About the Curriculum

Our curriculum 

The curriculum at BGS is necessarily the servant of our school aims. These aims evolved through discussions with staff and students, as well as a knowledge of the local and global context. These aims are for students to:

    • Have the ambition and confidence to achieve their dreams
    • Act with self-awareness, empathy and tolerance
    • Have the independence and resilience to overcome barriers

In order to help achieve these aims we have designed a curriculum that remains broad throughout years 7 to 9, in order that students have access to a wide range of domain specific  knowledge and are afforded the opportunity to develop contextual skills that will underpin future success.

Students thus benefit from sequences of learning, structured over time, in maths, sciences, languages, humanities, physical education and the arts. This is complemented by an extensive curriculum of personal development. We believe that this exposes students to a depth of knowledge that develops their cultural literacy, within the context of traditional subject disciplines. 

During Y9 the level of challenge is enhanced with the introduction of GCSE standard work in many areas.

At BGS we believe that knowledge is not an end in itself. We are ambitious for our students to not only have knowledge of the ‘best that has been thought and said’ but to have ‘powerful knowledge’ – that is, the ability to question the basis of that knowledge and to challenge received thinking. 

Subject curriculum

At subject/departmental level the curriculum is designed and implemented by subject specialists. It is organic, adapting on the basis of reflection and review. Subject leaders meet with senior leaders regularly, as part of the school’s monitoring and review policy, in order to discuss subject developments through the lens of student progress and classroom practice.

Curriculum leaders regularly review the effectiveness of the curriculum by engaging in a professional dialogue about student work over time. These discussions, along with joint planning and departmental CPD are a formal part of the school’s calendar of  subject meetings.

Our expert curriculum leaders have shaped the curriculum over time and are supported to be innovative in their thinking:  the PE curriculum, for instance, has been redesigned around the concept of: physical me; thinking me; social me and healthy me in order to promote wider themes in an inclusive manner. With the exception of maths students are consciously taught in mixed ability groupings.

Small group intervention and paired partner programmes are used in order to enable students to close gaps in vocabulary and literacy

To give our personal development programme firm foundations, and to support transition from primary school, all year 7s have two weekly sessions focusing  upon PSHE as well as our unique ‘me in the world’ programme.  

Teaching

Whilst we do not advocate a prescriptive or formulaic approach to teaching we have, based upon a firm knowledge of the evidence, developed our BGS 6 principles of effective teaching. (Retrieval practice; effective feedback; modelling; questioning; cognitive load, independent practice) These principles, which are increasingly embedded within daily practice, ensure that student learning is enhanced over time. Professional development is centred, along with metacognition, on these practices. 

Options

Our KS4 curriculum is a traditional one, with a concentration upon the core of English, maths, sciences and humanities. The vast majority of students (including disadvantaged students or those with SEND) take 8 or 9 GCSEs. Pathways have been introduced to support the KS4 curriculum and afford students an opportunity to take a more technical route by studying practical/ vocational subjects (such as V-cert Engineering: we are an NCFE champion school) alongside the core curriculum. 

Languages are highly valued at BGS (we have very successful French and German GCSE groups) and we actively encourage students to consider studying languages as one of their three options, with no student precluded from, or directed to, taking this route. Indeed, our options process is designed to ensure that students embark upon subjects which are consistent with their emerging career/ higher education ambitions. There is strong evidence that our approach to languages is providing the linguists of tomorrow, as we currently  have students studying French, German and Spanish at A level.

The strong core and concomitant options enable students to progress successfully, with the help of our QiCS accredited careers and guidance programme, onto their chosen post 16 pathway. Our engagement with local employers is high, with all students undertaking a quality work experience placement at the end of Y10. Limiting students to taking exams in a maximum of 9 subjects affords time to study in depth, continue with extracurricular activities and reduce unnecessary stress. 

Students are also challenged to academic excellence, with approximately 40% of students taking triple science and our best mathematicians achieving high grades in IGCSE Further Mathematics. In 2019 29% of boys attained 7-9 in English Literature (24% in Language) compared to a national figures for boys of 15% (and 10%) respectively.

