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Parents/Carers or members of the public can find out more about the curriculum our school is following by contacting the school and asking to speak to Miss M Ward, Assistant Headteacher.

Our Curriculum

Parents/Carers or members of the public can find out more about the curriculum our school is following by contacting the school and asking to speak to Miss M Ward, Assistant Headteacher.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum at QEGS

At QEGS we:

  • Ensure QEGS’ values underpin our teaching and curriculum (Question, Explore, Give, Succeed). See the Curriculum Intent Statements for each subject if you
    require more detail
  • Offer a broad and balanced curriculum with value and relevance both in and out of the classroom
  • Promote and value academic and vocational, traditional and modern courses
  • Prepare students for life beyond QEGS with an aim to be highly employable
  • Ensure our staff and students’ mental and physical wellbeing is at the heart of all that we do

We pride ourselves on the range and variety of courses available for study in Years 10 and 11. This booklet gives detailed information for you and your parents to read in order to help you with your choices. We offer a full range of GCSE courses, complimented by relevant and high value vocational qualifications. We also want you to develop skills and interests beyond your studies at school.

You will continue to study Core subjects (English Language, English Literature, Science, Maths, PE, RS, RSE & PSHE), but you will have decisions to make about which other subjects and courses you wish to choose. You should consider what you might like to do in the future and, to
keep your options open, you should choose a balance of courses.

QEGS students will be able to discuss their choices with their form tutor. Time will also be given to you in Form Time and via individual appointments to help you investigate possible career pathways and to allow you to consult with Careers Advisors.

If you are currently at another school and you are thinking of coming to QEGS, please contact our Admissions and Transition Team (see below).

Contact: Admissions and Transition Team | E-mail:

Below is a list of courses available to students at Key Stage 4. More details can be found in the

KS4 (Y10 & Y11) Prospectus


  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies
  • Science


  • Agriculture
  • Art, Craft and Design
  • Art Textiles
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Creative and Digital Media Production
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Design & Technology
  • Engineering
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Geography
  • History
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Sport
  • Constructing the Built Environment
  • Child Development and Care

Key Stage 5 (16 to 19) Curriculum at QEGS

QEGS Sixth Form Offer: Our students are entering an increasingly competitive world; competition for employment, apprenticeships, university, internships, or work experience is fierce. Exam results alone are not enough to guarantee success. Students need to develop the skills and attributes which will help them to stand out and secure their ambitions. We focus on students making progress in their chosen academic courses, and we also offer students a broader programme to help them develop the skills they need.

A-level Programme

All of the A-Level subjects we offer at QEGS are linear qualifications with the assessment at the end of two years. The majority of students do choose to study 3 A-Levels, but it is possible to study 4. This will form their core programme, but we believe it is important students support this by taking another level 3 qualification alongside. This enables students to broaden their knowledge and understanding, develop vital skills, as well as gaining valuable UCAS points to enhance their applications. This will also be a linear option, taken over the two years to offer balance to a student’s programme.

Vocational Programme

We now offer a number of BTEC Level 3 Nationals here at QEGS. These are equivalent in standard to A-Levels and provide specialist, work-related learning in a number of vocational sectors. They provide a more practical, real-world way of learning and their value is widely recognised by teaching professionals, employers, higher education and students. These require some external assessment. (See individual subjects for details). It is possible to combine these with A-Level(s).

Below is a list of courses available to students at Key Stage 5. More details can be found in the Sixth Form Prospectus.

  • Art, Craft & Design
  • Art & Design – BTEC National Diploma
  • Art & Design – BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Business – BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Digital Media – BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/Certificate
  • Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
  • Economics
  • Engineering – QEGS Level 3 Engineering workshop programme
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Geography
  • Politics
  • History
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Core Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Science (Applied Science) – BTEC Level 3
  • Sociology
  • Sport and Exercise Science – BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
  • Sport and Physical Education
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools – BTEC Level 3 Award

In PSHE and RSE we enable high-quality Questioning; Explore a wide variety of issues; Give reasoned views to extend each other’s thinking; Succeed in developing our selves. So, we will flourish both now and in the future.

The QEGS vision: we care, therefore we question, we explore, we give and as a result, we succeed.
At QEGS we want our pupils to be inspired by everything they do, their education in the broadest sense; with sport, the arts, enterprise, performance, employability skills, competition, cultural school visits and many other amazing opportunities taking an equal standing with academic success.

We want our students to leave our school as interested and interesting people. At QEGS we prepare students for life beyond school, for QEGS students to be employable, to be life-long learners and to be happy and successful in life. Our pupils will be able to be truly independent, in their thinking, their learning and their coping.

For our students to achieve their best academically their education should be enriching and well
balanced, ensuring they are mentally and physically ready for the academic challenges they will face. It is our privilege and our duty to strive for our students, our staff, and all our stakeholders to be the best they can possibly be.

As a school with great historical tradition we care and we succeed, ‘en bon espoyr.’

