Curriculum Overview

We are proud of our curriculum, which is broad, balanced and ensures every student has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Moving from primary to secondary school can be a daunting prospect for children and for their parents!  Excellent links with our partner primary schools and our enhanced pastoral care programme in Year 7 supports an effective, smooth transition.

KS3 (Years 7-9)

When students join us in Year 7, they are initially taught all their lessons as a form group. This allows students a ‘settling in’ period when they can get to know other students in their form and start to find their way around the building together. After four weeks, students are placed into broad ability groups based on a range of available data. Students will be placed in one ability group for maths and science and in another group for English, humanities and modern foreign languages. Students will remain in their mixed ability form groups for all performing and visual arts subjects, computing, PE and PSHEE. The year group is split into ‘populations’, with students in forms PER in one population, forms OMIN in a second population and forms GAT in a third. This move means that students will now begin to make a wider circle of friends from other form groups.

In Year 7 and 8, students will study the following subjects:

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All students will study either French or German from the start of Year 7. In Year 8, students follow the same basic curriculum; however they will now be placed into ability groups for the subjects individually: maths, English, science, humanities and MFL. Students who have been identified as having an aptitude for languages will be placed in set 1 for MFL and these students will then be taught the second language for one lesson a week, which will allow them to choose either French or German to study to GCSE level, or indeed to become dual linguists.

In Year 9, the curriculum will change slightly, allowing more time for science to prepare students for GCSE study in the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Students’ performing arts curriculum time will be reduced slightly to allow for this, though all students will still study two arts subjects, chosen from art, music, dance and drama.


KS4 (Years 10 & 11):

Students at Haslingden opt for their KS4 courses in Year 9. Students receive a wealth of information and guidance when choosing their options; we know this can be a very difficult process. Students follow a core curriculum of maths, English, dual award science, computing, RS, PSHEE and PE/games. They then choose three option subjects from the wide range of courses on offer. All our students must choose at least one subject from the following list:

  • Computer Science
  • French
  • German
  • Geography
  • History
  • Triple Science

This guided option ensures that students follow a broad and balanced curriculum with an appropriate academic diet (some students are guided onto an ASDAN course which will support their studies across the rest of the curriculum).

Students then choose two further subjects from the following list:

  • Art, Craft & Design GCSE
  • Business Studies GCSE
  • Computer Science GCSE
  • Dance GCSE
  • Design and Technology GCSE
  • Drama GCSE
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE
  • French GCSE
  • Geography GCSE
  • German GCSE
  • History GCSE
  • Health and Social Care Cambridge National
  • Information Technology Cambridge National
  • Media GCSE
  • Music GCSE
  • Triple Science GCSE
  • Sport Studies Cambridge National

At KS4 students are split into two populations for the core curriculum, rather than three as at KS3. This allows much greater flexibility when placing students into appropriate ability groups. Each population will be divided into ability groups for maths, English, RS and science. These subjects set independently from each other, as in Year 8. Thus, as an example, a student could be in set 1 for English, set 3 for maths and set 4 for science.


The majority of our sixth form students embark upon studying 4 A levels or Level 3 courses. Most students will choose to drop a subject at a given point in Year 12; if it is felt appropriate, some students may continue to study four A Level subjects.  A number of students study vocational qualifications such as the Cambridge Technical Diploma. Vocational qualifications are available in Business, Criminology, ICT, Media Studies, Health and Social Care and Sport. Other students study a combination of the different types of qualification. Each subject is allocated 5 periods a week, along with one independent study period allocated per subject. Subjects currently on offer in our sixth form are:

Business (vocational)
Business Studies A Level
Computer Science
Criminology (vocational)
Design Technology (Product Design)
English Language
English Literature
Further Maths
Health and Social Care (vocational)
ICT (vocational)
Media Studies
Religious Studies
Sport (vocational)

In addition to this broad and balanced curriculum, all our Year 12 students are allocated one period of study time, per subject, per week. Each subject teacher indicates extra activities that students should undertake independently to improve their learning. A quiet, supervised study room, along with an ICT suite, is provided for this purpose.

All students also participate in our enrichment programme, which involves students in a variety of activities including work experience, charity work, the EPQ programme and arts and music clubs.

If you wish to find out more about the curriculum on offer at Haslingden High School, please view the subject specific pages or contact Ms E Edyvean