KS5

Our post-16 curriculum is an academic one, focussed on an A level provision which enables students to progress to their chosen degree, higher apprenticeship or employment. Our post 16 provision is run jointly with Beverley High School and complements the vocational provision of two excellent local colleges (East Riding College; Bishop Burton College). There is an extensive programme of personal development running alongside academic study and support. 

Super curriculum

At each key stage we are introducing students to a curriculum which sits beyond formal classroom learning. Students are encouraged to independently access this curriculum and start their own bespoke learning journey.

Changes to GCSE and A levels

For information on how GCSE and A-Levels have recently changed, click the link below.

GCSE and A level reform for parents

For help understanding the new GCSE numbered grading system, click the link  below.

Information regarding the new GCSE number grading system.pdf

British Values

At BGS we aim to encourage all of our students to understand the fundamental British values of rule of law, democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect/ tolerance of people of all faiths, races and cultures.

For the British Values Statement, click the link below.

Promoting British Values.pdf

If you require any additional information about the curriculum, please contact the Assistant Headteacher (Curriculum), Mr Hamshaw-Hart by e-mail at l.hamshaw@beverleygrammar.co.uk

Key Stage 3 – Year 7, 8 and 9

Students take the following subjects (The number of hours per week are shown for each year group)

Subject Hours in year 7 Hours in year 8 Hours in year 9
English 5 4 4
Mathematics 4 4 4
Science 3 3 3
Design Technology 2 2 2
Modern Foreign Language 2 2 2
Geography 1 1 2
History 1 2 1
Religious Education 1 1 1
Art 1 1 1
Computing 1 1 1
Music 1 1 1
Physical Education 2 2 2
PSHCE 1 1 1

Students will study one Modern Foreign Language throughout Key Stage 3, either French or German.

Students are set for Mathematics. Students are placed into a mixed ability teaching group for the remaining subjects.

Key Stage 4 – Year 10 & 11

Full details of Key Stage 4 Options are available to download in the Options Booklet for each academic year. These will be available on the homepage when they are published.

In years 10 and 11 all students study the following subjects to GCSE level:
(The number of hours per week are shown in brackets)

  • English (4)
  • Mathematics (4)
  • Science (6)

Students also have 2 hours of Physical Education per week and follow programmes of PSHE and RE, which are delivered in form times and specialist “drop-down” days.

These subjects form the statutory Core Curriculum. In addition students choose one of four possible routes:

Route E: EBacc learning

Students choose to study courses which will lead to achieving the EBacc (a Modern Foreign Language and a Humanity) and one other from the list shown for route E and O. Each of these subjects is studied for three hours per week.

Route O: Open learning

Students choose to study one of the courses below and two additional subjects from the list shown for route E and O. Each of these subjects is studied for three hours per week.

  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History

Route T: Technical learning

Students choose to study one of the courses below and two additional subjects from the list shown for route T. Each of these subjects is studied for three hours per week.

  • Geography
  • History

List of subjects for Routes E & O

  • Art & Design
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Design & Technology
  • Drama
  • Engineering Studies
  • Food & Nutrition
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Graphic Design
  • History
  • ICT (i-Media)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies

List of subjects for Routes T

  • Art and Design
  • Business & Enterprise (V-Cert)
  • Drama
  • Engineering (V-Cert)
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Graphic products
  • Health & Fitness (V-Cert)
  • ICT (i-Media)

The Joint Sixth (Years 12 and 13)

Our 6th Form is organised jointly with Beverley High School and teaching in most subjects is shared equally between the staff of both schools. Find out much more by visiting the Sixth Form website by clicking the Beverly J6 link at the top of the page.

Both Beverley Grammar School and Beverley High School have extensive and successful experience of 6th Form work and students benefit from the shared resources and wide range of expertise which is available to them.

In addition to examination courses all Sixth Form students follow a programme of complementary studies which include tutorials, community service and a range of optional courses.