Challenging Every Learner Every Lesson Every day

Quality of Education


At Horizon our vision is to develop students who are ‘School ready; Work ready; Life ready’ 

We deliver this vision through 

  • the quality of education students experience 
  • the behaviour and attitudes students develop  
  • the personal development opportunities students enjoy.

Quality of Education

Our Quality of Education mantra of ‘challenging every learner, in every lesson, every day’ ensures every student knows more, remembers more and can do more.

Curriculum STRUCTURE

At Horizon, students follow a 3 year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) and a 2 year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). At the end of Year 9, students opt for subjects they will study in Years 10 and 11, which they complete at the end of Year 11.

Across Years 7, 8 and 9 students study a total of 18 subjects – the aim being to broaden their horizons and develop specialists across a range of disciplines. At the heart of this curriculum sit the Ebacc subjects of English (Language and Literature), Maths, Science, Geography, History and French or Spanish. Students also study PE, RE, Computing and Citizenship, as well as a wide range of more creative subjects: DT (Graphics, Textiles, Engineering), Cooking and Nutrition, Art, Drama, Dance and Music.

Across Years 10 and 11, students further develop their specialist knowledge but also prepare for GCSE and Vocational exams. The Ebacc subjects once again sit at the heart of their curriculum, all students studying GCSE English Language and English Literature, Maths, Science (either in the form of Combined Sciences or Separate Sciences) and Geography or History. The majority also continue to study a Modern Foreign Language. Students are then able to choose from a wide range of option subjects, both creative and academic, to suit individual preferences and future career aspirations. All students continue to study PE and Core RE.

Curriculum (Intent)

We have designed this around seven key principles: balanced, focused, coherent, connected, appropriate, ambitious, relevant. Our aim is to 

  • enrich students’ ambition and love of learning 
  • develop knowledge, skills and cultural capital 
  • prepare students for post-16 pathways and later life 


Subjects at Horizon then have their own individual curriculum intents with long-term curriculum plans that outline 

  • the key subject-specific strands they are developing  
  • how their learning journey is sequenced, spiralled and/or interleaved across years 7-11. 

Schemes of learning and individual lesson plans then detail when and how this learning will take place.

Teaching and learning (Implementation)

We develop this to ensure the highest quality of classroom practice and the most effective delivery of our curriculum. Our pedagogical approach, individualised and developed at subject level, is based on: 

  • High expectationsambitious academic goals and positive relationships  
  • Explanation and modelling 
  • Questioning, retrieval and discussion 
  • Responsive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards) 
  • Independent practice and scaffolding 
  • Growth mindset and metacognition  


We develop a culture of reading – for understanding, for knowledge and for pleasure, to ensure students are able to successfully access their learning across all subjects and widen their understanding of the world around them.   

We use formative and summative assessment to systematically check for understanding, to inform future planning and to support students in maximising their academic potential.

Outcomes (Impact)

Our students achieve well, taking pride in the work they produce and achieving outcomes considerably above the national average. They leave us with the character and skill set they need to flourish in the next stage of their education, employment or training.  


Our curriculum aims to provide an education which enriches students’ ambitions and love of learning and equips them with the skills, knowledge and cultural capital they need to access aspirational post-16 pathways and the responsibilities and experiences of later life. It underpins everything we do as a college, challenging and supporting students in their academic, social and moral development. 

 It is designed around 7 key principles: balanced, coherent, connected, relevant, appropriate, focused and ambitious (as explained further in the table below).  

 The individual subject curricula delivered to our students reflect the pride and passion subject teams have for their disciplines and have been created with the specific needs of our students in mind. Working together to build these bespoke curricula, choosing the skills or knowledge students should learn and in what order they should learn them, forms a core part of our work as teachers.   

 We clearly communicate the intent, skills and knowledge of our curriculum to our students. We believe that they should understand why they are learning this topic now, what skills or knowledge they have learned in the past that has prepared them for this and how they will build on this in the future.  

 This section of our website contains information about our curriculum priorities as a college, as well as detail on individual subject curricula.  


Promotes intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional and physical development equally.


Seeks to identify and teach the most important knowledge/skills within a subject.


Interleaving focuses on progression by weaving different topics together, switched between and revisited at intervals throughout the year. Spiral focuses on progression by building knowledge each time. Combined with retrieved practise to give a truly powerful and balanced learning environment.


Is purposely structured and sequenced. It links knowledge and skills between different subjects and other learning experiences.


Carefully matches the level of challenge to what students’ are able to do cognitively, physically and emotionally at a certain age.


Is cognitively demanding and challenging. It seeks to develop a deep understanding of subject knowledge and skills with the ability to apply these to solve complex problems.


