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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle

The principles of equality of opportunity, tolerance and respect are at the heart of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.

Rationale

The school aims are to nurture well-rounded, fulfilled and happy individuals who are ready to engage with their world, live sustainable and rewarding lives and have the skills and resilience to meet any challenge. To achieve these aims is to provide a curriculum which is balanced, enjoyable, relevant and intellectually challenging. The school prides itself on offering a broad and balanced curriculum underpinned by a strong academic ethos that defines the school as a selective grammar school. Every effort is made meet the needs of the individual and to promote and retain breadth of study.

We keep our curriculum under review mindful that it needs to be relevant to the world our students live in and that due regard is paid to national education policy.

Intent

Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and there are differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers within the same subject to meet together. Further subject specialism is provided by partnerships across and between schools, and through subject associations.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning to provide stretch and challenge appropriate to the individual, with sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. 

At QEGS, school is organised into three Key Stages:

  • Key Stage 3 (Y7- 9) – by the end of KS3, students at QEGS will be ready to embark upon their GCSEs. They will have a broad knowledge base, an appetite for learning and the necessary skills to access a balanced GCSE programme including the English Baccalaureate. The first element of choice is introduced to the curriculum at the start of Year 9 where students are able to choose which two Languages they will study from French, German and Spanish. From the outset the expectation is that students are encouraged to believe that degree-level study is the norm. A wide range of enrichment and extra-curricular activities alongside subjects such as PSHE, Citizenship and Religious Studies ensure that students experience high quality spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) in full.

  • Key Stage 4 (Y10-11) – by the end of KS4 students will be ready to embark upon A-levels or, for a few, to apply for apprenticeships. The broad range of subjects studied at GCSE will provide a platform to access an A-level programme of study. Students study 9 or 10 GCSE subjects and are expected to study at least one Humanity and a Language in addition to the Core subjects. Students will have increasingly developed independent study skills and a readiness to further their specialist knowledge when selecting their three or four A level subjects. The wide range of enrichment and extra-curricular activities alongside subjects such as PSHE, Careers, Citizenship and RS ensure that students continue to experience high quality SMSC which means that they are ready to take on the wider leadership roles that Sixth Form demands.

  • Sixth Form (Y12-13) – by the end of Sixth Form students will be ready to progress onto a degree-level courses or into apprenticeships or employment. They have highly developed independent study skills, a clear understanding of the requirements of the courses they want to study at university and the specialist subject knowledge to achieve A-level standard. The enrichment programme and extra-curricular activities alongside PSHE, Life Skills and Careers guidance ensure that students are ready to progress onto life beyond QEGS.

Implementation

At QEGS this intent is delivered through the following curriculum framework:

KS3

The curriculum is defined and structured in response to the National Curriculum (NC) with the addition of dual languages from Y7 and separate Sciences from Y8.  Students are taught primarily in Form Groups in Y7, except in Technology where students are taught in smaller groups; Maths and English use a combination of banding and setting from Y8. In addition to the compulsory NC subjects, students study French and German (or Spanish in Y9), RS, Drama, Citizenship and PSHE.

KS4

The curriculum is defined by GCSE option choices which are studied alongside a Core entitlement. All students are required to study GCSEs in English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, at least two Sciences, a Modern Foreign Language and Humanities (Geography, History, R.S. or Business Studies). Option choices facilitate the English Baccalaureate.

Students then choose 2 further GCSE options. They are strongly encouraged to include an Arts (Music, Art, Drama or Film Studies) or Technology subject (Product Design, Food & Nutrition, Computer Science or Resistant Materials). Their final 2 options come from the following:

Art, Drama, Music, Film Studies, P.E., Business Studies, Geography, History, RS, German, French, Spanish, Food & Nutrition, Product Design, Computer Science and Resistant Materials.

Alongside their examined curriculum, students at QEGS will have P.E./Games, PSHE, Careers, Citizenship and RS.

A differentiated curriculum is provided for students who would benefit from the additional time gained within a reduced GCSE study programme. Those who study for 2 science qualifications rather than the three separate sciences work towards the Level 2 Certificate in Personal Finance.

