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Sponne School provides a broad and inclusive curriculum based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study and a range of vocational options. There are increasing opportunities for students to personalise their learning and achieve their potential.

Details of the subjects offered, learning activities, resources, visits and news are all available on the individual faculty pages. If you have a specific enquiry about your child’s learning, please contact the relevant Faculty Learning Leader.



dramaDrama at Sponne is a vibrant, colourful and swiftly growing department with a recognition for excellence that extends beyond the school to both county and national level. Drama is offered at all key stages and in addition to the thriving GCSE Drama and A-Level Theatre Studies courses on offer at Sponne, students have the opportunity to engage in a number of extracurricular activities and programmes.

We run Drama Club weekly at the school which attracts a wide variety of students who simply enjoy the community drama creates and have fun developing and creating theatre.

Drama at Sponne is probably best known for our shows, and in particular our Musicals in close collaboration with the Music and Art departments. We are extremely proud of the professionalism and level these productions achieve.

Regardless of your experience or confidence, Drama at Sponne provides an environment in which you can explore, have fun and thrive.

  • Year 7 We learn basic skills and techniques used to create pieces of live theatre
  • Year 8 We learn how to present a character, work in a group and discuss performances
  • Year 9 We interpret characters from an acting and director perspective, gaining an understanding of the role and sub plot within it
  • Year 10 We create and develop a devised piece, perform, analyse and evaluate it using both performer and designer routes
  • Year 11 We rehearse and perform a group piece, monologue/duologue and understand Theatre Makers in Practice as a written paper
  • A Level We create and develop ideas to communicate meaning for theatrical performance. We demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how drama and theatre is developed and performed





The Art department is a very busy, popular and successful department. We have many students who take the subject at GCSE and A-Level achieving excellent grades.

At all levels we encourage students to become independent learners and to foster their own creative ideas and to make their art a personal creative statement. 

All students have the opportunity to attend weekly popular after school Art Clubs. We hold an annual showcase art exhibition that includes all Year 11 and Year 13 Art students' work. We visit galleries and encourage our students to engage with the wider world of Arts and Culture.

We run a popular A Level Photography course. Each student learns how to develop and produce black and white photographs in one of our three darkrooms as well as digital photography.

The Art department at Sponne develops independent, creative, questioning, confident minds that enables students to go onto their future life with open minds and a range of creative expressive skills. Many students do go on to study an Art course at university and have successful careers, where they use their creative communication in an increasing visual world.

  • Year 7 we explore shape, line and form, Illustration and a creative 3D sculpture project
  • Year 8 we explore portrait, perspective and a creative sculpture project.
  • Year 9 we explore still life and Landscape - using a range of media
  • Year 10 we explore natural forms leading to a 3D sculpture and Human Figure
  • Year 11 students choose their own theme and media
  • Year 12 we explore drawing, painting, sculpture and printing and start their personal investigation.
  • Year 13 we students take on further their personal iInvestigation and explore an exam question theme to develop to a personal outcome.

In Year 7 and Year 8 we encourage all students to have an A4 sketchbook, at GCSE (Year 9 - 11) A3 sketchbooks and at A-Level (Year 12 - 13) A2 books. All items can be ordered online through the school shop via SCOPAY.

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Music Curriculum

Music has a very high profile in school, the wider community, locally in Northamptonshire, nationally through our involvement in prestigious events such as the National Festival of Music for Youth and even internationally through our bi-annual tours overseas. The Music department has an extensive enhancement programme including a brass band,2 concert bands, 2 string ensembles, 2 choirs, 4 jazz groups, a jazz orchestra and an award winning Renaissance ensemble called Sponnaissance.


In addition, the faculty has put on several productions in recent years including ‘West Side Story’, ‘Brassed Off’, ‘Return to The Forbidden Planet’, ‘Les Miserables’ and most recently 'Beauty and The Beast'. The Sponne School Brass Band and Sponnaissance have both performed in the Royal Albert Hall in the National Festival of Music for Youth School Proms. The groups have also participated in the Finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth on numerous occasions, performing in the Birmingham Symphony Hall and Town Hall.
Results at both GCSE and A level music are outstanding with many students having gone on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music, Oxford University, Royal Welsh College of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music.

Sponne Brass Band and Jazz Orchestra

Birmingham Symphony Hall 2022

Music for Youth 2022




In the MFL department, all students will learn both French and German in both Yr 7 and Yr 8. On an annual rotating basis, students in Yr 7 will either have 2 lessons per fortnight of one language and 3 lessons per fortnight of the other language. The students in Yr 7 in the school year 2019 to 2020 will be doing 3 lessons of FRENCH per fortnight and 2 of German. All students do 3 lessons per fortnight of both languages in Yr 8.

As Key Stage 4 runs across 3 years, options take place at the end of Year 8, and pupils can choose to continue to GCSE with either of the languages they have done since Year 7, both or neither.

We follow the Edexcel GCSE course and this looks at the topics of school, holidays, freetime, home life, the family, the local area, the world of work, the Environment and the International world. The course exams the 4 skills required - reading, listening, writing and speaking - all of which are weighted at 25%.

The department organises regular educational visits to both Germany and France. In the coming year, for example, there will be a Yr 10 visit to Cologne just before Christmas and a Yr 8 visit to the Rhineland in the summer term.

We offer both languages at A level, where the study is much more focussed on the society and culture of the respective country and many students go on to study a language as a whole or part of their degree studies.

