Abbey College, Abbey Road, Hollow Lane, Ramsey Cambridgeshire PE26 1DG


Whole School Learning Journey


Personal Development

The Abbey College Spirit, our character development programme underpins the whole of our school life.  Students work towards our three school virtues: Humility, Intuition and Passion.  Excellence in these virtues will equip our students with the skills and characteristics that they need to thrive in all areas of life, including their relationships and future careers.   Our form time programme gives students opportunities to reflect on their progress towards the virtues as well as building their sense of community and belonging in the school.  Social Studies lessons, delivered by a team of specialist teachers covers a wide range of Personal, Social and Health topics including unconscious racial bias, relationships and sex education and mental health issues.

Wider Personal Development

This is any activity, support or learning that helps pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepared for life and work with an impact on academic and non-academic outcomes.

Included within this definition are:

  • Careers education - we hold the national Quality in Careers Standard, and are proud as one of the very few in Cambs to do so. This is a major taught and experiential programme and follows the Gatsby Benchmarks. For more information, see the information on our website:
  • Clubs and activities - much has been publicised on our programme and families state this is a good offer. For more information, see this link
  • Our taught curriculum on Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) which is reviewed annually by our student voice groups to make sure that emerging issues are addressed in addition to the statutory content.
  • Assemblies, Form Time and the morning message - Our assemblies are diverse and seek to underpin the Personal Development Programme and promote and reinforce our values of Humility, Intuition and Passion. Regular assemblies are delivered on topical issues. These messages are further explored in Form Time and the morning messages are used to reinforce our virtues.
  • Social Studies - Rights and Responsibilities and British Values, Celebrating Diversity and Equality, Staying Safe Online and Offline, Health and Wellbeing and Life Beyond School are some of the topics covered. Our Social Studies curriculum is also responsive to local and national issues such as vaping and social media trends. We also offer a unique Resilience Programme (iNEAR) which has led to our own academic publication owing to its impact. The Social Studies Programme is enhanced by one of our Offer and Opportunity Programmes (OOPs) called the Debating and Democracy Club, along with our Junior Leadership Teams who weekly discuss challenging current affairs or matters of school improvement. This process of democracy in action supports our promotion of fundamental British values. 
  • Religious Education, Faith and Ethics curriculum - Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs is promoted in this curriculum and exactly why this is a core subject at Abbey College, and our students gain a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices for those religions represented in the UK. Planning for RE is directed by the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.
  • The Daily Mile - used to promote a healthy mindset and physical wellbeing. Students either walk and talk, or run and every year group from 7-10 participates in this along with their respective tutors.
  • Physical Education - Our PE curriculum is a 'Concept' curriculum which promotes the acquisition of life skills through participation.  In addition, the promotion of the concept of “fair play”, following and developing rules, celebrating and rewarding success, accepting defeat and participating in activities that promote cooperation with others and inclusion for all, form an integral part of our PE curriculum.  
  • Involvement in key local and national events (eg. Anti-Bullying Week, Black History Month, British Science Week,  Children in Need, Comic Relief, E:Safety Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, National Careers Week, Remembrance Day, etc).
  • Student Voice groups - Volunteers from each year group act as agents for change, by sharing their perceptions of school life with us and collaborating to find solutions to any issues raised.
  • Our comprehensive rewards programme - students can see the progress they are making in their wider personal development through our Bronze, Silver, Gold and Purple awards as well as our regular Flash Reward celebrations for those students who have been noticed as going above and beyond in a particular area of school life.

The KS3 curriculum has been designed to develop the necessary knowledge for all students to be able to successfully and confidently complete their next stage of education. We work hard to ensure our students have the opportunity to develop their love of learning and find their passion. 

 Curriculum Hours 2023 2024


Our KS4 curriculum enables the learners to experience a curriculum that is tailored to the students need enhancing their  experience and creating a love of learning. Expert guidance ensures students make appropriate pathway choices.  Alongside a ‘core’ offer of PE, Moral and Spiritual, and Spanish all students will study English, maths and science alongside three subjects they  have chosen from a wide offer of academic and vocational qualifications. Core PE and the daily mile are prominent features of our curriculum and support physical, mental health and wellbeing.


Curriculum Hours 2023 2024 KS4


 Abbey College is proud to have a successful Post 16 Curriculum which allows students to select subjects and qualification types which best suit their needs, strengths and aspirations. Our curriculum aims to allow students to develop not just the academic skills required for their future aspirations but also the character and culture to allow them to take the place as an active citizen in society.

The Year 7 and 8 reports are changing this school year (2022/23). Instead of reporting on progress using P-, P, P+ and P++ they will report on achievement. Students will receive age related levels that move up through Emerging into Developing and Secure. For the most talented students the level of Mastery will be available. On reports the levels will read as 7S and 8E etc.








The scale is:













There are assessment grids for each subject which gives the details of the skills and knowledge that need to be demonstrated to achieve the individual levels. These will be used by staff in the Autumn assessments and published to the school website. This will enable parents, carers and students to match the report levels with the assessment grids and see what has been achieved and what further content needs to be demonstrated by students for the awarding of higher levels.


