Skip to content ↓

Curriculum Intent

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. We aim to provide a curriculum that extends and enthuses students, inside and outside the classroom, beyond the examination specification. Our curriculum will help develop students' social assets and cultural capital, preparing them today for an ever-changing tomorrow.

All our students engage in a three-year Key Stage 3 curriculum, which closely follows the National Curriculum, and have the opportunity to attain the English Baccalaureate. This Key Stage 3 curriculum carefully builds upon the foundations of Key Stage 2. Key Stage 4 students undertake eight to nine GCSEs or equivalent, with the vast majority taking a modern foreign language. There are 18 option choices for Key Stage 4  students, including a small number of Level 2 BTEC qualifications to ensure the curriculum is inclusive. At Key Stage 5, there are 25 option choices, including a small number of Level 3 BTEC qualifications, with most students sitting three A Levels at the end of Year 13. The Extended Project Qualification is increasingly popular, but students in Key Stage 5 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, with lessons of 55 minutes. The expansive curriculum model also includes a comprehensive after-school and Saturday co-curricular enrichment programme. Students also learn from each other and from their experiences inside and outside the classroom. Also, our House system supports and encourages learning to flourish beyond the standard school day.

Please click here for the Policy on Students Grouping in Subjects.

Please click here for the Religious Education Audit.

ACADEMIC GUIDES key stage 3, key stage 4 & key stage 5


Year 7 - On joining the school, students are placed into four co-educational tutor groups.  Students are ability-set in Maths, and banded within English and Sciences. Setting occurs to a more limited extent in 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 addition, 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 that in 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.


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.  A link to the Y9 Options Evening, Presentation - 2023 delivered by Ms J Pierce - Deputy Head (Curriculum) can be found here.

Each student must continue with the compulsory core curriculum:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Science
  • One MFL subject
  • Physical Education
  • PSHE

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.


Gordon’s School Sixth Form offers a broadly traditional curriculum, following a 3+1 model.

This is a model where all students choose three A Level subjects, or a pure BTEC model, or alternatively a combination of A Level and BTEC courses at their core. 

In addition, students choose a fourth subject option from our Supplementary Options to pursue in Year 12 only.  Examples of +1 options are AS Maths to support a core qualification such as sciences. For creative students we offer the Gold Arts Award, for science students wishing to lead an independent project in this field we now deliver the Crest Award. For our budding Sport enthusiasts we offer the chance of an extra qualification in the form of Higher Sports Leaders and Strength and Conditioning. 

All lessons are taught in mixed ability groups.

Most students choose to undertake the EPQ as their supplementary option as this is an excellent preparation for University. 



Students in Key Stage 5 undertake  A Levels over a two year programme. At Key Stage 4, students sit GCSE 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. 


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 Academic 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.