French Curriculum Overview

German Curriculum Overview

Design and Technology

Design and Technology

Design and Technology

In Years 7 and 8 students follow a rotation system of study in Design & Technology. They will spend approximately 18 lessons on each project and during these lessons they cover knowledge of materials, processes, tools and equipment specific to that material area and they also develop research, design and evaluative skills. In Years 9, 10 and 11 students can follow GCSE's in Design and Technology as well as Food Preparation and Nutrition.  In Years 12 and 13 students can follow an A level in Product Design or a Level 3 course in Food Science and Nutrition.

Programme of Study

All students in Year 7 - Follow 5 rotations lasting 7 to 8 weeks giving an experience in design and make projects within Food, Design and Technology (including wood/metal/plastic/textiles/Electronics/computer aided design and manufacture).

All students in Year 8 - Follow a further 5 rotations experiencing a higher level of design and make projects in Food, Design and Technology

GCSE - Students have the chance to opt for a GCSE subject in Design and Technology and/or Food Preparation and Nutrition.

A Level - 3D Product Design

Level 3 qualification - Food Science and Nutrition


Assessments are completed by teacher marking of folder work, practical outcomes, homework and tests. Each student achieves a grade ranging from 1 - 9. The level descriptors are shared with the students and displayed in their folders for reference. Students are set targets to inform them on how to improve their progress.

In the Design and Technology Department we are aware that students enjoy the element of problem solving, being creative in the development of their individual projects and the practical aspect of making what they have designed. In addition to their classroom experience we run events and competitions during the year. These include:

  • Rotary Young Chef of the Year for Year 10 Food
  • Rotary Design Competition for Years 11, 12 and 13
  • Technology Club for all Years
  • Trip to the 'Good Food Show'
  • Trip to 'Product Design in Action'
  • Visit FESTO in Northampton

We are very fortunate in technology to have a wide range of facilities housed in a purpose built block of teaching rooms and workshops.

Equipment includes

  • Interactive whiteboards and projectors
  • 70" Touch display 
  • 2 x IT suites
  • 3 x 3D printers
  • 2 x Laser cutters
  • 2 x Vinyl cutter machine
  • 10 x Digital Art pen tablets
  • 24" Digital Art pen display
  • Oculus Quest VR headset to aid sketching
  • 3D scanner
  • Laser imaging transfer system
  • 3 x Computerised sewing machines as well as normal sewing machines
  • 2 x Industrial Blast Chiller to cool food down quickly
  • Large range of  tools and equipment for use in workshops.
  • Welding bay which includes MIG, braze and casting facilities

Design Technology

Food Science and Nutrition




Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is around us in our everyday lives. We take for granted that the technology is reliable and what it is telling us is truthful. We need to know about how to use it effectively so that we can gain some benefit from it.

At Sponne, ICT learning is available to all our students throughout the entire school. Although it is compulsory at KS3 and 4 (Years 7-11), it is a popular option in our sixth form. The faculty prepares all students for their KS3 SATs at KS3 and for GCSE IT at KS4. Some students chose to specialise in ICT more at GCSE and take Applied ICT. In the sixth form, students can take AS and A level ICT and some take the double award as well – we are one of only a small number of schools who can do this.

We offer teaching that is matched to individual student’s ability and prior knowledge and support this with regular practical activities. Students make use of the numerous lunchtime and after school enhancement ICT sessions that are available.


At Sponne we recognise that an excellent standard of knowledge of computer systems is an imperative part of learning for the world in which we live. Our aim is for students to be able to access career paths at all levels knowing how to use any of the programs or devices they may encounter.

The computing curriculum is structured to ensure competences are met across three main strands; Computer Science; an understanding of computer systems and the programs used to operate them; Information and Communication Technology; a sound base of understanding in commonly used software platforms; and Digital Literacy; a competence in fundamental electronic understanding of the day-to-day necessities such as email or web management.

As student’s progress the curriculum diversifies to include an array of optional elements including pathways for the more visually creative elements allowing students to explore areas including sound, images, animations and video; in addition to the programming and software application study that begins at Key Stage Three. The courses selected for examination also allow for students to choose pathways designed for traditional academic study methods, or through vocational pathways designed to equip students with a skill-set enabling them to transfer directly into the working environment.

We recognise that this component of everyday life is constantly changing and evolving and the structure of the programme of study is designed to adapt to new developments within computer systems. Our approach is to enable students in multi-platform proficiency, so they are able to work confidently in any computing environment.

Programme of Study


Yr 7-9 Computing (which comprises of Digital Literacy, Information Technology & Computer Science)


BTEC Creative Media
BTEC Digital Information Technology


Cambridge Technicals Information Technology
Cambridge Technicals Digital Media



English & Media

English & Media

The English Faculty covers the study of English Language, English Literature and Media Studies. We are also introducing Classical Civilisation from September, 2024. Teachers with a range of teaching experiences and subject specialisms deliver each of these subject areas. The department aims to equip each student with key literacy skills in both reading and writing, as these skills are the key to success in other academic areas and the world of work.

Students at KS3 are offered a varied programme of literacy skills, speaking and listening projects, library skills, media, ICT and literature in the form of plays, poetry and novels. Although we are laying the foundations for success at GCSE and in later life, the policy is to foster a confident use of language and an enjoyment of different texts.

At KS4, all students take the Eduqas English Language GCSE and the AQA English Literature GCSE, both sat at the end of Year 11 (for students starting Year 9 in 2023 onwards). The Literature course provides an experience of modern texts such as “Lord of the Flies”, a ‘classic’ novel such as “A Christmas Carol”, a Shakespeare play such as “Macbeth” and a range of poetry. To explore these texts, a variety of strategies are is used such as role-play, imaginative writing and structured group tasks. In addition, students become confident using literary terms to explain their responses.

