The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Barnes Wallis Academy

At Barnes Wallis Academy we aim to provide each and every one of our students with the guidance and support they need to excel.


The David Ross Education Trust vision for the Secondary Curriculum

We value the acquisition of powerful knowledge as a goal in itself, as an entitlement for all children. We invest significant time and resource into ensuring that students gain a wide, broad knowledge base to enable them to become active members of their community in the future. Alongside a rigorous and challenging academic curriculum, students also experience a broad range of sport, art and musical opportunities ensuring that they have the richest experience a secondary education can give.

The Academy Vision for Curriculum 

At Barnes Wallis Academy our broad and balanced curriculum is knowledge rich and deep and we ensure all of our students follow a rigorous and challenging curriculum that is designed to prepare them to participate in what is a fast changing and demanding world.

Our intention is that our students will follow a curriculum that enables them to excel and exceed as well as giving them the opportunities to explore the world around them locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

This will enable them to gain access to the vast opportunities this exploration provides.

The curriculum is intended to provide both challenge, which is a precondition for learning to take place, and the opportunity to enable students to receive the necessary support they require to be successful.

The core curriculum offer is rich and deep combining a rigorous focus on key skills, along with an exciting range of activities, both within lessons and beyond the classroom through a variety of enrichment activities. This curriculum is a largely academic one which satisfies both the requirements of legislation as well as offering students a wide range of high quality subjects and ultimately qualifications at the end of Year 11. Literacy is an important part of this and we take action to address the literacy skills of students to ensure they are secondary ready and able to access the curriculum in full.

Individualised and personal to a student’s needs, skills and aspirations.

We believe that a curriculum should fit the needs of its students, not the other way around.

To this end we have devised our curriculum and our key stage 4 preferences to be flexible and responsive to student need. During 9, students are able to express in interest in a variety of subjects to take further into Key Stage 4.

Our curriculum is regularly reviewed and amended in order to respond to the needs of changing cohorts of students and national expectations of Government and employers; in essence, we aim to remain up to date and be proactive rather than reactive in our approach.

The Academy supports and encourages our students to meet and exceed the national expectation that a curriculum should provide for successful study of the core subjects, including humanities and modern foreign languages, while retaining the breadth provided by the creative arts and technical subjects. We actively encourage our students to consider this balance carefully when making decisions about future study, whilst also bearing in mind their next steps into further education or careers.

Expert teaching in a broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by an effective holistic approach to Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development of our students, will help to prepare them for life in modern Britain. Healthy relationships and core British values are promoted in a number of areas across the curriculum.

The curriculum ensures that students are well supported throughout as well as at key transition points in terms of careers education, information, advice and guidance by Academy staff and an independent and impartial careers advisor.

The broad and balanced curriculum for Key stage 3 has been designed to challenge the pupils to make rapid progress whilst developing a love of learning in order to gain extensive knowledge. We aim to provide a wide range of practical, academic, social and personal experiences that will develop these skills in addition to developing resilience. The curriculum is aimed at supporting all abilities and varying starting points.

Our curriculum has an emphasis on challenging and motivating pupils, raising aspirations and setting high expectations, as well as developing team spirit among pupils to value each other’s contribution and to develop in the Academy. British Values are taught across the curriculum as well as being a focus in RSHE.

The Key Stage 4 Pathways change regularly to suit the trends, abilities of pupils and further educational opportunities. Adding vocational options that lead to college courses in the local area have helped to broaden the Key stage 4 offer.

When students join the Academy in year 7, the curriculum has been designed to challenge the pupils to make rapid progress whilst they develop a love of learning and gain extensive knowledge. We aim to provide a wide range of practical, academic, social and personal skills in addition to developing resilience. In order to support this pupils are set by ability in English and Science at the start of the academic year according to their Key Stage 2 data. Groups are reviewed regularly to ensure the pupils are correctly placed to feel comfortable yet challenged. The curriculum is aimed at supporting all abilities and varying starting points.

Our curriculum has an emphasis on challenging and motivating pupils, raising aspirations and setting high expectations, as well as developing team spirit among pupils to value each other’s contribution and to develop in the Academy.


  • English (Language, literature and Mastery)
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • Geography
  • History
  • French
  • Information Technology
  • Music
  • Design and Technology
  • RSHE
  • Religious Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Art


All students must study:

  • English (Language and Literature)
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Combined)

The majority of students in key stage 4 will also study French as a part of their core offering.

All students must select one of the following humanities subjects

  • History
  • Geography

They can then express preferences from the following

  • Geography
  • History
  • French
  • Music
  • Art
  • Design and Technology
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Religious Studies
  • Child’s Play Learning and Development
  • Sport
  • Performing Arts
  • Interactive Media
  • Business and Enterprise
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Health and Social Care

Depending on the subjects chosen, students will either study GCSE, BTEC or NCFE qualifications. Students chosen to study French will study a further 3 subjects and those not studying French will study a further 4.

If you require further information regarding the curriculum at Barnes Wallis Academy please contact the Academy.

Curriculum Offer

Our curriculum is delivered by expert teachers and follows the principle of I do, We do, You do. Teachers will explain concepts to students and teach them the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. Students then model how to put this knowledge and the skills learned into practice to ensure the students are equipped to be able to work and apply this independently.

Our approach to the curriculum complies with our equality objectives and pays due regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. We work to the best of our ability to ensure that all barriers are lifted for all students, so that they can achieve their potential and access the curriculum. We encourage all to not only take a full and active part in lessons but also ensure all students have equal opportunity to participate in our enrichment opportunities.

Where students require more support, further scaffolding is provided by the teacher to enable all students to access the curriculum. We strongly believe that every student has the right to access all the knowledge contained in the curriculum.

We also recognise that there is the importance of teaching students the wider skills of personal development. We carefully design the academic year to recognise significant events from Holocaust Remembrance Day to Mental Wellbeing Day. We often raise awareness of these days in assemblies, bespoke presentations and our tutor programme which gives access to current affairs, literacy, numeracy and the art of debating. Our PSHE curriculum focusses on PSHE, RSE, SMSC, FBV, faiths and values. Students access these topics through weekly PSHE lessons, collapsed days, our ‘thought of the week’ and our Barnes Wallis Way ethos. Our Barnes Wallis Way principles ensure students do not lose sight of traditional core values, consideration of environment and ownership of their learning with a sense of ambition and readiness to learn. This ethos epitomises the type of student we wish to see flourish during their five-year education with us.


BWA RSE Policy


British Values

At Barnes Wallis Academy we are dedicated to promoting values that ensure that our students develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility.

We prepare the students for life in Modern Britain because values such as individual liberty, democracy, the law, mutual respect and tolerance are embedded within the curriculum and the Academy ethos. In addition these values are promoted at various times throughout the school year, and regularly in assemblies. Our Academy embodies a democratic model in the way we work, the way we are structured and our general ethos and culture in the Academy. Additionally our rules and regulations are there for the benefit of everyone, and our Academy takes a holistic approach to teaching British Values rather than concentrating on individual subjects.

Click here to find out more about British Values at our Academy


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