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Subjects/Key Stages


We inspire our pupils to use a wide range of media including ICT, paint, textiles, printing, graphics, digital photography, clay and 3 dimensional media. We support our pupils to achieve well through providing a grounded knowledge of art history and the work of designers. We want our pupils to become creative thinkers. Art is a visual language and we empower each pupil to think, organise and plan ideas for themselves; art can be complex, profound, serious or humorous and we believe that it provides a framework for growth and is a vehicle for self-expression and creative thinking.


Computing is taught as a dedicated subject across all year groups, in line with the National Curriculum.

We aim to produce young pupils who are digitally literate and confident users of ICT, as well as developing a broad understanding of the principles which underpin Computing to solve problems and create their own programs to meet a range of needs.

Pupils will explore a range of software and recognise the hardware needed for computers and networks, demonstrating a technical understanding of the components. In Key Stage 2 pupils are taught in their form classes. They explore a wide range of programs to research and present their ideas, as well as developing and creating solutions to problems in a variety of programming languages and environments.

Pupils also develop the ability to deal with large data sources efficiently and effectively to find relevant information and present this in a way which is appropriate to the needs of the user or target audiences. All pupils develop their knowledge of Online Safety and how to keep themselves, and others, safe when using technology. In Key Stage 3 pupils are still taught in form classes. They continue to build on their technical knowledge of computers as well as developing their ability to use an extensive range of software.

Pupils experience programming in casual and text based programming language (such as Scratch, Blockly and Visual Basic) throughout this Key Stage. Computational Thinking and principles of computing are explored in more detail and there is a greater emphasis on pupils applying their IT knowledge independently. Extended project work requiring pupils to combine skills in a range of programs becomes standard as they work through years 7 and 8 to begin preparing them for the demands they will face in Key Stage 4.

Online Safety is followed on in order to keep themselves, and others, safe when using technology. Pupils have widely varying experiences of computing outside of the classroom and this is a valuable asset in our lessons.

We expect pupils to recognise the contributions that other pupils can make to their learning and to share their knowledge with peers, helping others through such collaborations as well as deepening their own understanding of the subject content.

D & T


Design and Technology at Marston Vale Middle School involves pupils participating in design and make projects, which enables them to produce practical solutions to real life problems. The projects provide opportunities for pupils to continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of materials and components, systems and control, and structures. Design and technology allows children to apply the knowledge and skills learned in other subjects, particularly in Mathematics, Science and Art.

 The subject encourages children to be creative, imaginative and innovative when designing and making products. It provides problem solving and challenging tasks, in which all pupils can achieve success, as well as giving opportunities for pupils to develop resilience and independent and group learning strategies.

 In both, Key Stage 2 and 3, Design and Technology is taught in a well-equipped specialist rooms with group sizes of 21 or less.

Resistant Materials projects range from designing and making an acrylic pencil holder and a controllable vehicle using electrical control in Key Stage 2 to producing a CAD/CAM picture frame and focused practical tasks relating to electronics in Key Stage 3.

In Food technology pupils are required to prepare and cook repertoire of predominantly savoury food products, which develop cooking techniques, crucial life skills and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.


English at Marston Vale allows learners to be submersed in a vast array of texts and topics that will challenge, inspire and excite them. We provide students, through a high-quality education, with the tools and knowledge needed to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.

Therefore here at MVM, English is at the very heart of our school and works parallel with other curriculum areas to enable pupils to transfer those essential skills in reading, writing and the spoken language into all elements of their learning.

It has a carefully designed and challenging curriculum, which develops the pupil’s creative and analytical skills. This allows the pupils to express themselves precisely, accurately and in detail, enabling them to make good progress in preparation for achievement in SATs and later study at GCSE. Beyond that, emphasis is on empowering pupils in a world where literacy skills are distinguished in society.

Furthermore, we want our pupils to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage and so we inspire our pupils through our choice of texts. Through these we promote a life-long engagement in reading so that pupils have a chance to develop culturally, morally, socially, spiritually and intellectually by being exposed to different styles of literature, authors and genres.

Our ambition is to inspire pupils, to support them to achieve their full potential and encourage them to empower themselves to develop happy, creative and successful learners.


The main aims of the French Department are to teach French in an enjoyable, challenging and relevant way, enabling pupils of all abilities to reach their potential, and promoting the understanding of the French and French-speaking cultures world-wide.

Pupils are taught in mixed ability form groups from Year 5 through to Year 8. Every Year group is taught using a range of techniques, designed to develop their linguistic skill and understanding. The department uses a range of resources including online resources which are available for pupils to use at home.

The department is developing the use of language leaders and Year 7 pupils are trained to deliver language lessons. Pupils are also given a range of opportunities to explore different cultures with a range of competitions and quizzes available to them throughout the year. This enables them to experience the language and culture through a variety of different means, bringing the language alive.


