Key Stage 3 National Strategy, Designing the Key Stage 3 curriculum

Publication date:
Jan 2002
Deputy headteacher, Governor, Head of school department, Headteacher, Subject leader
Guidance, Leadership, Management resources, School improvement
Booklet, Case study


This publication is available as a PDF file (350 KB).

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The Key Stage 3 National Strategy aims to raise the standards achieved by 11 to 14 year-olds by transforming approaches to teaching and learning. This guide is intended for heads of departments, head teachers and governors of secondary schools as they plan the extension of the Strategy to all subjects.

The Strategy supports five curricular strands: English, mathematics, science, ICT, and teaching and learning in the foundation subjects (TFL). Experience with the Strategy indicates that a flexible approach will be needed in future curriculum planning. This guide offers advice and practical suggestions on how schools might design and timetable the curriculum at Key Stage 3 to achieve a balanced curriculum, and ways to tailor the curriculum to the needs of their pupils and the communities they serve.

Acknowledging that there is no right way to produce a timetable that will suit all schools, the four sections of the document are designed to help each school weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different arrangements and decide which is the best solution. Indeed, some schools may have already reviewed the curriculum and timetable at Key Stage 3, and this guide will not need to be studied in detail as preparation for the Strategy.

Using cases studies from a range of different schools, and sections devoted to designing a curriculum and timetable, this guide offers step-by-step advice for whatever stage your school is at in the process of National Strategy implementation.

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