“Building aspiration through great learning”

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Curriculum overview

Curriculum overview


Curriculum at SBL

We have approximately 210 pupils in each group of the main school, divided into 7 tutor groups.  Students have five, one hour lessons per day.  We operate a two-week timetable which means pupils have 50 one hour lessons in a fortnightly cycle. 

The curriculum is designed to be broad-based and balanced to inspire and support students in their progression to Post 16 education and to their chosen career path.   We also seek to build the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, intellectual and physical development of our students and to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.  We also promote British values, for example democracy and the rule of law. 

Each subject area has produced detail about their curriculum, with information on how to support your children in their studies.  To see these details, click here.

We have a well-developed care, advice and guidance programme to support students at each point in their school career, especially around the time when options are made in Year 9 for Key Stage 4 subjects and in Key Stage Four for Post 16 pathways.

Our extra-curricular programme includes a large range of educational visits and sports, drama, music and community based involvement.

In years 7–9, students study the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science in addition to History, Geography, Values and Beliefs, Physical Education, French or German, Art, Performing Arts and Music. All subjects are taught by specialist teachers. Students are grouped by ability in Mathematics in all years and in Science and French or German from year 8.

In years 10 and 11, students have the opportunity to choose some of their subjects but all follow a rigorous curriculum which enables them to progress to sixth form and beyond. The core subjects of English language and literature, mathematics and science form the majority of each student’s timetable in years 10 and 11. Students choose another three or four optional subjects, including a compulsory eBacc subject (separate science, computer science, history or geography).  These include; 

  • Modern languages: French or German
  • Humanities: History, Geography, Values and Beliefs, Health and Social Care or Business Studies
  • Creative and Media: Art and Design (Fine Art), Art and Design (Photography), Performance Skills (Including Drama and Music)
  • Computing: Computer Science
  • Physical education: Sports Studies
  • Design and Technology: Engineering Manufacture, Engineering Design, Product Design, Textiles, Food Technology
  • Science: Separate Sciences (Chemistry, Physics and Biology)

All students in years 7–11 undertake a programme of personal, social and health education delivered by their tutor. 

Key Stage 3

All students are taught the core subjects: English, Mathematics, Science and PE.

In addition, they are also taught the following:

  • Humanities subjects: History, Geography, and Philosophy and Belief. 
  • Modern Languages: either French or German.
  • Creative and Media: Art, Performing Arts and Music.
  • Design and Technology: Product Design and Food
  • Learning for Life (including elements of citizenship, health education, business and sustainability.
  • ICT

Year 9 Choices

As part of the Year 9 programme we work with students, Parents, carers so that a challenging but appropriate curriculum pathway can be designed for Key Stage Four.   Details of this will be sent out ot year 9 students and parents at relevant times during the school year.

Key Stage 4

All students study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, PE and Learning for Life.  Students select a further four option subjects. These include:                 

  • GCSE Art & Design: Fine Art
  • GCSE Art & Design: Textiles Art
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • L1/2 Award in Performance Skills
  • GCSE Product Design
  • L1/2 Engineering Manufacture
  • CNAT Enterprise and Marketing
  • VCERT Food and Cookery
  • GCSE Geography
  • BTEC Health and Social Care
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE French or German
  • GCSE Physical Education
  • GCSE Religious Studies
  • GCSE Triple Science


Home Study

We believe that home study makes an invaluable contribution to our students’ progress, and so we support them to develop good independent learning habits, either at home or in the school library with its extensive IT facilities.

Students have told us that they prefer variety in the tasks set and to have choice. Therefore tasks and projects range from interviews and experiments to research and essay writing. Every student has a personal home study organiser and guidelines on the appropriate length of study. We ask parents to check and sign these organisers on a weekly basis as a signal of their engagement in the 'home-school contract'.

About the school

About the school


The school follows South Gloucestershire’s admissions policy, which is based on:

  • Special educational needs
  • Local siblings
  • Geographical considerations (those living within a school’s area of prime responsibility)
  • Geographical considerations (those living outside a school’s area of prime responsibility)

Appeals process

If a place is not offered at a parent’s/carer’s preferred choice of school there is the right of appeal to an independent body under the School Standards and Framework Act of 1998 – Section 94 and Schedule 24. See the process of appeals for more information.

More information

If you require general information about admissions and transfer arrangements then this is available from South Gloucestershire County Council schools admissions. Or alternatively contact the local education authority directly:

Department for Children, Adults and Health
PO Box 298
Civic Centre
High Street
Bristol BS15 0DQ

email: cis@southglos.gov.uk
tel: 01454 868008

Academy Governance Committees (AGC)

Academy Governance Committees (AGC)

Mr D Anderson - Principal and Ex Officio Staff Governor
Term of office: not applicable

Mr M Bennett - Co-opted Governor with responsibility for Pupil Premium
Term of office: 12 May 2016 - 11 May 2020

Dr B Brown - Co-opted Governor
Term of office: 26 Sept 2017 - 25 Sept 2021

Mrs A Butterfield - Co-opted Governor with responsibility for safeguarding
Term of office: 1 April 2015 - 31 March 2019

Mr S Downes - Staff Governor
Term of office: 1 April 2015 - 31 March 2019

Mr R Dunster - Co-opted Governor
Term of office: 15 September 2014 - 14 Sept 2018

Mrs A Hill - Parent Governor with responsibility for SEND
Term of office: 7 October 2013 - 5 October 2021 

Mr G Leonard - Support Staff Governor
Term of office: 1 April 2015 - 31 March 2019

Mr K Warner - Parent Governor
Term of office: 5 November 2015 - 4 November 2019

Mrs B White - Chair of Governors, Community Governor
Term of office: 1 April 2015 - 31 March 2019

To contact the Governing Body please email Sue Holdaway, Clerk to the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust.

