Curriculum Overview

We look to Support students by developing a strong set of core values; to Inspire students through an ambitious curriculum promoting academic excellence; and to enable students to Thrive by offering a tremendous range of personal development activities.”

Whole School Curriculum Intent

Malton School is a learning environment and community that aims to deliver a curriculum enabling each student to meet their full potential so that they are equipped and able to contribute positively to society. The curriculum aims to Support students in their personal development, Inspire and challenge students to raise their aspirations and demonstrate excellence in learning and achievement, such that they flourish and Thrive in school and as they move onward into the wider world.

This is underpinned by the promotion of a growth mind-set. Our learning environment and curriculum encourages students to maintain an open mind, a questioning outlook and to take risks in their learning.

The promotion of personal skills and character attributes is a hugely important part of our curriculum. The curriculum seeks to provide a significant range of opportunities to allow each student to find success, developing confidence and flourishing as a result.  Each leaver will have developed a broad portfolio evidencing skill and character development to sit alongside their qualifications, enhancing their future prospects.

The curriculum places the needs of each student as its heart. This is the starting point for curriculum development and decision-making. The school is respectful of national policy, but will, aim to prioritise the best interests of our young people over our standing in national league tables. This is why the school doesn’t just say that it has a “broad and balanced” curriculum, it has positively sustained the ability for students to choose four options subjects at GCSE in the face of other conflicting pressures on curriculum time. An excellent school, in our view, is one that has flourishing provision across the wider arts, humanities, sports and technology subjects and not just in the core of English, Maths, Science and Languages – important though they are.

A vital element that sits alongside our curriculum offer is strong, effective and independent careers advice and guidance. The school looks to benchmark its provision against the Gatsby standards.

The two aspects above inform our approach to the English Baccalaureate, which is that we promote it positively to our students and their parents, explaining the potential advantages for a young person in having this breadth of qualification at GCSE. We do not, however, insist that any student (or particular group of students) has to follow this route.

Our community is built upon mutual care and respect. Our curriculum promotes these attitudes throughout its delivery: recognising the importance of developing not only an awareness of social, moral, spiritual and cultural issues but also a range of confident communication skills.

The positive use of technology is embedded throughout the curriculum to enhance individual learning as far as possible. We recognise that the world is changing at a rapid pace, and society and the working environment will continue to change, with ever increasing access to information through the internet, and with the development of an increasingly global society. We aim, therefore, not only to equip but to advantage our students with confidence in their technological skills and abilities to contribute positively to a rapidly advancing society, both locally and in the wider world. We are an Apple Distinguished School and use technology to widen student experience and to facilitate delivery of the curriculum through innovative use of technology.


Malton School aims to develop a coherent curriculum that builds on young people’s experiences in the primary phase and that encourages and enables all young people to develop into successful, confident learners and positive members of society.

The curriculum aims to ensure that students:

  • achieve very high standards and make excellent progress according to their individual potential, regardless of gender, background and other elements of diversity or protected characteristics
  • adopt a growth mind-set, with an open mind and a questioning approach to their studies
  • develop the required skills and attributes to successfully access post-16 provision and then further and/or higher education if they so wish
  • develop excellent functional skills, including key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills
  • develop skills and interests outside of the traditional curriculum to further enrich their lives and learning
  • develop excellent skills for acquiring and using knowledge in a changing world including the acquisition of specialist knowledge to ensure they are able to access a wide range of specialisms.
  • develop a love of lifelong learning.


Malton School’s curriculum will:

  • broaden the mind, extending knowledge and developing personal skills
  • enable students of all abilities to fulfil their potential
  • lead to qualifications that are of value for entry to higher education and for future employment
  • fulfil statutory requirements
  • provide equal access for all students to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines, including Personal Development Activities which all students will undertake
  • prepare students to make informed and appropriate choices at the end of each Key Stage
  • ensure continuity and progression within the school and between Key Stages, increasing students’ choice during their school career
  • contain sufficient breadth of choice to allow students to follow their preferred learning route leading to potential for progression in any key area
  • help students to be proficient in language and numeracy skills
  • develop student leadership, character and communication skills
  • provide a broad understanding of the Christian faith in the context of other faiths.
  • help students develop personal moral values, respect for religious values and tolerance of different races, beliefs and ways of life, including an understanding of and an appreciation of the wider world
  • promote British values
  • maintain a key stage 4 curriculum which meets the needs of students, parents and wider society.

Options choices

We are committed to a three year Key Stage 3 course at Malton School, however students are able to make limited options choices at the end of year 8. The students opt for three subjects chosen from Art, Design Technology, Drama, Food Technology and Music to carry forward into year 9. This allows our students to follow their interests in their chosen areas and achieves increased time for study in the other subjects across the curriculum.

In Year 9 students opt for four options outside of the core curriculum to study at Key Stage 4.

In Year 12 students will usually study three subjects at A level or equivalent with the option of additional qualifications, for example an Extended Project. Students who wish to do so may opt for more than three subjects by agreement with the school.

You can read our full Curriculum Policy here.  For more detail on our curriculum intent see the tabs below.

developing the whole individual

Our curriculum has been developed around the belief that we are here to serve our students and the community in striving to develop the individuals in our care to their maximum potential. We aim to Nurture the Development of the Whole Individual. This relates to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shown below which is well regarded as a useful model that underpins the needs of the individual.

