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Our Mission Statement:

“At Featherstone High School each individual will realise and achieve their full potential academically, personally and socially through a rich and varied curriculum, state of the art technology and outstanding teaching and learning. We will inspire all the members of our community to become global ambassadors in our increasingly interconnected world.”

We are a World Class School

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Our Curriculum Aims:

Our Curriculum Aims & Intentions: An Ambitious Curriculum

Our Curriculum Aims & Intentions – a ambitious curriculum

The provision of a rich and varied inclusive curriculum is the second of the school’s 4 strategic cornerstones.

Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs, strengths and interests of our students and the aspirations of the local community. We aim to deliver subject specific knowledge and skills through a broad range of subject disciplines and the rich provision of extra-curricular enrichment.

At Featherstone High School we are moving away from the current hybrid Year 9 model that enables students to transition gradually from KS3 to KS4 in year 9 to a fully three- year KS3 from September 2023. The key decision to replace the old extended day model with a new standard day one was made in view of the heightened pressures on staff workload and student well- being that the long day exerted. However, without the extra time of the extended day we must now move to a three- year KS3 so that all elements of the national curriculum at key stage 3 are still fully covered.

We know the acquisition of foundational subject vocabulary at KS3 is the fundamental requirement to deepening and broadening knowledge and understanding of a subject at KS4. We believe that our curriculum model, designed to cater for our EAL context, is a critical factor contributing to our students being able to break down the barriers of accessibility and achieve success in their chosen curricular pathways.

The curriculum intends all our students to become:

  • Successful learners, who acquire subject specific knowledge and skills that lead to a minimum of 8 meaningful qualifications and enable them to make outstanding progress.
  • Confident individuals who are able to meet the challenges of an increasingly changing world – leading safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; and making successful transition to employment, training, further and higher education (thus avoiding becoming NEET).
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society and uphold our Featherstone values of Care, Respect, Challenge, Resilience, Partnership and Inclusion.

Our Rationale

Our Rationale:

  • Developing a rich body of knowledge underpinned by a deep understanding of big concepts across a range of subject disciplines and enrichment opportunities. Thus, a broad and balanced curriculum will provide what our students need to develop a rich vocabulary.
  • Equipping each learner with the cultural capital and vocabulary to become a “well rounded individual” with positive Featherstone values and attitudes that ensure their physical and emotional well-being.
  • Providing access to an ambitious curriculum (that is scaffolded to be inclusive) thus valuing each individual learner equally and challenging every learner to keep aiming high.
  • Teaching every learner to the top – promoting a culture of challenge that provides clear explanations and models to scaffold learning; and targeting questioning and feedback to improve learning outcomes (through the FHS5).
  • Equipping learners to face the challenge of an increasingly globalised world with every subject developing the 6 competencies for the 21st century as defined by Fullan and Scott:
  1. critical thinking
  2. collaboration
  3. communication (digital, reading, oracy, writing and numeracy)
  4. citizenship
  5. character
  6. creativity
  • Providing learners with opportunities to acquire new knowledge in a logical sequence that builds upon their prior knowledge; and then apply that new knowledge to develop skills through practice and repetition.
  • Building continuity and progression from KS2 to KS5, providing every learner with the opportunity to move successfully onto aspirational pathways (that meet their needs and ambitions) post 16 and post 18.

Our Commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum:

The school is committed to meeting the central government target of 75% of all students following the English Baccalaureate pathway (for first examination in 2024). More than 74% of the 2022 Year 11 cohort were following an EBacc. pathway.

Local Labour Market

How does the local labour market influence our curriculum? Ealing (London) Nomis official labour market statistics:

