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CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

Our aim is to provide students a high quality, broad and ambitious education that prepares them for the modern world enabling them to become the leaders of tomorrow. We aim to ensure that our students have the opportunity to enjoy, work hard and succeed, both in the curriculum and in enrichment areas, and that they are well prepared to be happy, successful and engaged members of their local, national and global communities. We wish to engender intellectual curiosity within our students to enable them to fulfil their potential.

Each subject we offer is taught up to GCSE level, supports our broad and balanced curriculum and is linked to relevant post 16 A level qualifications

Curriculum structure in Year Seven

SubjectHours per Fortnight
English6
Maths6
Science6
Humanities / Skills for Life9
Languages7
Drama2
Art2
Music2
Tech4
PE4
Computer Science2

English

In English, we strive to give our students the knowledge, opportunities and analytical tools to speak, read and write confidently in a range of mediums and situations. Our wish is for students to view literature as the gateway to new ideas and perspectives and the means through which they can satisfy their intellectual curiosity. As such, our curriculum draws on a wide range of texts from different periods, places and traditions. In Year Seven, students will study ancient myths and legends, a diverse range of poetry, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a nineteenth century novel. However, learning is not just confined to the classroom. We offer a range of stimulating extra-curricular opportunities, including a debating society, a creative writing forum and a book club, as well as exciting trips to the theatre. Indeed, we are passionate about providing an array of creative outlets for students, whether that be in the form of poetry slam workshops, national writing competitions or our very own school magazine, ‘The Chronicle’. Our latest endeavour is a script writing competition, with the winning entry being performed by Sixth Form Drama students. We also have a wonderfully welcoming library, where students can enjoy reading at their own pace. We are dedicated to providing a challenging and rigorous curriculum which inspires and engages students, as well as a community that relishes in independent thought and imagination

Maths

In Mathematics, we firmly believe in the importance of teaching for mastery, which means teaching for depth and fluency rather than breadth. Our Key Stage Three curriculum offers challenge and support for students, encouraging them to become outstanding mathematicians. We follow the highly revered Discovering Mathematics programme which was created in tandem with experts from Singapore and the UK. All our students are given access to bespoke revision workbooks at Key Stage Three, supporting retrieval and strengthening understanding to support outstanding attainment. As a department of excellent practitioners, we work with the National Council for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics to develop lessons that are both engaging and challenging for all. Beyond the classroom we offer the excellent UKMT mentoring programme designed to push even the most capable students with challenging problems and thinking beyond the curriculum. We enter students for the UKMT maths challenges every year and many of our students go on to qualify for further rounds and compete in international maths competitions. We are especially keen to promote mathematics amongst girls, mentoring and entering girls for the UKMT Girls’ Olympiad held annually. We have an excellent system for monitoring student progress at KS3; each student has a personalised digital tracker that gives them information on which areas of the curriculum they have found most of their success and which areas to improve on. For those looking for extra support we offer a weekly maths clinic where students can come and seek support.

Science

Science overall

Students are taught Science in their form groups in Years Seven and Eight. Each class usually has two teachers, who teach the three sciences between them.

Physics

In Physics, we endeavour to present an investigative and interactive subject with practical application at the heart of our curriculum. Our wish is to foster an enthusiasm in physics and engineering through inspiring confidence in practical, numerical and analytical skills. In Year Seven, students will study topics on forces and motion, Space, magnetism and electricity. Into Year Eight, we cover topics including sound, light and energy. We have an experienced department with specialist teachers to guide students learning and stretch our able students. We offer a number of opportunities for the enrichment of the curriculum with an Engineering Club which is run by the Year Thirteen subject prefects and the annual Science Expo which gives students an outlet to research and present on topics beyond the curriculum, pursuing an area of personal interest supported by staff and Science prefects. We have also had a lot of success from the teams who have represented us at the annual Bexley Science and Technology Challenge. We are committed to providing a rich, varied and inspiring curriculum to motivate and enthuse our students.