Seeks to connect the knowledge and skills so students’ can understand the purpose of their learning. They can see the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives, present and future.

What are students learning this half term?

Year 7 Curriculum Overview

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Year 10 Curriculum Overview

Year 11 Curriculum Overview


Teaching & Learning

Challenging every learner every lesson every day

Teaching and learning at Horizon ensures that all students can access and engage with a well-planned and aspirational curriculum, so that we “challenge every learner, every lesson, every day.” Research and evidence-based practice inform the six elements of pedagogy that we believe underpin quality first teaching at Horizon.

High expectations, ambitious academic goals and positive relationships

Clear, consistent routines foster a climate for learning in which students are able and expected to discover their true potential.

Explanation and modelling

Teachers plan opportunities to share subject-specific expertise, so that students understand and become confident to engage with new learning.

Questioning, retrieval and discussion

Dialogue is planned to support students recalling previously learned knowledge, to provoke thought and to deepen subject-specific understanding.

Responsive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards)

Teachers use a variety of techniques to gauge and respond to students’ understanding within a lesson.

Independent practice and scaffolding

Learning activities are pitched to the top and designed to ensure that all students are able to achieve challenging outcomes.

Growth mindset and metacognition

Teachers provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and articulate their next steps, so becoming independent learners.

Literacy (Reading)

Effective literacy skills not only underpin learning but also provide a springboard for success in both career and life. At Horizon, for the academic year 2021-22, we have chosen to focus on the core skill of Reading, believing that this will support students to access the curriculum successfully, overcome barriers to learning and encourage a positive attitude to college life.

At Horizon we have three key priorities for Reading for the academic year 2021-2022. These are:

Promote reading within the curriculum using disciplinary literacy to underpin this. This involves:

1. Ensuring targeted vocabulary instruction is in every subject.

2. Developing students’ ability to read complex academic texts.

3. Promoting the ‘think it, say it, say it again better’ strategy.

Develop a culture of reading for pleasure. This involves:

1. Continuing to develop and embed ‘Reading Journeys’ into year 7 and 8.

2. Raising the profile and quality of the library provision.

3. Promoting reading through extra-curricular opportunities.

Support students who are currently not reading at their chronological age. This involves:

1. Identifying reading abilities using NGRT.

2. Ensuring quality wave one teaching addresses reading needs of all students.

3. Ensuring high quality interventions are in place for students whose reading ages are significantly below their chronological age.

What does this mean for our students

Year 7

This means that:
· there is a focus on disciplinary literacy in lessons;
· there are three focused reading weeks across the school year which promote and celebrate reading, include author visits, book fairs and activities;
· World Book Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;
· National Poetry Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;
· guest authors work with us providing writing workshops;
· students have access to the library every lunchtime;
· the library is well stocked and updated to include a wide range of literature, such as new releases and graphic novels
· students will have the opportunity to enter national writing competitions each term;
· teachers use NGRT* data used to inform
· students are encouraged to read a wide range of genres through our in-school initiative called Reading Journeys
· students have access to an online platform called Literacy Planet, to improve their literacy skills
· students who are reading significantly below their chronological age have access to personalised reading interventions.

Year 8 / 9

This means that:

· there is a focus on disciplinary literacy in lessons;

· there are three focused reading weeks across the school year which promote and celebrate reading, include author visits, book fairs and activities;

· World Book Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· National Poetry Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· guest authors work with us providing writing workshops;

· students have access to the library every lunch time;

· the library is well stocked and updated to include a wide range of literature, such as new releases and graphic novels

· students will have the opportunity to enter national writing competitions each term;

· teachers use NGRT* data used to inform teaching;

· students most at risk of underachieving have access to a personalised reading intervention.

Year 10 / 11

This means that:

· there is a focus on disciplinary literacy in lessons;

· there are three focused reading weeks across the school year which promote and celebrate reading, include author visits, book fairs and activities;

· World Book Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· National Poetry Day is celebrated annually with author visits, activities and competitions;

· guest authors work with us providing writing workshops;

· students have access to the library every lunch time; · the library is well stocked and updated to include a wide range of literature, such as new releases and graphic novels

· students will have the opportunity to enter national writing competitions each term;

· all students are set English home-learning via the online platform called Seneca, which continues to build and develop their literacy skills.

What does this look like in the classroom?



 1. Pose a question and give thinking time.

2. Take an initial response.

3. Build on this by challenging someone to add more detail, use more specific vocab, rephrase in a more succinct / concise way.

4. Can anything else be done – could you record words in an expert vocab list? 

5. Could anyone develop it even further?

– Rephrase what we have just said using said word.

– Rephrase what we have just said to your partner.

Developing reading fluency


Teacher models a paragraph.

Students re-read the same paragraph.


Students read in pairs, taking turns until they reach the end.