Media Studies and Classical Civilisation are available as an optional choice from Year 9 onwards. In Media Studies, students have the opportunity to work on a range of projects such as magazines and films, following the Eduqas course. They will understand a range of technical language and the implications of a ‘target audience’. Final projects require students to explain their choices of technique in terms of the form of media and the expectations of the audience. Classical Civilisation offers the OCR GCSE course, involving the study of ancient literature, art and sculpture, religion, archaeology, history, politics and law. All topics are studied in English for the final exams, so there is no need to know Latin or Ancient Greek.

For Sixth Form study, each discipline is a popular choice. The A Level specifications build upon knowledge and understanding from GCSE study. For example, the Edexcel English Language and Literature course develops an understanding of the factors which influence language, the importance of context and the ways in which writers construct a variety of literary and non-fiction texts, both spoken and written. Students get the chance to write their own texts for coursework, as well as studying major literary works for their exam. In Literature A-level, students acquire a sharper understanding of the different genres and the social and historical influences which have affected various writers through the ages, again pursuing the Edexcel qualification. Students can shape their own choice of question in an extended coursework essay in Year 13. Media Studies at A-level refines students’ knowledge of techniques and allows students to explore the social contexts that drive these forms of mass communication, continuing to work towards an Eduqas Media qualification,. with coursework a major component again.

At all times, in any discipline, the focus is on engaging students and allowing them to experience the power of different styles of communication. The English Faculty works closely with the LRC to give experiences such as writer seminars, understanding research skills and resources for lessons. We welcome visiting drama groups to bring to life both Shakespeare and classic texts. We aim to offer students a range of trips and visits such as theatre productions of set texts and the GCSE Poetry Live experience. The department has an excellent range of technology including projectors for laptops and visualisers which allow for the instant display of a student’s work or other text. Staff are given regular opportunities to attend courses which give up to date understanding of examination requirements and teaching or assessment strategies.



Humanities is one of the largest and most popular faculties at Sponne, with specialist staff teaching a diverse range of subjects related to the world and people around us. Humanities subjects include History, Geography, Religious Studies, PHSE, Sociology, Psychology, Children's Play, Learning and Development and Health and Social Care.

Humanities can be described as the study of the many ways in which people, from every period of history and from every corner of the globe, process and document the human experience. Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record our world. These modes of expression have become the Humanities subjects we teach today. Knowledge of these records of human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries.

Humanities students are attractive to many future employers because of their personal transferable skills. Many of the skills that are gained during Humanities lessons are highly sought after in almost every job. In Humanities lessons, students will gain experience of summarising, arguing and debating issues as well as presenting their work in a variety of ways.

The Humanities faculty at Sponne develops independent, enquiring, confident minds, well-prepared to meet any future challenge head-on.

Social Sciences

Social Sciences

The Social Sciences is part of the Humanities faculty and includes four subjects: Sociology, Psychology, Health & Social Care and Children’s Play, Learning & Development (CPLD). The Social Sciences is a popular set of subjects at Sponne School.

At KS4, students are able to choose GCSE Psychology or Children’s Play, Learning and Development. At KS5, A level Psychology and Sociology are available as options.


Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. Most students opt to study Psychology at GCSE and A Level.

GCSE Psychology (Years 9, 10 and 11)

GCSE Psychology Exam Board: AQA

GCSE Psychology introduces students to the fundamentals of psychology, developing critical analysis, independent thinking and research skills. At GCSE, students study:

Year 9 topics:

  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Research Methods

Year 10 topics:

  • Perception
  • Development
  • Language, thought and communication

Year 11 topics:

  • Brain and neuropsychology
  • Psychological problems

There are two final exam papers for GCSE Psychology:

Paper 1: Cognition and Behaviour (Memory, Perception, Development and Research methods) Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes 100 marks 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Social Context and Behaviour (Social influence, Language, thought and communication, Brain and neuropsychology and Psychological problems) Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes 100 marks 50% of GCSE

A Level Psychology (Year 12 and 13)

A Level Psychology Exam Board: AQA

Students develop their knowledge and understanding at A level and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. At A Level, students study:

Year 12 topics:

  • Approaches
  • Research Methods
  • Social Influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Year 13 topics:

  • Research Methods
  • Issues and Debates
  • Biopsychology
  • Relationships
  • Stress
  • Forensic Psychology

There are three final exam papers for A Level Psychology:

Paper 1: Introductory topics in Psychology (Social Influence, Memory, Attachment, Psychopathology) Written exam: 2 hours 96 marks

Paper 2: Psychology in Context (Approaches, Biopsychology and Research Methods) Written exam: 2 hours 96 marks

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology (Issues and Debates, Relationships, Stress and Forensic Psychology) Written exam: 2 hours 96 marks


A Level Sociology (Year 12 and 13)

Sociology is the study of society, human social relationships and institutions. Most students opt to study Sociology at A Level.

A Level Sociology Exam Board: AQA

A Level Sociology offers students an engaging and effective introduction to Sociology. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by higher education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. At A Level, students study:

Year 12 topics:

  • Families and Households
  • Education with Methods in Context

Year 13 topics:

  • The Media
  • Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods

There are three final exam papers:

Paper 1: Education with Methods in Context Written exam: 2 hours 80 marks

Paper 2: Topics in Sociology Written exam: 2 hours 80 marks

Paper 3: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods Written exam: 2 hours 80 marks

Health and Social Care

BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care (Year 12 and 13)

Health and Social Care offers students a broad basis of study for students who are interested in a career in the health or social care sector.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Health & Social Care Exam Board: Pearson

Over the two years, students study the following topics:

Year 12 topics:

  • Unit 1: Human Lifespan Development Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 90 marks
  • Unit 12: Supporting Individuals with Additional Needs Internal assessment: Coursework

Year 13 topics:

  • Unit 2: Working in Health and Social Care Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 80 marks
  • Unit 5: Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs Internal assessment: Coursework

Children’s Play, Learning and Development (CPLD)

BTEC Level 1/2 Award in Children’s Play, Learning and Development (Year 9, 10 and 11)

Exam board: Pearson

CPLD is suitable for students who are interested in or considering a career in early years, or related sectors where knowledge of child development is relevant.

