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A foundation for success since 1932



Pupils in the secondary phase at Ribblesdale follow a rich and varied curriculum, which allows them to access a wide-ranging programme of studies. They are encouraged to identify connections in their learning and develop the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to excel in their future lives.

Our highly inclusive curriculum aims to develop skills in reading, literacy, numeracy and verbal communication, continually striving to support all pupils. However, we don't stop there! Learning at Ribblesdale goes well beyond the purely academic curriculum. There are opportunities for pupils to develop their character, social skills and leadership qualities, whilst also being able to further their cultural capital. 

Above all, we encourage all our young people to gain enjoyment from their learning, developing their interest and stimulating curiosity. As a school, we embrace the many opportunities afforded by developments in technology, using them to support learning within the curriculum and beyond, while also ensuring pupils are fully equipped with the skills to use this technology responsibly.


The curriculum in the secondary phase at Ribblesdale is structured as a 3-year Key Stage 3 and a 2-year Key Stage 4 programme, with continual development of skills and knowledge throughout. The curriculum is carefully sequenced, with links identified between subjects, allowing pupils to transfer skills and knowledge effectively and so achieve their full potential.

Our curriculum is broad and balanced. All pupils have access to our school-wide Enrichment programme on a weekly basis enabling everyone to develop their skills and experiences beyond the traditional academic curriculum. This is further supplemented by a wide range of extra-curricular activities to enhance the curriculum, ranging from after-school clubs through to residential educational visits in the UK and abroad. 

Underpinning our curriculum is our core purpose of nurturing young people who are as aware of their mental and physical health and wellbeing as they are of their incredible academic potential. Our school's outstanding (OfSted 2020) My Future Matters programme incorporates tutor time PHSCE activities and the Character Matters programme and is structured to complement our extensive pastoral support structures. 

We know that we are preparing pupils for a world in which they will need to continually update their knowledge and skills, particularly in respect of the use of new technologies and so every pupil has access to a one-to-one device at Ribblesdale.

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Years 7, 8 and 9, pupils follow a common curriculum which includes English, maths, science, technology, computer science, history, geography, RE, French, Spanish, PE, art, performing arts and music. We believe pupils learn best in broadly banded, largely mixed ability groups. In Year 8, pupils select a single language option to focus on as preparation for full options in Year 9.

During Year 9, pupils choose their options with the support of their parents, form tutor, subject teachers and careers advisors as necessary. Ribblesdale is fortunate to be able to offer free choice in options to the vast majority of our pupils. 

Enrichment workshops take place each week on Wednesday afternoons, with the focus changing every half-term. Two half-terms each year are dedicated to essential learning in PSHCE.

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum

All pupils follow a core curriculum of English, maths, science, Physical Education and Religious Education, which all pupils study to GCSE level.

The structure of the curriculum gives all pupils the opportunity to follow the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) curriculum route. The EBacc, comprises English, mathematics, sciences, a modern foreign language and either history or geography. This suite of qualifications can be chosen by pupils who wish to demonstrate a strong grounding in key academic subjects to future employers. 

Pupils can choose from a wide range of other subjects to study from the start of Year 10, which are shown below, in addition to the core curriculum. A small number of pupils benefit from a vocational placement in a business sector that they wish to pursue after leaving school.

Art and Design French Music
Business Studies Geography Performing Arts
Computer Science Graphics Physical Education
Creative Media History Spanish
Design Technology Health and Social Care Textiles
Digital Information Technology Hospitality and Catering  Triple Science

Enrichment continues in Year 10 and incorporates employability skills as pupils prepare for their future. These include a work experience placement, ‘mock’ interviews with business leaders, careers interviews and the writing of personal statements and CVs supported by our local post 16 providers. KS4 pupils also have regular contact with a wide range of post 16 providers from all sectors. 

Specific details relating to each curriculum area can be found within the individual subject information pages. If you would like to know more about our curriculum offer, please contact us at


The success of our curriculum is measured in a variety of ways. Firstly, by pupils’ performance across a range of measures including progress from their starting points, overall attainment, and their destinations after Ribblesdale.

Alongside this, the extent to which our pupils are engaging with and learning the curriculum content is tracked using a variety of formative and summative assessments. These assessments are carefully designed to not only measure progress, but to help inform next steps in terms of curriculum delivery. The information gathered from these data sets is used to identify areas for development, which are integrated into improvement planning across school.

Secondly, we use a whole-school Quality Assurance (QA) process to collate a variety of quantitative and qualitative data. This QA takes rage form of a range of different formats including attendance, pupil voice, work scrutiny, staff voice, parental feedback and peer reviews, all of which allow us to evaluate pupils’ enjoyment and engagement. The evidence is collated and discussed on a regular basis to influence formal and informal decision-making within school. 

Finally, our governors have regular conversations with staff and leaders at all levels to consider impact, providing challenge and support as required to ensure all pupils to achieve their full potential.