Chemistry

In Chemistry, we offer an opportunity to engage with exciting, hands-on practical work, alongside the challenge of problem solving and application of scientific language to explain ideas. Our wish is for students to experience the world of scientific discovery, to be amazed and inspired by their findings in practical tasks. In Year Seven, students begin their journey in Chemistry with a focus on learning to recognise potential hazards, thus ensuring students know how to help everyone to be safe. Practical work continues apace with use of Bunsen burners and developing an understanding that all matter is made up of tiny particles. Within Chemistry, investigations are an important aspect of learning and students will continue to develop a range of skills through planning their own experiments and communicating their conclusions, which supports the development of key analytical skills. In Year Eight students consider the reactions of metals and acids and plan an investigation on the rates of reaction using enzymes, enabling an appreciation of how Chemistry relates to the other sciences. Beyond the classroom we offer a number of wider opportunities including Science Club, which provides an opportunity for Year Seven students to develop their interest in practical Science work while working with a team of Year Twelve students. Students can be inspired by experiments including the elephant’s toothpaste, lava lamps, messy volcanos, alien blood and the ever-popular methane bubbles

Biology

In Biology, we focus on developing a range of scientific skills including both practical and investigative skills. We aim to develop students into the scientists of tomorrow, stimulating curiosity through the provision of knowledge and skills to prepare them for a wealth of exciting and rewarding career opportunities in science and related areas. Our curriculum envelops the fundamental areas of Biology including cell biology, ecology, digestion, respiration and photosynthesis and genetics. Students will develop the scientific skills associated with investigation, analysis and drawing conclusions. Beyond the classroom students have many opportunities to broaden and deepen their understanding of biological topics, such as through the very successful Science talks programme and the Science Expo event where students in small groups can plan, implement and present a project of their choice

Geography

In Geography, we aim to inspire and create curious geographers who want to learn about, question and change the world we live in. Our wish is for our students to become the global citizens who will lead the future change. As such, our curriculum draws on a wide range of topical issue-based themes to explore topics such as the impact of globalisation, food miles, weather and climate and exploration of the continent of Africa to contest the idea of a single story. However, learning is not confined to the classroom; we offer fieldtrips and out of class learning experiences, such as the visit to Canterbury to investigate the impact of globalisation on the High Street and the trip to Scadbury nature reserve to investigate the impact of human activity. We also offer enrichment activities such as the Eco club and Young Geographers, which enable students to explore issues around sustainability and develop their understanding of the world around them. Broader opportunities include a Year Seven trip to Switzerland alongside the Science Faculty. We are committed to providing a collaborative learning environment that values teamwork, creativity and a global outlook.

Religious Studies

In the Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics Department we look to deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of the religious traditions and worldviews within our world and to give them the tools to critically assess the impact of these diverse and sometimes competing ideas on our society. We aim to support students’ critical understanding of the beliefs and practices of different religions and worldviews which shape our history and culture. This, in turn, will give them a firm grounding from which to start an examination of the values of those around them and to aid in the development of a deeper respect for the religious and cultural differences of others. This is accomplished through Key Stage Three by a study of different themes through the six main worldviews, alongside an examination of some of the beliefs and practices of those traditions. We believe this will contribute to creating students as thinkers who will contribute far more thoughtfully to a cohesive and compassionate society.

History

In the History Department we aim to teach a broad, varied and academically rigorous curriculum. At Key Stage Three, we have embedded many opportunities to focus on world, as well as British history to offer a broad perspective on our past, examples being the development of the Silk Roads in Year Seven to the Age of Exploration and Revolution in Year Eight. Meanwhile, the opportunity to investigate the impact of seismic historical events on the local area has also been integrated into the curriculum with topics on the impact of the Second World War on Bexley in Year Nine. Alongside this, the chronological breadth of British history is maintained but with an enquiry focus; the development of key historical skills always remaining paramount. We aim to create confident historians who believe in the importance of learning from human experiences.

French

In the French Department, we believe that learning another language is an essential skill in our global world as it can increase employability and widen opportunities. Our wish is to open students’ minds and foster a life-long appreciation of languages and other cultures through autonomy, risk-taking and resilience. Our passion to encourage students to thrive in their grasp of the French language and culture mirrors the significance of the language which is spoken by 200 million people on five continents. In class, our students will get to study a wide range of topics all about different people and cultures, as well as how to communicate confidently in both written and verbal form. They will read books and magazines, watch films and listen to songs in French. We encourage resilience by supporting students to take responsibility for their own learning and recognising that making mistakes is an essential component of the learning process. We firmly believe that learning is not confined to the classroom. Consequently, we offer a wide range of extracurricular activities to give students the broadest opportunity to experience languages in action: residential trips to France and Belgium, day trips to the Emirates to attend an Arsenal Double Club event, Spelling Bee competitions, weekly online quiz to promote cultural awareness, pen pal scheme with a French school, French film club, and the Day of Languages.

