Kempston Challenger Academy | Academic Curriculum
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Academic Curriculum


At Kempston Challenger Academy we believe that all children, irrespective of their starting point, are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum. We offer a curriculum that is knowledge rich and enables students within the academy to fulfil their potential and develop all important skills and qualities that will prepare them for the next stage of their education; whether that be moving to the next key stage, university or employment and training.

Our curriculum is at the heart of our school. Our core aim is to provide students with a wide variety of challenging opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom and we aim to provide a fully inclusive learning environment which celebrates being successful and working hard. Our curriculum and its development is driven through an evidence based research approach which is balanced and diverse, knowledge and text-focused, vertically integrated, appropriate, ensures that instructions are explicit and direct and provides regular opportunities for retrieval practice. KCA curriculum

We want our students to flourish as knowledgeable, committed and aspirational citizens who are ready to participate in a rapidly changing world.

Personalisation of the curriculum

As part of our commitment to ensuring every student has the best possible chances of success, we personalise the learning provision for every student including placing every student in mathematics and science in a learning group appropriate to their ability. The KCA Learning Support team provides intensive support through regular intervention programme and a curriculum that meets the specific needs each student has, this ensures that every student will be stretched, challenged and supported through this personalisation of the curriculum.


As a Challenger Trust Academy the ethos of learning beyond the classroom is key. The academy offers students a wide variety of opportunities to learn beyond the classroom in areas such as Duke of Edinburgh Award, recreation sports, competitive sports and drama productions. 

British Values

For information about how the academy promotes British values, please see the SMSC tab under Curriculum or click here.

Religious Education/ SMSC

As part of the commitment to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC), students study religious education and personal, social, health and citizenship (PSHCE). It is delivered within lessons and identified as ‘citizenship’ and taught by form tutors who have a strong pastoral relationship with the students.  Throughout the academy life students have a wide exposure to SMSC opportunities. Please see the SMSC map on the KCA SMSC page for further information.

Academic Curriculum Learning Journeys

Each subject at KCA has carefully crafted a curriculum which is ambitious, coherently planned and sequenced towards building the knowledge and skills for future learning as students are prepared for their next stage of education, training or employment. The Learning Journeys below demonstrate how our curriculum has been carefully considered to ensure we have a curriculum which not only has appropriate coverage, content and structure but is also engaging and developing the culture capital of all students. Reading also plays a large role across our curriculum in particular with Flipped Learning which you can see here

Art Learning Journey KCA                               Biology Learning Journey KCA                                      Business BTEC Learning Journey KCA 

Chemistry Learning Journey KCA                    Citizenship Learning Journey KCA                                Creative Media Learning Journey KCA

Design Tech Learning-Journey-KCA                English learning Journey KCA                                      Food & Textiles Learning Journey KCA

Geography Learning Journey KCA                   Health & Social Learning Journey KCA                        History Learning Journey KCA

ICT Learning-Journey-KCA                              Maths Learning Journey KCA                                        Modern Languages Learning Journey KCA

Music Learning Journey KCA                           PE Learning Journey KCA                                              Performing Arts Learning Journey KCA

Physics Learning Journey KCA                        Politics Learning Journey                                              Post 16 Literature Learning Journey – KCA

Post 16 Psychology Learning Journey KCA

We ensure that where possible sequencing across subjects occurs, therefore providing students with a curriculum which allows them to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge and develop their fluency. In other words “knowing more, remembering more, and being able to do more”. 

To view our full curriculum for each year group click here: KCA Whole School Academic Curriculum

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

At Key Stage 3 we provide a curriculum designed not only to develop students’ knowledge and understanding in a range of subjects, but also to enable them to develop the skills required to become independent learners throughout the rest of their time in school and beyond. Students will study a broad and balanced curriculum which includes English, Mathematics, and Science and the opportunity to experience a wide variety of subjects which they may wish to continue studying for their GCSEs.  Our wide range of subjects includes: Art, Business, Citizenship, Computer Science, Design Technology, Food & Textiles, Geography, History, Health and Social Care, Media, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Performing Arts and Physical Education.

