The Curriculum at Halliford is designed not only to lead pupils step by step towards university entrance but also to excite their interest and to encourage the development of independent learning skills.

    Years 7 - 9

    In the early years the curriculum is broadly based with an emphasis on introducing pupils to as wide a range of subjects as possible as well as on helping them acquire a sound foundation of the basic skills that they will need to make effective progress as they move up through the School. All pupils study the following subjects: English, Mathematics, French and/or German or Spanish, Latin/Classical Civilisation, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Art, Drama, Music, Design and Technology, Computing Science, Religious Studies and Physical Education.

    Year 7 Curriculum please click here.

    Year 8 Curriculum please click here.

    Year 9 Curriculum please click here.

    Years 10 - 11 (GCSE)

    In the Summer of Year 9 pupils select their GCSE options for Years 10 and 11. There is a compulsory core of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, a Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish), the Sciences (the three separate sciences or Core and additional). In addition, pupils choose a further three optional subjects from amongst the following: a second Modern Foreign Language, Latin, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Classical Civilisation, Art, Drama, Music, Sports Science, Computing Science, Business Studies and Design Technology (either Resistant Materials or Graphic Products). All pupils also receive instruction in study skills, careers, citizenship and religious education. Please see the GCSE Course Guide for more information.

    Year 10 Curriculum please click here.

    Year 11 Curriculum please click here.

    The Sixth Form

    The majority of pupils are expected to take four subjects at AS level with three of them being taken on to A2 level in the Upper Sixth Form. Occasionally some pupils take on more subjects.

    The following subjects are available at A and AS level: Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Design and Technology (Resistant Materials, Product Design), Economics, French, Geography, German, Politics, Psychology History, Computing Science, Latin, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Music Technology, Religious Studies, Physical Education, Physics, Spanish and Theatre Studies. Please see the Sixth Form Course Guide and A Level Course Specifications for more information about the courses available. 

    In addition to their principal subjects all pupils are given the opportunity to complete an Extended Project during their time in the Sixth Form which is equivalent to an additional AS level.

    Year 12 Curriculum please click here.

    Year 13 Curriculum please click here.

    Baseline Testing

    Pupils are tested in English Language, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning upon applying to join Halliford. This allows for their subsequent progress to be monitored as well as the relative progress of individual subject departments to be assessed.

    Pupils are again tested in Years 9 and 12 using MidYIS and Alis tests developed by the Centre of Evaluation and Monitoring. Whilst the performance indicators achieved on these occassions are just one indicator, they do give useful objective data against which to assess a pupil's performance.

    Heads of Department use the data to analyse the performance of their departments while the Director of Studies conducts a whole school analysis. The results of these analyses are used to inform the academic development plans of both the School as a whole and of individual departments as well as to inform the targets set and assistance given to individual pupils.

    Monitoring Progress

    The academic ethos of Halliford is based on the idea that high standards and improvements in pupil performances are more likely to be achieved within an environment that is nurturing, encouraging and supportive while at the same time setting challenges. The able and independent will relish the challenges while aware that support is available when they run into difficulty. The less able and less independnet, and/or those who require Learning Support, make better progress and gain in confidence with the active assistance of the staff. To ensure that the challenges and the support are accurately targeted, an effective system for monitoring and assessing pupil progress is in place. To ensure pupils respond positively to the teaching they receive they are given praise and encouragement for the effort and progress that they make at whatever academic level they are operating. This may range from encouraging remarks and praise given by a subject teacher to public acknowledgement of their success.

    Monitoring Pupil Progress

    The School uses five methods for monitoring pupil progress: baseline testing; regular teacher assessment and marking; target setting for pupils; reports cards to focus on particular areas of performance and summative termly reports.

    Form Tutor

    The Form Tutor has a central role to play in making the monitoring system work effectively as they are the central storehouse for information on a particular pupil. They are best placed to identify patterns and to pick up whether the pupils need assistance or not.

    Target Setting

    Target setting is designed to encourage pupil progress by giving each pupil realistic achievable targets to work towards. Subject targets are set by individual subject teachers initially based upon what they have learnt about their pupils but from Year 9 the targets are decided in conjunction with the indicators gained from the MidYIS and Alis tests.

