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Our expansive education model aims to be a thorough preparation for life. To inspire and equip our students with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to achieve well across a diverse range of disciplines; to discover and develop their talents and interests to the highest possible standard; and to serve the communities in which they live and work.

First, this means that we want students across a broad range of academic abilities to have access to, and attain well across, a range of qualifications that open many doors to the next stage of their lives. Second, we want a curriculum that extends and enthuses students, inside and outside the classroom, beyond the examination specification. Third, we want a curriculum that develops students social assets and prepares them today for an ever-changing tomorrow.

All our students engage in a 3-year KS3 curriculum and have the opportunity to attain the English Baccalaureate. KS4 students undertake 8-9 GCSEs or equivalent, with the vast majority taking a modern foreign language. There are  eighteen option choices for KS4 students, including a small number of Level 2 BTEC qualifications to ensure the curriculum is inclusive. At KS5, there are twenty-five option choices, including a small number of Level 3 BTEC qualifications, with most students sitting 3 A Levels at the end of Y13. Extended Project Qualification is increasingly popular, but students in KS5 have a number of other additional options, including Sports Leader Awards and Gold Arts Award.

We currently operate a two week, 60 lesson academic timetable cycle.  All lessons are 55 minutes in duration. However, the curriculum is the totality of students' experiences in school and as such, we offer a comprehensive after-school and Saturday co-curricular enrichment programme. Students also learn from each other and experiences between and outside scheduled lessons and our House system supports and encourages learning to flourish in a wide range of settings.

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


ACADEMIC GUIDES 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 at the end of Year 11.

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

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


Click here to see the KS4 options webinar delivered by the Head of Key Stage 3 Mr Lewis and Head of Key Stage 4 Mr Grace.

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 GCSEs) 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 on the most appropriate pathway is provided to students.

Further information on all subjects taught in Year 10 and 11 can 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 life outside Gordon's.

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

All lessons are taught in mixed ability groups.


Students in Key Stage 5 undertake  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 three ways:

  • Departmental reviews occur on a regular basis and input from our students form a part of each review.
  • All departments and teachers are expected to conduct their own regular micro-reviews.
  • Each term the Curriculum Student Council meets and proposals for change are passed up to the termly Student Governing Body meeting.

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.