They switch and start again.

Deliberate Vocab Development


All students repeat the words in call and response style.


Provide students with opportunities in pairs to discuss using key words from the topic / lesson.


Check individuals students can use the words through individual questioning.


Graphic organiser to help students organise their understanding of a new academic term or complex vocabulary choice.


Pre – populated from the topic.

Space for students to add more vocab in during the topic.

Time given to allow students to do this.


We believe that everyone should be taught the numeracy skills that will enable them to be successful across the curriculum, in the career they choose and in managing their personal finances in everyday life.  

At Horizon, we take a ‘no tricks’ approach to the teaching of numeracy, wherever mathematical content appears across the curriculum, especially in Geography, Business or Physics. Whenever a student is taught a mathematical concept, our Corporate Methods Guide is developing a consistent approach, regardless of the year group a student is in or the subject they are learning, to reinforce understanding and develop fluency.      

We are committed to helping students appreciate the value of numeracy beyond the classroom. For example, our Financial Awareness Week shows students how to apply mathematical skills they have been taught to an array of everyday contexts. These were chosen with the context of our community in mind, as well as covering day-to-day budgeting, understanding student loans, owning a credit card, buying a car and taking out a mortgage.     

Home Learning

At Horizon, we believe Home Learning is essential to help develop independent learners. 

Students are set regular Home Learning in each of their subjects. In most subjects, students are asked to carry out retrieval practice using their knowledge organisers. They then complete a ‘retrieval quiz’ online through Microsoft Teams. The purpose of this is to help them securely embed knowledge they already have, so that they remember this the next time they use it. This helps to make learning within lessons even more purposeful for students, as important knowledge is therefore ‘readily available’ to be added to, supporting rapid progress. 


What is retrieval practice? 

Retrieval practice is when students deliberately practise recalling information. They are encouraged to use one of four retrieval strategies when completing their home learning: Look, cover, write, check · Brain dumps · Mind maps · Flash cards (self-quzzing). Details about how to use each of these strategies are provided in the Student Planner on page 36. In addition, students are shown examples of teachers modelling good practice of these strategies in the weekly student bulletin during form time. 

What are knowledge organisers? 

A knowledge organiser breaks down the key knowledge students need to learn within a scheme into small chunks. These support and help to organize students as they complete their retrieval practice each week. To find out how to use a knowledge organiser (Click Here) Students receive a physical copy of all their knowledge organisers but they can also download them from the student hub (Click Here) if they need to. 

Home Learning in Maths & English 

The subjects listed below also set home learning to support students embed knowledge they already have, however they use an alternative platform specific to their subject to do so. 

Maths: Use the online platform Hegarty Maths

English KS3: Use the online platform Bedrock

English KS4: Use the online platform SENECA

Assessment and Reporting

Assessment, in all forms, is an important part of any learner’s academic journey and goes far beyond national and end of year exams. At Horizon, a variety of assessment is used throughout the year to help students and their teachers identify progress being made and areas for development. 

Assessment falls in to two categories: Assessment for Learning (Formative) and Assessment of Learning (Summative). Formative Assessment is described by William and Black as “encompassing all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by their students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged”. Formative assessment at Horizon is low stakes and implemented through home learning, teacher questioning and regular progress checks, which check on-going learning. Summative assessments are a more formal way to help us understand learners’ progress over time and take place at set points throughout the year. However, the timeline for these is bespoke to each subject area and year group – Assessment and Feedback Policy. These support a wider understanding of the long-term impact of the curriculum and enable students to identify next steps on their journey towards meeting their targets. 

Students are set academic targets based on Key Stage 2 performance, or baseline testing where this is not available. At Key Stage 3, they are given a single target across all subjects; this can be either ‘Approaching Standard’, ‘Age Related’, ‘Greater Depth’ or ‘Greater Depth Plus’. At Key Stage 4, they are set an individual target for each subject; this can be either a GCSE or Vocational grade. Each target represents the minimum a student should be aiming to achieve in that subject at the end of the key stage and gives them a reference point against which to measure their progress. 

Parents receive a Progress Report three times a year. This provides details of each student’s academic achievement but also their effort within lessons. Effort grades are awarded using the criteria below: 


Always demonstrates outstanding effort

• You always put outstanding effort into your class work and when completing home learning. You take great pride in the work you produce.

• You always arrive on time to lessons and are equipped to learn and always bring your exercise books.

• You always engage with all work promptly, face the front, follow instructions, and track the speaker.

• You always ensure key pieces of work are finished and you always complete your home learning.

• You always answer questions in class when asked. You always respond to feedback and revisit work to improve it with high levels of effort when asked to.

• You are always supportive of your peers and value their effort.


