Curriculum Information for Parents

Curriculum Intent:

We are a diverse and caring learning community and our values are embedded through a curriculum provision that develops a culture of respect for each other and a belief that outstanding achievement in all areas is an attainable goal for our students. The curriculum is aligned to the school vision and aims which are underpinned by the High Performance Learning Philosophy. At Sydenham we aim to develop the following in all of our students:

  • Academic achievement – our students achieve highly through a rigorous and well planned curriculum
  • Global citizenship – our students develop a sense of their responsibilities and social justice and are confident about improving their world locally and globally
  • Enterprise and confidence – our students are creative and innovative and are able to use their knowledge and skills with confidence and independence.


The key principles of our curriculum are that high levels of performance are attainable for the vast majority of students and that we can systematically teach students how to succeed in school, to be intellectually and socially confident as well as to have a global outlook and a concern for others. To achieve this, our curriculum builds explicit subject knowledge and disciplinary skills and the HPL cognitive competencies - the Advanced Cognitive Performance Characteristics (ACPs) and Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs).


  • The curriculum develops students who love the challenge of learning, are resilient to making mistakes and who are curious and enquiring. 
  • The curriculum meets in full the requirements of current legislation and we endeavor to offer a wider range of subjects than is required.
  • The curriculum is designed to be inclusive and to meet the diverse needs and ambitions of all our students. The curriculum is designed to be demanding for all students and does not follow a ‘pathways’ approach.
  • We have a shared approach to teaching core knowledge and skills across the curriculum (ACPs and VAAs)
  • The curriculum develops successful learners who make excellent progress, reliably, year on year
  • The curriculum promotes a culture of respect and is consistent with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
  • Students extend and develop their knowledge and skills through extra-curricular activities and home work
  • Students develop their knowledge and understanding of literacy and numeracy and additional provision is given through a Not Secondary Ready programme where required
  • The curriculum facilitates progression to the next stage of a students’ educational journey, for all students.



Our students receive 25 hours of formal taught classes a week and benefit from an enrichment offer of additional clubs and activities. ‘Sydenham Teachers Habits’, which is informed by Rosenshine’s principles of instruction and HPL research, guides teaching at Sydenham


Subject Overviews

You can find a more detailed breakdown of the content of the curriculum for every subject in Year 7 to Year 13 by going to Subjects and clicking here.

Key Stage Three Assessment explained

KS4 Preference Booklet 2023-2026

Sydenham School feedback policy

More information

To find out more about the curriculum our school is offering, please contact the relevant subject leader or Year Learning co-ordinator.


Tier 2 vocabulary words Literacy and numeracy