Tunmarsh Curriculum


Tunmarsh Curriculum


Science aims to develop enquiring minds and engage students in learning about the world around them. We will seek to answer questions such as: What was Darwin’s theory of Evolution and why was it so controversial? What are the ethical issues that surround organ transplants? How is disease spread? How has the earth changed in the last billion years? What is the Electromagnetic Spectrum? What are the different forms of Energy? 


Key Stage 3 offers a flexible curriculum based on Edexcel units of work. Tailored around particular groups and the interest of students, we provide opportunities to re-engage in learning that support successful re-integration back to mainstream schooling. Students are usually taught one to two units per half term.


At Key Stage 4 we offer Entry Level Certificate in Science and Further Science, and the reformed EDEXCEL Combined Science GCSE. In preparation for their final exams, students engage with core practical work in class throughout the year.


At Tunmarsh School, we endeavour to promote the physical and mental well-being of our students through a wide variety of sporting activities. ​


Our KS3 students enjoy a diverse curriculum and have regular access to University of East London’s state of the art sports centre, where they have the opportunity to participate in boxing, badminton and football. In addition, swimming lessons are delivered by qualified LBN swimming coaches at our local leisure centre.


All KS4 students are given the opportunity to complete a Level 1 and/or Level 2 qualifications in Health & Fitness. The course provides students with the knowledge to make healthy life style choices, and focuses effects that diet and exercise have on the body. The course requires students to complete physical fitness tests in which gradual improvement must be demonstrated. Certification is available for each unit completed, leading to a recognised NCFE qualification on completion.


Tunmarsh School football team regularly compete in the Essex Schools and the Newham Schools Cup. Last season, Tunmarsh were crowned the London PRU regional champions.



Drama lessons at KS3 are delivered with the aim of developing key skills and confidence. Students are given a platform to express their opinions and ideas through the use of role play, discussion and improvisation.  Group work skills play a key part in lessons and students are actively taught how to work collaboratively. In addition, we explore themes and issues using stimulus material from various mediums including play scripts, visual images and objects, sound/music and film. In addition, our KS4 (Year 10) students are able to gain a Bronze or Silver Arts awards qualification in collaboration with our Art department. This includes a compulsory visit to a live theatre performance.

Character Education

Character education aims to develop and accredit the life skills and attributes that employers are telling us they want to see in young people – Leadership, Organisation, Initiative, Resilience and Communication.  Our Character education curriculum teaches the skills behind these attributes and encourages students to apply them to live projects. We believe that developing these attributes is central to every students ongoing education and personal development.

Celebrating success is a key part of the curriculum, and students will be invited to showcase their work at school as well as at national celebration events hosted by PIXL.


Thanks to Ben Drew and his Each One Teach One charity, Tunmarsh School is able to offer a creative music enrichment programme in a purpose built studio. The facilities include a large ‘Live Room’, ‘Drum Booth’ and ‘Mixing Room’. We also have IT Suites that double up as Vocal Recording Booths and desktop access to Logic Pro X and Garage Band music software.

Students throughout Key Stage 3 & 4 are encouraged to perform, listen, review and evaluate music. They create and compose, using instruments and technology appropriately, and develop understanding of dynamics, tempo and structure.

The Music room is supported by staff who are skilled multi-instrumental musicians, music technicians and sound engineers. 

Mathematics Department

Aims and objectives

Mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing the ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. It enables us to understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space our everyday lives.

We aim to:

  • Promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion.
  • Promote confidence and competence with numbers and the number system.
  • Develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts.
  • Develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and resented.
  • Explore features of shape and space, and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts.
  • Understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.


Through this growing knowledge and understanding, students learn to appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of mathematics.


The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in mathematics lessons. Our principal aim is to develop young peoples’ knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematics, and the skills needed to apply these in everyday life.


