Our curriculum aims to encourage students to show a curiosity for learning and a desire to know and understand the world in which they live. We want our curriculum to intrigue learners, inspire them and enable them to become learners capable of making sense of and improving the world in which they live.

We want our students to learn to use sophisticated vocabulary to communicate their understanding both within subjects and across the curriculum and to have the skills to learn knowledge to a deep level.

We seek to create as many opportunities as possible to build our learners’ cultural capital through choosing a curriculum that widens their minds, gives access to experiences beyond the classroom and enables learners to understand fundamental British values and succeed as global citizens. As a result, we expect all of our learners to thrive in life beyond school through acquiring the knowledge and skills to be adaptable, resilient and creative lifelong learners.

Our curriculum intent is to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced education for all students
  • Ensure equal access to learning, with high expectations for every pupil with appropriate levels of challenge and support
  • Enable students to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations including future employment
  • Develop the communication skills of students so that they can use sophisticated vocabulary to communicate their learning within subjects, across the curriculum and to be articulate beyond the school
  • Provide access to knowledge and experiences in both the core and hinterland curriculum that builds students’ cultural capital and supports the development of their spiritual, moral, social and cultural education alongside developing an understanding of fundamental British values and what it means to be successful global citizens
  • Support students’ physical development and responsibility for their own mental and physical health. Enable students to be physically active and resourceful in meeting their own mental and physical health needs
  • Provide subject choices that support students’ learning and progression, and enable them to work towards achieving their goals including future employment
  • Develop students’ independent learning skills and resilience, to equip them for further/higher education and employment so that they can be adaptable, resilient, and creative lifelong learners.

Year 7 and Year 8

Students follow a balanced and inclusive curriculum. All students study:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • French or Spanish
  • History
  • Geography
  • Morals and Ethics (including Religious Education)
  • Design Technology
  • Computing
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Art
  • PE

At the start of Year 7, students are placed into classes based on their KS2 attainment in English, Mathematics, Science, Geography and History. All other classes are mixed ability.

Year 7

Subject Number of Periods per fortnight Notes
English 7 Including Drama and Reading
Maths 7
Science 5
History 3
Geography 3
Technology 3
Music 1
Art 2
PE 4
Moral and Ethics (including RE) 1
French or Spanish 3

Year 8

Subject Number of Periods per fortnight Notes
English 7 Including Drama and Reading
Maths 7
Science 6
History 3
Geography 3
Technology 2
Music 1
Art 2
PE 3
Morals and Ethics (including RE) 1
French or Spanish 4

KS4 (present Years 9 – 10. From September 2020, KS4 will begin in Year 10)

The curriculum in Key Stage 4 is personalised; 3 pathways have been created to ensure that the needs of all students are fully met and enables access to a wide variety of post 16 courses and training.

English Baccalaureate (EBACC)

All students are given the opportunity to study History or Geography, and a Modern Foreign Language. Alongside this, the curriculum ensures breadth and balance by including a range of creative and expressive art courses. Students have access to the following subjects:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Trilogy Science
  • Triple Science
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Geography
  • History
  • Computer Science
  • Food Technology
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Design Technology
  • BTEC Sport
  • BTEC Performing Arts (Acting)
  • BTEC Performing Arts (Dance)
  • BTEC Travel and Tourism
  • BTEC Creative Media Production
  • BTEC Engineering
  • BTEC Health and Social Care

Current Year 9, 10 and 11 (from September 2020, Year 10 and 11)

Subject Number of Periods per fortnight
English 7
Maths 7
Science 7
PE 2
Option A 4
Option B 4
Option C 4
Option D 4
Morals and Ethics (including RE) 1

Poltair +

We believe that all students should have access to enrichment opportunities beyond the traditional timing of the school day. Every term, a Poltair + programme is published to all students

