Curriculum

Schools within The Four Stones MAT share the same principles around curriculum design and implementation.

We believe in a curriculum that:

  • Supports students’ academic success by promoting knowledge-based learning

    We aspire to identify the powerful knowledge in each subject that meets this aim, whilst preparing our students successfully for external examinations. This content should be the product of collaboration and dialogue between the subject specialists across our schools. Moreover, working together as specialists across our schools through larger subject communities will allow this content to be continually discussed, reviewed and enriched.

    The knowledge we deliver is powerful in that it changes students’ perceptions, values and understanding. It encourages students to ask new questions and explore alternate explanations. The focus on imparting knowledge does not mean we dismiss the value of students acquiring application skills however, without an understanding of subject content, students will never be able to successfully create, infer, analyse, evaluate and synthesise. By integrating factual knowledge with procedural knowledge, we encourage students to think with increasing sophistication about the subjects they study.

  • Academically challenging and rigorous

    We believe that studying the EBacc subjects at GCSE will considerably enhance students’ life chances as they facilitate the greatest flexibility both into A-Level and University courses.  We promote highly academic courses in all key stages.

    The core curriculum (English, maths, science, humanities and MFL) offers a good variety of knowledge, knowledge application and is rigorous and challenging. The core curriculum pathway challenges social inequality as we promote this pathway to all students, regardless of their ability or class.

  • Broad and balanced offering both breadth and depth

    Every subject offers depth. Subject leaders plan their curriculum to look at a wider domain than the expectations of the national curriculum and deliver the information that they believe is most meaningful to the students’ futures.

    At Key Stage 3 we do not narrow the curriculum. Our students all follow the full range of National Curriculum subjects.

    The range of subjects on offer at Key Stage 4 and 5 is varied ensuring that students are able to continue their studies in areas of interest to them. Study at Key Stage 4 is not constrained by the examination specification. Each subject’s curriculum offers a deeper approach to the subject, offering a wide range of content that we deem is important for life-long learning.

  • Supports students to master language and numbers

    Strong literacy and numeracy skills have a positive impact on students’ self-esteem, behaviour, motivation and attainment as well as being fundamental to student development and the achievement of a rich and fulfilling life. Mastery of language and fluent mathematical skills are and always will be a top priority.

    Reading underpins everything that our students do in school. We believe that our students are entitled to become competent, resilient and fluent readers by: equipping them with a range of skills and strategies; promoting reading of challenging texts; and developing an appreciation of a wealth of literature to build upon their cultural capital. We recognise the importance of reading and expect that every student should be reading every day for a minimum of 30 minutes. Find out more about our approach to literacy.

    Numeracy is key for individuals to develop logical thinking and reasoning strategies in everyday situations. To solve problems and make sense of numbers, time, patterns and shapes for activities like cooking, reading instructions and playing sport, numeracy is essential. We expect all students to complete 30 minutes of maths practice daily.

  • Promotes students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development

    We aim to provide students with accurate information, to help them clarify their own values and attitudes, to help them practise skills in communication and decision making, and to recognise the value of family life and parenthood.

    In addition to the core subjects, there will be opportunities to learn and put into practice the knowledge and skills related to work related learning and enterprise.

    PSHE/Personal Development and RE is compulsory for all students. The PSHE/Personal Development and RE programme maps out key subject content. The curriculum incorporates relationships and sexual relationships, drugs education, religious education, mental health, e-safety and citizenship education.

    We believe that all students should have tangible experiences which are explicitly designed to support the development of character. We aspire to have ‘sticky’ schools, where students choose to stay beyond the boundaries of the school day to be involved in high-quality extra-curricular clubs and activities. Students will have numerous opportunities to enrich the taught curriculum with events, workshops and trips as well as participate in leadership service. Find out more about our Character Academy.


© 2021 The Four Stones Multi Academy Trust. Registered address: Brake Lane, Hagley, Worcestershire. DY8 2XS. A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company number: 07652306.