Demonstrates consistent positive effort

• You put consistent effort into your class work and when completing home learning.

• You consistently arrive on time to lessons and are equipped to learn and regularly bring your exercise books.

• You consistently engage with your work promptly, face the front, follow instructions, and track the speaker.

• You consistently ensure key pieces of work are finished and you regularly complete your home learning.

• You consistently answer questions in class when asked and respond to feedback and revisit work to improve it.

• You are consistently supportive of your peers and value their effort.


Sometimes demonstrates a positive effort

• You are inconsistent in the effort you put into your class work and when completing home learning.

• You are sometimes distracted from your work, you usually follow instructions (though not always at the first time of asking) and track the speaker when reminded to; however, you are likely to be inconsistent in these behaviours.

• You are sometimes late for lessons. You may also be inconsistent in terms of being equipped to learn and sometimes forget your exercise book.

• You are likely to ensure some key pieces of work are finished but not all and you complete some of your home learning on time.

• You may answer questions in class when asked but will rarely persevere or show resilience if you are unsure. You sometimes engage with feedback to improve your work but, again, inconsistently.

• You may sometimes be unsupportive of the learning of your peers, and on occasions, you may cause low level disruption.


Rarely demonstrates a positive effort

• Your effort is unsatisfactory. You will generally make little effort in your class work and show little or no pride in your work.

• You may lack focus in class, may often turn around and talk to others and disrupt the learning of others. You may regularly fail to follow instructions on the first time of asking.

• You may often arrive late to lessons. You may often lack the correct equipment or forget your exercise books.

• You are likely to leave key pieces of work unfinished on multiple occasions and have a very poor home learning completion record.

• You may rarely respond to feedback and improve pieces of work when instructed to. You may refuse to answer questions in class and will rarely engage with teacher support to help you respond.

• You may often struggle to respond to the Consequences system and may have been removed from the lesson on occasions. You are often not supportive of your peers.

Intervention and Tuition

Our curriculum, delivered through high quality teaching, is designed to ‘challenge every learner, in every lesson, every day’. However, there may be times when we feel students would benefit from intervention/tuition, to help them secure the progress they are capable of. This is especially true following the disruption to learning caused by the pandemic – as recognised by the government, who has provided schools with some additional funding to help us target tuition where we feel it is most needed. 
Intervention/tuition will always tailored to need and so will differ from person to person, from group to group and from year to year. It may be provided during lesson time or before/after the school day. For example, in response to the pandemic, we have included an additional timetabled period every day for our Year 11 students this year, which means they will have enjoyed over 150 additional hours of learning by the time they sit their final exams in May. In addition, after school online tuition is now being offered to support the final Year 11 revision process in English, Maths and Science. 
In Years 7-10, we are focusing our support on students within English and Maths. We believe the literacy and numeracy skills developed here provide the bedrock for future success, both across the rest of the curriculum and in adult life. Within English, small group interventions are provided during lesson time for students in both Years 10 and 11, whilst Maths offer tuition to targeted groups of Year 10 students on a rolling programme. At KS3, Maths tuition is being provided for groups of Year 7 students before school, individual and small group reading interventions are being provided through withdrawal for students in Years 7 and 8, and after school tuition is being run for small groups of Year 9 students in English. 
If we believe your child would benefit from an intervention or tuition, we will always contact you beforehand to discuss this. 

Year 9 Options

Welcome to our Year 9 options process. This is an exciting and important time for your child as they begin to think about their journey at KS4.

 At Horizon we pride ourselves on providing a broad and balanced curriculum, which develops students who are school ready, work ready, life ready.

This attached booklet has been designed to provide information about the courses that we offer students in Years 10 and 11. It is also a guide to help your child make the right decisions about the options they choose for next year. We hope you will agree that our curriculum provides exciting opportunities that will challenge and inspire your child and above all provide an experience that they will both value and enjoy. 

Please study this guide carefully and watch the subject overview videos before making final option choices. It may also be a good idea for your child to speak to older students, friends and family. It is important that they understand how each option is structured and consider where their strengths lie. We want students to make decisions based upon what is right for them, and not to be influenced by what friends are doing or by a particular teacher they have as they may not have the same teacher next year.

When all the Choices Forms have been submitted, we will try our best to match your child’s first preferences. However, it is important that all students provide a reserve choice as well, in case we cannot do this. In this instance, we will have a discussion with your child, so that we can finalise the options they will be taking and be sure that they have made an informed decision.

We hope you find this booklet and the videos helpful, and wish students all the very best for the next exciting stage of their education at Horizon. If you have any further questions.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us on

Options Booklet

Year 9 Options Booklet

Here is our Year 9 Options Booklet for 2022. Please download and if you have any questions please e-mail in to



Please watch our subject information videos.