More information



The Sir Bernard Lovell is a fully inclusive mainstream academy. For more information see the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust's inclusion policy (Pdf, 320kb)

  • Medical conditions: Deputy Heads of House
Visions and Values

Visions and Values

“Building aspiration through great learning”

Our Vision

At SBL, each young person will be encouraged and supported to aim high and achieve her/his ambitions.  High quality teaching, a well-ordered environment and a rich curriculum will ensure that each individual enjoys a positive and fulfilling experience that will set them up for success in life. Their progress will be enhanced further through the wide range of enrichment opportunities they will experience and from the personalised and effective support they will receive.

‘Through cooperation, honesty and effort, all SBL students will learn and develop positivity and resilience that will help them to grow in confidence and achieve the highest possible aspirations for their futures’

Our Values

At the heart of our community lie the fundamental values of respect and tolerance. Sir Bernard Lovell Academy is a community where each person is valued as a unique individual and where individual difference is celebrated. We will work together to challenge discrimination and to promote the importance of respecting the beliefs and practices of others.

Building on this firm foundation, all governors, parents, students and staff believe the following behaviours and qualities will help us to achieve our vision. We value:

  • Cooperation
    • Working together
    • Showing kindness
    • Developing strong relationships
  • Effort
    • In our academic work at home as well as in school
    • In wider academy activities
  • Honesty
    • With each other
    • With ourselves
  • Resilience
    • Keeping our efforts up even when things are tough
    • Supporting others to be resilient
    • Developing emotional strength and well-being
  • Positivity
    • Taking a ‘can-do’ attitude into every task
    • Making the most of every opportunity
    • Enriching our own experiences and those of others
  • Confidence
    • Reflecting on and celebrating our successes
    • To try new things
    • To believe we can achieve anything

As a member of the SBL community, we will endeavour to demonstrate these values in everything we do.

Free school meals

Free school meals

How to apply

Parents and carers can now apply for free school meals via the Citizen Portal. Your eligibility will be checked online, and the portal will let you know whether your child is eligible for free school meals. If your child is eligible you will receive a confirmation message, and the school will be notified directly. If you are not eligible you will be presented with a message stating this.

Please note, if you have already completed a secondary school place application for the next academic year via the portal, you do not need to re-register to apply for free school meals. Please use the login details that you have already set up.

Apply for free school meals

School performance

School performance

These results are provisional for 2018:

Performance Measure % 2018 Actual
Basics (English & Ma) 9 - 4 60
Basics (English & Ma) 9 - 5 30

English (English & Ma) 9 - 4

English (English & Ma) 9 - 5 50

Maths (English & Ma) 9 - 4

Maths (English & Ma) 9 - 5 36

Year 11, Summer 2017

  • Progress 8 score: -0.46
  • Attainment 8 score: 42 points
  • 63% of students achieved a standard pass (grade 4 or above) in English and maths
  • 35% of students achieved a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths
  • 6% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) combination of subjects (this means students who got a GCSE grade 5 or above in English and maths and C and above in 2 sciences, a language, and history or geography).
  • 10% of students were entered EBacc suite of qualifications in 2017.

Post 16, Summer 2017

  • The SBL Value Added score for A Levels and Academic subjects is +0.04. This means that students studying A Levels at SBL make more progress compared with students across the country.
  • The SBL Value Added score for Applied Vocational qualifications is +0.43. This means that students studying Applied Vocational qualifications at SBL make considerably more progress compared with students across the country studying similar qualifications.
  • The SBL Value Added score for Tech level qualifications will be available later in 2018.
  • Six students studied maths at post 16 and had a progress score of +0.33. This means that students studying Level 2 Maths at SBL Sixth Form make considerably more progress compared with students across the country studying the same qualification.
  • Data for retention (the proportion of students who get to the end of the main programme of study that they enrolled on) becomes available later in 2018.

Full details of exam results at Key Stage 4 and 5 can be found on Compare school performance.

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust

Sir Bernard Lovell Academy converted to academy status on 1st April 2015. We are now part of the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust (WMAT).

Contact details

Wellsway Multi Academy Trust
WMAT Central Office
c/o SBL Academy
North Street
Oldland Common
BS30 8TS

T: 0845 136 0026

Further information


Local authority and government

Local authority and government

If you require more information on the work of the local authority please refer to South Gloucestershire Council.

For further information please refer to the Department for Education.


Request a printed copy

Request a printed copy

Should you require a paper copy of the information on our website, please contact the school office t: 0117 456 5900 or email: sblovell@sblonline.org.uk where we will take details of your request and provide copies as soon as possible.