Curriculum Overview

The Key Concepts

At George Salter Academy, all students will be taught to understand the universal human condition and experience. Students have a strong sense of identity and will be confident in expressing themselves with precision and know the value of creativity. They will read widely across cultures to help develop an understanding of the beliefs of others. They will cultivate an interest in environments beyond their own and understand the need for sustainability in all its forms. 

The Academy Curriculum Key Concepts are embedded within the curriculum across all key stages.

This emphasis on Creativity is vital to the Academy’s curriculum.  This key concept is at the heart of the Performing Arts.  For instance, in Dance students are given the opportunity to be creative thinkers and practitioners in the analysis of dance work, performance and choreography.  They explore what it means to be creative in dance and how their choreography can become innovative and original.  Similarly, in Music they learn how performance gives creative expression through unique compositions whilst Drama fosters the creativity of participants through the process of creating, performing and responding.  These disciplines encourage our young people to engage with their artistic and personal sensibilities as they explore meaning through practical application.  This is also true in Physical Education, where students learn to demonstrate tactics and strategies through team sports, whilst designing effective and innovative routines in individual sports such as Gymnastics, Trampolining and fitness programmes.  This concept of being creative and responding is a skill that is important in a diverse range of subjects at the Academy.  For example, in Business Studies in Key Stage 4 and 5, students will be creative and imaginative in lessons where they learn how to set up a new business consider how existing businesses respond to their changing environments, produce induction training programmes for new recruits and create a marketing campaign for their product or service.  Such creativity is also taught in courses such as Child Care, where students develop their knowledge and skills to create play and learning activities to support the developmental needs of young children.  Creativity is not limited to practical subjects, however.  It is vital that our students learn how to be creative in the Humanities subjects.  For example, studying English allows students to creatively express themselves through writing and speech.  Poetry, creative writing, writing to express and viewpoint and transactional writing are core elements of the English curriculum where creativity is at the heart of these forms.  These skills are used in Sociology, where students use creative expression through sociological imagination to provide and explore different arguments and viewpoints of society and its processes.  In Geography, the “Representation” concept requires students to study closely how views and opinions are formed, whilst in History students are encouraged to respond to what they have learnt by contributing to the ongoing dialogue of historical enquiry; students learn how to create interpretations and challenge previous analyses with evidence.

Such topics also lead to an exploration of our Identity.  For instance, in History pupils explore this concept by questioning what it means to be British and how history creates identity in different contexts and cultures, recognising that stories about the past shape us.  This concept is taught explicitly in Year 7 Art, where students embark upon a portraiture project, focusing on how opinions, feelings and differences are taught through the exploration of influences.  This concept is taught throughout the Art curriculum in all Key Stages.  In Modern Foreign Languages, students are taught how learning a language gives a unique insight into the history and culture of another community, whilst in Food, students are taught about how multicultural recipes and acceptance of different cuisines are important, especially in light of World Religions, religious dietary laws and food intolerances.  In ICT, students are given the opportunity to explore their individual design styles to create final solutions, thus exploring Identity through creation.  This key concept of Identity is central to the humanities and social sciences, for instance in Geography students study “Processes” throughout their curriculum, exploring how places differ and “Interconnection” – learning about the influence of the characteristics of places.  Identity is also central to the study of English at the Academy, where students learn that in addition to understand and developing their own identities through writing and creativity, they can engage with the shaping of the identity of others through the texts they encounter for the first time. 

Students learn about the Universal Human Condition and Experience in a number of subject-areas.  For example, a close study of English Literature is to unpick the meaning of this experience that we all have.  In Geography, students study the concept of “interconnection”, the way people and geographical phenomena are connected.  Other Humanities subjects offer an analysis of this key concept.  For example, in Religious Education, students explore the topics that include “life and death”, “rites of passage”, the “nature of God” and “medical ethics”, amongst others.  In the Performing Arts, lessons cover conflicts, dilemmas and moral decisions in a range of characters and contexts through drama.  Furthermore, students are taught how to use the body in dance to express thoughts and feelings.  In Key Stage 4 and beyond, students can study the human condition in Psychology, for instance how it applies in a range of contexts ranging from social psychology to biopsychology.  Similarly, in Sociology students study real raw phenomena, for instance “unity and conflict” and how it affects us and those around us.  Meanwhile, in Law, students explore “Natural Law”, human behavioural responses that are controlled by the rule of law and sanctions.  They learn how the law has been developed over time from religion (the Ten Commandments) to the modern day.