German

In German, we believe that learning should be lively, enriching, challenging and a multi-faceted experience. Our students will engage in a plethora of different tasks in each lesson and experience both the language and culture of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We actively encourage the use of the target language in all lessons from day one so that our students feel confident in speaking the language. In Year Seven students will start to learn the basic conversational structures such as introductions, greetings, personal information and their favourite things. Learning is not confined to the classroom; students are supported in their studies with online resources such as Duolingo, Memrise, and Language Nut. We also offer a wide range of enrichment activities to experience language in action including trips to the German Christmas Markets and German Exchange. To support Year Seven students in their learning, they are paired with German pen-pals to give them the experience of engaging with native speakers and sharing anecdotes about their day to day lives. This is an opportunity that really brings the language alive for the students. The aim of our department is for our students to be excited by language learning and to take on new opportunities that will help them in their future careers, as well as improve their confidence. Deutsch macht Spaß!

Latin and Classics

In the Latin and Classics Department, we believe that the study of Latin is important as it allows students to develop problem solving and linguistic skills. We believe that Latin, a key language of Western civilization providing the key to the Romance languages, such as Spanish and French, supports students in their wider learning of language. Moreover, since many English words are derived from Latin, students can broaden their English vocabulary, enabling them to write and speak more eloquently. Year Seven students are introduced to the structure of the language and acquire a solid vocabulary base. They also learn about everyday life in the Roman town of Pompeii – how the people dressed, what they ate and what their houses looked like. This develops further in Year Eight where students broaden their grammatical knowledge by learning new verb tenses and how to translate more complex sentences. We explore topics such as gladiators, the Baths and education.

Art

In the Art Department, we aim to deliver the curriculum through an imaginative and engaging series of creative projects which deliver the fundamental components of Art and Design Education. Artwork produced ranges from small scale 2D to large scale 2D and 3D sculptural outcomes. From the start of Year Seven students produce work into a good quality sketch book exploring image making through a diverse range of media and techniques including photography, digital artworks and experimental making processes and handmade work along with traditional input on developing drawing skills. Beyond the curriculum the Art Department offers Key Stage Three Art Club, which is extremely popular and students can enter a number of competitions each year. Art Club outcomes are individual and exciting and can be seen displayed across the walls of the Art Department and within our own Curve Gallery space. As a creative and passionate department, we have shared many successes over the years and have seen very prestigious outcomes such as being awarded the both Trafalgar Square 4th Plinth Design Prize and the Saatchi Gallery Art Prize twice.

Computer Science

In the Computer Science Department we believe in developing student’s problem solving, and creativity skills in this challenging subject. Throughout Year Seven our students will learn about computer fundamentals with topics such as Binary Mathematics, hardware and software, computational thinking, artificial intelligence and programming using text based languages. However, learning is not just confined to the classroom. We offer a range of stimulating extra-curricular enrichment opportunities, with Key Stage Three Computer Science Club running alongside our stretch and challenge groups for GCSE and A-Level. We also partake in numerous competitions and have students entered into the semi-finals of the AWS Amazon app competition, alongside students who have progressed to the later rounds of the GCHQ Cyber Discovery challenge. Our aim is to support students to be logical, inquisitive and creative thinkers able to work with others and independently to solve real time challenges.

Design and Technology

In the Design and Technology Department, we build on the skills and knowledge students have already learnt at primary school through a series of projects. Students rotate and specialise in different areas of design, being introduced to sophisticated resources and new manufacturing equipment in dedicated teaching environments with specialist teachers. As students’ progress through Key Stage Three Design and Technology, they are given the opportunity to focus on specific aspects of the subject such as product design, food preparation and nutrition, engineering, systems and control, electronics, textiles and graphics. At its core is creativity and imagination. Our students learn to design and make products that solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts whilst considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. To do this effectively, our students acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on additional disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. The Technology Department offers many opportunities outside of the classroom to further develop skills by attending Cooking Club, STEM Club, Sewing Bee, Lego Club and most recently our ‘Plastic Free School’ group. Our doors are always open to students who wish to finish their practical work or have an independent project in mind. With design all around us, Design and Technology gives students the skills and abilities to engage positively with the designed and made world and to harness the benefits of technology.