Geography is essentially the study of people, places and the interaction between them.

Pupils study the natural features and processes in our world and the role of people (including themselves) on the planet. They explore issues of local, national and global significance, and they are encouraged to consider the balance of positive and negative impacts, and to develop their own opinions about these issues.

Children take part in a range of activities aimed at active participation and independent learning and research, as well as activities aimed at improving their decision making and teamwork skills.

The resources, case studies and content are continually reviewed to ensure that children’s learning remains up to date and relevant in our rapidly changing world.

Geography at Marston Vale equips pupils with knowledge, understanding, cultural capital and skills to enable them to achieve their full potential at Key Stages 2 and 3, while preparing them for success at Key Stage 4 and in life beyond.


History at MVM follows a curriculum that INSPIRES our pupils.

Pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We inspire pupil’s curiosity to know more about the past. The curriculum embeds knowledge and chronological understanding. Pupils recognize historical significance and can identify cause and consequences, along with historical change and continuity.

Assessment opportunities are varied and of suitable pace and challenge to ensure all pupils ACHIEVE.

The historical curriculum EMPOWERS pupils with an understanding of diversity and empathy. It equips pupils to ask perspective questions, think critically and weigh evidence to develop perspective and judgment.

The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future

Theodore Roosevelt


Mathematics must be an experience from which pupils can confidently derive pleasure and enjoyment, developing positive attitudes to the subject as they progress through the school.

Our work is purposeful, geared to the different capabilities of individual pupils, and seeks to develop their skills and abilities in a coherent and logical way. Appropriate and particular reference to the importance of Mathematics in the world beyond school provides a context within which we seek to prepare pupils for their future.

The pupils, working independently or as members of groups, engage in a variety of activities which provide them with a range of practical investigative oral, written and problem-solving experiences. Resources such as Interactive White Boards, books, laptops, iPads, calculators and mathematical instruments are in constant use to extend and develop pupils' opportunities to respond fully to the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Online resources are used to support our education program to ensure quality first teaching in the classroom and at home. Each pupil is given their own password to access the website, this allows pupils to personalise their own learning and become independent learners. 

Pupils are grouped according to their ability to allow lessons to be modified to match particular developmental levels and skills. Teachers make every effort to customize the curriculum to suit each individual students needs.

Our calculations policy relating to the four operations is reflective of our understanding that students learn best when topics are introduced firstly with concrete examples, then explained using diagrams and pictures and finally using formal methods. While the policy relates to phases in KS1 and KS2, these methods are extended into KS3 when required by students who need that support.

Music and Performing Arts

Music is essentially a practical subject and the aim of the department is to enable the children to develop a range of musical skills. The content of the syllabus is based upon performing, composing and listening and appraising. Pupils are expected to complete tasks on an individual, paired or group basis. Pupils work is monitored at the end of each project through assessments in the three key areas, these form the basis of the National Curriculum level achieved.

The music department comprises a newly built music classroom containing a interactive whiteboard and excellent PA facilities. There is an adjoining ICT room for use by pupils when covering composing aspects.

The department also has a room solely for use by the peripatetic (instrument) teachers, containing an electric piano and a full drum kit. A second room is available when required which also contains an electric piano. In addition space is allocated for safe instrument storage.

Classroom Lessons

There are a range of instruments available for use by pupils within lesson time, including tuned and untuned percussion and 18 keyboards (enabling paired use). We also have 15 computers with mini, midi keyboards within the ICT suite and a range of music software including Cubasis and Notate. There is a small selection of other instruments for loan to peripatetic pupils.


Pupils are given the opportunity to obtain performance skills on keyboards, voice and percussion instruments. Most lessons include either some form of instrumental and/or vocal rehearsal/performance with the pupils acquiring high levels of skill as they progress through the school. The pupils are encouraged to practice new skills learned in class at home if at all possible. Through singing and playing instruments the pupils develop confidence and extend their own musical experience.


Pupils are given opportunities to compose and perform/record their own music via the ICT suite, using traditional and non-traditional notation. They are encouraged to compose in a variety of styles and for a range of different instruments. The composing aspect of each project builds on knowledge gained within the performing task. The ICT suite enables pupils to record, save and refine their work each week. The department is hoping to be able to provide pupils with the opportunity of creating their own CDs to take home containing their composition works.

Listening and Appraising

The pupils develop 'active' listening skills with understanding of vocal and instrumental performances of different styles, cultures and historical periods. Listening is often used as a stimulus for the pupils own performance or compositions. Pupils undertake a listening and appraising assessment at the end of each project to bind areas of learning together.

