Curriculum Intent

Anthony Gell School is a community where everyone, whatever their role, works hard to create a learning environment which includes a rich and varied curriculum; this curriculum is evident throughout all of the different aspects of the school’s life.  It is a curriculum which provides us with opportunities to explore, learn more about the world in which we live, and equips us well for future learning and employment.

In order to do this, we believe it is important that everyone involved develops the skills and knowledge necessary to become self-motivated, independent and confident learners, with the social awareness to make a difference and care about ourselves, others and our environment.

Through the breadth and depth of our curriculum, we continually endeavour to create opportunities that will highlight and enhance the important skills we value, including literacy and numeracy.

We constantly strive to improve our ability to work as a team, by developing our sense of empathy and understanding, as well as knowing when and how to lead.

Encouraged to be creative, and confident to take risks when learning, we are not afraid to make mistakes and aim to be resilient in the face of difficulties.  We support one another and celebrate our own successes as much as we celebrate those of others.

We endeavour to be more self-aware and make good decisions with regards to our mental and physical health.  We work, as part of a larger community, to develop a careful awareness, understanding and acceptance of others’ beliefs, opinions and individuality.

Please see our page on Learning Journeys for more information.

Curriculum Information

Our curriculum is designed to help students to develop confidence in themselves and their abilities, to feel valued and value others and to appreciate the world at large.

We have designed our curriculum on the basis that we believe all our students have talents and abilities that it is our responsibility to discover and develop. We have the highest expectations of what young people can achieve when presented with the correct level of challenge. We believe that students thrive best in a nurturing, well-ordered environment, where they develop the self-confidence to take risks and push themselves to achieve academic success.

Our curriculum caters for all, with alternative pathways available for those who have individual needs such as Special Educational Needs (SEN), extra support or indeed extra challenge. All students can succeed at Anthony Gell School and we have a track record of success that will give parents or carers confidence about the five or seven year journey their child has in our successful school.

For further information regarding our school curriculum, please contact Mrs Katy Lowe – Assistant Headteacher –  Curriculum, via email: klowe@anthonygell.co.uk.

Key Stage 3 – Years 7 to 9

In the first three years at Anthony Gell, we introduce students to each aspect of the curriculum to facilitate effective choices later on. We encourage each student to achieve their full potential through an aspirational culture.

The school has 25 one hour lessons each week and operates a two-week timetable where the timetable in Week 1 is different from that in Week 2. This means that there are 50 lessons in a fortnight.

When students enter the school in Year 7 they are placed in mixed ability House based groups for all subjects except for maths, where there is some setting. In Modern Foreign Languages we teach French in Year 7 with our most able linguists being offered Spanish as a second language in Years 8 and 9.  We also have German being taught to our current Year 9 students.

Year 7 CurriculumNo. of lessons per fortnight
English8
Maths6
Science6
Humanities
History3
Geography3
RE2
MFL (French or Spanish)5
Technology4
PE4
Art2
Music2
Personal and Social Education1
Computing2
Dance1
Drama1

Throughout Years 7 extra literacy support is available to students who need it. This is delivered in withdrawal session of half an hour in length.

In Year 8 students will begin to study one of the Pathways subjects listed below.

Year 8 CurriculumNo. of lessons per fortnight
English6
Maths7
Science6
Humanities History Geography RE3 3 2
MFL (French or Spanish)3
Technology4
PE4
Pathways (details below)3
Art2
Music2
Personal and Social Education1
Computing2
Dance1
Drama1

Pathways

Students will either study an additional MFL, Personal Development & Employability Skills (PDE) or have extra literacy/numeracy support for 3 hours a fortnight. Students who are offered the opportunity to study a second MFL will have to achieve well in their first MFL due to the challenge of studying two MFLs presents. Parents will be informed of their child’s pathway towards the end of Year 7.

Personal Development & Employability Skills

The Prince’s Trust is recognised by Ofqual in England to offer and award qualifications. The Prince’s Trust Award & Certificate in Personal Development and Employability Skills (PDE) recognises a breadth of personal skills, qualities and attitudes required by employers across a range of sectors.

