets”, as part of the government’s new approach to qualification outcomes. All students need to complete qualifications from each of the buckets. The best eight qualifications across the buckets are calculated for each student’s Attainment 8 (A8) score. It is the A8 score that will be required by employers and further education providers in the future. 

The first bucket includes two core subjects of mathematics and English. These two subjects are so valuable to students that they are worth double all other qualifications. Students will spend approximately one-third of their total curriculum time studying maths and English.

The second bucket is known as the Ebacc group, as the qualifications within this bucket represent the other academic subjects included within the English Baccalaureate. These subjects include: 

  • science - either triple science consisting of separate qualifications in biology, chemistry, physics or combined science, where students study a combination of biology, chemistry and physics which counts for two GCSEs.
  • modern foreign languages: French or Spanish (for native speakers, we can also enable exams to be taken in Polish, Arabic or a number of other languages) 
  • humanities: geography or history

Students’ best three subjects from the second bucket above will count towards their A8 score. 

The third bucket incudes GCSEs and other approved qualifications. A further three subjects from this group counts towards students’ A8 scores. 

Students may include a second English qualification (English literature, for example), statistics, religious education, or other qualifications not counted from the second bucket. 

In addition, we offer technological/creative/practical courses including music, drama, sport BTEC, art and photography, catering, product design, health & social care and business enterprise. 

Options booklet

Our options booklet supports students in making the right decision as they move into Year 9 and their GCSE years. 

Options Letter to Parents/Carers 2020

Options Booklet 2020

Options Form


“The school is an orderly place where learning takes place effectively” Ofsted 2018