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Curriculum

At Gordon’s we believe that schools are first and foremost centres for learning, and that the basis of a successful school is quality teaching and quality learning.

Like all good schools, great importance is placed on the quality of teaching in the classroom and students of all abilities have access to the very best teaching, resources and opportunities to achieve their potential.

Our teaching philosophy:

  • Good teachers live our character values and demonstrate good classroom behaviours, and are disciplined, organised, put students first and are passionate about their subject and that every student in the class succeeds.
  • Happy children learn best.
  • Staff are teachers of children rather than subjects.
  • We believe in abundant opportunities inside and outside the classroom for our students to discover their talents and interests
  • All teaching should develop in students the requisite knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviours for them to achieve well across any discipline.
  • There is no one way to teach good and outstanding lessons, as long as students are engaged, challenged and know how to improve.
  • There are no shortcuts and hard work is the key ingredient in success.
  • Where possible we set to ensure groups of similar ability.

Please click here for the set change protocols in English, Maths and Science.

Curriculum organisation

At Gordon’s the curriculum and teaching styles are based on the best traditional and modern methods. For example, if you choose to visit a Year 7 Maths lesson at Gordon’s, you will sometimes see students learning their tables. In English lessons you will sometimes come across classes having spelling tests. We use these tried and tested methods for one simple reason - they work! However, at the same time you will sometimes see the extensive use of computers, which feature in virtually every area of the curriculum. Thus balancing the traditional and the modern in ways that work.

To help organise their work, students are issued with a special homework diary each term. This diary is closely monitored by staff - including the Head Teacher. The diary greatly increases contact between school and parents and helps students to structure their homework more effectively. It also enables staff and parents to monitor homework - and check that it is being completed.

One of the keys to academic success is not only hard work, but also the establishment of good practice. One aspect of GCSE is the necessity to do coursework - really a word for extended homework. In our experience, the sooner boys and girls can establish the self discipline and habit required for homework, the better their long term chances for success in coping with GCSEs.

ASSESSMENT

Students in Key Stage 5 undertake AS and then A Levels over a two year programme. At Key Stage 4, students sit GCSE level exams. In order to offer students a clear journey from Year 7 to 11, all students in these year groups are assessed using the new GCSE 9-1 grading structure, with staff awarding ‘actual’ GCSE grades to students across all year groups. More information on the approach we have taken with assessment at Key Stage 3 can be found here.

CURRICULUM VOICE

Students have the opportunity to contribute their views on curricular issues in two ways:

  • Departmental reviews occur every three years with, on average, five departments being reviewed per academic year. Input from our students comprises a major part of each review, with all teachers receiving extensive feedback from at least one of their classes on a range of teaching and learning areas, as well as the option of a freely written narrative part for each student to complete, should they wish to.
  • All departments and teachers are encouraged to conduct their own regular micro-reviews.