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Year 7

Key Stage 3 curriculum can be found here


Art and Design at Cottenham is a practical-based subject taught, by specialist teachers, in 2 fully-equipped Art studios and a purpose-built ceramic room. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop their skills in painting, drawing, printmaking and three-dimensional work, using media including paint, oil pastels, charcoal, pencil and clay.

Pupils are encouraged to express themselves creatively, whilst learning the fundamental skills, to prepare them for further study.

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Computing and IT

IT and Computing at Cottenham is taught by a team of highly experienced, specialist teachers. All teaching, learning, marking and exam moderation takes place online using our Moodle based VLE and Google Docs system.

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Design Technology

In years seven, eight and nine our students carry out a number of design and make tasks. Within these they learn to evaluate existing products and design and make new ones. Students learn to design by gathering relevant information and applying their imagination to generate functional and unique outcomes. Students learn to make by acquiring progressively more complex skills and knowledge of a wide range of materials and components. They are given opportunities to practise and experiment, to hone their skills. DT is delivered in five dedicated and well resourced rooms by specialist teachers. Our emphasis is on working safely, designing with imagination, applying underpinning knowledge and making high quality outcomes. Students become increasingly knowledgeable and skillful by regular assessment that references easily understood criteria, detailed feedback and opportunities to improve work.

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Students in the lower school have one lesson of Drama per week and it is also a GCSE option in Year 10 and 11. We offer two well-equipped drama studios complete with studio lighting and sound systems. There is also the opportunity for students to be involved in our major school production which is held in March each year. We encourage a positive and supportive working environment in which individuals can work creatively and collaboratively.


Students in all years are taught to communicate through the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. We take pride in introducing students to a range of texts from different genres, cultures and eras; we ask students to develop their own opinions and become confident in expressing them. We work hard to provide engaging opportunities for students to consolidate and develop their skills and understanding right through Key Stages 3 and 4. The English faculty is staffed by a team of specialists with expertise in literature, language, Latin and drama.

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Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. Geography at Cottenham stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places. It engages students to think about our changing world, how people and the environment interact, where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, and perhaps most importantly today, helps young people make sense of the complex interactions between economic, social and environmental factors prevalent in our world.

The curriculum for Key Stage 3 is currently undergoing re-structuring.

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History is the study of the human past. It fascinates and it shocks; is causes joy and sadness in all those who study it. Yet there can be no doubt that it is inescapable, confronting us in the twenty-first century at every turn. A politician’s speech, a quiet road-side memorial or a great-grandfather’s old journal: all of these present us with historical challenges. To comprehend our place in the world today, we must understand that we are always ‘walking backwards into tomorrow’, never knowing what lies ahead, but always in the knowledge of that which went before. This is what history is all about.

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Students in Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 are taught Latin at Cottenham. Students use the Cambridge Latin Course, which focuses on developing reading skills in Latin through the use of stories about the Roman world. We encourage active responses, using techniques such as role-play to motivate and engage students. We also aim to build understanding of Roman life, culture and traditions. We believe that Latin is a subject which fosters intellectual challenge and engagement. At GCSE level, students study prose and verse texts in original Latin; these develop both their language and analytical skills. Latin is taught by three members of the English faculty who specialise in Latin.

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Mathematics at Cottenham Village College is a five year course culminating in GCSE examinations at the end of year 11. We aim to support the College’s “Best in You” motto by increasing our students’ fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills in mathematics as they progress through our school.

Year 7 mathematics has five main aims:

To allow students to enjoy and achieve in mathematics
To establish good study habits leading to independent study skills
To build confidence in their mental mathematics skills
To learn to estimate answers before calculating and to establish checking as a routine step
To begin to justify their answers by explaining why they make sense.
The year includes a strong focus on mental and non-calculator mathematics. It also includes a range of practical and team activities using equipment such as multi-link, polydron, pinboards, cube puzzles, pentominoes and tangrams.

Students are placed in classes initially according to their Key Stage 2 assessment results. They are regularly re-assessed throughout the year, through short tests at the end of each module of work and through longer tests towards the end of each half term. They record their performances on comprehensive analysis sheets which are used to inform any necessary intervention work.


Modern Languages (French)

This page will be updated soon



All students in Music are encouraged to develop their musicianship skills to enable them to demonstrate their understanding of a range of musical styles, genres and traditions. Learning takes place in a well-resourced Music department, which comprises a ‘state of the art’, Mac studio, Keyboard studio, Recording studio, an Instrumental Teaching room and Practice rooms. Opportunities for enrichment include extra-curricular clubs, instrumental lessons, work with outside musicians, an annual trip to Kings College Carol concert, school concerts and shows, and larger scale performances that take place in public venues.

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Students in all years are taught to perform, understand and communicate in a wide variety of competitive sports and recreational activities ranging from rugby and hockey to gymnastics and athletics. The Physical Education and Dance faculty is staffed by a team of 5 specialist teachers in an area with great facilities. The subject offers GCSE, BTEC , the Sports Leaders experience and the Leadership Academy at Key Stage 4. Students have the opportunity to participate in an extensive range of extra-curricular competitive and recreational activities.

We strive to ensure that all students have a good understanding of the benefits of leading a healthy & active lifestyle and have the skills necessary to achieve their potential, whilst promoting students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

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Philosophy and Religious Education

The aim of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Cottenham is to help students be more considerate. We encourage students to be considerate of the rights and sensitivities of people whose beliefs are different to their own. However, we also ask students to consider what their own moral, philosophical and religious beliefs are, why they hold them, whether they can be justified and how beliefs affect different people’s practices and actions. While many of the topics covered teach students about the six largest world religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Judaism) students will also come across ideas and arguments from other religious groups and many non-religious thinkers.

We aim to move all students’ thinking from the simple to the reflective, from the casual to the considered and from the vague to the well-informed. We want to pupils to become comfortable with religious and philosophical questions but develop the skills, interest and dedication to work towards answers.

Students are encouraged to engage in oral argument and discussion, personal reflection, the organisation and expression of their thoughts in writing.

PRE is taught in Year 7 as part of Humanities lessons. In Year 8, students rotate between 6 week blocks of PRE, History and Geography and in Year 9 it is taught as a separate lesson once a week.

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Our personal development programme covers all aspects of PSHE and citizenship, mainly through conference days when ordinary lessons are replaced with a more flexible programme, which often includes theatre or guest speakers. Health matters, drugs, relationships, citizenship, team-building, first aid, the law and young people, and finances are among the topics covered.

We provide sex and relationships education (SRE) for all students; our programme encourages young people to have regard for moral considerations and the value of family life. The programme uses materials appropriate to the needs and ages of our students. Some aspects are covered in Science lessons in Years 7 and 9 as well as during Key Stage 4 examination work in Years 10 and 11. Further related topics are also studied in areas of Humanities, English and Drama. Additionally, we organise visits from trained individuals to give separate gender-specific talks with more general mixed sessions. These take place during Years 7 and 10 and include focus on both biological and emotional matters.


In Year 7 students begin the year with an introduction to Science topic where they are taught the basics including laboratory safety, hazard symbols, common apparatus and how to use measuring equipment. They will go on to cover a wide variety of topics including cells, particles and forces.  Students have a target level and complete assessed work regularly in order to monitor progress. Students are taught as mixed ability classes and all assessed work is taken into account for setting at the end of the year.