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Curriculum Philosophy

We are proud of our curriculum at Bourne Grammar School.  It is our framework for setting out the aims of our programme of education, including the knowledge and skills gained by our students at each stage of their learning.  Within our own context and considering the profile of our students, our curriculum is implemented in an academically ambitious and inclusive structure that allows students to gain knowledge and understanding which surpasses expectations.  Students at Bourne Grammar School make outstanding progress.

Bourne Grammar School is a knowledge-engaged school; by that we realise that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills.  There is no tension between knowledge and skills as they are interdependent and entwined.  Our Key Stage 3 Progress Ladders – bespoke for each subject – outline the skills required to succeed in each subject and show the steps required to progress, yet this would not be possible with the underlying knowledge of content underpinning the learning. 

Our curriculum lies at the heart of how we educate our students; it is broad, it is balanced and it is delivered by subject specialists whose content and pedagogical knowledge is outstanding. Despite the national trend of curriculum narrowing, we have grown our curriculum and offer our students a diverse choice of opportunity.

Our curriculum philosophy is to offer our students a curriculum that is

  • Academically ambitious
  • Inclusive
  • Develops independence
Academic Ambition

The School offers an academically ambitious curriculum of 26 subjects — all formal GCSE or A-Level qualifications — which challenge our students to achieve the highest academic standards. The School’s curriculum ensures that every student studies at least one foreign language until they are publicly examined in Year 11; some study two or even three.  The sole technology subject is the academically-demanding Design Engineering; Computer Science — as opposed to IT — is taught as a compulsory subject in Years 7, 8 and 9 with a focus on coding.  In Science, the majority of students are entered for the more challenging Triple Science Award and in Mathematics some are entered for the AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics.

Lessons at Bourne Grammar School are designed to challenge and push students to achieve their potential.  In many subjects, Key Stage 4 assessment objectives are used in Key Stage 3 lessons, GCSE English texts are studied in Key Stage 3 English lessons, Mathematics lessons focus on problem-solving through mathematical reasoning in addition to the learning of formulae and processes, and foreign languages are taught almost exclusively in the target language. 

The academically ambitious curriculum and the way in which it is delivered suits the nature of our students (top 25% as selected by the 11+ test). 


Crucially, our curriculum is inclusive, ensuring equal opportunity for all our students to thrive and excel. There is a strong SEN provision in the School and SEN students make significantly good progress (+0.5 P8, 2019).

In two of the previous three years, the School has reversed the equality gap and Pupil Premium students have outperformed the rest of the cohort and so bucked the national trend.  The school’s comprehensive Pupil Premium strategy document – available to read on this website – supports the curriculum philosophy and funds impactful provision to allow all students, regardless of their situation, to succeed.

Inclusivity could also be thought of as – as Mary Myatt would term - Entitlement.  Our teachers ensure that all students regardless of ability, ethnicity, social class or disability are exposed to the same level of demanding, academically ambitious work.  It is what our students want, it is what they deserve and it is a reason why student outcomes are consistently outstanding.

Developing Independence

Academic success is important, but the School believes that there is more to education than securing outstanding results. Bourne Grammar School aims to equip its students with the skills required to succeed in Higher Education and beyond, particularly by developing their independence. Our young people are expected to contribute to their school and society, to persist in the face of difficulty and to work independently on things which challenge them.

The Building Better Learners Programme has been designed to place the emphasis of learning onto the student and is embedded at Key Stage 3, where traditional homework is replaced by independent learning.  Extended reading resources and access to schemes of work are provided to offer students greater autonomy over their learning; curriculum time is devoted to teach students the strategies required for them to take ownership of their learning.  By the time our students reach the Sixth Form, they will receive 10 periods of timetabled Supervised Independent Study per fortnight where silent, independent work is expected. 


Bourne Grammar School wants its students to look back on a positive experience of school, to a time that has inspired, supported and challenged them.  The curriculum on offer has been designed to achieve this aim.