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Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Broad and balanced

At Chesham Grammar School, we have devised an ambitious, well-sequenced curriculum that provides a broad and balanced education for all students.  We believe that the most effective way of getting students ready for a rapidly changing world is to give students a broad education, covering a wide range of disciplines and subjects.  Our curriculum ensures that students follow a pathway that is balanced at Key Stages 3 and 4 between traditional, academic subjects and the more creative subjects.  Our well-sequenced provision at each Key Stage ensures that students are fully prepared for the next stage of their education or lives.

Knowledge and skills

Our curriculum recognises the importance of enabling students to develop a deep and rich knowledge of subjects.  A deep and rich knowledge of subjects unlocks opportunities for students that are simply not available when teachers skim over topics.  Teachers immerse students in their subjects and challenge them to think deeply.  Our curriculum enables students to understand concepts and acquire a variety of skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations.  The comprehensive knowledge and skills developed by students through exposure to our wide-ranging curriculum will give them the flexibility to adapt successfully in an ever-changing world. 

Preparation for the future

Chesham Grammar School is staffed by specialists who are passionate about their subject and the standard of teaching is high.  Our main priority is learning and we intend to enable our students to develop the habits of the CGS Learner so that they are fully prepared for further study, the world of work and to become active citizens who make a positive contribution to society.  While teachers are ambitious for students and encourage, support and guide them, we expect students to take a good deal of responsibility for their own learning and to learn to work both independently and with each other, to relish challenges and to persevere when they find things hard.

Personal development

At the heart of our curriculum is the personal development of our students.  Students are exposed to a wide, rich set of curriculum experiences outside of the classroom so that they are equipped with the cultural capital that they need to succeed in life.  We promote and recognise participation and success in a wide range of extra-curricular activities to enable students to discover and develop lifelong interests.

Key Stage 3

The well-sequenced Key Stage 3 curriculum provides a broad, challenging and ambitious programme that ensures that students build on the high standards that they have reached at Key Stage 2.  It meets all National Curriculum requirements (and the locally agreed syllabus for Religious Education) and provides a strong foundation of skills and knowledge so that students are ready for GCSE.

All students at Key Stage 3 study English with a specialist English teacher.  There is an emphasis on developing high levels of literacy and a love of reading.  Key Stage 3 students are taught Science in well-equipped laboratories, covering topics in Physics, Chemistry and Biology before embarking on all of these as separate Science GCSEs in Year 9.  Mathematics is taught in teaching groups in Year 7 and mixed ability groups (with a top set only) in Years 8 and 9.

Our Modern Foreign Languages programme recognises the importance of being immersed in two languages.  All students learn two languages on entry in Year 7: French and German or Spanish.

Key Stage 3 students study History, Geography and PRE; these subjects are brought to life by subject-specialists.  In Technology, students experience programmes of study that cover a wide range of design skills including Engineering, Food Technology and Textiles.  All students also take Computer Science where they develop their e-literacy skills.

At Chesham Grammar School we also believe firmly that the Creative Arts are an entitlement that all students should have at Key Stage 3; the Arts are not only important disciplines in themselves, they enable students to develop their confidence, collaborative skills and imagination.  Students study Music, Drama and Art.

The school values the importance of students developing their confidence in sport and physical activity, promoting the enjoyment of exercise as essential for a healthy lifestyle.  All Key Stage 3 students have two hours of PE each week.  Through sport, students develop their practical skills and learn the important values of teamwork, leadership, and mutual respect.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE, students continue to follow a well-sequenced, broad, challenging and ambitious curriculum that builds on the progress made by students at Key Stage 3.  The English Baccaluareate is at the heart of the curriculum and so it remains a balanced curriculum that provides students with the strongest possible foundation for their chosen post-16 pathway – either A levels, further education and/or employment.

Students take 6 core subjects – English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics.  They are then able to choose four other subjects – a Language, a Humanity, a creative subject and one other, usually a second creative subject.

Our Life Skills and PE programme continues at Key Stage 4.  In addition, all students continue to have one PRE lesson over a two week period, and students are given the opportunity to opt in to sitting the Short Course PRE GCSE examination.

Sixth Form

At Key Stage 5, students follow a curriculum path that intends to develop academic excellence in students, with students learning the best that has been thought, said and written.  In addition, students further develop skills of leadership, creativity, teamwork and independent thinking.  The well-sequenced curriculum builds on the vast progress made by students at Key Stage 4.

Students choose to study either three or four subjects at A level.  Some of our students who study three A levels also take the Extended Project Qualification.  All students follow a programme of non-examination Sixth Form Studies including Life Skills, PE, the lecture programme, study skills, volunteering, work experience and much more.

If you would like further information on any of the subjects listed, please contact office@cheshamgrammar.org and the appropriate Subject Leader or the Curriculum Deputy will answer your queries.