Curriculum Intent

  • We will ensure QEGS values are at the heart of our teaching and curriculum (Question,
    Explore, Give, Succeed)
  • We will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, with value and relevance both in and out of
    the classroom
  • We will promote and value all aspects of education, academic, vocational, traditional and
  • We will prepare students for life beyond QEGS and to be highly employable
  • We will ensure mental and physical wellbeing is at the heart of all that we do

ImplementationWe will ensure we have experienced and well qualified teaching staff, assuring students’

  • consistency and continuity in their education
  • We will provide choice and flexibility for all students through our pathways
  • We will maintain sustainable class and cohort sizes
  • We will continue to improve and develop our curriculum. Recent additions have been PSHE lessons for Yrs 7-11, improved flexibility for KS4 – open choices, additional time for ‘option’ subjects at KS4, new courses post-16 such as Government and Politics A Level, Teaching and Learning BTEC and Engineering BTEC.


  • Will be seen in student attendance, attitudes, enjoyment, academic achievements,
    progression and holistic success

We are a school of Christian religious character. The RE programme of study provides understanding and tolerance of other cultures and religions, supporting the teaching of British Values and SMSC. It provides further pathways in to 6th Form and builds on the skills used and developed in Ebacc subjects.

All students in Years 7 and 8 have a timetabled lesson called ‘QEGS Reads’ with their English teacher, supported by a librarian. Students select their reading from a range of texts, fiction and non-fiction and are monitored and rewarded for a minimum of 15hrs of reading across a half term. Year 9 also have a scheduled time in their English timetable for changing books and updating reading logs. All KS4 students have allocated reading time during one or more of their form periods. This focus and commitment on reading encourages reading for life, students are rewarded for reading, helping build skills for other subjects including research, language, wider reading and SPAG for exams. This is the grounding for building students’ independence as they move through the school to GCSE and A Level, where wider reading is needed for university interviews and EPQ. Our aim is for all students to develop a love of reading and to engender a culture of reading for pleasure. Staff display their own reading on classroom door displays around the school.

We believe that Geography and History are essential subjects, helping develop students’ understanding of the world, people and their actions past, present and in the future. The skills taught and developed in these humanities subjects are multidisciplinary and can be applied in many other contexts both in and out of school. Humanities knowledge and skills also facilitate progression through further study and onto employment. Student satisfaction in studying Geography and/or History is overwhelmingly strong and outcomes are extremely positive.

We offer the full range of Ebacc subjects at QEGS. English, Maths, Science, History and/or Geography make up the ‘core’ for all students until the end of KS4. We currently offer three modern foreign languages to Years 8-13 (French, Spanish and German) and Spanish and French to Year 7. All students study Spanish in KS3 with the majority studying a second language until the end of Year 9. It is possible for all students to study one or two languages at KS4 and 5. Our ambition is for 70% of our students to study one language and 20% to study two languages until the end of KS4.

We are committed to creativity within our ethos and believe all students have the ability to think creatively, solve problems and work individually or as part of a team to reach a solution. We offer a wide-range of creative subjects in Yr7 and 8 enabling students to develop learning and interest in many areas. To help ‘deepen’ students’ knowledge and understanding beyond this well-established foundation, they can choose two subjects from ten to study in more detail and with more time in Yr9. This introduction to a ‘mastery’ approach is prior to students’ KS4 options and is designed to support students’ motivation and interests before they make firm commitments for GCSE choices.

At QEGS we believe that there is a fine balance between quantity and quality and it is important that our students have the right qualifications, the right number of qualifications with the right time allocation.

Therefore, at KS4, in addition to our statutory Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) lessons, we also provide a personalised approach to Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) by offering KS4 students a range of options. Our PSHE Options generally include the opportunity to develop leadership skills and to ‘give something back’ to the community. It is also a chance for some students to aid their wellbeing by making provision for students who require additional support with Maths and/or English, or Study Time, without this compromising other subjects or students’ free time. Student feedback and satisfaction is overwhelmingly high in this area. Other PSHE Options can include: Sports Leadership, Eco-leaders, Duke of Edinburgh, Repair and Restore, Language Leaders and HPQ (a level 2 version of the post-16 EPQ).

All KS4 students are able to study and complete at least 9 relevant qualifications:

KS4 Curriculum since 2020

Course/OptionHrs per fortnightQualifications
English Lit51
English Lang31
Science (Combined)102
Option 161
Option 261
Option 361
PSHE Option10 (1 for HPQ)
Core PE20
Total509 (10 if HPQ chosen)

Students complete 9 or 10 accredited qualifications

Our PSHE and RSE programme is designed to build on students’ prior learning from Primary School and is relevant and up to date to cover our statutory obligations around Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), PREVENT (extremism and radicalisation), British Values plus other essential learning around mental health and wellbeing, careers, study skills and eco-matters of sustainability.

Curriculum Intent Statements

In Art we QUESTION everything we see and seek to enrich our environment. We EXPLORE the parameters of creativity past, present and future. We GIVE students an ability to respond, react and re-invent the world they live in. We SUCCEED in encouraging students to develop the confidence to work independently and trust their creative contribution.

In Business we QUESTION the reasons behind real life business decisions and EXPLORE the impact that they will have on the success of the business and on society as a whole. We GIVE balanced viewpoints to enable us to see the uncertain nature of business decisions & subsequently SUCCEED in helping students’ become prepared for the real world.