  • 71.5% (72.1) of all residents were economically active while 5.2% (4.9) were registered as unemployed equivalent to the figures for London as a whole.
  • 46.1% of the workforce were managers, professionals and technicians. 10.7% were administrators or secretarial, 7.5% in caring, leisure and service occupations and 6.1% were plant and machine operatives.
  • 16.5% of the over 16 year old population had no qualifications compared to 17.7% for London as a whole.
  • The density figures represent the ratio of total jobs to population aged 16-64: Ealing has a low job density 0.72 of the 16 to 64 – year old population compared to a London job density of 1.02. Heathrow Airport is a major local employer for people living in Southall.
  • The 12 sectors employing the most people in Ealing (and London) are:
  1. Wholesale and retail and motor vehicle repair 14.4% (13.5%)
  2. Human Health and Social Work 9.8% (10.7%)
  3. Education 9.0% (9.6%)
  4. Professional and technical services 8.8% (10.5%)
  5. Information and Communication 8.4% (6.8%)
  6. Construction 7.9% (6.8%)
  7. Transportation and storage 7.3% (5.2%)
  8. Administrative and support services 6.8% (5.8%)
  9. Accommodation and food service activities 6.7% (6.0%)
  10. Manufacturing 4.7% (3.7%)
  11. Finance and Insurance 4.1% (7.3%)
  12. Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 3.8% (5.1%)

Tailoring the Curriculum to our Context

Moving to a three- year Mastery Curriculum at KS3

Students are assessed to find out their stage of learning for the broad range of subjects taught at KS3:

  • Emerging
  • Developing
  • Securing
  • Advancing
  • Mastering
Year 9 New learning is built upon the sequences of learning taught in years 7 and 8. Again, students are taught new more complex material when they are ready for it in the planned sequence although this does not include GCSE content. The arts carousel is replaced so that students can choose up to three art subjects that they wish to continue with in more depth. Students should be GCSE / KS4 ready by the end of this year.
Year 8 New learning in the subjects listed below is built upon the foundational sequences (Big Picture) of learning taught in year 7. In line with a “growth mindset” the new learning should be scaffolded to “stretch” and “challenge” students to achieve mastery. The key question for the teacher is what content to leave out rather than cutting out the more challenging mastery content.
Year 7 Follow a smooth transition from the KS2 to the KS3 NC programmes of study. Although new learning is securely based on previously learned KS2 material there should not be any unnecessary repetition in the year 7 sequence of learning.Students are taught English and Reading, Maths, Science, Computer Science, Geography, History, RE, French or Spanish (with Panjabi as an additional language), Art, Cookery, Dance, Drama, Graphics, Music, Textiles, PSE, Citizenship and PE. In year 7 we concentrate on the subject specific disciplinary skills, “Big Picture” and “Big Ideas” that have to be understood first before exploring the minutiae of the curriculum.

Students are taught new topics that are built upon their previous learning. One topic leads to another – not necessarily a spiral curriculum but a well sequenced curriculum with spaced repetition. Lead teachers will share their sequences of learning with parents / carers on the school’s website and with students using Learning Journeys usually fastened to the front cover of students’ exercise books.

A curriculum that responds to our EAL profile:

The school has a much higher than average EAL intake. To bridge the gap more curriculum time is given to the teaching of English (and from next year Reading delivered by English teachers). Additional small group intervention for some Year 7 students takes place after the school day funded by catch up. Many of these students also receive support from EAL intervention (during or after the school day) led by the EAL coordinator.

e.g. Year Group 2022-23 Number of students in year group EAL (numbers declared) Percentage EAL
7 278 239 86%
8 280 238 85%
9 280 239 85%
10 277 233 84%
11 268 233 87%
12 206 168 82%
13 190 157 83%
Total 1778 1507 85%

A curriculum that responds to our pupil premium profile (to bridge the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils):

Despite the high deprivation index of the local area of Southall that the school serves, the community is very aspirational (100% of students stay on in education post-16, some 80% progress on to university). Our curriculum model is designed to ensure every student is able to progress post GCSE and the vast majority are able to continue with their post -18 study aims.

Academic Year Number of pupils in receipt of the pupil premium
2019-20 449
2020-21 477
2021-22 446
2022-23 476

A curriculum that responds to our significantly below average ability profile:

At entry from KS2, the school has significantly fewer students with a higher ability profile and more with a lower ability profile than the national percentage.

(from FFTAspire)

Examination Year 11 KS2 APS % Higher % H (Nat) % Middle % M (Nat) % Low % L (Nat)
2019 N/A 33 41 45 42 15 11
2020 N/A 22 32 38 33 33 29
2021 101.7 25 33 33 33 33 29
2022 102.1 10 29 49 49 31 25

A curriculum that does not compromise on breadth or challenge:

Our curriculum is justly ambitious. The school is already meeting the government’s initial target for the increase in EBacc take-up to 75% or more.