Students study the following topics:

Year 9

  • Unit 3: The Principles of Early Years Practice Coursework Four assignments

Year 10

  • Unit 1: Patterns of Child Development Written Exam: 1 hour 50 marks

Year 11

  • Unit 2: Promoting Children’s Development through Play Coursework Three assignments

Revision Resources

GCSE revision:

A-level revision:



Geography is our unique window on the world, developing a sense of awe and wonder in students that few other subjects can match.

Geography is a popular subject at Sponne, which covers a broad curriculum, enabling students to engage with, explore their place within, challenge perceptions of and develop a passion for the built and natural environment. Knowledge of different processes and concepts are contextualised with studies of places and landscapes from across the world. The vast range of skills that are used to communicate in Geography are well sought after by employers, and with the collection and use of spatial data on the rise, these skills will continue to be in demand. Teaching methods are equally as broad in the department, and is enriched by a wealth of digital resources as well as of out-of-classroom learning experiences from our locality to residential fieldwork trips for both GCSE and A Level courses. Geography is exclusively taught by four specialist teachers across four teaching rooms.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum draws explicitly on the knowledge, skills and experiences developed during Key Stage 1 and 2, and provides greater emphasis on Geography as a unique discipline, whilst building passion for the subject by discovering international locations and physical phenomena in more detail. Fieldwork and Enquiry Skills are built on-site with an investigation in each year. Students are taught in their mixed ability form groups through Year 7 and 8, three times a fortnight.

In Year 7, students study the following topics:

  • What is Geography?
  • Brazil
  • Glaciation
  • China
  • Weather & Climate

In Year 8, students study the following topics:

  • India
  • Changing Places
  • Tectonics
  • Africa
  • Middle East

More detail of the key Knowledge, Skills and Threshold Concepts covered in each topic is found on our Learning Journey.

Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 teaching delivers the AQA GCSE Geography specification. Students work through a variety of topics, delivering a balance between Physical and Human Geography, as well as building skills in applying geographical knowledge and skills. Fieldwork experiences across the course culminate in a residential trip in Year 11 to Dorset.

Paper 1 is entitled ‘Living with the Physical Environment’ and is assessed in a 1hr 30min exam, worth 88 marks and 35% of the overall grade. The content covered includes:

  • 1A: The Challenge of Natural Hazards
  • 1B: The Living World
  • 1C: Physical Landscapes in the UK

Paper 2 is entitled ‘Challenges in the Human Environment’ and is assessed in a 1hr 30min exam, worth 88 marks and 35% of the overall grade. The content covered includes:

  • 2A: Urban Issues and Challenges
  • 2B: The Changing Economic World
  • 2C: The Challenge of Resource Management

Paper 3 is entitled ‘Geographical Applications’ and is assessed in a 1hr 15min exam, worth 76 marks and 30% of the overall grade. The content covered includes:

  • 3A: Issue Evaluation
  • 3B: Unfamiliar Fieldwork
  • 3B: Familiar Fieldwork

More detail of the specific Knowledge, Skills and Threshold Concepts covered in each topic is found on our Learning Journey.

Key Stage 5

Our Key Stage 5 teaching delivers the AQA A Level Geography specification. Students dive deeper into a variety of topics, delivering a balance between Physical and Human Geography to be examined on, as well as continuing to build their Geographical Skills through the production of a piece of Non-Examined Assessment, which students tackle independently. The primary fieldwork experience is a 4-day residential to the Lake District, and is supplemented with other short experiences as well as external conferences and talks.

Paper 1 is entitled ‘Physical Geography’ and is assessed in a 2hr 30min exam, worth 120 marks and 40% of the overall grade. The content covered includes:

  • 1A: Water and Carbon Cycles
  • 1B: Glacial Systems and Landscapes
  • 1C: Hazards

Paper 2 is entitled ‘Human Geography’ and is assessed in a 2hr 30min exam, worth 120 marks and 40% of the overall grade. The content covered includes:

  • 2A: Global Systems and Global Governance
  • 2B: Changing Places
  • 2C: Contemporary Urban Environments

The third component is a Non-Examined Assessment worth 20% of the final grade. This is composed by one 3-4,000 word coursework report in the form of an Independent Investigation. Students have to plan their own investigation, that they can then carry out, collecting primary data, then displaying and analysing their data, before concluding and evaluating their work. This provides the ultimate opportunity for students to prove themselves as Independent Geographers, and practice skills that are essential to higher education and Post-18 options.

More detail of the specific Knowledge, Skills and Threshold Concepts covered in each topic is found on our Learning Journey.



At Sponne all students study History in Years 7 and 8. History is a very popular option subject and most students currently opt to study GCSE History with many continuing to A Level. History gives students the opportunity to discover and debate a range of interesting topics from the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world. The study of History encourages students to ask questions of the world and to analyse and evaluate evidence from the past.

