Skip to content ↓

Holmleigh Park High School

Our Curriculum

Many students have gone on to open their own successful photographic businesses.At Holmleigh Park High School we believe that all students are entitled to a curriculum that provides intellectual, cultural, moral, creative and physical  enrichment. We provide a broad, balanced and rigorous curriculum that inspires and challenges students to be the very best they can throughout school and into their future

Our curriculum has been carefully designed to ensure that students learning develops progressively in each subject. The curriculum is constantly reviewed and is a product of collaboration between teachers in the school and within the trust.

The curriculum has been designed with the needs of all learners taken into consideration, especially those with additional learning needs. Further information can be found in our SEN report, available on our Policy and Documents page. 

Each subject has developed a curriculum that is built around core concepts and knowledge and the understanding of these are fundamental to becoming successful learners.

The curriculum at Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) focuses on giving students the broadest experience as possible in the arts, languages, humanities and technical subjects while maintaining a strong focus on the core subjects of English, mathematics, science, PSHE, RS and PE. In addition to this choir is a valued part of our curriculum in Year 7 and 8.

At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11), the curriculum is a combination of both core and optional subjects that is structured to allow for maximum flexibility of choice. There is a broad range of both academic and vocational subjects which allow students to study the arts, humanities, languages, sport, business and much more.

In our Sixth Form (Years 12 and 13) we offer an academic or technical curriculum covering a broad range of subjects that will enable students to progress on to top universities or into competitive apprenticeships. 

To find out more about our curriculum, please contact our Deputy Headteacher (Academic), Mr Andy Park ([email protected]).



Why is it important to study English?

English is the foundation for all effective communication. The study of English encourages an imaginative and thought provoking engagement of language as well as inspiring curiosity in the world around us.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in English?

Exploring the power of language through a broad and diverse range of texts enables you to become a confident writer, articulate speaker and thoughtful reader. English provides a window into other worlds, times and cultures as well as holding a mirror to ourselves to examine our identities and roles in society.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying English will open both at school and beyond?

English is fundamental for future success in all elements of life whether you choose to pursue higher education or employment. From writing a job application to writing an award winning novel, English will provide you with an array of pathways and opportunities.

Success in English can lead you to an exciting list of possible opportunities including law, journalism, teaching, media, public relations, human resources, local government, social work, marketing, travel and tourism and publishing.



Why is it important to study Mathematics?

Mathematics is a fundamental part of human thought and logic and integral to attempts at understanding the world and ourselves.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Mathematics ?

Through the study of mathematics you will develop an understanding and enjoyment of the subject by learning a rich and challenging programme of study. You will learn to become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics, reason mathematically and use their acquired knowledge to solve routine and non-routine problems.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Mathematics will open both at school and beyond?

Mathematics opens a multitude of opportunities and careers for life after school. We aim to inspire you to have a love of Mathematics and for you to use it to provide you with the necessary skills to be independent and successful throughout your life.



Why is it important to study Science?

Science is full of awe and wonder.
Studying Science prepares you to understand, interact with and value the complex web of life, processes and the environment we live in. 

Science enables you to develop as well-rounded global citizens capable of making informed decisions.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Science ?

Through the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics you will develop understanding of the key concepts leading to the ability to draw, challenge and explore conclusions through practical science.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Science will open both at school and beyond?

Given its unique breadth, Science allows students to access a wide range of further education and careers both in and out of the STEM subjects.
Studying Science leads to a vast range of professions and careers from astronomy to zoology.


Art and Design

Why is it important to study Art and Design?

Art is within everything we do and is an essential visual language. We inspire and challenge you to experiment, create, invent and become an original thinker. Art will help you to develop a passion and curiosity for all that the world of Art can offer.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Art and Design ?

In Art, you will learn about the visual elements of line, tone, texture, colour, shape, form and pattern. As well as this you will explore different skills and media including painting, printing, textiles, photoshop and 3 dimensional design.  

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Art and Design will open both at school and beyond?

In Art and Design many of our students have taken the subject further and been involved in careers such as illustration, graphics, surface design, architecture, fashion as well as jobs in art history.


Business and Enterprise

Why is it important to study Business and Enterprise?

Business and Enterprise develops knowledge and understanding of local and national businesses and the issues they face. You will demonstrate enterprise skills and have to think like real business leaders to creatively solve realistic problems to make decisions.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Business and Enterprise?