Click here for unit of study information

Year 9 CurriculumNo. of lessons per fortnight
English6
Maths7
Science6
History3
Geography3
RE2
MFL13
Pathways - French or Spanish or PDE or Literacy or Numeracy Support3
Technology4
PE4
Art2
Music2
Personal and Social Education1
Computing2
Dance1
Drama1

As students move into Year 9 they are set by ability in groups for core subjects of English, Maths and Science.

Key Stage 4 – Years 10 to 11

There are an extensive range of courses available at KS4. All qualifications will be examined at the end of the Key Stage, which will be the summer of your child’s Year 11.

GCSEs were reformed from 2017/18 and are designed to be more demanding than their predecessors. In addition, the grading system also changed replacing the A*-G grades used previously – the new system will be 9 to 1 (with 9 being the highest).

Historically students could be entered for “Higher” or “Foundation” exam papers. The highest grade achievable on Foundation exams was a Grade C, with all grades up to A* being accessible via the Higher exam papers. Tiered exams for the new 9 to 1 reformed qualifications exams only apply to the subjects of maths, MFL, Combined Science and Separate Sciences. Foundation level will cover grades 1 to 5 and Higher Level will cover grades 4 to 9.

Historically students could be entered for “Higher” or “Foundation” exam papers. The highest grade achievable on Foundation exams was a Grade C, with all grades up to A* being accessible via the Higher exam papers. Tiered exams for the new 9 to 1 reformed qualifications exams only apply to the subjects of maths, MFL and Combined Science. Foundation level will cover grades 1 to 5 and Higher Level will cover grades 4 to 9.

We also offer a range of vocational qualifications such as BTEC’s, Technical Awards and Cambridge National’s. These qualifications are graded as Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction * and are equivalent to a 9 to 1 GCSE qualification.

English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The English Baccalaureate is not a qualification; it is an award that recognises that a student has obtained a grade 5 or above in all the following GCSE subjects:

  • English Language
  • Maths
  • At least two sciences ( including computer science)
  • History or Geography
  • A modern or ancient foreign language

The EBacc is not compulsory at AGS but students may consider that the EBacc is an award that may help a future application to university. Currently very few universities have the EBacc as part of their entry requirements.

For those students planning to apply to university, certainly to Oxbridge or to any of the ‘Russell Group’ of universities (the older more established universities), it has always been good advice to take a language and often a humanities subject in any case. Some universities now require a language for entry to degree courses in English Literature.

 The Core

As required by the National Curriculum, we have core subjects which all students must follow. The compulsory core studies are as follows:

  • English – leading to two GCSEs, one in English Language and one in English Literature
  • Mathematics – leading to one GCSE
  • Science – leading to two or three GCSEs
  • Physical Education – not examined
  • Citizenship and Religious Education– not examined

It is important that students are guided along a suitable science pathway at Key Stage 4. The demands of the reformed 9 to 1 GCSEs mean that only a small percentage of students (~25% of the year group) should be considering studying the three separate sciences. These students are likely to be seriously considering going on to study one or more science at A Level. Parents of students moving from Year 9 into Year 10 are consulted in the summer term on the most appropriate pathway for their child. Before GCSE groups are decided for the start of the academic year in September.

Key Stage 5 – Years 12 to 13

Our Sixth Form provides either a 2 Year Pathway (A-Level or equivalent Level 3 courses) or a 1 Year Pathway (Level 2 Vocational Courses). These qualifications mean that students from Anthony Gell Sixth Form are well equipped for University, employment or Higher Level Apprenticeships.

Our 1 Year Pathway allows Anthony Gell School to offer a range of one-year Level 2 vocational qualifications for students aged 16+. They’re designed with the workplace in mind and provide a high-quality alternative to A-Levels. We believe that choosing these subjects will provide our students with an opportunity to bridge the gap to further study, an apprenticeship or even employment.

Our 2 Year Pathway allows students to study the traditional A Level (Level 3) route or the equivalent Level 3 Vocational route with a broad set of subjects available – the details of which can be found in our 6th Form Prospectus.