Give &,


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.

Curriculum Assessment Reporting & Homework Guide

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, perceptive readers who also exhibit high standards of oracy and a love of reading. All students in Years 7 and 8 have a timetabled lesson of ‘QEGS Reads’ with an English teacher, supported by a librarian. Students are supported in selecting their reading from a range of texts, fiction and non-fiction and a scheme of learning is explicitly taught during these sessions which supports students’ appreciation and engagement with and of reading. Year 9 students also have a scheduled QEGS Reads lesson in their English timetable with an explicitly taught SOW, which is delivered in classrooms. All KS3 & KS4 students have allocated reading time during form periods with each year group reading the same book.

Reading is also supported across the curriculum with guided reading and challenging text being presented to students across the disciplines with explicit teaching of vocabulary, using strategies like Frayer models, to support as well as Reciprocal Reading strategies. The data received from NGRT will provide staff with a firm base for ensuring the effectiveness of this instruction and support.

This focus and commitment on reading encourages reading for life. 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 A Level & BTEC courses, 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 and RS 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 70% of our students to study one language and 20% to study two languages until the end of KS4.

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.

Students in Year 10 and 11 who take combined science study Core IT once per fortnight. Those students who study separate sciences have planned drop down sessions during the year.

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
PE4Modern Foreign Languages*6
Geography3Religious Studies2

All subjects are taught in mixed prior attainment groups.  There is one ‘Step-Up’ group who are supported with English and reading in place of MFL.  They then work on one of the MFL subjects later in the year.

In Years 8 and 9, students study the following subjects:

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

In year 8, all subjects are taught in mixed prior attainment groups.

In year 9, 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.

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 Literature5Core IT1
Maths7P Option6
Science **10Q Option6
RE ***3T Option6

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 have an additional two hours of science with reduced time (2 hours) in RE and Core IT studied via drop-down sessions.

*** Students study GCSE RE for 3 hours a fortnight or 2 if they study triple science.

Most recent option blocks can be found on our Year 9 options page.  Year 9 students complete an initial interest survey in December and blocks are organised for the maximum number of students to be able to study their first choice subjects.

The blocks for students starting year 10 in 2023 are:

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.

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