Curriculum Intent Our curriculum intent


Curriculum Intent

As a specialist Sport and Performing Arts Studio school, our aim is for every learner to be able to move seamlessly from LeAF Studio School into employment, professional performance or university, equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to purposefully engage in all of the challenges and opportunities they will experience.

Every student who is successful at gaining a place within either our Athlete Academy or Stage & Screen team has to balance dedicated, specialist training with a range of academic qualifications. Our key focus is on Dual Careers – we know that the vast majority of our students will need strong academic grades alongside their specialism qualifications as they progress through their careers.

With this in mind, at Key Stage Four (KS4) we offer the core GCSE subjects including Maths, English and Science as well as a range of Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages courses for all students. On top of this, students will also select from a range of options more relevant to their chosen specialism that are designed to best support their future career progression. Our expectations of academic lessons are the same as at any mainstream school – we expect all of our performers to be as committed to these as they are to their specialisms and the school has a continued focus on delivering quality first teaching and learning across the school.

At Key Stage Five (KS5), the vast majority of students will complete a triple BTEC in their specialisms but there is also the opportunity to study a double award alongside a relevant academic A-Level to support their chosen career. In addition to this, all students undertake additional Strength and Conditioning sessions to support their specialism training as well as undertaking a comprehensive Professional Development programme to prepare them for a future career within their chosen industry. For the Athlete Academy, we are the first secondary school in the country to be selected for the TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme which recognises an education institution’s commitment to dual career support for talented athletes who are in full time education and in March 2020 we were accepted onto the European Network of Sports Schools (ENOSS). We are the first school in the UK to be accredited. This enables us to provide greater links, research opportunities and exchanges with other schools around Europe that offer the same provision as LeAF Studio.

Curriculum Implementation – KS4

Students transition to LeAF Studio in Year 9 from across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. Our students study English, Maths & Science as core subjects along with four options. Two options are classed as English Baccalaureate (EBacc) options and two options are linked to their specialism.

Year 9 is used as a consolidation year to bridge the gap between the key skills taught in years 7 & 8 from the variety of schools and locations from which they have transitioned, this is designed to ensure the students have what they need in order to be better prepared for their GCSEs.

In years 9 and 10, our Students study English Literature, English Language, Maths and Double Science for 4 lessons each a week. Each EBacc option block has 2 lessons per week, each Specialism option block has 2 lessons per week and over 1 hour a week is allocated for Professional Development covering topics which make them a rounded individual such as British Values, Sexual Health, etc. To add to this, students have 5 lessons of technical training linked to their specialism per week.

In year 11, the curriculum model changes slightly by increasing the EBACC option blocks to 3 lessons per week by reducing technical training as well as having 1-2-1 support to assist students who are struggling. We also deliver a range of small group interventions to support students with both Maths and English in Year 11. The option subjects we offer are:


  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • BTEC Sport

EBacc option blocks:

  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Business
  • Spanish
  • Psychology
  • Film Studies

Curriculum Implementation – KS5

Both internal and external students transition into KS5 with a clear specialism in either sport or performing arts still with their main aim to be fully or part of their future career. Each student will study Level 3 BTEC in their specialism up to the 3 A Level equivalent. Should a student wish, there is an option to study the 2 A Level equivalent…A Level, 1 A Level equivalent vocational specialism course alongside 2 academic A Levels or 3 academic A Levels.

The subjects we offer are:

  • BTEC Sport
  • BTEC Performing Arts
  • BTEC Music Technology
  • BTEC Music Production

A Levels:

  • Biology
  • Business
  • English
  • Maths
  • Psychology
  • Film Studies
  • Core Maths
  • History

Further information about how we comply with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulation 2014 can be found in our Document Zone.

For more details on our Curriculum offer, please contact [email protected] or 01202 578886.