Instrument Tuition

In addition to normal music lessons, which are part of the curriculum for all pupils, there are opportunities for pupils to have instrumental lessons from the peripatetic teachers who visit the school weekly. Pupils who receive this tuition are expected to practice regularly and take Associated Board or Trinity College of Music practical examinations wherever possible.

We currently have pupils learning piano, percussion, strings, woodwind, brass and guitar. The school has a music policy for pupils who receive peripatetic lessons for a number of reasons. Instrument lessons are very highly sort after (there are currently waiting lists) successful pupils receive subsidized lessons from an expert instrumental teacher, the pupil also has time out of normal class and in some cases has free use of a school or County instrument. Attendance at an extra curriculum club would give a pupil extra performance/rehearsal time on their instrument, use of their instrument in an ensemble setting and the experience of playing within large ensembles with their instruments. As some extra curriculum clubs are oversubscribed this would also guarantee their involvement and secure a place in school productions and presentations.

The pupil would further gain enhanced appreciating and understanding of music during normal timetabled lessons and additional small group contact with the music coordinator who is able to closely monitor and assess pupils progress on their instrument and musical understanding and address any misconceptions.

Physical Education

The Physical Education department is committed to giving all pupils at Marston Vale Middle School the opportunity to participate in a broad curriculum of sports.

Inspire - We deliver a broad range of sports and activities that will engage our pupils and create a real interest for sport.

Achieve - Assessment points are in place half termly and pupils of all abilities are challenged appropriately.

Empower - The PE curriculum develops a range of other skills and personal qualities, such as tolerance and respect for rules.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Opportunities

We encourage pupils to join our extra-curricular clubs; we regularly compete against other local middle schools in sports such as Rugby, Football, Netball, Rounders and Cricket. Many of our teams have achieved excellent results in leagues, tournaments and other events. However, the main aims for pupils of this age are enjoyment, the desire to continually improve and the ability to accept winning or losing gracefully. We also offer pupils the chance to be Sports Leaders in Year 8; these pupils support the PE department at internal and external sporting events.

PSHCE - (Personal, social, health, citizenship, and economic well-being education).

 The PSHCE curriculum is designed to help pupils gain the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to lead, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens.

Pupils are given a wide range of opportunities within lessons an beyond to explore their own ideas about the world around them and the part they have to play in it.

Topics covered in lessons are varied explored in a different ways such as through debate, presentations, research, assemblies and group work.  Pupils have an opportunity to reflect upon their own views and to gain an insight into the views of others around .  the curriculum covers topics such as relationships and sex education, careers (including apprenticeships), healthy lifestyles (including mental health), rights and responsibilities, finance, British Values, diversity, enterprise and charities.

Combined with this, pupils are taught a variety of topics, including;

  • Year 5: Responding to emergencies, personal hygiene, electoral system and finance.
  • Year 6: In the news. finance, growing up and safety.
  • Year 7: Coping with feelings, body changes, healthy eating and emotional changes.
  • Year 8: Rights, responsibilities and law, society and change and carers.

Wherever possible, we liaise with outside enrich what pupils are studying in class.


Religious Education

At Marston Vale we aim to 'Inspire, Empower, Achieve' throughout our whole curriculum including religious Education.  We provide children the opportunities to extend and deepen their knowledge and understanding through the teachings of worldwide religions.  Our Religious Education syllabus is provided by Bedfordshire.  The syllabus promotes building upon previous learning to deepen and appreciate all religions and beliefs.  the syllabus outlines the progression of learning to further deepen and appreciate all religions and beliefs.  The syllabus outlines the progression of learning through KS2 into KS3, where concepts are challenged and reasoning is justified with new and prior knowledge.  Our approach at Marston vale values others opinions and teaches our pupils to respect and explore different beliefs in order to make reflective judgements and inquisitive questioning.

In lessons we provide high quality teaching which stimulates discussions, promotes opportunities for analysis, interpretation and evaluation of different religions.  Pupils are taught in mixed ability classes, allowing the syllabus to be taught through a variety of approaches and teaching styles to make learning interesting and exciting.

Parents may withdraw their child from Religious Education.  However, parents wishing to exercise this right on religious grounds, should arrange to discuss the matter with the Headteacher before making a formal request.



Science Curriculum Intent

The Scientific area of learning is concerned with increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. It will develop the natural curiosity of the child, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.

 At MVM, in conjunction with the aims of the National Curriculum, our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
  • be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future.
  • develop the essential scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge.
  • Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in a systematic, scientific manner, including I.C.T., diagrams, graphs and charts.
  • Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.
  • Develop an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery.

 The National Curriculum will provide a structure and skill development for the science curriculum being taught throughout the school, which is now linked.


 Science at Marston Vale Middle:

Children have 3 lessons weekly in Science throughout Key Stage 2 and 3, using various programmes of study and resources.

 We endeavour to ensure that the Science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.