Curriculum, Homework And Assessment


Our curriculum is rigorously academic and knowledge-rich because we believe that this is the best way for students to gain the qualifications, skills, and confidence they need to achieve more than they ever believed possible.

As the table below demonstrates, our curriculum for the first academic year (2019-2020) will be broad and balanced right from the start, though we have altered the balance of curriculum time in some subject areas to accommodate the facilities that we will have available in our temporary building.

*Reduced time for the first year given the limited specialist facilities available for core lessons. These hours have been distributed to other curriculum areas, for example music and electives. **This will include assembly, guided reading and a pastoral curriculum on social and personal development.


Homework is an integrated part of our curriculum.  It encourages students to consolidate their learning, promotes a love of learning outside of the classroom, an develops independent learning habits.  At key stage 3, the majority of homework takes the form of:

  • Revision and self-quizzing of core knowledge.
  • Independent reading for pleasure – we recommend at least 20 minutes.

In addition, in maths students will complete deliberate practice of problems using an online programme.

Students are able to complete much of their homework during timetabled independent study periods that are part of our extended day.


Regular assessment is an effective tool for accelerating students’ progress by checking what pupils have learned, identifying any misconceptions, informing teachers’ future planning to address learning gaps, and identifying students in need of additional support.

At The Swan we regularly use two main types of assessment:

  • Formative – frequent, low stakes evaluations that are used throughout a unit of work to help students and teachers to identify and plan to address learning gaps/misconceptions. This may take a range of forms including, knowledge quizzes, in-class questioning, feedback from classwork.
  • Summative – formal assessments used to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional period. These are cumulative, graded assessments and typically take the form of a written exercise. At The Swan, these take place three times per year.

Progress Check Afternoons and Data and Planning Days are scheduled each term to allow teachers the time to analyse assessment data and plan ‘re-teaching’ to address any gaps or misconceptions.