Bangor Grammar School

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The Academic Curriculum

2013/2014

The Board of Governors of Bangor Grammar School ensures that the academic curriculum provided meets the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.  In addition it aims to enrich this provision by the inclusion of additional subjects where possible.

The Vice-Principal co-ordinates the curriculum provision throughout the school in liaison with the Senior Management Team.

The Junior School - Years 8-10 - Key Stage 3

The academic structure at Key Stage 3 meets the requirements of the Northern Ireland curriculum and the development of teaching and assessment strategies appropriate for this curriculum is an ongoing facet of school development work. Boys take the subjects listed in the Years 8 – 10 link. Of these ICT is taken as a discrete subject in Year 8 only; after that it is delivered entirely through subjects, culminating in preparation for Key Stage 3 accreditation in Year 10. Year 8 pupils study a general science course, before specialising in Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Years 9 and 10. All boys take French in Year 8 and opt for a second modern language, German or Spanish, in Year 9.

Main Curricular Subjects: Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English, French, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, ICT, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Education, Science, Spanish, Technology.

Cross Curricular Themes: Employability, Citizenship, Personal Social and Health Education. *These are taught through the Learning for Life and Work programmes of study of all curricular subjects.

  • All boys have one hour of games per week.
  • Boys at Key Stage 3 are taught in classes which are not streamed.
  • Science is taught as a single subject in Year 8.
  • In Years 9 & 10 boys take Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • French is the only modern foreign language taught in Year 8.
  • In Years 9 & 10 boys take a second modern language, either German or Spanish. The School will accommodate a boy’s choice of a second language as far as possible within the constraints of the timetable.

Middle School - Years 11 & 12 - Key Stage 4

By March of Year 10 all boys will have opted for 9 GCSE subjects, with some having the opportunity to take 10. Boys are required to take English, Mathematics, full course or half course Religious Education, Physical Education (available for some as a full GCSE) and Learning for Life and Work. Most will take English Literature and all will take at least one science.

Compulsory Subjects: English, English Literature or Journalism, Mathematics, At least one Science subject (Physics, Chemistry, Biology).

Optional GCSE Subjects: Additional Mathematics, Art and Design, Business Studies, Computing, Drama, French, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, ICT, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, Spanish, Technology.

Cross Curricular Themes: Employability, Citizenship, Personal Social and Health Education. *These are taught through the Learning for Life and Work programmes of study of all curricular subjects.

  • Physical Education is either a non-examination or GCSE subject. All boys take a GCSE examination, either full or short course, in Religious Education.
  • Classes at Key Stage 4 are generally of mixed ability.

Senior School - Years 13 & 14 - Sixth Form

Most boys who meet the school’s criteria for Sixth Form entry will take 4 AS subjects, although the possibility of taking 3 will be offered to some with a lower GCSE points score. The majority will reduce their curriculum to 3 subjects in Year 14. In addition there is the possibility of taking courses that the school does not offer at other schools in Bangor with whom we are in partnership.

Boys who return to school to pursue AS and A-level studies choose from the following subjects: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, Home Economics, Information Technology, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Spanish, Technology.

The School is part of the Bangor Learning Partnership (comprising the four post-primary schools in the Bangor area, together with the South Eastern Regional College) which widens the choice of Year 13 pupils by enabling them to select one AS/A2 subject in one of the partner schools.  This year, boys have an opportunity to study AS Moving Image Arts, AS Psychology, AS Sociology, AS Environmental Technology and BTec Music Technology.

  • One hour of games per week is provided.
  • Classes depend on subject choice and normally are not streamed.
  • A programme for Learning for Life and Work is taught each week to all boys.

The Principal, the Vice-Principal or one of the Assistant Principals will be pleased to answer any questions about the curriculum which parents may have. 

  • Homework - Homework is seen as an essential part of a boy’s education and varies from a recommended one and a half hours per night at KS3 to three hours per night at Sixth Form. Each Department has its own Homework Policy.
  • Instrumental tuition of a high quality is available from specialist music tutors and leads to external awards.
  • Sport is timetabled for an average of two hours per week for each boy.
  • Parental Consultation Meetings are held annually for each year group to provide the opportunity for parents to discuss their sons' academic progress with his teachers.
  • A Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, with the assistance of other teachers, supports pupils who have educational statements or specific special needs, taking responsibility for the construction of individual education plans, overseeing the work of support assistants and liaising with external bodies to ensure that their academic requirements are met.

CAREERS GUIDANCE

In Bangor Grammar School we offer a very carefully planned programme of careers guidance, which begins in Year 8 and continues right through until Year 14.

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