Key Stage 3 History (Year 7 and Year 8) 

Year 7 Topics: Medieval Britain 1066-1485, The Tudors 1485-1603, The Stuarts 1603-1715

Year 8 topics: Changes in Britain 1750-1900, Slavery to Civil Rights, The First World War. The Second World War and beyond

Some of the issues we will explore include:

  • Why were castles built?
  • What were the consequences of the Black Death?
  • Why did Henry VIII break away from the Catholic Church?
  • Why was Charles I executed?
  • Was Oliver Cromwell a hero or a villain?
  • What was life like in a cotton mill?
  • What was the Atlantic Slave Trade?
  • What was the US Civil Rights movement?
  • What caused the First World War?
  • What was life like in the trenches?
  • Why did the Nazis come to power in Germany?
  • What was life like in Britain during the Second World War?
  • Was America right to drop atomic bombs on Japan?

GCSE History (Years 9, 10 and 11)

GCSE History Exam board: Edexcel

At GCSE students study:

  • Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88
  • Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present with Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime and policing
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
  • Superpower relations and the Cold War 1941-91

All units are examined at the end of Year 11 in three separate exams.

In Year 9 we study Early Elizabethan England and begin our work on Crime and Punishment through Time. The Crime and Punishment unit is completed in Year 10 with an investigation into crime and policing in Whitechapel (including the infamous Jack the Ripper murders) and we finish Year 10 with a study of Weimar and Nazi Germany from 1918 to 1939. In Year 11 we complete our GCSE by looking at Superpower relations and the Cold War from 1941 to 1991 and allowing time to revise all units in the build up to the summer exams. 

A Level History (Years 12 and 13)

A Level History Exam board: Edexcel

Paper 1: Germany and West Germany, 1918–89 

This unit includes a study in breadth with historical interpretations. The exam is 2 hour 15 minutes long and includes two essays and a further essay question based on interpretations. It is worth 60 marks. (30% of A Level) 

Paper 2:  The rise and fall of fascism in Italy, c1911–46

This is a study in depth.  The exam is 1 hour 30 minutes with one source based question and one depth essay. (20% of A Level) 

Paper 3: The British Experience of warfare, c1790-1918

This is a study in breadth and depth. The exam is 2 hours 15 minutes long and contains three essay questions: one on source analysis, one on breadth and one on depth. (30% of A Level)

Coursework: Causes of the First World War-interpretations.

20% of A level




Personal, Social, Health, Education (PSHE) is part of the Humanities Faculty and is taught to all students, in mixed ability groups, once a fortnight. PSHE lessons are taught mainly by PSHE specialists supported by other members of the Humanities faculty. The Tutorial Programme delivered by tutors also supports the delivery of the PSHE curriculum. The PSHE curriculum includes Careers and Financial Education and delivery is supported by external providers, organisations such as the School Nurse Team and local employers.

The content of the curriculum is designed to support students in their personal development and to reflect what it is like growing up in modern Britain and the curriculum meets the Statutory Requirements for ‘Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education’. It also supports the school’s commitment to SMSC, British Values and Wellbeing and therefore is reviewed regularly to ensure it meets the needs of the students. We aim to engage and inspire our students to be passionate about the world in which they live and inquisitive about their place within it. 

Students learn to be effective problem-solvers and risk-managers and are encouraged to question, think, and reflect, not to pre-judge; to be confident in their opinions and not to be afraid to have their opinion challenged by others.

More details about Careers can be found here

The current Programme of Study for PSHE (2023/24) is as follows:

PSHE Lessons

Year 7 

  • Unit 1: Relationships Sex Education - Building healthy relationships, including anti-bullying
  • Unit 2: RSE/Health Education - Growing up - puberty, personal hygiene & sleep
  • Unit 3: Health/Drugs Education - Anti-smoking/vaping project
  • Unit 4: Careers Education - Growing Careers for a Positive Change 

Year 8

  • Unit 1: Drugs Education - Inhalants & Edibles
  • Unit 2: Careers Education - Making Choices
  • Unit 3: Health Education - Healthy Lifestyles
  • Unit 4: Relationships Sex Education - Unhealthy Relationships

Year 9

  • Unit 1: Citizenship Education - British Politics
  • Unit 2: Relationships Sex Education- Real Love Rocks
  • Unit 3: Citizenship Education - Gangs, knives & county lines

Year 10

  • Unit 1: Relationships Sex Education - Healthy Sexual life
  • Unit 2: Careers Education - Personal Career Development
  • Unit 3: Drug Education - Understanding Drugs & the Law
  • Unit 4: Internet Safety & Harms/Financial Education - Being a Savvy Consumer
  • Unit 5: Relationships Sex Education - Unhealthy Relationships

Year 11

  • Unit 1: Careers Education - Next Steps
  • Unit 2: Health Education - Alcohol & Mental Health
  • Unit 3: Relationships Sex Education - Reproductive Health
  • Unit 4: Relationships Sex Education - Relationship Issues

Year 12

  • Unit 1: Citizenship Education - Being a Safe Driver
  • Unit 2: Relationships Sex Education - Healthy Relationships
  • Unit 3 : Careers Education - Planning for the Future

Year 13

  • Unit 1: Financial Education - Finance for Life
  • Unit 2: Citizenship Education - Terrorism & Extremism
  • Unit 3: Drug/Health Education - Health & Wellbeing
  • Unit 4: Citizenship Education - the Importance of Voting

Tutorial Programme

Year 7

  • Unit 1: Relationships Sex Education  - How to be successful
  • Unit 2: Health Education - Basic First Aid & Prevention of Infection
  • Unit 3: Careers Education - Introduction to Unifrog
  • Unit 4: Relationships Sex Education - Respecting Differences
  • Unit 5: Internet Safety & Harms - the basics

