Question,
Explore,
Give &,
Succeed

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.

Curriculum Hub

For more details on the curriculum for each subject, please click here to visit our Curriculum Hub.

The QEGS vision: we care; therefore we question, we explore, we give and as a result, we succeed.

To ‘be the best you can possibly be’ takes more than just academic success. We want our students to leave our school as interested and interesting people. Our curriculum prepares 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 and their learning.

At QEGS we want our pupils to be inspired by everything they do, to love their curriculum 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.

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 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.’

QEGS 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 modern
  • 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

The knowledge, skills and understanding for each subject are carefully mapped to ensure at least the national curriculum is taught, going deeper and beyond in many places. Learning is broken down and sequenced in a way that allows students to learn new content. Our teachers are experts and plan meticulously to ensure students make rapid progress whilst not being overloaded with too much information. Lessons usually start with a retrieval task that recaps and reviews prior learning and consolidates knowledge, and assessment is rigorous. Regular feedback is used throughout lessons, so students know how to improve. This is followed up through checking of work and assessment feedback.

We appreciate that students also need to develop their cultural capital and they have opportunities to do this in many ways, including our curriculum, co-curricular activities, trips and visits, careers opportunities. We are proud of our co-curricular offer; enabling students to try new activities, develop their confidence and experience and contribute to the school and wider community. Clubs include music, drama, sport, Duke of Edinburgh, chess, Warhammer, darts, astronomy and a running club, as well as academic support. Our students make us proud each year with their school show, music concerts and sporting success. All students compete each year in a school-led Race for Life, and our student leaders raise money for charities throughout the year. Alongside our trips and visits, we invite regular speakers and workshops into school, ensuring that all students can experience a range of cultural activities

The school’s reading strategy aims to develop confident, fluent readers who also exhibit high standards of oracy and a love of reading. 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 applications and EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). Our aim is for all students to develop a love of reading and to engender a culture of reading for pleasure.

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.

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 in Years 10 to 13 (French, Spanish and German) and Spanish and French to Years 7 to 9. 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 50% of our students to study one language until the end of KS4. We are also aiming for 60 students to choose Triple Science as an option subject.

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 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.

These options generally include the opportunity to develop leadership skills and to ‘give something back’ to the community, but there is also a chance for students to aid their wellbeing by making provision for those who would like additional support with Maths and/or English, or Study Skills, without this compromising other subjects or students’ free time.

Students study their option for one hour per fortnight.

Options include: Dance Associates, English Support, Higher Project Qualification, Language Leaders, Level 2 Further Maths, Maths Support, Music Appreciation, Playing Sports, Repair and Restore, Sports Leaders, Study Support.

All students choose from a broad range of courses which exceed the required guided learning hours. Students have additional opportunities to enrich their education via cocurricular clubs, work experience, careers activities, sports lessons and a fortnightly KS5 personal development programme. Students without a Level 4 in GCSE English or Maths are enrolled onto resit classes and are entered into the exams.

We follow a two-week timetable (A and B week) with 50 teaching hours per fortnight.

For more details about each individual year group and the curriculum maps for subject areas, please click on the links below:

In Year 7, students study the following subjects:

SubjectTeaching hours per fortnightSubjectTeaching hours per fortnight
English Language4Design & Innovation3
English Literature3Art2
QEGS Reads1Computer Science1
Maths7Dance1
Science6Drama1
PE4Modern Foreign Languages6
PSHE1Music2
Geography3Religious Studies2
History3

All subjects are taught in mixed prior attainment groups.

In Year 8, students study the following subjects

SubjectTeaching hours per fortnightSubjectTeaching hours per fortnight
English Language3Design & Innovation3
English Literature4Art2
QEGS Reads1Computer Science1
Maths7Dance1
Science6Drama1
PE4Modern Foreign Languages6
PSHE1Music2
Geography3Religious Studies2
History3

All subjects are taught in mixed prior attainment groups.

In Year 9, students study the following subjects

SubjectTeaching hours per fortnightSubjectTeaching hours per fortnight
English Language3PSHE1
English Literature4Geography3
QEGS Reads1History3
Maths7Creative Option 1 *5
Science6Creative Option 2 *5
PE4

Students are taught mostly in mixed prior attainment groups, with Year 9 maths and science ‘banded’ by prior attainment.

Students select their preferred KS4 options in February of Year 9, and these are confirmed in May.

* Students 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.

In years 10 and 11 , students study a core of English, maths, science, RE and PE, plus three option subjects, including history or geography (or both):

SubjectTeaching hours per fortnightSubjectTeaching hours per fortnight
English Language3PSHE1
English Literature5Personal Development Option ****1
Maths7P Option6
Science **10Q Option6
RE ***3T Option6
PE2

Maths and science are set by prior attainment. All other subjects are taught in mixed prior attainment groups.

** Students who wish to take triple science select this as one of their options, so study science for a total of 16 hours a fortnight.

*** All students study GCSE RE for 3 hours a fortnight. See above (link) for more information.

**** Personal Development options generally include the opportunity to develop leadership skills and to ‘give something back’ to the community, but there is also a chance for students to aid their wellbeing by making provision for those who would like additional support with Maths and/or English, or Study Skills, without this compromising other subjects or students’ free time.

In years 12 and 13, students can choose from a wide range of subjects: A levels, vocational or a mixture.

Option blocks for 22/23

Note these can be subject to change. Each option in blocks A to D is allocated 9 or 10 teaching hours per fortnight.

Option E is allocated 5 hours per fortnight.

In addition, all students attend one hour per fortnight of study skills.

For more details on the curriculum for each subject, please click here to visit our Curriculum Hub.

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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ashbourne Derbyshire