All students at Key Stage 3 follow a two week timetable, comprising of 25 periods a week with 5 periods a day.

Year 7 and 8 Curriculum

Subject Hours per fortnight
English 8/7
Mathematics 7/8
Science 8
Art 2
Computer Science 2
Design Technology 2
Food/Textiles 2
Geography 3
History 3
Modern Foreign Language 3
Performing Arts & Music 3
Physical Education 4
PSHE/Citizenship 2
Reading 1

Year 9 Curriculum

Subject Hours per fortnight
English 8
Mathematics 8
Science 9
Geography 4
History  4
Modern Foreign Language 3
Physical Education 4
Carousel subjects: Art, Citizenship, Debating & Oracy, Business, DT, Enterprise, Food, Health and Social Care, IT, Media, Music, Performing Arts, Religious Education, Reading, Sport and Workskills.  3

Students and parents/carers are given clear information, advice and guidance when selecting Key Stage 4 courses. Throughout Year 9 students have the opportunity to experience the option subjects on a carousel basis to ensure they are able to make informed decisions about their future subjects having experienced the subject and its content first hand. A curriculum event is run for all students and parents/carers in the late Spring term/Early Summer term of Year 9 where the curriculum rationale is shared, alongside the opportunity to meet and talk to subject specialists. Tutor time programmes support how to make decisions and what information to research relating to careers and employment.

Key Stage 4

The curriculum is divided into a core curriculum, guided choice and wider options choice. All students follow the core curriculum, make at least once choice in the guided option choice (more if they wish to do so) and other subjects from the wider options. If a student requires a very personalised learning pathway this is created with the support of the SENCo, and Student Support Team.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is divided into three sections:

Core Curriculum consisting of seven subjects, which are compulsory. Option subjects that make up four choices.

Guided option choice: One of the option choices must be from the EBacc subjects that we offer (coloured green on the options form.)

The Core Curriculum

Subject Hours per fortnight
English Language / English Literature 8
Mathematics 8
Combined Science / Triple Science 9
Physical Education  4
Citizenship 1


Guided Option Choice

Subjects in this group are known as Ebacc subjects. These have been identified by the government as providing essential skills and knowledge for young people, whilst providing academic rigour. Students are required to take at least one of these subjects out of the four option subjects they select. The curriculum has been designed to allow students to take more than one of these subjects if they wish.

Subject Hours per fortnight
French 5
Spanish 5
History 5
Geography 5


Option Subjects

Students will choose three of the subjects below in addition to their guided option. The other option subjects could be other Ebacc subjects or could be from the following list.

Subject Hours per fortnight
Art 5
Business 5
Design Technology 5
Food and Nutrition 5
French 5
Geography 5
Health and Social Care 5
History 5
Information Technology (ICT) 5
Media 5
Performing Arts 5
Spanish 5
Sport 5

We also offer additional GCSE options such as Music outside of normal curriculum hours for students in Year 10 and Year 11.

Sixth Form

16-19 Study Programme Requirements

All our post 16 pathways are designed to provide structure and a challenging personalised learning programme. Every student in Years 12 and 13 will study a personally selected pathway comprising of academic and/or vocational qualifications that are linked to their future plans.

Students who begin a study programme who do not have a grade 4 or higher (C or higher) in Mathematics or English will be required to work towards the achievement of these qualifications as part of their programme.

The pathways that students follow will maximise progression opportunities on the next stage of their education, employment or apprenticeship.

In offering a Level 2 pathway, students are able to experience a 3 year Sixth Form and spend the first year retaking GCSE English and Mathematics. Alongside another 2 further GCSE qualifications. This enables students to progress onto the vocational pathway of the Level 3 programme for a further 2 years or seek employment or apprenticeship with 5 GCSE subjects.

For more details please visit our Sixth form at KCA website here