In order for students to challenge they must be able to engage with the world around them, fully understanding the different Beliefs that are held in our world.  In Religious Education, students study God(s), Places of Worship, Prejudice and Discrimination, Media, Medical ethics, religious founds and leaders, doctrines, parables and a range of other topics.  Meanwhile, in History, students study the different beliefs that have been held in a variety of time periods, including religious, political, cultural and philosophical.  In ICT, students explore the moral and ethical considerations when creating projects, using reading material to analyse the beliefs of computer scientists and inventors. In Food, students learn about the importance of studying different cultures, for example in the production of Halal or non-halal food in different contexts.  Meanwhile, in English students learn how literature through time has been shaped by beliefs.  In order to appreciate texts fully, students need to understand how their own beliefs can shape their interpretation of a text.  Students learn how an understanding of a key religious text such as the Bible will enable them to understand English Literature throughout the centuries and the meaning of texts in different contexts.  In Physical Education, students learn how belief is integral to individual success, as well as how belief in sporting role models can be inspirational to achieving ones potential.  In Law, students learn how “belief” is defined as having faith in an idea or conclusion as a result of considering information; the important of evidence and considering the elements of a crime.  In Psychology, students learn about the importance of considering the validity of multiple theories against their existence, whilst in Sociology, students explore how sociologists are interested in how beliefs this impacts human social behaviour, this is a particular focus at A Level.

Human behaviour is of particular consideration in learning about the key concept of Sustainability.  In Geography, students learn about the vital importance of using natural resources responsibly, including when also studying other subject-concepts such as “Respresentation”, “Globalistation” and “Causality”.  This is also an important concept in Food, where students learn about such topics as Free Range, Sustainable farming, Fair Trade, Air Miles, Carbon Footprints and Reusing waste.  In the Performing Arts, students learn about the importance of sustaining the arts in society as a whole.  In Drama, they learn how the discipline provides the platform for students to sustain the arts in learning about the pioneering methodologies of a canon of practitioners within theatre history.  Similarly, in Music students learn about the need to respect and protect the music environment as it historically documents past events and fuels our understanding of them now.  In Psychology and Sociology, as well as Religious Education, students learn about the impact of human behaviour on the economy and systems for how society can is sustained (such as Capitalism and Socialism).  In English, the study of topical issues and non-fiction writing leads to students being encouraged to write with personal enthusiasm about the need for sustainability.  Students are also taught about the importance of the need to preserve and pass on traditions within canonical literature to future generations as part of the British cultural history and identity.  In both English and History students are taught about the Industrial Revolution and its impact; for instance they study the romantic poets of the 19th century and their message that the natural world is a powerful and vital part of our world that we must sustain.


Our seven year curriculum journey aims to build on the foundations of learning at Key Stage Two. Teachers and leaders have considered and developed Key Concepts for individual subject curricula, using the National Curriculum and Assessment Objectives across all Key Stages.  Individual Subject Concepts and Curriculum pages can be found here.  Curriculum Maps and Schemes of Work have been carefully developed for each key stage so that students are supported to acquire new knowledge and skills, building on prior knowledge through making connections between subject Key Concepts and the over-arching GSA Curriculum Concepts.

Subject leaders and teachers are subject specialists; students and parents can be confident that subject knowledge of staff and educational pedagogy is of the highest quality. Teachers work collaboratively with each other to make links across the curriculum so that students are able to see and independently make connections between subjects.

At George Salter Academy, we believe that every student is entitled to experience a broad and balanced curriculum that ensures all statutory requirements are met whilst equipping students with the knowledge and skills to be successful.

We intend that our curriculum is:

  • challenging for all
  • core knowledge rich
  • coherent and well sequenced
  • cross curricular
  • worthwhile
  • relevant to our students' next steps

We intend that our wider curriculum:

  • provides opportunities for deep learning
  • promotes wider inter cultural understanding
  • promotes our students’ mental and physical wellbeing
  • enables our students to become happy and successful members of society

Through our curriculum intent we aim to develop students who:

  • have high expectations
  • know more
  • commit learning to long term memory
  • are resilient, successful lifelong learners
  • have high aspirations for their future