You will develop a range of skills that will include allowing you to develop as effective and independent learner through questioning data, constructing well argued responses and develop an understanding of business. You will gain knowledge on how businesses operate, the reasons behind them and the issues faced locally and nationally.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Business and Enterprise will open both at school and beyond?

Students will develop their understanding and skills that are useful for any career path including; presenting, report writing, primary and secondary research as well as spcific business skills such as finance, accounting, sales, marketing, human resources, administration and production.

Apprenticeships are popular with our students as many have gone onto form careers with top 100 UK companies including leading organisations such as Barnett Waddingham. Other examples include apprenticeships in accounting, finance, human resources, operations, economics, sales and marketing. Students can continue their studies at University, where they can further develop their understanding of Business Studies. Many have gone on to study Management, accounting, project management and international business.



Why is it important to study Criminology?

In essence, Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behaviour, how and why it may occur as well as methods to try and prevent it. When studying the subject you will analyse both individual criminal behaviour and wider societal or sociological trends as well as applying academic criminal theories to real life examples in order to attempt to discover the reasons why an individual may commit a crime. Criminology is a multifaceted discipline that requires you to draw on numerous other fields including history, anthropology, psychology, sociology and criminal law. Criminology offers a method of trying to understand the causes of crime and what strategies offer solutions for its reduction and mitigation; and evaluation of existing structures within the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Criminology ?

You will learn how to successfully analyse situations of criminality and the aims of punishment, apply academic theory to real life case studies, assess the verdicts of criminal cases and consider their validity, evaluate the strengths and limitations of a variety of aspects of the criminal justice system from agencies within the justice system to the relationships between these agencies and how they approach social control. You will develop the skills needed to articulate yourself about key concepts and ideas relating to the study of crime and criminal behaviour and will develop your skills of examination, research and enquiry.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Criminology will open both at school and beyond?

Studying criminology will open several pathways to students whether a career in the criminal justice system is desirable or not. For example, once the Applied Diploma is completed, the study of Criminology at university can lead to a career as a civil service administrator, community development worker, crime scene investigator, pathologist, police officer, prison officer, probation worker, social worker, youth worker, barrister, criminal psychologist, counsellor, paralegal, lawyer social researcher, police staff investigator and many more. However, if a career within the criminal justice system is not the desired outcome, the study of criminology will help students to enter their chosen study/career path using the variety of skills they have obtained.



Why is it important to study Drama?

Studying Drama will allow you to build your confidence, communication skills, creativity and imagination. It will enable you to experience real life scenarios and critically analyse the outcomes. You will also develop an appreciation for performance, the theatre and acting.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Drama?

You will learn about the process of creating drama, interpretation of text through different performance styles, context of a play and the intentions of the playwright. Drama also allows you to develop empathy and understanding by experiencing situations of life within the drama studio.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Drama will open both at school and beyond?

Studying Drama at school will allow you the opportunity to be involved in school shows and performances, whether that be as an actor or as a member of the creative team. You can further continue this line of study within the sixth form where courses in performing arts are offered, allowing you to further develop your skills

Drama and Performing Arts can be studied at acting school or university. Studying at this level will allow you to gain access to the wider world of theatre and film and the many other careers relating to the performing arts industry such as a creative designer, director or special effects artist.


Environmental science

Why is it important to study Environmental science?

Environmental science is a growing and increasingly important field of study as humans realise the impacts of their activities and look to environmental scientists to find solutions to issues arising. Environmental Science allows us to study the sustainability of our planet; how our planet works in dynamic equilibrium and how human activities alter this. It covers how changes in one process can affect many other processes over space and time. We also study ways to mitigate any environmental damage from these changes. Environmental science enables you to gain a deep and well-informed insight into the environment and the scientific processes that control and affect it.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Environmental science ?

Environmental science incorporates both geography and biological sciences and applies these fields to the understanding of environmental problems. Key topics include the biophysical environment, conservation biology, energy resources, pollution, circular economy and sustainability: all topics that are relevant to all aspects of daily lives. Students develop an understanding of how different events and cycles within the environment are interrelated and how they influence subsequent environmental events. Environmental science develops key skills including communication, laboratory analysis, field studies, teamwork and critical thinking.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Environmental science will open both at school and beyond?

Studying Environmental science provides a strong foundation for a future career that involves analytical and critical thinking. There are over 60 universities offering over 230 courses between them relating to Environmental science. It is a degree in its own right, however many students go on to study related courses such as Oceanography, Environmental Hazard Management, Molecular Biology and Ecology. There are also an increasing number of environmental-related apprenticeships such as a Higher Apprenticeship in Environmental Engineering. Pathways including decision making, planning, analysis, critically examining evidence, debating and assessing ideas are open to students of Environmental science.


