The Curriculum at JTFS

Students are taught in mixed ability groups. There are six lessons in the day (50 minutes each). Students have a Personal Tutorial session four mornings a week for 20 minutes; these are in vertically arranged groups of approximately 20 students.

“We believe in the power of education to improve lives – and the world.”

This statement, at the heart of John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust, will also be at the heart of the curricular and enrichment programme offered at John Taylor Free School. All themes and subjects have been constructed to improve the lives, both current and future, of the students we serve and in so doing, enable them to improve the world around them — locally, nationally, and globally.

Students at John Taylor Free School know that they must turn up, work hard, and be nice in order that in turn they can Be Amazing!”. This ethos of rejecting complacency and mediocrity is at the heart of the Free School’s values. It percolates through our curriculum, pastoral care and behaviour management, and into the wider opportunities of leadership and challenge that we present young people with throughout the seven years they are at the school.

A detailed description of both our curriculum model and each subject can be found below:

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The Curriculum

Year 9

We aim to ensure that all students can access a personalised curriculum which is also broad, balanced and suitably challenging. Therefore, as part of this, we would like to offer a personalised timetable for our Year 9 students.

The purpose of a different curriculum offer is to provide an element of choice for students, whilst still offering a range of subjects which will enable them to succeed and thrive. This will enhance the level of engagement for students and provide an opportunity to learn from making decisions which affect them. By offering a bespoke Key Stage 3 curriculum, students will be able to pursue those subjects they are good at and also enjoy the most.

It is important to note that this is not an early start to a GCSE programme. GCSE courses will begin at the start of Year 10 and any student not studying a subject in Year 9 is still able to take this as a GCSE at the appropriate time.

All schemes of learning are planned to deliver an education which develops these key skills. However, instead of driving questions, the Year 9 programme of study follows three key themes throughout the year. 


Developing Aspirations

Subjects this term focus on the world of work and the range of jobs which exist today. Career opportunities are explored whilst we share our Key Stage 4 curriculum with students and help them to choose a pathway which is right for them.


Debate & Discuss

During their subjects this term, students will be learning how to construct a reasoned argument in a range of scenarios, using different sources of research. Parents can encourage and support their child by developing these key skills at home. 


Extended Project

Students will be planning and delivering an extended project which draws on all of their STRIPE skills and subject specific knowledge. They will have to work together, and independently, in order to be successful. This level of research will prepare them effectively for their Key Stage 4 programmes and GCSE curriculum. 

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Learning Behaviours

Our curriculum in Years 7 and 8  is underpinned by driving questions which enable students to make genuine links and connections within, and between, subjects. In this way, students discover that there is more than one way to answer that question; this enables them to understand a concept in a range of different ways and contexts. STRIPE learning behaviours are integrated into all subjects, which are taught discretely. 

The STRIPE programme achieves the following outcomes:

Unlike some ‘blended’ learning/topic-based study, STRIPE achieves the above without compromising
the academic and assessment rigour of a traditional subject-by-subject offer.