The National Curriculum

We provide a broad, balanced curriculum enabling students to embark on "learning pathways" that cater for their individual needs and providing opportunities to study up to 10 or 11 GCSEs.

  • All students cover the 'Core' subjects of Maths, English (Language and Literature) and the Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).
  • In Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9), students also study Art & Design, Modern Foreign Languages (French), Music, Computer Science, Drama, Design Technology, Food & Nutrition, Physical Education (PE) and humanities subjects. Humanities are studied through Project Based Learning in Years 7 & 8 and as Geography, History and Philosophy, Religion & Ethics from Year 9.
  • Students also study Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE), including Relationships & Sex Education (RSE).
  • Students have the opportunity (usually in Year 9) to study for additional work-related certificates such as First Aid, Health & Safety or Food Hygiene. They will have work experience (usually in Year 10) and careers coaching.

GCSE Choices

In Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11), all students continue with the 'Core' curriculum for GCSE, that is:

  • Maths
  • English (Language and Literature)
  • Sciences: 3 GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) or 2 GCSEs (Combined Science)

The EBacc

The EBacc (English Baccalaureate) is not a qualification in itself but is a performance indicator which recognises achievement in the core GCSE subjects above plus history / geography and a modern foreign language.

Our aim is for the majority of our students to achieve the EBacc award by achieving high GCSE grades in an appropriate combination of subjects. Students must take at least one of:

  • Computer Science
  • French
  • Geography
  • History

Additional Subjects

As well as the EBacc subjects above, students can access a range of qualifications at GCSE. Other GCSEs currently on offer include:

  • Art & Design
  • Design Technology
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Physical Education
  • Philosophy & Religious Education
  • Further Maths

A new qualification in Creative Digital Media (or similar) will be offered for students starting Key Stage 4 in 2022.

 We also offer the opportunity to study for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).

Learning Pathways

'Learning pathways' cater for a student's individual needs and provide opportunities to study up to 11 subjects.

For example, a keen linguist can be supported to study two languages, more able learners can study at a higher level by taking Further Maths or being supported to study an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), and those with scientific interests will be able to study three separate sciences; biology, chemistry and physics.

We provide enrichment opportunities for all students by involving inspiring speakers, visiting universities and inviting 'expert witnesses' to inspire them about the wider world.

Performance in English and maths has always been strong. [The Swanage School, Ofsted 2018]