Food and Catering

Why is it important to study Food and Catering?

Studying Food and Catering will give you important knowledge of different types of food and ingredients and how these can be combined and prepared to produce a healthy and varied meals and diets. Learning to cook and developing practical skills is a key part of the course, and we hope will help you develop a passion for cooking. The course also explores how the catering industry operates including the environmental impact of food production.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Food and Catering?

The skills and knowledge that you will develop in Food and Catering include examining the impact of nutrition and understanding the importance of food provenance and its effects on our world. You will be taught how to cook creatively and independently using a range of equipment and ingredients to produce high quality and exciting dishes and meals.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Food and Catering will open both at school and beyond?

Studying Food and Catering will give you a range of skills that you can use throughout your life. Careers and jobs include becoming a professional chef, dietician, hospitality event planner, nursing, food scientist and food quality controller as well as many more.

Food and catering can continue to be studied at many levels in college or university.


Why is it important to study Geography?

Geography is the study of the natural world, the people who inhabit it and their impact on the environment. Through the study of Geography you will understand your role in shaping the future of a diverse and complex world.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Geography?

Through the study of human and physical Geography, you will be able to express knowledge and opinions on places, features and processes of the world around you. You will understand why the world is the way it is.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Geography will open both at school and beyond?

Geography is all encompassing within the school curriculum covering; literacy, numeracy, cartography and oracy. You visit many parts of the world both from within your classroom and in the field. 

Geography is a perfect foundation for all courses in the Sixth Form and beyond. Geography opens up the widest range of careers at the end of school or university which include anything and everything from disaster management to being an environmental consultant.


Health and Social Care

Why is it important to study Health and Social Care?

Health and Social Care is vital to our society. Care, in what ever form it takes, is critical for our physical and mental well-being. Now, more than ever, we look to people to be there in our hour of need, and it is important that these carers do this effectively. There are many facets to Health and Social Care including a holistic approach to both our bodies and minds.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Health and Social Care ?

When studying Health and Social care you will create resources for and carry out a small scale health promotion campaign.  You will also investigate the development milestones, individual expected and unexpected life events of individuals and carry out interviews with people to find out about how expected and unexpected life events have changed their lives. 

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Health and Social Care will open both at school and beyond?

Opportunities and jobs working in the Health and Social Care sector can include, education, nursing, dentistry, physical and holistic therapies and many more.



Why is it important to study History ?

History informs us of the way the world is today by looking at previous events. Through the study of History you will get a chance to experience the awe-inspiring fact that our ancestors built the present, and we build the future, by studying a broad range of human history.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in History ?

In History, you will develop critical thinking, deal with misinformation, challenge previous perceptions and access the stories in history that will help you understand who you are and where you come from. We will explore British topics and study events from around the world, so you can build an awareness of the wider world.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying History will open both at school and beyond?

History has many transferable skills which prepare us to challenge the origin of information and determine its value to draw conclusions. This is important because it will help you create your own informed opinions about the information you encounter and build on the lessons learned from the past.

These can lead to Historical academia, archaeology, politics, law and any career that requires the handling and organising of complex information, concepts and ideas.


Information Technology (IT)

Why is it important to study IT?

Studying Information Technology (IT) will enable you to develop a wide range of IT skills that can be applied in a creative and technical environment. IT will help you develop an awareness of the opportunities and risks of new technology and how these are constantly evolving. IT will give you the opportunity to develop an understanding of both the technical and creative aspects of the subject.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in IT ?

In IT we teach you how to use a wide range applications that will enable you to be successful in the world of work. We encourage you to be creative using IT and to understand the systems and processes behind IT. You are also taught to evaluate the risks of living in the digital world.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying IT will open both at school and beyond?

IT is used in all areas of life from creative industries such as graphic design to technology based subjects such as programming. IT will also prepare you for many of the jobs of the future. There are a range of pathways including A-levels, vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.
Careers based around IT include - Web developer, mobile app develop, graphics designer, games designer, data scientist, software engineer, IT manager, IT support desk, robotics engineer and many more.


Media studies

Why is it important to study Media?

Media Studies acts as a lens through which to view, question and challenge the representations and messages communicated throughout media products in the fastest growing industry on the planet. Media Studies teaches you not to accept ideologies and messages at face value, but to question and criticise these ideas through the deconstruction of media products and application of academic theory.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Media studies ?

