Senior Schools Curriculum
Key Stage 3
The first two years of Senior School are crucial not only for building the foundations for educational success in the all-important GCSE and A Level years but also for discovering academic interests and talents while encountering a wide range of exciting subjects. Years 7 – 8 in our Senior Schools are academically challenging at the same time as being enjoyable and wide in scope.
During Key Stage 3 our pupils master the key skills that are essential for examination success but they also acquire a thirst for learning, a positive mind set and an enthusiasm for embracing new challenges. Many of our pupils comment that these years are the most memorable years of their education as they are when key friendships are forged and they embark upon the road to success.
Subjects offered in Years 7 to 8 to both girls and boys:
Art and Design
Food and Nutrition
Design and Technology
Art and Design
Key Stage 4
A key feature of our Curriculum Model is the three-year GCSE course. Such is the ability of our pupils we feel that they are ready to choose their GCSE options in Year 8 and embark upon the challenging GCSE route a year earlier.
Our pupils select 9 GCSE subjects from a possible 18 options.
By starting the GCSE courses in Year 9:
- Pupils specialise in the academic areas that interest them earlier;
- They spend more curriculum time on the subjects in which they are going to gain formal qualification;
- Pupils have three years to adjust to the high levels that are required by the GCSE examinations;
- Teachers will be able to build in many of the skills required to access the high levels in the GCSE examinations as well as covering the content;
- Teachers are able to teach beyond the confines of the basic specifications to equip our students with the necessary knowledge to access the top grades of 8 and 9 – we fully expect learning to be more exciting!
- Teachers are able to identify areas where pupils need more help and crucially have the time to target and offer support in these areas;
- Teachers are able to build in time for revision and hone GCSE examination technique;
- With a reduction in time pressure pupils feel calmer and better prepared for their examinations;
- Year 8 and 9 may have a greater sense of purpose, focus and drive.
In addition to working towards GCSEs during Key Stage 4, we remain committed to the academic enrichment and extra-curricular activities that provide our students with interpersonal skills and confidence that last a lifetime. Opportunities abound in these areas. We offer The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to all Year 9 pupils and the option of undertaking the Higher Project Qualification in Year 10 – excellent preparation for the independent study skills required for success in A Levels and Higher Education.
For pupils in Year 8 choosing which GCSEs to study we offer lots of advice and guidance on how to choose the right subjects to suit each pupil. Please watch our recent Year 8 Options Evening for more information.
'' At Bury Grammar School the support I received when selecting my GCSE options was invaluable. All the teachers were happy to give their time to advise and steer me in the right direction to ensure I selected the options that played to my academic strengths and my future aspirations as well as making sure I would enjoy the subjects that I had picked. ''
Year 11 Pupil