Music

In the Music Department, we strive to inspire, nurture and challenge the musical ability in all students. Our aim is to make music enjoyable, relevant, inclusive and challenging. In a typical lesson, students will debate, analyse, practise and perform music across a range of styles relevant to young musicians, including hip hop, punk, disco, RnB, experimentalism, the blues, reggae, and music for film and video games. We pride ourselves on our practical and project-based lessons where students work over a series of months with their peers to produce a performance for the class that demonstrates their academic and musical excellence. By the end of Year Nine, students will have not only learned how to read notation and TAB but also how to write a song, prepare a performance and play guitar, ukulele, piano, drums and bass guitar. These skills prepare our students for further music study and, we hope, a lifelong interest in music. Our teachers encourage students to demonstrate their growing independence by creating unique compositions, developing their musicality and pursuing their musical interests, growing a new generation of talented musicians. To enhance the musical experience at Chis and Sid, we offer a range of extracurricular activities including choirs, orchestras, jazz groups and rock bands.

Drama

In the Drama Department we believe that Drama is an important tool for preparing students to live and work in a world that is increasingly team oriented rather than hierarchical.  As such our curriculum has at its heart a focus on the teaching of Drama to help our students develop tolerance and empathy.  We encourage learners to make sense of the world and their own identity by exploring Drama through meaningful fictional situations that have parallels in the real world.  Our students explore performance and acting styles through our structured schemes of work; they will experience fun drama activities encouraging confidence and public speaking life skills.  Beyond the classroom we encourage students to participate in school trips to the West End and watch Musical theatre and drama shows. Previous trips have taken place to the National Theatre, the Young Vic, and Shakespeare’s Globe, where our students gain an insight into the acting profession and enjoyment of watching live theatre.  Enrichment is at the heart of building a creative culture in Drama and we encourage all year groups to join and take part in the after school Drama, Dance and Technical Clubs. We work closely with colleagues in the Music Department to produce the school production and dance shows. Our aim is to encourage the exploration of creativity. 

Physical Education

In Physical Education we have a broad and balance approach to the curriculum including dance, invasion games, racket sports, striking and fielding and Outdoor Adventurous Activity. We aim to provide all students with the opportunity to find at least one sport that they really enjoy and can take forward into adult life. Our holistic approach means that all students make progress in lessons and gain real enjoyment and fulfilment. As well as improving their physical literacy, we focus on developing life skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork and resilience. This not only supports their progress in the school community but their interactions with the wider community too. We have a busy intra-sport programme based around the school House system. We run 70 competitions for our students including Sports Day and the Swimming Gala. The range of sports played includes the usual staples of rugby, netball and cricket, but also sports such as Ultimate Frisbee, Sitting Volleyball and Pétanque. Our Inter school programme is also extensive. Our four main sports are netball, rugby, cricket and dance but we also compete in other sports including athletics, cross country, table tennis and badminton. We are well practised at helping students striving to reach the top of their chosen sports. Many students play at county level and above, six of whom have previously entered the professional ranks in football, rugby and cricket. As a department we strive to improve the wellbeing of the students by improving their health and fitness.

S4L – Skills for life

As a school we aspire to educate, in partnership with parents, inquiring, well informed and compassionate students who will go on to make a better world by occupying positions of responsibility and influence. As well as our extensive academic curriculum, we also provide a balanced and broad based learning programme which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students, and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We deliver this curriculum through our ‘Skills 4 Life’ and ‘Character’ programmes, which from Year Seven to Year Thirteen covers Relationship and Sex Education, Health and Wellbeing education, cultural capital, British values and citizenship, to develop in all students the skills and character traits to enable them to succeed in the world of work. Our programme is state of the art, having gained us an ‘Early Adopter’ status, such that we inform latest best practise advised from the Department of Education for all schools in the UK.

Careers

Careers at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School has always been a central component of our curriculum. This was confirmed in 2018 when the school became one of only a handful of schools in the UK who have been awarded the ‘Quality in Careers’ Award, the industry benchmark for outstanding careers provision. Careers is a key component in our students’ learning journey, where, through a planned programme of careers activities from Year Seven through to Year Thirteen, students leave equipped with the skills, attitudes, knowledge and understanding to manage their lifelong career and learning so that they are as prepared as possible for their adult life in the real world. The careers programme is designed to ensure a progressive and individually tailored development of careers skills, knowledge and understanding in all students. The aim of the programme is ‘Inspire’ at Key Stage Three, ‘Allow planning’ at Key Stage Four and ‘Ensure focussed and appropriate action’ in Key Stage Five. This is managed by a highly skilled and experienced Careers Team who have years of experience in industry as well as education