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Curriculum Overview

Our Curriculum (Intent)

  • is sequenced to enable pupils to build their knowledge and skills over time
    provides deep, sustained and valuable learning for all pupils, including those with SEND
  • provides opportunities to develop levels of literacy and numeracy across the academy
  • promotes opportunities across the curriculum for the development of good student health and wellbeing
  • recognises the importance of digital literacy and provides opportunities for the development of the skills pupils need to function safely and responsibly in a technological world
  • provides a range of academic, technical and vocational courses which challenge, engage and motivate pupils
  • develops cultural capital across a wide range of contexts and experiences ensures that all pupils make good progress irrespective of their starting point and those young people facing disadvantage are lifted from educational poverty

We recognise that to provide our young people with rich learning experiences in a range of contexts, it is crucial to work in partnerships with others. Expertise often lies beyond the school and learning opportunities are regularly planned with partner organisations including: statutory and voluntary organisations, as well as employers and charitable organisations.

Curriculum Offer

We have a well-constructed curriculum, tailored to meet the needs of our learners and address social disadvantage on many levels. Our curriculum offer is adapted to meet individual needs where appropriate and, therefore, offers a range of pathways, which we believe broaden rather than narrow the offer at different points during the five-year journey. This is essential to overcome social disadvantage and remove the barriers our pupils face.

As a result, the number of pupils who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) has reduced from 15% in 2017 to 2% in 2020, and the number of pupils progressing to Further Education College, sixth form, Apprenticeships and traineeships has increased to 98% in 2020.

We continue to develop our offer with Art, Food Technology, Design Technology, Music and Religious Studies taught in Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 4, we offer a broad range of technical, vocational and academic subjects including: BTEC Event Operations, Childs Play, Learning and development, Creative iMedia, Dance, Music, Food and Nutrition, Sports Science and Photography.

Curriculum Impact

Our aim, through our curriculum, is to develop young people:

  • who are not disadvantaged by the social context in which they live
  • who have the literacy and numeracy skills needed to succeed at school and beyond
  • who have the confidence, resilience and knowledge to stay mentally healthy
  • who feel included in their community with an active desire to contribute politically, socially, culturally, environmentally and economically
  • who have high expectations of self and an ambitious vision for their future
  • who have a work ethic that results in them achieving, and exceeding, their academic potential
  • who are respectful, tolerant and empathetic towards the values and beliefs of others
  • who are happy and have a desire to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle
  • who have a range of transferrable skills to succeed in learning, life and work including: creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and willingness to challenge accepted norms
  • who are capable of making informed decisions and are aware of their rights and responsibilities

    Literacy and Numeracy

All students are supported with literacy through our Reciprocal Reading Programme and Lexia. Regular testing/monitoring takes place to create a focus on specific literacy needs.

In addition, all pupils in Year 7 and 8 access the Accelerated Reader programme throughout the year which is designed to encourage a love of reading and move children towards age appropriate reading as quickly as possible, testing for comprehension along the way.

Every child at Thornaby Academy has access to Hegarty Maths, an online numeracy programme and GCSE Pod, an online resource used to revisit content and self-assess progress.

Curriculum Flexibility

We allow our pupils to choose their options from a wide range of creative, vocational and academic subjects in Year 9, allowing them to personalise their learning and choose subjects which engage and enthuse them.

In addition, all pupils follow a weekly programme of PE.  A focus on sports leadership also encourages pupils to play an active part in supporting their peers within lessons.

Promoting EBACC

The uptake of History or Geography, plus Spanish.

This combination of subjects is offered to all pupils, regardless of ability and has grown in popularity. There are currently 30% of pupils in Year 9 following an EBACC pathway as opposed to 11% in Year 10 which is an encouraging uplift in the right direction.

Our curriculum philosophy is underpinned by the elements of our PRIDE values:

  • Presentation – Our students strive to ensure the work they do is the best they can possibly achieve.
  • Respect – The curriculum actively promotes the core British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths, beliefs and sexuality. We understand that we are all equal and should be treated this way. We understand that simple acts of kindness can go a long way in our school and community.
  • Independence – The curriculum allows our students to understand that they are the driving force behind their learning journeys. Young people understand that they must seek out opportunities and make of those that they are offered to improve, understanding going the extra mile is the key to being successful.
  • Determination – Through high quality teaching and an engaging and motivating curriculum our students will develop a passion for learning. Our curriculum offers challenge to our students so that they have the opportunity to develop the qualities of grit, and determination when they are faced with a challenge in their learning.  Their mistakes are celebrated as part of their learning journey to success.
  • Excellence – Throughout our curriculum our students are striving for excellence. They understand that excellence is a result of hard work and commitment and the ability to look at barriers as opportunities.

    Lesson Timetable

You can check which lessons your child has each day using the timetable information below.







Bespoke enrichment runs every day from 2.45 to 3.45 for all year 11 students.

Year 9 Options

Options Booklet 2020

Year 9 Pathways Form 2020

The booklet attached above is very important, it tells you about the courses you will follow during Year 9. For the first time some students will be able to choose one of the subjects they will study at school. Making the right choice is important. You should read the whole booklet carefully. Listen to the guidance given in school and talk to your parents and teachers before making any decisions.

We aim to provide all students with a broad and balanced curriculum at KS4.  Students in X and Y are encouraged to follow a range of subjects that will allow them to achieve the Ebacc qualification with consists of English, Maths, Sciences, Computing, History, Geography and a Language.  Option choices are reviewed every year to ensure that we are offering the most appropriate subject choices.

Homework Support

Download Homework Support Document

How to find out more about our Curriculum

Parents or other members of the public can find out more information by contacting the relevant subject leader.

Please direct your questions via email to the members of staff listed below.

English - Ms L Travis

Maths - Ms L Wilson

Science - Dr G Griffiths

Technology - Mrs K Matthews

PE - Mrs K. Wright

Art -

Music - Ms P Ainsworth

MFL - Ms M Castillo-Terry

History - Ms D White

Geography - Ms A Glanville

ICT - Ms L Redman

Business - Ms L Redman