The Curriculum at Bishop Thomas Grant School
We are a truly comprehensive school and our curriculum reflects this. Students at Bishop Thomas Grant School will make the expected levels of progress in their subjects and go beyond this. We are committed to ensuring that every child leaves us with the best education to prepare them for their lives as adults and as followers of Christ.
When you send your sons and daughters to secondary school you place your trust in us. We have the opportunity as educators to enable students to shine and gain the qualifications that will open the doors to their future careers. We believe passionately that every student at Bishop Thomas Grant School must access a modern curriculum that is fit for purpose, stretching, enjoyable and that equips them with the skills and knowledge for the future.
The majority of schools set students for their subjects and timetable all students to study the same curriculum. We do not believe in a one size fits all education and have designed a range of different curriculum pathways at Bishop Thomas Grant School: we recognise that some students flourish from undertaking a rigorous academic pathway whilst other students need a greater proportion of Mathematics and English lessons to enable them to access the curriculum and develop life skills.
In Year 7, we identify the most able students and they follow the curriculum pathway equivalent to a grammar school. These students are taught separate Sciences, Latin, a Modern Foreign Language and Computer Science alongside the core curriculum of Mathematics, English, RE, PE, Art, Music and Drama. They have the opportunity to study an additional language in Year 8 and their progress is managed by our Assistant Headteacher who oversees the More Able, Gifted and Talented programme. Students in this class and all gifted and talented students across the school are monitored to ensure that they are being prepared for the next stage of their learning journey.
In Year 7, we teach French, Spanish, German and Latin. We ensure that students who speak another language at home have the opportunity to study this language after school and to take GCSEs and A-Levels in their mother tongue.
Sport, Music and the Creative Arts are an important part of the curriculum and we offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities including school productions, choirs, orchestra, netball, football, trampolining, rugby, swimming, cricket, fitness and zumba to name but a few. The extra-curricular activities are highly regarded and are an important part of a child’s social and physical development. We have a working kiln in our specialist ceramics studio and work closely with the Tate and with London Art colleges in order to give students the opportunity to engage with a wide range of mediums in the Art department. Students compete in many team sports against a variety of highly regarded teams from both within the state and independent sector.
Students who arrive at secondary school requiring additional support are taught by specialist teachers in a small class to enable them to accelerate their progress. Whilst students might arrive at Bishop Thomas Grant School needing to improve literacy and numeracy, we ensure that they have Mathematics and English every day to bridge the gap sooner. We want all students to have the widest possible choice of subjects when they reach Key Stage 4 and 5 and see prioritising Mathematics and English as integral to future success.
As students progress through Key Stage 3, we begin preparing them to select their GCSE option subjects. All students study Science, Mathematics, English, RE and ICT in the core curriculum. The most able Scientists study separate Sciences in preparation for A-Level. All students have PE and many choose to take it as a GCSE subject. The courses for GCSE take into account the subjects offered at Key Stage 5 and a wider range is available to enable them to progress to these subjects in the Sixth Form. Students will already have studied Art, Music, Drama, History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages and have the opportunity to select these subjects for GCSE. At Key Stage 4, we offer a range of academic and vocational courses to match the student’s interests and aptitude. We feel it is important to have a broad curriculum and additional subjects offered include Economics, Business Studies, Media Studies, Performing Arts and Humanities GCSEs.
The offer of courses at Key Stage 4 recognises that some students can accelerate and complete GCSEs earlier, whilst other students need additional timetabled study support. At Bishop Thomas Grant School, some students may sit GCSEs in Year 10. In Mathematics, the most able Mathematicians will sit their GCSE a year early. They will then study Additional Mathematics GCSE and begin their AS modules in Year 11. The pathways offered at Key Stage 4 enable students a great deal of choice so that students who are talented in an area can study subjects that they will enjoy and achieve excellent results in.
Ultimately, subjects at Key Stage 4 are the first time in their school career where students make decisions that will influence their options for sixth form, university and employment and so it is vital that we support them with this. The school is unique in employing a full-time careers adviser to support students from Year 9 to Year 13 with their career choices. The majority of schools buy in careers advisers locally to run drop in sessions and do not have their own careers adviser. We know that having someone available who is part of our school community and who knows our students and their families is the best way to work together in partnership to support your sons and daughters. When we plan for your children’s futures, we plan to offer them the very best in terms of teaching and learning, pastoral care and support.
The curriculum at Bishop Thomas Grant School is reviewed annually to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all students. The best schools do not wait for the world to change before they adapt their curriculum in line with others. The best schools change their curriculum as the world changes and other schools follow them. Students at Bishop Thomas Grant School experience a rich world class curriculum that will enable our learners of today to be the leaders of tomorrow.