Year 8

  • Unit 1: Relationships Sex Education - Families
  • Unit 2: Internet Safety & Harms - BBFC: Choosing what to watch
  • Unit 3: Careers Education - Exploring possibilities
  • Unit 4: Health Education - Healthy Eating
  • Unit 5: Health Education - Immunisation and Vaccinations
  • Unit 6: Internet Safety & Harms/Financial Education - Fraud Awareness

Year 9

  • Unit 1: Study Skills
  • Unit 2: Internet Safety & Harms - Cyber.Fix
  • Unit 3: Drug Education - Alcohol awareness
  • Unit 4: Health Education - CPR & Defibrillators
  • Unit 5: Careers Education - Finding my path
  • Unit 6: Relationships Sex Education - Dealing with conflict

Year 10

  • Unit 1: Metacognition and revision techniques
  • Unit 2: Careers Education - Preparing for Work Experience
  • Unit 3: Internet Safety & Harms - Your Rights to Your Information
  • Unit 4: Health Education - Blood & Organ Donation
  • Unit 5: Careers Education - Health & Safety at work

Year 11

  • Unit 1: Careers Education - Preparing for Change
  • Unit 2: Study Skills/Revision techniques
  • Unit 3: Relationships Sex Education - Parenting
  • Unit 4: Health Education - Mental Health Awareness

Year 12

  • Unit 1: Study Skills
  • Unit 2: Health Education - Life Skills
  • Unit 3: Revision Skills

Year 13

  • Unit 1: Careers Education - Planning for UCAS
  • Unit 2: Health Education - Wellbeing
  • Unit 3: Citizenship/Financial Education - Real Life

British Values

According DfE, ‘fundamental British values’ comprise:

  • Democracy - A culture built upon freedom and equality, where everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  • The rule of law - The need for rules to make a happy, safe and secure environment to live and work.
  • Individual liberty - Protection of your rights and the rights of others around you.
  • Mutual respect & tolerance of different faiths and beliefs - Understanding that we all don’t share the same beliefs and values. Respecting those values, ideas and beliefs of others whilst not imposing our own onto them.

The PSHE curriculum aims to develop students understanding of these values:



Rule of Law

Individual Liberty

Mutual Respect

Year 7 - PSHE

Year 7 - Tutor

All units

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Unit 3

Unit 4

Unit 1, 3, 4

Unit 4

Unit 1, 4

Unit 1, 2, 4

Year 8 - PSHE

Year 8 - Tutor

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Unit 1, 4

Unit 2, 5

Unit 1, 2

Unit 2

Unit 1, 3, 4

Unit 1, 4, 5

Year 9 - PSHE

Year 9 - Tutor

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Unit 2, 3, 5

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Unit 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Year 10 - PSHE

Year 10 - Tutor

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Unit 2, 3, 4, 5

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Unit 1, 3

Unit 3, 4, 5

Year 11 - PSHE

Year 11 - Tutor

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Unit 2, 3, 4

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Year 12 - PSHE

Year 12 - Tutor

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Year 13 - PSHE

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Unit 2

Religious Education

Religious Education

Religious Education is part of the Humanities Faculty and is taught to all students in Key stages 3 and 4. RE lessons are taught mainly by RE specialists supported by other members of the Humanities faculty. Pupils in key stage three will participate in one lesson a week, followed by one lesson a fortnight in key stage 4. Religious Education is also offered as a GCSE and A Level Philosophy is available as an option for 6th form students. 

In Religious Education (RE), pupils enter into a rich discourse about the religious and non-religious traditions that have shaped Great Britain and the world. RE at Sponne enables pupils to take their place within a diverse multi-religious and multi-secular society. RE is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It affords pupils both the opportunity to see the religion and non-religion in the world, and the opportunity to make sense of their own place in that world.

In RE we aim to develop three types of knowledge  

  • Firstly, ‘substantive’ knowledge: knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions.
  • Secondly, ‘ways of knowing’: pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion.
  • Thirdly, ‘personal knowledge’: pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions they study.

The RE department also offers an extra curriculum opportunity for years 8 and 9 in the form of a Philosophy Club. Pupils who choose to participate could achieve an extra qualification in Philosophy awarded by the New College of the Humanities.

The current Programme of Study for Religious Education  (2021/22) is as follows:

RE curriculum - learning journey


Year 7 

Unit 1: Christianity

Unit 2: Judaism 

Unit 3: Hinduism 

Year 8

Unit 1: Philosophy

Unit 2: Islam

Unit 3: Buddhism

Year 9

Unit 1: Concept of God

Unit 2: Animal ethics

Unit 3: Crime and punishment

Year 10

Unit 1: Abortion

Unit 2: War

Unit 3: Key thinkers

Year 11

Unit1:  Philosophy of the mind

Unit 2: Ethics 

Year 12

Unit 1: Epistemology 

Unit 2: Moral philosophy

Year 13

Unit 1: Metaphysics of God

Unit 2: Metaphysics of mind




At Sponne we have very high expectations of our pupils in maths, ensuring that they receive high quality teaching and learning and understand the importance of their education in mathematics. We enforce these high expectations consistently, which leads to outstanding results being achieved by the pupils.
We aim to prepare pupils for adult life with the mathematical skills they will require in their everyday lives as well as in the workplace. In addition to this, we aim to encourage pupils to see the intrigue and beauty that surrounds mathematics and the pleasure that can be achieved by exploring the world around us from a mathematical perspective.