The student has demonstrated that they understand and can apply all of the expected skills and knowledge for that year group in challenging contexts. They use subject specific vocabulary accurately and with confidence.


The student is using subject specific vocabulary and can apply skills and knowledge in familiar contexts.


A range of Key Stage 3 skills are starting to be developed. Key Stage 3 vocabulary and knowledge are improving.


The student is working towards a successful transition to appropriate Key Stage 3 level work.

The levels are hierarchical and students who have made exceptional progress will receive levels from higher year groups. The GCSE courses at Abbey College start in Year 9 so students awarded 9D, 9S or 9M are working at GCSE standard.

The report will also include a Spirit score. The Spirit score ranges from 4-1 and is linked to attitude to learning. The score gives an indication of the amount of aspiration, independence, effort and pride in their work, that a student is showing. The new reports have columns where teachers can indicate key areas of concern by using an “X” in the appropriate column. No “X” means that there are no specific barriers to learning. This means that if a student has a low Spirit score of 2 or 1 then there is information to inform why the teacher chose to award that score.

If your child has a Spirit score of 2 or 1 then we advise you to discuss this with them and raise any concerns that you have with your child’s form tutor.

The new style reports for Year 7 and 8 will be issued at the end of November.


Higher Prior Attaining Students

How will we meet the needs of higher prior attaining students at Abbey College?

At Abbey College, we believe in providing all of our students with a challenging curriculum that provides a broad and balanced range of subjects and opportunities, to ensure that all students can be challenged in their lessons, in our extra-curricular opportunities and be ambitious in their next steps.

What is our philosophy for meeting the needs of students with higher prior attainment?

  • To identify the higher prior attaining students
  • To address their needs by providing support and teaching which makes their learning engaging, inclusive, aspirational and challenging
  • To provide opportunities and offers beyond the classroom to help students to develop their self-confidence and independence
  • To liaise with parents of higher prior attaining students so they are aware of opportunities on offer
  • To raise aspirations through our opportunities, offers, challenge in lessons and career guidance

How are higher prior attaining students identified?

  • KS2 SATs results
  • Cognitive Ability Tests
  • Progress tests in English and Maths
  • GCSE results for the Sixth Form
  • Teacher recommendations

The information is collated and made available to all staff and the top 10% of all students are identified as higher prior attaining.

How will we provide support for higher prior attaining students?

Quality-first teaching strategies are implemented by our Lead Learners for all our students including our higher prior attaining students. Such strategies include:

  • Ensuring clear progression within our curriculum model, detailed within our curriculum plans
  • Checking pupils have the knowledge base to succeed, our staff professional development enables our staff to continue to develop their subject knowledge and implement curriculum models based upon subject specialist research
  • Identifying what excellence looks like in each subject and modelling this with students
  • Assessing students according to our curriculum model to check learning
  • Embedding metacognition and teaching pupils these skills to help them to learn effectively
  • Embedding retrieval and modelling to teach students about the importance of retrieval practice and organisation and encouraging students to challenge themselves within the lessons, showcasing problem solving skills or setting tasks which require them to apply their knowledge.
  • Offering an excellent careers programme which showcases a wide range of next steps from Y7 onwards, with routine visits from universities, employers and apprenticeship talks. All students in KS4 and KS5 also have a careers appointment and the opportunity to complete work experience.
  • Providing a range of opportunities and offers beyond the curriculum which can encourage our higher prior attaining students to embrace challenge, develop confidence and their soft skills through opportunities such as STEM ambassadors, Prefects and Sports Leaders and from 2023, KS4 and 5 higher prior attaining students are automatically invited into The Society.
  • Supporting Sixth Form students through one to ones with their tutors where any areas of underperformance are identified, students are given support and action plans. They also can lead within the Society and undertake the Extended Project Qualification.

What extra-curricular offers and opportunities are offered for our higher prior attaining students?

At Abbey College there are a range of trips, clubs, and programmes available to all students which enable them to have opportunities to build academic excellence, whilst also developing cultural capital and highlighting aspirational next steps.

Some previous examples of offers include:

  • The higher project qualification for students in KS4, students can apply to complete an independent research project answering an inquiry question of their choice
  • The UK Maths Challenge
  • Meridian Trust challenges
  • The Rotary club engineering competitions
  • Trips to Wadham College Oxford
  • Oxbridge Preparation classes and mentoring
  • The extended project qualification in KS5, where students will research and submit a lengthy project, some examples of previous projects are showcased in Study 6.

RSE is a very broad topic, which makes up part of our Personal Development Curriculum. It includes learning about families, respectful relationships (including friendships), online and media, being safe and intimate and sexual relationships (including sexual health). It is often the last of these sections that families want to know most about.  The information below will give you the information you need to know about this important part of our curriculum.

Before the start of every academic year (Summer term 2) we consult with parents and students on the RSE curriculum. If you would like more information or would like to support us in reviewing our Relationships and Sex Education policy then please contact:

 To read the government guidance on RSE please visit

For any queries or additional information regarding the curriculum please contact Mrs Craig.