GCSE Year Size of cohort Size of English Baccalaureate cohort Percentage of students following the English Baccalaureate
2019 241 177 73%
2020 241 195 82%
2021 263 214 81%
2022 262 193 74%
2023 268 211 79%

The table below illustrates the take-up of the arts and non-traditional applied general subjects and how they have been affected by the introduction of the EBacc.

Subject 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Art (inc. graphics and textiles) 36 37 44 26 53 23 86
Business 49 57 50 52 26 49 45
Computer science 26 0 24 13 12 18 47
Drama 22 16 24 17 60 23 50
Food Tech 13 11 0 15 0 0 0
Music 14 12 17 16 15 17 20
PE 27 17 16 19 24 0 40
Enterprise BTEC 74 48 41 49 0 0 23
HSC BTEC 36 49 22 21 15 20 13
Sport BTEC 0 22 16 23 18 58 51


Our Curriculum Provision:

Curriculum Implementation: Planning for Progression

Curriculum Development and Planning at Featherstone High School – some key principles (Dylan William 2013):

  1. We follow a broad and balanced curriculum
  2. We have a rigorous curriculum – one based on and respecting individual subject disciplines
  3. We plan a coherent curriculum – the rationale for the sequences of learning that are planned ensure there are explicit connections between each “unit of learning” thus consigning new learning to long term memory.
  4. Our curriculum is vertically integrated – ensuring progression – careful sequencing of topics leads to clearer connections between the different topics and therefore fewer things for students to remember.
  5. Our curriculum is appropriate – tailored to meet the needs of students especially those with EAL and SEND but still aiming high to be consistent with a growth mind set.
  6. Our curriculum is focused around “Big Ideas and Questions” – again ensuring fewer disconnected things for students to remember.
  7. We plan a relevant curriculum – one that promotes interest and engagement and provides authentic learning experiences.

Lesson Planning and pedagogy

Although teachers are not required to produce formal lesson plans, they share a common understanding that all lessons should follow the FHS5 model providing challenge (teaching to the top), clear explanation, modelled solutions, effective questioning and feedback (refer to the FHS teaching and learning policy). Scaffolding the delivery of skills and knowledge in incremental steps supports pupils to make measurable progress over time.

On line Programmes of Learning

All subjects illustrate their sequence of learning and explain the rationale behind that sequence on their on-line programmes of learning (updated annually). These documents explain how subjects build on prior learning rather than repeating it. SMSC, key home learning tasks; and opportunities for reading, writing and numeracy are mapped on the programmes of learning.


Assessment data is used to inform the delivery of the programme of learning by identifying gaps in pupils’ learning and understanding that need to be addressed. At KS3 a new assessment model has been adopted reporting on curriculum mastery.


All subject areas had planned their “recovery curriculums” from September 2020. These involve ascertaining gaps in pupils’ learning and understanding using “low stakes” assessment in order to identify and address them. Year 11 and 13 subject areas will also remove those areas of their programmes of learning that are not directly exams related to concentrate on preparing pupils for their public examinations in the summer of 2022.

The teacher development team will ensure the remote learning put in place for students that are self-isolating is as qualitative as any parallel learning activities taking place in school.

All residential activities have been cancelled as per original local government guidelines. However, Mr Donovan and Mr Briggs are leading the Duke of Edinburgh programme this year. Non-residential day trips / educational visits have recommenced following a thorough review of the risk assessment procedure for visits avoiding the use of public transport where necessary.

Since Covid-19 we have been rebuilding our enrichment offer:

The Featherstone Curriculum Model:

Click here to view the time allocation by Year Group and Subject

In the 6th form, students have the opportunity to study for level 3 A level and BTEC courses. In some years, depending on the viability of take up, special level 2 “nurture” courses are planned for students not ready to access level 3 provision and requiring continued pastoral support.

Those students who have not yet attained a grade 4 or above pass at GCSE for English and / or maths continue to study these subjects and re-sit their GCSE exams.