Studying Media is a vital component in understanding the world around us; through Media Studies you will develop your curiosity and question the messages delivered by the media. This will enable you to become a mindful, critical thinker who possesses the skills associated with the deconstruction and creation of a variety of media products which are used for communication across the world.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Media will open both at school and beyond?

Any career involving communication and information will benefit from a qualification in Media Studies. In an evolving industry, which is rapidly growing, a qualification in Media Studies will allow you to adapt and flourish within the world of work.

Careers that Media Studies can lead to include journalism, film/television production, magazine/newspaper editor, marketing and research, editing and design, social media content creator, public relations and many more.


Modern Foreign Languages

Why is it important to study Modern Foreign Languages?

Learning a language is essential for raising your aspirations and abilities to work in modern and international settings. It provides you with the opportunity for higher level work and culturally enriching travel abroad.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Modern Foreign Languages?

Language learning complements other subjects with emphasis on memory, verbal confidence, logic and reasoning allowing you to make connections with higher tier specialist vocabulary such as in science and medicine. You will develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary, allowing you to give and justify opinions and take part in discussion about wider issues.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Modern Foreign Languages will open both at school and beyond?

In school studying languages will support your understanding of the English language, your knowledge of root words based from Latin (especially in science) and widen your world view and awareness of other cultures and people.

Studying a language will be useful if you want to study law, medicine and many other jobs such as journalism, international aid workers and marketing. Many universities and employers demand knowledge of other languages even if it is not the main focus of the course or job. At HP High we want you to have high aspirations and learning a language is a vital part of this.



Why is it important to study ?

Music touches the very heart of humanity and a sense of the wonder of music has touched human societies throughout our history.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Science ?

Through the study of Music you will develop skills in listening and appraising music within cultural and historical contexts. You will build the ability to critically engage in the music you enjoy and explore and appreciate a wide range of genres and styles. You will learn how to perform the music of others and create your own compositions.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Science will open both at school and beyond?

You will have the opportunity to perform using a range of instruments, develop your singing skills, and participate in whole school productions. You will be given skills that will help you study music in the Sixth Form and beyond. Music is a unique asset to your applications for other university courses outside of Music.

Studying Music can lead to courses in music performance, music technology, music production, musical theatre, and conservatoire courses in Classical, Pop, and Jazz genres. These courses can lead to careers in performance, composition, production, journalism, teaching, TV and radio, and music therapy.



Why is it important to study Photography?

When you study of Photography you will gain the skills and confidence to communicate clearly in a visual way which is essential for success in the Creative Industries. Our course finds a balance between the technical aspects of the photography and the creative development of each individual student and instils a lifelong love and curiosity of the visual world.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Photography?

You will explore different visual starting points and learn how to communicate your ideas through a range of photographic rules and techniques.  Core aspects will include composition and the technical use of the camera.  You will learn how to develop your initial photographs into artworks using programmes like Adobe Photoshop. Development of written and verbal skills is a key element of the course because we understand that it is this aspect of your learning that is most transferrable and will be essential in the future application of your learning. You will also develop your subject vocabulary and improve syntax as you become more experienced at analysing and evaluating your outcomes and the work of others.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Photography will open both at school and beyond?

Many of our Photography students go on to study at university, using their knowledge as a foundation and starting point in many creative subjects. Previous students have successfully studied on Photography, Graphics, Illustration, Games Design, Forensic Photography and Media courses.

 Examples of past students' career paths after university are working as a development designer for Dyson, illustrating children's books, and many students have gone on to open their own successful businesses.

Physical Education (PE)

Why is it important to study PE?

PE develops the physical, social and mental health of students through a wide range of activities. It provides a range of opportunities for students to thrive in different environments, including competition with themselves and others.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in PE?

Studying PE will allow you to develop resilience, teamwork, confidence and commitment. Students will develop technical and tactical knowledge in different sporting contexts.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying PE will open both at school and beyond?

It can enhance student leadership opportunities at school and a lifelong participation in sport and physical activity at any level.

Studying PE at school allows students to study courses such as Sports Science, Therapy, Coaching, Management and Business in Further Education and beyond. For some students it can lead to a career as a professional athlete.


Government and Politics

Why is it important to study Politics?

Politics is the study of humanity. It is the breakdown of how we interact with other people, society and nation-states. By understanding this, we can see why certain political views have taken root and why governments work. This is important in helping us make informed decisions when it comes to representing our views in elections, which is central part of British life.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Politics ?