During KS4 some students will have the opportunity to sit Entry level or Functional Skills Level 1 and 2 exams, according to their emerging abilities. At the end of Year 11, most students will sit the reformed GCSE Mathematics at either Foundation or Higher level. 


The Art department works to enable students to build self-confidence and self-esteem through their engagement in a wide range of art activities. Students will have the opportunity to develop their visual literacy and skills in art by using a range of materials and techniques, which will hopefully enable them to make things they are proud of.

Students gain experience in using a variety of media, including painting, printing, sculpture and ceramics. They learn about the work of other artists and use this knowledge to inform their work. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively as well as individually, and are given the opportunity to learn important skills and techniques in order for their work to be successful.

On-site students joining at KS4 will initially work on a series of workshop-based activities which aim to quickly build up self-confidence, as the activities are designed to virtually guarantee impressive outcomes. Students are encouraged to be ambitious and imaginative, and to experiment with materials they may have not used before. The department currently delivers the AQA GCSE, which comprises 60% Coursework, 40% Set Task, a popular subject where we achieve impressive results each year.

Students are also given the opportunity to work towards gaining the Arts Award Bronze Certificate. This level 1 course is particularly useful for students who will transition back to mainstream school, or for those who arrive late to Year 11. In this way, the Award enables students to gain recognised certification for their efforts in Art, as an alternative to GCSE.

Outreach students also enjoy the opportunity to work on art-related activities, whether they are attending full time at Tunmarsh or working at home. The Arts Award is also available to home tuition students as specialist Art staff also teach as part of this service. Students attending the outreach classroom have one lesson of Art and one lesson of Textiles each week.

The department has worked successfully in collaboration with artists and other professionals from outside school and the curriculum is purposely flexible enough to allow projects to develop when opportunities arise. Work in class is supported by gallery visits and the involvement of art professionals from outside of school. This enables students to understand vocational aspects of art, helping them to broaden their knowledge of art from other cultures in particular.

Our work is celebrated in the Newham Schools Annual Art exhibition, and GCSE exhibitions every year. Often challenging, always individual, the wide range of impressive art work our students produce reflects the ambitious creativity we try hard to nurture here.


At Key Stage 3, students have a double food lesson each week.  The lessons are based around cooking and nutrition, and the students have the opportunity to do some practical cookery every lesson.  Students learn where food comes from and how to cook a range of healthy dishes they will enjoy eating.  They are also taught the importance of good hygiene and safety practices in the kitchen. The practical work also enables them to develop their knowledge of healthy eating and the importance of a balanced diet.  Students are also encouraged to consider the factors that affect their food and drink choices and have lots of opportunities to taste a wide range of ingredients.  All the students enjoy sitting down at the end of the lesson to taste their food and are encouraged evaluate their own and other students finished dishes.

At Key Stage 4, students have three lessons each week.  Students are given the knowledge, skills and confidence that will enable them to cook independently. Students are introduced to basic cooking skills by following recipes for simple nutritious dishes, and they learn how to use kitchen equipment safely.  They will also gain knowledge about sourcing food, nutrition and food hygiene.

In Year 11 students have the opportunity to be entered for a BTEC (Level 1 or 2) award in Home Cooking Skills.  The aim of the course is to give the students the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy cooking meals at home, using the skills they have learnt.  Being able to cook is an essential life skill that will benefit their health and wellbeing.  Students will gain an understanding of how to economise when planning meals to cook at home, without using pre-prepared or ready-cooked food and they will be encouraged to continue cooking for themselves and their families.

Outreach Primary 

For younger pupils, the Outreach department builds on the Primary Curriculum (Reception, KS1 and KS2), covering English, Maths and Science with elements of Art and Music. All students have individual education plans to meet their needs.

We aim to develop students' personal attitudes. Our students are taught in such a way that they can develop the qualities needed for a full response to life - curiosity, morality, communication, respect, optimism and co-operation.

