Leeds City Academy

Curriculum overview

In 2016, Leeds City Academy introduced a brand new life-after-levels curriculum, in association with the other academies in the White Rose Academies Trust.  This new curriculum:

  • Ensures that students are challenged at the appropriate level, depending on their starting points.
  • Builds the knowledge, skills and understanding that students will need to perform well in their examinations in year 11 and beyond.
  • Emphasises a curriculum model which is built on the importance of reviewing and retaining the core aspects of each subject area.
  • Ensures that students are secure in their learning before they move on, and that they know the next steps that they need to make improvements.
  • Links curriculum and assessment through the three assignments that students undertake each year.
  • Provides a clear model of what good progress looks like.
  • Ensures that students develop the resilience to approach independent learning, revision and homework with success.

Students at Leeds City Academy choose their options in year 8 and start their key stage 4 programme in year 9.   


Key Stage 3

Foundation School

Students in year 7 and 8 are part of the Foundation School, under the leadership of the Foundation School Leader, Mrs Andrew.   In year 7 and 8 students also study English, Maths, Science, Technology, Humanities, French, PE, Performing Arts (Music, Dance and Drama) and Art.  Students study Personal, Social, and Health Education through our Values Curriculum in coaching, assemblies and Curriculum Theme Days (Step up days). In year 7 and 8 all students study citizenship covering themes including British values.

Catering for all abilities

Appropriate levels of challenge and support are ensured through grouping and setting arrangements in Foundation School. A small Nurture Group with dedicated teaching support allows for students who need additional help with their English and Maths to develop their potential.  Setting within each year group is reviewed regularly by the School Leader, in consultation with the Zone and Area Team Leaders and informed by extensive data from the Student Progress Tracker.


At Leeds City Academy we think that reading, and in particular reading for pleasure, is one of the most important factors in allowing children to reach their full potential. A love of literature and a genuine desire to read opens doors to students that remain closed for reluctant readers, no matter how strong their ability. In order to support the drive to engage students with reading for enjoyment, the academy offers a range of activities and experiences linked to reading for pleasure.

The school celebrates National Poetry Day each year with a focus on poetry in English lessons that is further reinforced by activities in coaching sessions. The English department also welcomes visiting authors into the academy to work with students of all ages and abilities on reading and creative writing skills. The academy has invested in a writers in residence programme called ‘First Story’. A term long programme has been already been completed and students involved in this visited Oxford University for a festival event recently. Staff and writers are starting the year long programme now which will culminate in a book launch in the summer term.

Of course, a love of reading is also fostered within English lessons with all students in Years 7 and 8 taking part in weekly Reading lessons as an addition to their traditional classes. Students take part in the Accelerated Reader programme which tests students’ comprehension of books they have read and suggested novels that will both entertain and challenge them.

Students who need it also gain extra support through our Level-Up Project, which provides additional lessons in the holidays as well as one to one and small group tuition during the school term. 

All students have access to well-resourced Library, which is at the centre of reading in the academy. The library has a series of activities scheduled to raise reading enjoyment throughout the year, the poetry slam organised in collaboration with our other academies, was a big hit with students last year.  The librarian, also works closely with area teams to provide book boxes and create subject themed weeks where appropriate.

Additional Subject Information

If you go on to the Subject Tour on our website you can see a curriculum map for each subject which tells you the different topics that are covered.


Key Stage 4

Flexible Pathways

Flexible pathways at Key Stage 4 are designed to ensure that all students study subjects appropriate to their needs. All students study English, Maths, Science, and Religious Studies and all students do the European Computer Driving Licence.

The EBacc Pathway provides the opportunity to study at least two science subjects, History or Geography, French and English Literature.

The majority of students study History or Geography and at least one science at GCSE, as well as English Literature, and those not studying a language choose a third option subject.

All students also choose from a wide range of GCSE and vocational subjects after consultation with parents, senior staff and their coaches.


The following subjects lead to GCSE qualifications:

Art and design




Computer Science




English Literature

Science Additional

Food and nutrition

Science Core




The following subjects lead to BTEC qualifications:


BTEC Performing Arts

BTEC Business

BTEC Sport

BTEC Health and Social Care

BTEC Travel and tourism

BTEC Imedia



The following subjects lead to a NCFE qualification:

 Food and Cookery 


Other Qualifications:

European Computer Driving Licence