All students take part in PE (1.33 to 2.67 hours per fortnight), PSE and timetabled supervised independent study. A level subjects are taught over 16 periods per fortnight and BTEC subjects over 14 or 28 periods per fortnight.

The following subjects are usually offered up to level 3:

A levels BTEC Extended Certificates and Diplomas
Art Applied Science
Biology Business
Business Health and Social Care
Chemistry ICT
Computer Science Sport
Further maths
  • A levels in French, Spanish and Theatre Studies (Drama) are also offered – but only run occasionally
  • BTEC in music technology will run occasionally
  • We are planning to deliver a T-Level in Adult Health and Nursing from 2024

Wider Curriculum

The school has a strong Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) Programme planned and co-ordinated by Mrs Carey. As well as PSE lessons and Assemblies RSHE themes such as Sexual Harassment are delivered through three whole school collapsed mornings. On-line safety is also dealt with by the PSE programme and by the Designated Safeguarding Leads.

The wider intellectual, social, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, emotional, physical and cultural development strands of the curriculum are delivered through PSE, small group tutorials, lessons, assemblies, educational visits and activities during the curriculum days (when the formal timetable is collapsed).

The school has secured a determination to opt of a wholly Christian daily act of collective worship. Our model of collective reflection has now been adopted by Ealing SACRE. During the curriculum days students take part in visits to places of worship. Jewish and Christian faith leaders also visit the school to speak to students. The following festivals are formally commemorated:

  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • Diwali
  • Guru Nanak’s birthday
  • Eid-al Fitr
  • Eid –al Adha
  • Rosh Hashanah
  • Holocaust Day
  • Armistice Day

The school choir performs at the annual Remembrance Day Commemoration.

Model for Summer Curriculum Enrichment Days for 2023

  • Years 10 and 12 would have internal exams and planned catch up sessions that week. Year 12 work experience at the end of term.
  • Possible “vertical” drama visits to be planned for specific cohorts.

Mr Webb is the Head of Careers. His Careers Programme is undergoing re-accreditation for its quality assurance kitemark and is centred on the Gatsby Benchmarks:

  • We have have a stable careers programme with details of it published on our website.
  • All our students learn about different career pathways and labour market information that should inform their decisions.
  • The needs of every student is addressed ensuring equality and diversity considerations are embedded in our programmes of study.
  • Teachers especially STEM teachers make explicit links between their subject curriculum and associated career opportunities.
  • Every year, from the age of 11, our students have at least one meaningful encounter with an employer. Each student experiences a minimum of 7 encounters by the end of year 13.
  • Every student has first- hand experiences of the workplace through work related visits, access to on-line work placements and work shadowing or work experience.
  • Every student has meaningful encounters with the providers of higher and further education, apprenticeship and training providers.
  • Every student has at least one careers interview with a trained professional Connexions Advisor by age 16 and another second interview by age 18. Students have access to Connexions advisers when making significant study choices.

Enrichment & Intervention

At Featherstone High School we offer a far reaching programme of Enrichment activities.

Please click here to visit our Enrichment & Intervention Page

Performance Measures:

The Progress and Attainment 8 measures:

Group 1 Core Subjects:
English Language and Maths

  • If students also do English Literature, the higher of the two grades for Language or Literature is doubled for the performance measure.
  • Maths is double weighted and performance points are doubled.

Group 2 Subjects (Any 3 highest grades from the “English Baccalaureate” subjects)
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Double Science, French, Geography, History, Punjabi, Physics, Spanish

  • Double science counts as two subjects.

Group 3 Subjects (Open group of subjects)
Art, Graphics or Textiles, Business, Drama, Food Technology, Health & Social Care, Music, PE, RE, Travel & Tourism

  • The lower graded subject out of English Language or English Literature would count in the open third group of subjects.

The English Baccalaureate

Students who have passed the subjects below attain the English Baccalaureate:

& Maths
Double or
Triple Science
Chemistry &
History or
Foreign Language
e.g. French, Panjabi
or Spanish

Contact Details

Please contact Mr Thacker, Deputy Head Teacher, if you would like further information.