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“Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought”

Matthew Arnold

At Mercia School, we believe all pupils, whatever their background or ability, have a right to access the best that has been said and thought. This includes a variety of writers, from all parts of the world, and thinkers from all the ages.

The curriculum ensures that pupils are knowledgeable enough about the world around them, this will mean they can contribute to it and transform it in the future. Through our core curriculum, we ensure that pupils are presented with broad and balanced views to help pupils develop their own sense of self and form their own opinions.

The education provided at Mercia School is broadly traditional and academically rigorous – we place knowledge at the centre of everything we do. We expect our pupils to be polite and obedient, we absolutely insist on kindness and gratitude at all times. We encourage competition and allow our pupils to win and lose.  We believe that knowledge about the world is central to our pupils’ success. Only when they have acquired this knowledge will they be ready to lead and participate as full citizens.

We do not follow a skills-led curriculum but we recognise the need for pupils to acquire a diverse range of skills in order to fulfil their civic duty and take part in higher levels of academic study. Mercia pupils will be enriched through our Mastery curriculum and be given opportunities to problem-solve, debate and think critically. 

Pupils are taught the background and context of what they are learning so that they can understand and make connections easily. History is taught chronologically so that pupils are able to grasp the key facts and have a strong understanding of the subject. Where feasible, the English curriculum links with history to ensure high-quality understanding of literature’s context. 

The core curriculum currently offers: 

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology 
  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Music
  • Art
  • Computing
  • Physical Education

Currently, Design Technology and Food Technology are available through our enrichment curriculum. It is envisaged that these subjects will enter the GCSE core curriculum, alongside Spanish. 

A key part of our curriculum is assessing its impact and success. Pupils should know how well they are doing in their subjects, both in relation to themselves and to others. We absolutely want to instil a competitive edge with all pupils. Pupils sit 3 formal assessments as a part of our 13-week assessment cycle. They have weekly quizzes in all subjects. Assessment at Mercia is open and meaningful. We work tirelessly to ensure low-stakes testing and formal assessments are a positive force in the school. We know assessment can be a daunting prospect for pupils, we do all we can to safeguard the wellbeing and mental health of all pupils. This is a top priority for the school. 

Longer school day

A key part of our curriculum is delivered as a part of our longer school day. We call this our enrichment curriculum. Broadly speaking, the activities are as follows:




Performing Arts – orchestra, recital, choir, dramatic performance, dance


Self-study – knowledge quizzing, lecturing, consolidation


Sporting enrichment, design, STEM, 2nd language learning


Self-study – knowledge quizzing, lecturing, consolidation


School ends at 15:45