In Dance and Drama we QUESTION how to create and develop performance, and improve our work. We EXPLORE our own and others ideas to create performances to help improve our ideas and understand techniques. We GIVE performances to demonstrate our knowledge of skills and our opinions to refine our own, and others work. As a result, we SUCCEED as confident independent learners who are creative and expressive.

In Digital Media we QUESTION what we see in the media. We EXPLORE the motives of producers. We GIVE our opinions and theories and, as a result, we SUCCEED in becoming educated and critical consumers of media

In Design & Innovation we QUESTION how products are made, the materials they are made  from and the techniques used to make them. We EXPLORE the design process to produce products that have a purpose and understand there needs of a user. We GIVE back by making products to improve our lives and, as a result, we SUCCEED by producing creative products that fulfill a purpose. These are designed and made to the best of our ability and that we are proud of.

In English Language, we QUESTION the texts we read to gain an understanding of their content and intent. We EXPLORE the meaning created by writers through their word, form and structural choices. We GIVE our own opinions and ideas within a variety of written forms and discussion. As a result, we SUCCEED in becoming wellrounded readers who can scrutinise texts for meaning and skillful writers who can communicate effectively for a variety of purposes.

In English Language, we QUESTION the texts we read to gain an understanding of their content and intent. We EXPLORE the meaning created by writers through their word, form and structural choices. We GIVE our own opinions and ideas within a variety of written forms and discussion. As a result, we SUCCEED in becoming wellrounded readers who can scrutinise texts for meaning and skillful writers who can communicate effectively for a variety of purposes.

In Geography we QUESTION the differences in the world and why they exist. We EXPLORE regions of the world and the people who live there. We GIVE balanced views to global issues and, as a result we SUCCEED in opening our eyes and understanding of the world in which we live.

In History we QUESTION the causes, consequences and significance of events throughout history. We EXPLORE contemporary sources and historians interpretations to develop our understanding of event. We GIVE our opinions, judgments and conclusions on the impacts of events in history, we SUCCEED in becoming learners who can consider a balanced argument based on evidence.

In Languages we QUESTION by comparing own values, culture and interpretation of the work against different ones in other countries, we make students think outside the box. We EXPLORE other cultures and ways of interpreting the outside world and ways of becoming creative in another language. We GIVE students the chance to become a more rounded person, a more tolerant person, a better informed person and, as a result, we SUCCEED by providing our students with the skills to be better communicators and better qualified candidates to any job or career.

In mathematics we QUESTION the way that we interact with the world around us in terms of information and data we EXPLORE by creating mathematical models which help to decipher and predict a range of natural phenomena. We GIVE students the transferable skills such as  problem solving, analytical and investigative expertise that they can use in other subjects to help. We SUCCEED by giving students the opportunities to both make mistakes and learn from them, developing their resilience and their ability to ask why things work and what they mean.

In Music we QUESTION the very nature of human experience, striving to understand the connection between structure, language and emotional response. We EXPLORE the myriad possibilities inherent within musical language and strive to apply our knowledge across different genres. We GIVE students the opportunity to think creatively, respond to new ideas and help others to fulfil their potential. As a result we SUCCEED in creating the best foundation for creative minds to explore the world of the Arts, providing satisfaction, fulfilment, and a deep respect for human achievement in all its forms.

In PE we QUESTION the physical, social and emotional benefits regular physical exercise and a healthy active lifestyle can bring. We EXPLORE the use of a variety of different physical and interpersonal skills alongside strategies and tactics. We GIVE opportunity and experience in a wide range of physical activities. We SUCCEED by our learners choosing to make physical activity habitual by the time they leave.

In RS we QUESTION how beliefs, both religious and secular, can affect the behaviour of  ourselves and others, we EXPLORE why a range of beliefs are held within our society by different communities, we GIVE our own views whilst being able to understand and tolerate  those of others, and we SUCCEED by becoming literate in not only British Values but also the variety of values and virtues held by those in British Society, celebrating this diversity..

Our aim is to develop our student’s core body of scientific knowledge, hone their skills of scientific enquiry and help them to more fully understand the world and their place in it. This will provide them with the key skills and knowledge, enabling them to successfully progress onto the next stage of their education and into their working lives.



  • Introduce the students to the idea of independent and resilient learners through group work, research and presentation tasks and collaborative learning activities.
  • Develop their scientific enquiry and laboratory skills through practical investigation work.
  • Introduce the concept that science influences all aspects of our lives.
  • Build a solid foundation of knowledge based on the four core concepts of forces, particles, energy and cells.



  • Deepen their scientific enquiry and laboratory skills, allowing more independent investigation planning to prepare them for further education or work-based learning.
  • Reinforce and widen the influences science has on our lives.
  • Develop the skills of an independent and resilient learner through group work, research and presentation tasks and collaborative learning activities.



  • Use wider reading to engender a sense of curiosity in scientific progress.
  • Arm them with the skills and knowledge to challenge scientific ideas through discussion and evaluation.

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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ashbourne Derbyshire