Sixth Form

Students entering the Lower Sixth (Y12) are expected to take 3 A Level subjects, though a minority will choose a 4 A Level programme. Alongside their A Level choices the students will follow an enrichment course. The enrichment choices are:

Lower Sixth

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Finance

Level 3 Arts Award

Level 3 Sports Leader Award

Young Enterprise

Upper Sixth

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Finance

Extended Project Qualification

Work experience

Pre-teach qualification (through BGU)

Level 3 Sports Leader Award

Level 3 Arts Award

In addition to their examination courses, Sixth Form students will have Personal Development lessons, Careers, PE/Games, Life Skills lessons and PHSE.

The Sixth Form has its own admission policy (see the school’s Admissions Policy).

There is a wide choice of A Level subjects:

Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Film Studies, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, Geology, German, History, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, RS, Spanish.

The Pastoral Curriculum

All students have a morning registration period from 8.55 to 9.15. Each student is in a tutor group with a form tutor who acts as the key point of contact for parents and staff for all matters relating to the students in that form.

Form tutors work closely with their tutees and have an overview of academic progress and emotional wellbeing. Tutor time is dedicated to the delivery of PSHE and current affairs, as well as a vibrant assembly programme.

Personal, Social and Health Education

The delivery of PSHE is augmented by a lesson once every fortnight. In these sessions students work in forms or as a year group and follow a special programme that includes delivery by outside speakers.  In addition, the timetable may be collapsed for themed days or to accommodate conference-style curriculum events.

The Timetable

To provide for such a rich and varied curriculum, a two-week timetable is used consisting of 60 lessons (30 per week, 6 per day) each 50 minutes, resulting in 25 hours of taught lesson time per week. Week 1 and Week 2 bear little similarity. At KS4 and Sixth Form, student choice drives the construction of option blocks which dictate the nature of the timetable itself.

Public Examinations

External examinations are set and administered by a number of companies (exam boards); the main ones in use at QEGS are: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC and LiBF.  External examinations are undertaken in the Summer Term, with the results reported in August.

 

Subject Organisation

All subjects have a Subject Leader and all subjects belong to a Faculty with a Faculty Leader.  Each Faculty has a Link Senior Leader and a Link Governor attached. 

The Faculties:          

Creative Arts: 

Art, Drama, Music.

English:

English Language, English Literature, Film Studies.

Humanities

Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Psychology, Religious Studies.

Mathematics

Mathematics, Further Mathematics.

M.F.L.:

French, German, Spanish.

Physical Education:

P.E., Games.

Science:  

Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics.

Technology:  

Computer Science, Food & Nutrition, Product Design, Resistant Materials.

 

Curriculum Enrichment

The curriculum is enhanced and enriched in a variety of ways, offering support and challenge via a range of subject-linked opportunities and extra-curricular activities. Many educational visits take place throughout the year and visitors, which often include the business community and our alumni, bring expert knowledge through projects, workshops and performances. There are a number of clubs and groups that pupils can choose to engage with in order to gain additional experiences and opportunities in wider curriculum areas.

Queen Elizabeth’s is a partner school with (or actively and fully engages with):

  • British Biology Olympiad

  • British Physics Olympiad

  • Coastal & Wolds Sport Partnership

  • Complete Careers

  • Dementia Friends

  • Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme

  • England Netball

  • England Rugby

  • Geographical Association

  • Gymnasium Mellendorf (Germany)

  • International Schools Award

  • Linc Higher

  • Lincoln & District Sailing Association

  • Lincolnshire Music Services

  • Lincolnshire Show Schools' Challenge

  • LIVES

  • Magna Vitae

  • Masterclasses across KS3-5 in a range of subjects linked with BGU & Lincoln University

  • National Citizenship Service

  • Operation Wallacea

  • Project Nepal

  • School Newspaper Project (Lincoln University)

  • Stonewall

  • Talking Newspaper

  • UK Chemistry Olympiad

  • UK Maths Challenge

  • World Challenge

  • Young Enterprise

Impact

We understand that the curriculum we offer is a student’s journey through QEGS.  Our ambition is to secure consistently high standards of progress in every area of the curriculum and in each key stage, whilst developing well-rounded individuals who are ready to contribute to their community. With excellent standards of teaching and learning, highly qualified and skilled staff, responsive student support systems and effective intervention strategies, the curriculum delivers outcomes that are at least in line with national expectations and often exceed them. We are restless to improve what we do and continually search for ways to deliver the best possible outcomes for our students.