    Assessment - Grade Reviews

    Grades reviews are staff meetings conducted once or twice a term depending upon parents' evenings. The reviews have two main purposes: firstly, to provide a summative assessment of the effort and achievement of individual pupils; secondly, to provide a whole staff forum where the progress made by pupils can be discussed, their difficulties identified and action plans agreed when necessary.

    Encouraging Progress

    Pupil progress is encouraged and rewarded both formally and informally at Halliford. Informal encouragement will vary from teacher to teacher and situation to situation, but is likely to include positive comments on written work, an encouraging note in the work diary and a friendly conversation. In addition to the active use of assessment for learning, formal encouragement and reward is based on a system of commendations, benes and merits designed to reward and encourage effort and improvement at every level of achievement. The fact that there are far more pages in the homework diary for the earning of merits than those for censures, reflects the nurturing and encouraging ethos of the School.

    Assessment for Learning

    Assessment for learning is a central part of the whole school marking policy but if used properly it also plays a significant part in encouraging pupil progress. Effort is always encouraged and positive advice is given, especially when a pupil is clearly struggling with a particular subject or topic.


    Merits are awarded to encourage and reward both positive behaviour as well as academic achievement. For academic achievement they are usually given for taking a more positive approach to study or for the emergence of improved efforts.


    Benes are awarded to pupils when they have produced a particularly splendid piece of work. Those awarded a Bene receive a signed certificate from the Headmaster which is presented in a whole School assembly. A Bene also counts as four merits towards the inter-house merit shield. Benes are intended to enable teachers to reward pupils, of whatever level of ability, who produce a piece of work which is a significant improvement on what has gone before. They are also intended to provide teachers with a means of encouraging those whose efforts are somewhat uneven and prevent them from gaining commendations. Pupils who gather six or more Benes receive a prize at Speech Day.


    Commendations are awarded at three levels at the regular staff grades reviews. Their award is based on the effort grades achieved by pupils at the reviews. The names of those awarded commendations are read out in a whole School assembly by the Deputy Headmaster. The Headmaster also writes congratulatory letters to all parents whose children have been commended.

    • Starred Commendations are awarded to pupils who gain mainly grade 1s for effort and no grade lower than a 2
    • Commendations are awarded to pupils whose effort grades are mainly 1s and 2s with no grade lower than a 3
    • Tutor's Commendations are awarded to encourage a member of the tutor group who has made a significant improvement but has just missed out on gaining a full commendation

    Speech Day Prizes

    Academic achievement and effort are recognised annually at Speech Day with the awarding of a variety of prizes.

    Sixth Form Scholarships

    A number of scholarships are available for those entering the Sixth Form from Year 11 who have made such a significant contribution to the School whether academically, in art, drama, music or sport that it deserves recognition and reward. Individuals must apply for a Scholorship and information can be found on the Admissions Section of the website.

    Learning Support


    An Ethos to Encourage......centred on providing a friendly, family-orientated, nurturing and supportive environment where all pupils are known as individuals and all are equally valued, supported and encouraged.

    Halliford School has proved to be forward-thinking in this ethos which reflects the new SEND Code of Practice (2014) and the Equality Act (2010).

    Through a commitment to quality teaching and learning provision: working together with parents/carers as well as their children and high expectations of what can be achieved, Halliford School provides a learning environment where all feel motivated.

    As a reflection of this ethos, we recognise that pupils across the ability range may require additional study support. We aim to ensure our pupils and teachers understand that individual learnig styles are to be embraced and accommodated.

    Quality First Teaching

    Quality First Teaching is universal at Halliford School. All teachers are expected to deliver a series of lessons which:

    • are well planned with differentiated outcomes
    • accommodate different learning styles
    • engage pupils and encourage involvement
    • demonstrate different levels of questioning
    • provide the opportunity for praise, constructive criticism and pupil feedback
    • encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning
    • allow measurement of progress and attainment

    In addition, teachers:

    • understand the individual child
    • communicate well with parents and carers
    • promote independent learning

    From within the whole School ethos of Quality First Teaching extends the platform on which we can build a Graduated Response to individual learning needs.