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Our cross-phase Mastery curriculum is designed to streamline what is being achieved in every lesson, with bespoke differentiation to cater for all abilities and learning preferences. In every class the ‘Core’ success criteria sets out what every pupil will learn, whilst the ‘Support’ tasks targets those who require scaffold learning. ‘Challenge’ success criteria are designed to extend and stimulate all pupils regardless of perceived ability.

Years 7 & 8
In the Senior School the academic curriculum for Year 7 and 8 is as follows:

English Maths Science French Spanish History Geography Computer Science Sport PE Performing Arts Art  
4 4 3 2 2 2 2 1 4 1 2 2  

Core Subjects

English follows a broad curriculum for the study of fiction and non-fiction, poetry, prose and drama texts in a creative and enjoyable way. The homework programme is designed to encourage reading and self-study skills. At GCSE Level the English Department has averaged an impressive 88% attainment at Grades 9-4 (Legacy A*-C ) over the last five years.

Mathematics begins its spiral curriculum in Year 7, year-by-year honing skills for GCSE. As well as achieving excellent GCSE results in Year 11, the Maths Department is entering a number of Year 9 pupils to the GCSE Higher tier papers: a phenomenal achievement.

Science begins in Key Stage 3 with one Science teacher leading the course and laying down the foundations for later separation into the discrete disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics which begins in Year 9.

Non-Core Subjects

Languages: Senior School pupils study two hours of French and two hours of Spanish each week. All pupils are encouraged to take one language for GCSE although it is entirely possible for a student to take both languages at GCSE. With our language teachers already familiar to our Year 6 pupils, the step up to Year 7 studies is natural and successful. Results at GCSE for both languages have been consistently excellent over a number of years.

In Year 7 History and Geography departments take up the reins from Prep 6 Topic and lead our pupils through their fascinating fields building upon the Mastery skills covered in the Prep School. These subjects are exceptionally popular at GCSE with all pupils taking one, while some study both.

In Key Stage 3 Computer Science lessons are enjoyed for one hour each week. Many pupils opt for this subject at GCSE and results in this subject have been consistently outstanding.

Performing Arts at Finborough continues the excellent tradition of Drama and Music in the Prep School with Drama and Dance rising in recent years to all-time highs in terms of numbers and achievement.

The same can be said of Music with the Senior School Music programme attaining impressive levels of musicianship in both ensemble and choral disciplines. As well as the timetabled lessons for these subjects, the weekly enrichment opportunities are numerous. Whether it is Rock Band, Choir, Jazz Band, Dance, participation in pop-up performance or rehearsals for the school productions, there is something for everyone. What this gives our children in terms of confidence and experiential learning cannot be measured.

In Sport and PE our performance, achievement and facilities are of the highest standards. PE lessons added to the curriculum allow us to focus on fitness, strength and conditioning as well as on team training and skills acquisition.

GCSE Curriculum – Years 9-11

Our unique curriculum now involves students making curriculum choices at the end of Year 8 as to the GCSE subjects they wish to study from Year 9 onwards.  By this stage, our students have already developed enhanced Learnability in order for them to access GCSE courses with confidence. 

Beginning GCSE material in Year 9 allows extra time for mastery of each subject, although students can be entered early for examinations (at the end of Year 10) if deemed appropriate.  This allows further bespoke curricula to be built around each students individual needs in Year 11 and beyond.

All students study Maths, English Language, and an appropriate Science course.  In addition to that, students will still have two afternoons of Sport, and can choose up to 4 optional GCSE subjects from a comprehensive list.  This gives each student the opportunity to build their own highly individualised curriculum.

You can find the Year 8 curriculum pathway booklet 2024 here.