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Like all good schools, great importance is placed on the quality of teaching in the classroom and students of all abilities have access to the very best teaching, resources and opportunities to achieve their potential.

Our curriculum philosophy:

  • There is no one way to teach good and outstanding lessons, as long as students are engaged, challenged and know how to improve.
  • Good teachers live our character values in the classroom, put students first and are passionate about their subject and that every student in the class succeeds.
  • Happy children learn best.
  • Staff are teachers of children rather than subjects.
  • All teaching should develop in students the requisite knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviours for them to achieve well across any discipline
  • There are no shortcuts and hard work is the key ingredient in success.
  • We believe in abundant opportunities inside and outside the classroom for our students to discover and develop their talents and interests in a diverse range of disciplines from traditional academic subjects to sports, from creative arts to leadership.

Please click here for the set change protocols in English, Maths and Science.


Our curriculum aims to provide a broad, balanced and rounded education for all students, regardless of their individual backgrounds, preparing them well for their future careers. All students have the opportunity to attain the English Baccalaureate.

Great importance is placed on the quality of teaching and learning with a focus on long-term acquisition of knowledge and skills,  as well as qualifications that open doors to the next stage of students' lives.  As we work towards becoming a Thinking School, we strive to encourage the whole school community to think reflectively, creatively and critically.  We aim to have cognition at the heart of our practice and we will continue to nurture and develop an ethos of thinking across the school.  We believe this focus on cognition will encourage our students to become more resilient learners who embrace challenge and realise their true potential whilst also focusing on a holistic approach to education; we need to prepare our students today for an ever changing tomorrow.

We currently operate a one week, 30 lesson, timetable cycle.  All lessons are 55 minutes in duration. However, we believe the curriculum is the totality of students' experiences in school and as such, promote an expansive curriculum both inside and outside the classroom where students discover and develop their talents and interests across a diverse range of disciplines.

This Curriculum Statement should be read in conjunction with the Homework policy and the Assessment & Reporting Policy.

implementation ks3, ks4 & ks5


Year 7 - On joining the school, students are placed into four tutor groups.  Students are ability set in Maths, English and Sciences and to a more limited extent for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL).  Humanities subjects, Art, Music, Drama, Computing, and Religious Studies are taught in mixed ability form groups.  Technology and Food Technology are taught in a carousel.  In additional, physical education and PSHE are delivered to all students. 

During the Spring Term students will select their MFL language option from French, German and Spanish.  They will continue with this until their GCSE examination are the end of Year 11.

Year 8 - We have a similar arrangement to Year 7.  Only the MFL language is studied y all students.

Year 9 - The curriculum is delivered using the same model as in Year 8.


Year 10 and 11 - Students are taught in ability sets for English, Maths and to a certain extent in MFL.  Students in Science undertake either GCSEs in all three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) if they are in set 1 or Dual Award (worth two GCSE's) if they are in sets 2-6.

Each Student must continue  with the compulsory core curriculum:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science
  • One MFL subject
  • Physical Education
  • PSHE
  • The GCSE Short Course in Religious Studies in Year 10

In additional to these, students will select three further option subjects.  Their choices will reflect their preferred approach as well as academic or skills based ability.  We offer a range of qualifications to suit a variety of learning needs.  Guidance is provided to students as to the most appropriate pathway.

Further information on all subjects taught in Year 10 and 11 an be gained by clicking on the Key Stage 4 Options and Academic Guide.

The English Baccalaureate - Students have the opportunity to study the subjects at KS4 which will allow them to achieve the English Baccalaureate: A GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language, Computing, History or Geography, as well as the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science.


Students in the Sixth Form undertake four AS Level subjects in Year 12 reducing to three in Year 13.

Currently, all students take AS Level examinations at the end of Year 12 and then      A Levels at the end of Year 13.  However, this is being reformed for 2020-21.

In addition, students undertake a PSHE course entitled 'Open Study' which prepares them well for the life outside of Gordon's.

Students also undertake sport on a weekly basis which is part of our Health Body, Healthy Mind strategy.

All lessons are taught in mixed ability groups.


Students in Key Stage 5 undertake AS and then A Levels over a two year programme. At Key Stage 4, students sit GCSE level exams. In order to offer students a clear journey from Year 7 to 11, all students in these year groups are assessed using the new GCSE 9-1 grading structure, with staff awarding ‘actual’ GCSE grades to students across all year groups. More information on the approach we have taken with assessment at Key Stage 3 can be found here.


Students have the opportunity to contribute their views on curricular issues in two ways:

  • Departmental reviews occur every three years with, on average, five departments being reviewed per academic year. Input from our students comprises a major part of each review, with all teachers receiving extensive feedback from at least one of their classes on a range of teaching and learning areas, as well as the option of a freely written narrative part for each student to complete, should they wish to.
  • All departments and teachers are encouraged to conduct their own regular micro-reviews.find out more

To find out more about the curriculum that we are following please read the information published by each department by selecting the "Departments and Subjects" button below.  If you need further advice please contact our deputy head (curriculum) or the relevant head of department. Please visit our "Contact us" page for their details.