An example of the Poltair + Timetable

Activity Day Year Venue Staff
HITT Workout Thursday (7.45am – 8.15am) 10 & 11 Dance Studio SMC
HITT Workout Friday (3.15pm – 3.45pm) 10 & 11 Dance Studio SMC
Computing Club Every Lunchtime All Years Computer Rooms CRE
Girls Fitness Monday Lunchtime 7, 8 & 9 Fitness Suite LDO
Girls Fitness Wednesday Lunchtime 10 & 11 Fitness Suite LDO
Duke of Edinburgh Thursday Lunchtime 9 & 10 E6 HBL & VLI
Mobile Gaming Club Thursday Lunchtime 7 S7 JBR
Music Club Thursday Lunchtime All Years Music DJO
Kernow Youth Book Award Thursday Lunchtime 7, 8 & 9 (Week A) Library DBR
Kernow Youth Book Award Thursday Lunchtime 10 (Week B) Library DBR
Robotics Club Friday Lunchtime 7 & 8 T5 MTU

Please see the Poltair + page for a full and current timetable.

In addition to extra-curricular opportunities at the end of the school day, students are given the chance to participate in field study and enrichment visits to broaden our students’ experiences. In the last academic year, this has included:

  • History visit to Berlin to learn about World War Two
  • Art visit to London to visit the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern
  • PE visit to watch high level sport at Plymouth Raiders
  • Geography visit to Plymouth to learn about urban regeneration
  • English and Art visit to Wheal Martyn to complete an enrichment programme called, Pit, Paper and Porcelain for gifted and talented students
  • PE and DT visit to Marjons University to visit the Sports Science Lab
  • Scholars Club visit to Exeter University
  • Art visit to Venice
  • Science visit to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth

If you require further information about the curriculum, please contact Miss C White, Deputy Headteacher at [email protected]


Curriculum Team Leader: Mrs E Pearson
Curriculum vision and intent

To provide pupils with the opportunity to explore and generate ideas through research, observation, perception and aspiration. Art encourages learners to demonstrate knowledge that reflects greater depth, context and understanding through experimenting with a range of materials, techniques and processes that inform final outcomes. In addition, learners are supported to evaluate and reflect on their work and the work of others to create independence.

Computing, ICT & Digital Media

Curriculum Team Leader: Mr C Renshaw

Curriculum vision and intent:

The purpose of the core curriculum is to provide an experience of different aspects of Computing, ICT and Digital Media in different contexts to build independent capability amongst our students so they can use digital technology for their own creative projects or to solve problems. At the same time, we are seeking to inspire elective uptake in the different KS4 options and to provide a foundation of core knowledge and understanding of the skills and principles that underpin the options courses.

It is our ambition to offer elective options in the fields of Computer Science, Information and Communications Technology and Creative Media, although KS4 courses frequently change so our KS3 curriculum will remain generic, reflecting as much of the National Curriculum as can be accommodated in the time available.

Assessment at KS3 is holistic, testing the full breadth of the National Curriculum and allowing students experience and expertise beyond the classroom to be recognised. In this way, the impact of ICT across the curriculum can also be measured; students’ progress can be measured and student suitability for the elective courses can be determined.

At KS4, the elective options should inspire students to further study or more vocational routes into the growing digital sector in Cornwall and beyond.

Design Technology

Curriculum Team Leader: Mr M Turpin

Curriculum vision and intent:

Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Design and Technology encourages students to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems both as individuals and as members of a team. We want to encourage students to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values and sustainability.

We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The Students are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness and are encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers.

In food we encourage students to think about how to prepare food that is nutritious and appealing whilst developing an understanding of how food is grown, reared and harvested. Food lessons also prepare students to be able to use a wide repertoire of food preparation and presentation skills so that they are able to create their own dishes that are suitable for a range of dietary preferences and needs. Food lessons also help students to understand the role of a variety of nutrients and how they support good health and quality of life. They are also taught about food provenance and regional specialities, whilst considering how different cultures and beliefs contribute to a rich diversity of food styles.

English Language & English Literature

Curriculum Team Leader:Ms L Chamberlain
Deputy Curriculum Team Leader: Mrs D Braithwaite

Curriculum vision and intent:

At Poltair we strive to develop life-long learners who are: enthusiastic, skilful, risk-takers, interested, resilient, ambitious, resourceful, motivated, aspirational, brave, tenacious and independent.