KS3 and KS4 Outreach students are taught the full English National Curriculum in preparation for qualifications ranging from Entry Level Functional Skills to English Language and English Literature GCSEs. We teach students in all years, and work with their schools to build courses of study catering to their individual strengths and needs, whilst fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum. Literacy support is implemented in cases where students need such intervention.

The English Department at Tunmarsh

Our Aim is to give every student the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve as high a standard as possible. We assist students to develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing which will enable them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.

At KS3, we recognise the need for an English curriculum that focuses on communication skills and literacy development. We aim to provide a curriculum that is meaningful and challenging to all students. All staff are responsible for improving the literacy and communication needs of all students. The intended outcome is to provide students with opportunities to:

  1. Develop the ability to listen, to process information and to respond.
  2. To interact and communicate effectively with others in a range of social situations.
  3. Have access to a wide range of literature and activities to enrich and broaden their experiences and knowledge.

For the purpose of assessment, Doddle is used to record and track students’ progress in Reading/Writing and Speaking and Listening.

At KS4, our aim is to ensure that all students’ needs are met with each individual achieving some form of accreditation. We offer a variety of qualifications ranging from GCSE English Language/ Literature to Functional Skills and Entry Level.

We follow the reformed AQA GCSE syllabus that allows candidates to demonstrate their ability to investigate and analyse language; and to experiment and use language creatively.

The majority of students at the centre follow the GCSE English Language specification which is an un-tiered qualification. The assessment consists of two externally examined papers, each worth 50% of the total marks, plus a separate endorsement of Spoken Language which is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Students unable to complete the GCSE English assessments will be entered for Functional Skills Levels 1, 2 or Entry Level accreditation. Students whose attainments fall significantly below the expected level at a particular key stage will undergo an individualised programme of literacy intervention.

The Careers Education

The Careers Education and Work Related Learning curriculums have been designed to teach students about the world of work, education and training opportunities, and to equip students with key transferable skills that they will go on to use throughout their adult working life. Students complete class based assignments and coursework tasks, as well as completing end of year exams during the year 11. Students also take part in interactive workshops with outside agencies and college and training providers to learn about post 16 career and progression pathways.


The KS3 and Year 10 curriculum requires students to complete 10 units of work that focus on work and employment skills. Students are awarded a Certificate of Achievement for each unit completed, equivalent to an Entry Level Award.


Year 11 students are entered for the full-course GCSE in Preparation for Working Life. Students’ complete coursework tasks which include; researching post 16 progression opportunities, drafting a Curriculum Vitae and Letters of Application for a job. Students also sit two written exams during the summer term.  


In additional to the GCSE in Preparation for Working Life, students are also entered for the Entry Level 3 Award in Workplace Hazard Awareness validated by the British Safety Council. This course teaches students about Health and Safety procedures and employment law and protocol and is a nationally recognised Health & Safety qualification.


All students are supported in making a smooth transition onto further education and/or training courses in Year 12, as part of the statutory requirement for young people to remain in education until their 18 birthday. Tunmarsh Onsite and Outreach students are offered a 1:1 careers interview with a trained Careers Advisor to explore career pathways and options and are supported with completing post 16 application forms. Where applicable, students are also able to take part in Work Experience Placements to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the world of work and skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and communication.


Tunmarsh School endeavours to ensure that by the end of Year 11 all students have secured at least one conditional College or Apprenticeship offer. Those that do not secure a conditional offer are referred for additional support to local careers services which are located throughout the borough, in order to try and secure a positive destination for year 12 and beyond. Once Year 11 students officially leave school, they are tracked and offered continued support to ensure they are attending their courses, making progress and engaged in their learning.

Record of Achievement (ROA)

Year 11 students are also awarded a Record of Achievement (ROA) folder which reflects the experiences, achievements and qualifications achieved throughout their school career. Students are awarded their ROA folder at an end of year 11 ceremony which takes place after the GCSE examinations. This is a celebration of the students’ achievements, with parents/carers and various professionals who may have worked closely with them in attendance.