We have identified Golden Threads that underpin our Curriculum and our provision at Malton School and lead to Nurturing the Development of the Whole Individual. These appear in our motto. Thread 1 – “Support” relating to the Physical and Security levels, Thread 2 – “Inspire” relating to the social level, and Thread 3 – “Thrive” relating to the Ego and Self-actualisation levels. As gaps in provision are identified or opportunities for improvement arise, we seek to enhance our curriculum with their inclusion. For example the Personal Development Activities programme seeks to encourage and facilitate all students in the participation in extra-curricular activities, a need that is magnified by our rural context and the geographical spread of our community. This develops the students in many ways, and is based upon developing skills related to the CBI list of desired skills, equipping our students for life beyond school both in work and in the wider community.

maslow’s hierarchy of need explained

These three threads of the curriculum (Support, Inspire, Thrive) are fed by 15 key strands. By linking these to the 5 key areas of Maslow’s hierarchy, beginning with the physical needs at the base of the pyramid, we aim to set up students to be able to learn and develop as individuals who will be equipped to live fulfilling lives and usefully contribute to society.


The key contributors to the Physical level are based around the pastoral system:

  • A team of non-teaching pastoral staff with each Year Group having their own dedicated Head of Year
  • The tutor system, with planned activities to develop students whilst offering a daily point of contact with their tutor
  • Themed and planned assemblies that contribute to Wider World teaching and respond to student feedback and recognised needs of the student body
  • A positive conduct system that actively seeks to reward good behaviour and attitudes and to correct negative ones, ensuring that students feel safe and secure.

In addition our work in the Wellbeing area aims to contribute further to this, improving students’ psychological safety, with student voice playing a significant part in the development of the work and with use of innovative web-based resources allowing all students to access information and strategies to maintain and improve their emotional wellbeing and resilience.


The Social level is targeted through the above vehicles and additionally our Red Award work which actively promotes ‘acceptance without exception’ and the Wider World work which encourages students to learn about and value diversity, both within their own community and in the larger global community. Additionally, the Personal Development Activities (PDA) contribute to this through the use of activities that bring together different groups of students from different year groups and encourage cooperation and friendship between the age groups.


The Esteem needs are targeted through the traditional curriculum in which the reporting system recognises the achievements of the students and the positive use of language by staff aims to encourage students to believe in themselves.  Through PDA, Growth Mindset work, our options process that allows a certain amount of individual choice in Year 8 and much more choice at the end of Year 9, we work hard to offer a good range of choices for the students such that they are able to follow the pathway of their choosing.

The iPad for Learning scheme aims to contribute to the esteem needs as students are able to access different resources to suit their needs and are able to achieve and present work in a varied number of ways and develop their independent learning skills. The Red Award, Wellbeing and Wider World work seek to ensure that all students have a good sense of self-esteem, and the positive conduct system and the reporting system, including Celebration Evenings, commendation awards and housepoint awards seek to capture the students achieving well and to recognise their accomplishments.

Self Actualisation

The Self Actualisation Level is a culmination of the above strategies, and the provision of a wide range of opportunities for performance (school teams, plays, concerts etc) and for leadership (sports, digital leaders, key stage leaders) is a distinctive feature of the Curriculum and overall provision.

It is the combination of these contributing fibres that make the Malton School threads unique.

the golden threads

These different elements of our Curriculum contribute to the Golden Threads as follows.

It can be seen that the balance between the three threads is spread fairly evenly.

Future areas for the further development of the Curriculum could include further development of bridging courses that would fit between the Key Stage 4 curriculum and the largely academic Key Stage 5 curriculum currently on offer. We have a small selection of courses that cover this ground, with vocational courses in Sport, Food Technology, IT, Business Studies and Health and Social Care, though these are all level 3 qualifications. We introduced Performing Arts as a vocational qualification in 2020-21. On occasion a small number of students undertake study of Functional Skills English and Maths. In addition the development of web-based courses in Years 12 and 13 is another area for development.


in class learning

A large element of the Curriculum is clearly made up of the classroom teaching element. This may be further broken down into fibres that lead to successful outcomes for students as follows

  1. Contextualised curriculum and teaching and learning experiences and learning in school linked with learning at home and in the community -the curriculum is often delivered in a contextualised manner, for example, learning in Geography looks at local issues.
  2. Creating curriculum experiences that involve learners actively in identifying and building on their existing knowledge, understandings and skills – this is a common approach employed in lessons
  3. Structured group work for interdependence by teaching effective group talk skills and planning tasks that use and reinforce such skills – an area potentially for greater development
  4. Developing a less compartmentalised approach to the curriculum to promote development of concepts that are used across the curriculum – for example where departments work together to approach learning in the same manner: PE and Science do this, as do Geography and History. The development of the Faculty structure further promotes this work. Analysis of the assessment objectives at Key Stage 4 in the different subjects shows that there are clear links between the subjects and this may be an area for further future development.

Whilst we recognise that all subject areas hit all of these criteria over the course of teaching, from the subject assessment objectives it can be seen that the subjects directly target certain criteria as below:

In addition, Citizenship contributes to the ‘Analysis and Evaluation’ and ‘Present personal and meaningful response’ elements.

  1. Planning for challenging all pupils – a key area of work with differentiation and planning for all students playing an important role in the delivery of lessons, starting from the point that teachers know the students and work with them accordingly through the lessons.
  2. Aligning curriculum and professional development (CPL) to build capacity and secure excellence in subject knowledge – the CPL aims of the school work towards this with staff encouraged to undertake training relating to their specific subject knowledge.
  3. Skills development – some subject specific but others eg literacy, numeracy, presentation skills, etc. are developed within the academic curriculum.



The golden threads of the Malton School curriculum relate to nurturing the development of the whole individual. Our whole approach is geared towards maximising the potential of every student in our care. These threads are woven from fibres that work to produce a strong and unique curriculum as summarised below.

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