Key Stage 3 Curriculum

A thematic approach enables us to cover the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum in a holistic manner; developing students' knowledge, skills and understanding while motivating them to learn through stimulating projects.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Project Based Learning (PBL) students study English, History, Geography, ICT, RE and Citizenship through themes, allowing them to make valuable links between subjects and ensuring a smooth transition from KS2.

English, Maths, Science, PE, and languages are also delivered as separate subjects in addition to the projects to reinforce the learning. The subjects are taught by a specialist team of learning and personal coaches who plan together to ensure that knowledge and skills are built upon across subjects and throughout the KS3 experience.

Projects are designed to meet the needs of the National Curriculum and to be creative and academic, whilst also preparing students with the necessary life and study skills required to ensure a smooth transition into KS4 and beyond. PBL provides a fantastic stepping stone from the wrap-around primary school setting to the larger scale secondary setting as students are challenged academically and supported pastorally through the PBL Team.

The supportive environment allows students to explore a range of learning experiences and trail new ways of thinking and working. They are encouraged to learn from their mistakes and take risks, making alterations or trying new methods in order to improve outcomes. The use of ICT is integral to the delivery and students use technology widely to aid their learning. Studio West has an interactive central area for team teaching and breakout work and the PBL Resource Centre will host students weekly to develop their enjoyment of reading.

Year 7

In Year 7 students will study the period from the Roman Empire through to the English Civil War in History, developing source analysis skills and the ability to consider historical significance.

In Geography they will develop map and atlas skills, as well as graph analysis and comparative writing skills while studying topics on Africa and Extreme Environments.

In English students extend their writing skills in response to a number of texts including Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a range of poetry.

Students have the opportunity to use a range of programs in ICT, as well as developing their understanding of databases and programming. They are taught the importance of e-safety both at school and beyond throughout the course.

In RE students are taught the importance of tolerance by comparing a number of religions and creation theories.

In Citizenship they have the opportunity to develop group work skills to raise money for charity through the Christmas Faire as well as learning about the political system in the UK and the countries of the Commonwealth.

All students in Year 7 have the opportunity to participate in a number of enrichment activities including a residential trip to an outdoor activity centre.

Year 8

In Year 8, teaching and learning in PBL builds on the previous year and extends learning by developing students' abilities to rationalise, make judgements and justify their opinions using evidence.

In History they work chronologically from the French Revolution to Victorian Britain, developing their ability to build balanced historical arguments in response to sources.

In Geography they consider the future of the planet, the country of India and the geography of conflict, augmenting their analytical skills and researching topical events.

In English students have the opportunity to write creatively as well as studying texts from authors including Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and George Orwell.

ICT programming introduced in Year 7 is developed through the use of Photoshop, Prezi and Scratch, ensuring that they are producing work against success criteria and suitable for the audience and purpose specified.

In RE further religions will be studied and compared and links will be made to religious beliefs and the environment.

Year 8 students will also participate in fundraising for the Christmas Fair in Citizenship and will be taught about the justice system in the UK and the operation of Parliament.

At the end of Year 8 students PBL studies will be celebrated through a graduation ceremony where students will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze recognition based on their achievements throughout their time in Year 7 and Year 8.


Our vision is to develop a learning environment which ensures employment opportunities are aligned to progression routes through the Studio West curriculum programme.

Our approach offers seamless pathways at Pre 16 and Post 16 providing for all levels of learning. We provide clear progression routes into Higher Education and therefore our partner university (Northumbria) provide pathways to foundation and undergraduate degree programmes for Studio West students.

We demonstrate how 11-19 can be a coherent phase of learning for full time students looking for continuous pathways into employment, further or higher education at different entry levels.

Project Based Learning

Enquiry and enterprise-based projects are at the heart of the learning and form between 8 - 28% of the timetable for Post 16 learners depending on their individual needs and abilities and over 50% of the curriculum time for Pre 16 learners.

Projects at Post 16 bring to life the core subjects and students' occupational choices, developed with the work placement providers to maximise and embed learning opportunities.

At Pre 16 students get the opportunity to work individually, in small groups or in teams as the projects are developed by local employers, subject specialists, local community groups and other organisations. The projects are planned, structured, differentiated, promoting practical, multi-disciplinary collaborative outcomes, which consider issues relevant to our community.

Dress Code

Students are expected to dress smartly as they are working towards apprenticeships, higher education or work. Both Pre and Post 16 students are expected to wear branded Studio West casual business wear at all times. It is the outward face we present to the community, and we expect students to wear sensible and appropriate dress without fashion accessories - this includes hairstyle and footwear.

Those who do not follow the correct dress code will be sent home after a telephone call has been made to a parent/carer.


High rates of attendance are central to the core mission of achieving high standards and maximizing student outcomes. Attendance is a key variable in securing the high standards that Studio West aspires to.

How to find out more

If you have any queries regarding the content of our curriculum, please Contact us