In politics, you will learn how the British and American political systems work and gain the skills to compare them. In addition, you will learn how the political ideas of liberalism, conservatism, socialism and anarchism have formed and why they are relevant to today's world. Politics provides a range of transferable skills from explicit knowledge of the workings of the British government to critical thinking skills.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Politics will open both at school and beyond?

Studying politics lays the foundations for a future that involves critical thinking. A student of politics may go on study or work in the fields of law, politics and any pathway that involves making decisions; assessment of ideas and presentation.



Why is it important to study PSHE?

The study of PSHE is fundamental in enabling you to become a strong, confident individual who can make well informed decisions about your life. Studying PSHE ensures you become a well rounded member of society, who can step into the world well equipped with the practical knowledge and skills you can use to successfully navigate the world around you.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in PSHE?

PSHE education enables you to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes you need to manage your life, now and in the future. This ranges from making informed decisions about healthy relationships to managing your money. Our intent is to provide you with an understanding of yourself and others, to manage your wellbeing, to ensure you can build and sustain healthy relationships, and to understand how you will change and develop.



Why is it important to study Psychology?

Psychology allows us to discover 'why we do what we do'. Studying psychology helps us to understand human mind and behaviour - both of others and ourselves. A level psychology offers a solid understanding of the key psychological concepts and theories, which can help develop your knowledge of the critical elements of the human psyche.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Psychology ?

In psychology, you will learn an array of topics to discover more about human nature. These topics include how we are influenced by those around us, how our childhoods and early attachments may affect our adult lives, exploring different types of mental disorders and why people become offenders. From studying such topics a range of transferable skills are learnt, such as analytical skills or research skills.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Psychology will open both at school and beyond?

Psychology is a subject that can lead to many opportunities, whether this be in education, clinical psychology, forensics, neuropsychology and many more. With the skills and knowledge learnt on the course, your knowledge of the human mind will help you work in any career, especially those that help others.

Religious Studies

Why is it important to study Religious Studies?

We believe that the aim of Religious Studies is to help pupils begin to answer five ultimate
questions: How do we know things? Is there a god? Where do we come from? Where are we going?
What is the purpose of life? It is therefore vital to study Religious Studies to wrestle with the deepest and most meaningful questions that humans have ever asked.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Religious Studies ?

In key stage 3, Religious Studies will teach you the different answers to the ultimate questions provided by five major world views (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Naturalism). It will also explore the theme of Ethics, as well as Science and Religion. Throughout our curriculum,
Religious Studies will teach you the critical skills to begin to decide what you yourself think the answers to the ultimate questions are.
In key stage 4, Religious Studies will teach you the beliefs and practises of two world views:
Christianity and Buddhism. It will also teach you how these world views relate to four contemporary themes: relationships and families; religion and life; the existence of god and revelation; religion, crime, and punishment.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Religious Studies will open both at school and beyond?

Religious Studies is relevant to almost anything you’ll do in the future. Generally speaking, it will teach you how to better understand the views of others, it will give you the tools to think for yourself, and will help you start a life-long quest to discover what is real. For those considering university, it is particularly useful for Humanities subjects such as History, Politics, Philosophy, and
Theology/Religious Studies.



Why is it important to study Textiles?

William Morris once said ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’ Textiles are a major component of artistic material culture. We often only consider textiles to be the clothes we wear, as the clothing industry is where the majority of textiles are produced and used. However, textiles are also important in all aspects of art and life. Designing, printing and constructing art through fabrics.

What are the skills and knowledge you will learn in Textiles ?

In textiles, you will learn about the visual elements of line, tone, texture, colour, shape , form and pattern.Pupils will be able to recognise, explain, create, and apply these within their own artwork, while also exploring a wide range of ideas, techniques, and processes, taking inspiration from a variety of sources. The skills you will explore include drawing, painting, collaging, printing, weaving, constructing, felting, applique, pattern work, batiks, dyeing and sewing machine skills. It is with a combination of these techniques that you will begin to design art, clothes and interiors.

What are the pathways and opportunities that studying Textiles will open both at school and beyond?

The pathways and opportunities that studying Textiles will open include - Clothing/textile technologist, colour technologist, illustrator, interior and spatial designer, fashion designer,  textile designer, community arts worker, conservator, graphic designer, printmaker, product designer, retail buyer, stylist, visual merchandiser