Within the English, Media and Performing Arts Department at Poltair we strive to promote and engender these key skills to ensure that our learners are committed to their learning and achieve the highest possible outcomes.

Together we wish to equip our students with all of the skills they require to be successful global citizens. We want our students to be aspirational and ambitious when working towards their goals. We want our students to be resourceful and tenacious risk-takers who are brave and motivated to rise to challenges and demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity. We want all of our students to be interested, enthusiastic and skilful learners who approach their learning with independence.

To meet this vision our mission is to deliver high quality lessons that are accessible to all learners and cater for the individual needs of our students. We deliver a broad and varied curriculum and explore texts through discussion and analysis. Students will study a range of texts from different genres ranging from Shakespearian plays to gothic horror; discursive nonfiction to modern day fiction and poetry. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of the texts that they study and the context within which they were written. Each lesson is designed to develop and hone our students’ skills of comprehension; written and verbal communication whilst also fostering a love of English.

French and Spanish

Curriculum Team Leader: Ms G Obet

Curriculum vision and intent:

The curriculum we offer our students reflects the aims and aspirations we have for them in that we aim to:

Give them the knowledge, understanding and skills to progress onto the next stage of their education, irrespective of their prior attainment, background or ethnicity:

  • The Languages Department aims to produce confident, capable and articulate linguists who can work independently in their Speaking and Writing with a range of vocabulary, tenses and complex structures.
  • Our students are able to express opinions and offer justifications.
  • Learning is themed around real world topics and issues which gradually introduces increasingly complex levels of language to stretch and challenge students.

Produce students with high aspirations, resilience and independence so that they can maximise the opportunities they are given to progress:

  • High expectations set the tone in lessons.
  • Pupils are expected to learn from their mistakes and are constantly encouraged to do so.
  • Students are able to achieve and be successful in lessons. We celebrate the achievements of our linguists because learning a language is a great achievement.

Provide a broad curriculum through the key stages to allow students to maximise their attainment by developing the skills and talents they already hold.

  • We provide students with opportunities to master the four skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
  • Students are regularly afforded opportunities to learn and work from memory to ensure they are fully prepared for the demands of the new GCSE.


Curriculum Team Leader: Ms L Hawkins

Curriculum vision and intent:

Within the Geography department we aim to deliver a curriculum that contributes to a wider and deeper understanding of the links between the physical and human environments, and concepts of sustainability. Students can make connections between local, regional and global perspectives through a stimulating and relevant curriculum.

Geography provides opportunities for students to study in real world settings to gain unique viewpoints of the world beyond their immediate horizons. Geography helps pupils to develop key skills to prepare them for future careers in a variety of areas. The study of Geography allows pupils to develop a lifelong conversation about becoming a global citizen.


Curriculum Team Leader: Mr S Atkinson-Sporle

Curriculum vision and intent:

At Poltair we believe that a high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The curriculum will inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past ad it’s teaching will equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


Curriculum Team Leader: Mr S McNally
Deputy Curriculum Team Leader: Ms S Bowie

Curriculum vision and intent:

Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

Moral & Ethics

Curriculum Team Leader: Ms L Hawkin (KS3) & Mr S Atkinson-Sporle (KS4)

Curriculum vision and intent:

At Poltair we believe we are not only developing students academically, but into the citizens of the future. The curriculum in Morals and Ethics’ works to this end: inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more the world around them, to teach them to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Morals and Ethics will help students respect the world around them, be able to assess their own thought and opinions on global issues and make judgements on big topics such as the creation of the Universe. At Poltair we follow the LA agreed syllabus, to ensure all get equal opportunities to excel.

Physical Education

Curriculum Team Leader: Mr L Adams

Curriculum vision and intent:

Using the passion and power of sport to improve the health benefits of the next generation through an inclusive curriculum that caters for all.


Curriculum Team Leader: Ms J Westley
Deputy Curriculum Team Leader: Mrs S Gaukroger

Curriculum vision and intent:

A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes (DfE).