When pupils join us in year 7 the large majority of them are taught in mixed ability groups, encouraging team work and peer support. However, we do also have a group in both year halves for the highest achieving pupils and a smaller group for those that need that extra support.
We now follow the year 7 White Rose Scheme of Learning to help with continuity and confidence for our pupils as they start their Secondary school maths journey. In year 7 there is time to recap on work covered during KS2 as well as pushing on and developing into the KS3 curriculum. This format also carries on into year 8.
We measure progress throughout the year in lessons, but more formally through three summary assessments during the school year. These give great opportunities for feedback, and help pupils understand their strengths and potential areas to develop further.

In year 9 pupils are set based on ability in their two year halves, whereas once they get into year 10, the whole year group is put together and set into their main GCSE groups that the large majority of pupils will stay in for both year 10 and year 11. We currently use OCR for the foundation tier of entry and Edexcel for the higher tier, which has worked very well over the last few years in ensuring we achieve the best possible outcomes. Pupils are assessed regularly throughout the year and the data is monitored closely to ensure all pupils are making the expected progress and where they aren’t, early intervention can be put in place.

At A level we offer both Mathematics and Further Mathematics which are popular choices amongst the pupils at Sponne. In the Mathematics A level, pupils have the opportunity to study both Pure mathematics and Applied mathematics, which is a combination of Statistics and Mechanics. In the Further Mathematics A-level students can study a variety of modules including Modelling with Algorithms, Further Mechanics and Statistics and Further Pure mathematics.
We also offer the AQA Certificate: Level 3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths). This is a relatively new qualification, equivalent to an AS level, and is designed for students who have achieved a grade 5 or above at GCSE. It helps to develop students’ mathematical skills and supports courses such as A-level Psychology, Sciences and Geography, as well as technical and vocational qualifications.
Pupils are again monitored closely and are often invited along to extra sessions at lunchtime or after school to help support them further.

The maths department work hard to ensure students become confident, well-rounded mathematicians, teaching them to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts and developing problem solving skills. To help with this, we also provide a number of extra-curricular opportunities for students including the Junior and Senior Team Maths Challenge, the UKMT Individual Maths Challenges and our annual visit to the Maths Inspiration lectures and Big Bang event. We also offer a trip to Bletchley Park at the end of year 8 to pupils who all participate in our code breaking project.
Pupils at Sponne receive a high standard of mathematics education and keep on contributing every year to our continued success.



PE Faculty Page

The intent of the Physical Education faculty is for every student to gain a lifelong commitment to physical activity. Consequently the faculty promotes a broad curriculum and wide ranging opportunities so that all can be inspired to value physical, social and mental well being both now and in thefuture.

We offer opportunities to every Sponne pupil, by providing a wide variety of sports covered in the curriculum and through the enhancement programme. Boys and girls both enjoy football and rugby, hockey, netball, tennis, athletics, rounders, cricket, badminton, basketball, fitness, outdoor education and trampolining. All of these are complemented by sports delivered in conjunction with outside agencies.

The faculty has enjoyed great success in extra-curricular activities, with teams regularly making (and often winning) county finals. Higher level successes have included quarter-finals in the National Football Cup, Midland Athletics finalists in three age groups National schools netball finalists and National u16 boys netball champions.Matches and practices take place on weekday lunchtimes and evenings.

Our successful SSCO programme, and the use of our leadership students, has enhanced our links with community clubs and local primaries and we build upon this with a range of new approaches in teaching and learning that have contributed to raising standards in Physical Education. GCSE PE and BTEC sport results are considerably above national averages and we have a successful ‘A’ level course.

Curriculum Overview

Skills & Knowledge



At Sponne we have an enthusiastic, forward thinking faculty with a focus on active learning. Staff have high expectations of themselves, each other and the students.

The faculty is housed in the science or ‘S’ block which has nine laboratories. We have 13 teaching staff, a dedicated Learning Facilitator, a progress coordinator and 3 skilled technicians.

Our students will experience a curriculum that is rich in practical activity and opportunities for scientific investigation to enhance the theory which is taught by subject specialists.

We want students to excel in science, to be enthused by what they are learning so that they are motivated. We would like them to interact and collaborate in the classroom as well as to being reflective and continually review their science learning.

We endeavour to inspire our students and hope that they will develop a desire for lifelong scientific learning allowing them to develop understanding to explain real life, natural occurrences and learn how scientific ideas contribute to developments in technology. We want to help equip them with the information and tools needed to make the correct decisions in real situations and encourage enquiry and investigation of scientific ideas.

Key Stage 3

Science is taught in mixed ability groups in line with the National Curriculum covering a range of topics from Biology Chemistry and Physics. In both years 7 and 8 there are 12 units of work (4 per science specialism). Each unit if formally assessed. At the end of the Key Stage exam contributes towards setting at GCSE.

Year 7 Topics
• Cells Tissues and Organs • Mixtures and Separations • Energy
• Sexual Reproduction • Acids and Alkalis • Current electricity
• Muscles and Bones • The Particle Model • Forces
• Ecosystems • Atoms, elements and molecules • Sound
Year 8 Topics
• Food and Nutrition • Combustion • Fluids
• Plants and their reproduction • The Periodic Table • Light
• Breathing and Respiration • Metals and their Uses • Energy Transfers
• Unicellular organisms • Rocks • Earth and Space

Key Stage 4

In science we follow the Pearson Edexcel Combined Science 1-9 and Separate Sciences specifications at GCSE. All GCSE courses are now terminally assessed and so examinations are taken at the end of Year 11. There are 2 exam papers in each of biology, chemistry and physics.

