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The Curriculum

The Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

At Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School we have a curriculum which is designed to provide a stimulating and personalised education for every student. As the vast majority of our students stay on for the sixth form, we have designed our curriculum as a seven-year journey, a journey which encourages students to enjoy a broad and creative education and discover their personal areas of strength and interest, allowing for informed specialisation as they travel through the school. Discovering their talents is made possible for students through a curriculum which offers breadth, flexibility and choice.

The outstanding outcomes in the sixth form and progression to the most prestigious institutions in the country are testament to the strength of this approach. 

The curriculum meets students’ needs extremely well by offering a wide choice of subjects to study for GCSE and A level. The introduction of an extended Key Stage 4 over three years instead of two led to improvements in GCSE grades. Ofsted 2015

Our ambitious curriculum is intended to provide a high quality learning experience for every student, promoting breadth, balance and depth. Above all it is intended to provide stretch, challenge and stimulus, building on the interests and aptitudes of our students in order to encourage the highest possible levels of educational achievement across all key stages.

The needs of students are very well met through the broad range of subjects offered, the extensive opportunities to develop personal skills and the close care and support provided. Students talk with passion about the opportunities they have to develop confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills and they feel fully prepared for their next stage. Students appreciate the guidance provided by their mentors. Ofsted 2015

Implementation

Our Faculty structure is led by a team of experienced leaders who are responsible for defining the intent of the curriculum in each of their areas of responsibility. They work with subject colleagues and Lead Practitioners to plan the implementation of the curriculum, through detailed curriculum maps and schemes of work. The Heads of Faculty are also responsible for overseeing an exceptional range of extra curricular opportunities which serve to enhance the curriculum across the school. 

Ultimately the curriculum serves to prepare students for their futures, providing them with the qualifications, confidence and qualities that will enable them to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The impact of the curriculum is demonstrated through the wide range of academic, training and employment options that pupils access upon completion of their journey through Queen Elizabeth’s.

The school genuinely believes in retaining breadth in the curriculum and ensures that students have access to an unusually broad range of GCSE and A Level options, including a wide range of highly successful creative options. This allows all students to develop their interests and strengths and to find their ‘place’ in the school and ultimately the world.

The wide range of courses meets the needs of the students very well. A variety of high quality extra-curricular clubs and enrichment activities make a positive contribution to the students’ strong personal development. Ofsted 2015

Our distinctive curriculum is designed to meet the needs of every student, encouraging them to pursue a range of different career options in higher education, apprenticeships and the world of work.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 is covered in two years; 7 and 8. The teaching in these year groups is delivered in accordance with the legislative requirements of the National Curriculum. The curriculum is accelerated and all departments plan to cover the normal content of Key Stage 3, more conventionally delivered in three years, over two. 

Higher expectations are made of students as a result; they study more advanced content at a greater pace than is traditional in secondary schools. They enjoy access to a broad range of academic and creative subjects in order to identify their areas of expertise and preference.

Students are therefore well prepared for choosing their GCSE subjects towards the latter part of Year 8.

Most of the teaching is undertaken in tutor groups.

Subjects covered in Years 7 and 8         

English, Mathematics, Science, Design and Technology, Computing, History, Geography, Drama, Art and Design, Music, Religious Education, Physical Education, French, German or Spanish and PSHE and Citizenship

Please see the Key Stage 3 section of this website for further details.

Key Stage 4

The core courses at GCSE, followed by every student, are listed below. This amounts to 7.5 GCSE examinations (RE is taught as a compulsory short course, worth half a GCSE and is examined at the end of year 10).  All students are fully informed about and have the option to study the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), for which they need to choose History or Geography as one of their options. 

The GCSE ‘core' courses are; English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, a Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish), and Religious Education (Short course).

Our wide range of options at GCSE encourages students to study a broad range of subjects at this level. Of particular importance is the strength and popularity of our creative subjects, which the vast majority of our students opt for at GCSE. In 2019, 90% of students had studied a creative GCSE subject before the end of year 11.

Students choose three option subjects, leading to a total of 10.5 GCSE qualifications. There are literally thousands of personalised combinations available depending on expertise, interest and aspiration.

GCSE ‘option' subjects including;  Art and Design, Computer Science, Design Engineering, Drama, Economics, Film Studies, Food and Nutrition, Geography, History, Music and Physical Education. Students can also choose a second Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish).

Alongside the examination subjects listed, all students have core lessons in Physical Education, PSHE and Citizenship.

Please see the Key Stage 4 section of this website for further details.

Sixth Form

The Sixth Form is a high profile part of this outstanding school, with an excellent track record of examination results and applications to competitive courses in Higher Education, alongside other academic routes, apprenticeships and alternative training pathways.

All students follow a programme of studying three or four full A Level courses. This prepares them well for their futures.

The A Level offer includes; Art and Design, Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology: Product Design, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Film Studies, French, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Sociology and Spanish.

Students who choose three A levels also study one of the additional options; Extended Project AS, Mathematics in Context or Work Experience.

Please see the Sixth Form section of this website for further details.

Queen Elizabeth’s and The Abbey School joint Post-16 offer

Students who achieve the Queen Elizabeth’s entry criteria can also study subjects that we do not offer at The Abbey School through our combined programme.

Currently the subjects that The Abbey School offer on our Joint Study Programme are:

A Level Drama, A Level Business, BTECs in Applied Science, Child Development, Dance or Production Arts. Diploma options are also available in Criminology or Finance and finally, an IBCP alongside a single A Level subject at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.