The Combined Course Examined Content is as follows:-

Biology Paper 1Biology Paper 2

Topic 1 – Overarching concepts in biology,

Topic 2 – Cells and control,

Topic 3 – Genetics,

Topic 4 – Natural selection & genetic modification,

Topic 5 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Topic 1 – Overarching concepts in biology,

Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions,

Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control & homeostasis,

Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals,

Topic 9 – Health, disease & medicines

Chemistry Paper 1Chemistry Paper 2

Topic 0 – Formulae, equations and hazards,

Topic 1 – Overarching concepts in chemistry: Topic 2 -

States of matter,

Topic 3 – Separating and purifying substances

Topic 4 – Acids

Topic 5 – Obtaining and using metals

Topic 6 – Electrolytic processes

Topic 7 – Reversible reactions and equilibria

Topic 0 – Formulae, equations and hazards,

Topic 1 – Overarching concepts in chemistry:

Topic 12 – Groups 1, 7 and 0

Topic 13 – Rates of reaction

Topic 14 – Fuels

Topic 15 – Heat energy changes in chemical reactions

Physics Paper 1Physics Paper 2

Topic 1 – Overarching concepts in physics:

Topic 2 – Waves

Topic 3 – Light & the electromagnetic spectrum

Topic 4 – Particle model – 1

Topic 5 – Radioactivity

Topic 6 – Astronomy

Topic 1 – Overarching concepts in physics:

Topic 7 – Energy - Forces doing work

Topic 8 – Forces and their effects

Topic 9 – Electricity and circuits

Topic 11 – Magnetism and the motor effect

Topic 13 – Particle model – 2

Topic 14 – Forces and matter

Sixth Form

We offer A Level Biology (AQA), Chemistry (Salters’ OCR B) and Physics (OCR A) as well as an BTEC Science course for those that wish a more vocational entry to sciences. Science subjects are very popular at sixth form and results are outstanding.

Extra Activities

We are a Music and Science Academy and we do offer additional enrichment opportunities.

KS3 Science Club runs every fortnight on a Thursday and Friday lunchtime where students have the chance to take part in different science investigations.

As a supportive faculty and there are numerous regular and frequent interventions for all Key Stages, that take place to support and guide our students.

We also present exciting assemblies during Science Week and run a career focussed sixth form science fayre for Yr12 scientists to give some post-16 hands on science opportunities.

Learning Support

Learning Support

The Learning Support Faculty

At Sponne we are committed to providing an inclusive learning experience for all our students so that they all can make the best possible progress. The Learning Support Faculty works to ensure teachers are kept well informed about the needs of the young people they are teaching. This enables all teaching staff to take full responsibility for planning a curriculum that is accessible to all.  The Learning Support Faculty is led by Mrs Yvonne Farrell, the SENCo. Students from across the ability range may need support at different stages during their time at Sponne.  Difficulties may include literacy, numeracy, study skills, communication needs or personal organisation. Students may also experience a range of medical conditions or personal circumstances that require additional support. Support is provided in a variety of ways to ensure the individual student’s needs are met.


  • We have a dedicated SEN classroom where KS3 students with literacy difficulties are taught in small groups and where curriculum support is offered to KS4 SEN students.
  • We have a small team of Learning Facilitators who work alongside students and teachers in some lessons and during registration time, ensuring students achieve their best.
  • Homework Club is run over three lunch times and additionally three after school sessions each week where students can come and have support to complete tasks and use computers.
  • Support for students who require a quieter environment at busy times to eat their lunch and socialise is provided by the school’s Lead Learning Facilitator for Social Communication Needs, who also individually mentors some of our students who have Autistic Spectrum Difficulties.
  • For identified students, careful assessments are undertaken to establish if they require exam access arrangements and a thorough history of need is collated.

If you would like to discuss your child’s learning needs please contact Mrs Farrell, the SENCO.

Contact SENCO: Yvonne Farrell -

Inclusion Support

Young people can be faced with different problems and pressures as they get older. The issues they face may not be the same as those parents faced at their age. We can’t pretend these things are not happening and neither can they. We need to keep communication open about the risks they may be taking and the pressure they may feel under. By working together we can help young people to focus on their future goals, stay positive and keep on track to make the most of their future. We recognise that students may need additional support to help their emotional well-being, behaviour and learning. Inclusion Support encompasses provision for behaviour/emotional support as well as dedicated learning support which are based in The House’. It also includes internal isolation, based in H3.

Jacqui Goodall - Inclusion Support Manager

The primary objective of the Inclusion Team is to ensure each student gets a consistent and positive experience at whatever stage of their progression by promoting positive behaviour, supporting them with their education along with their emotional wellbeing.

We support students to learn the skills that allow them to take control of their own behaviour by using more appropriate ways of managing, moderating and expressing their emotions and resolving conflict. We provide various individual support and group sessions to students.

When students have good social and emotional skills they are more likely to:

  • Be effective and successful learners
  • Manage strong feelings such as frustration, anger and anxiety


  • Teaching and support programmes tailored to the needs of students with behavioural and emotional needs
  • Isolation – Students removed to work in isolation (H3)
  • Withdrawal – Students withdrawn from lessons for behaviour support and/or learning support
  • Reintegration – Students supported on gradual return to lessons to help them with their emotional/behavioural needs
  • Reinforce and support the skills and systems of inclusion and behaviour management throughout school

We work closely with the Senior Management Team, The Parent Support Advisor, Progress and Faculty Learning Leaders to ensure that students get the support they need to make their time at Sponne successful.

Contact Details for Inclusion Support are; Mrs Goodall or telephone 01327 350284 ext 234

Information Guides



Contact Us

Sponne School,
Brackley Road, Towcester,
NN12 6DJ

Tel: 01327 350284

Sponne School
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