Bangor Grammar School

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The Academic Curriculum


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 Leadership Team.

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

Main Curricular Subjects: Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English, Food Technology, French, Geography, German, History, 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

Compulsory Subjects: English, English Literature or Journalism, Mathematics, Religious Education.

Optional GCSE Subjects: Further Mathematics, Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Drama, French, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, ICT, Manufacturing, Moving Image Art, Music, Physical Education, Physics, 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.
  • Classes at Key Stage 4 are generally of mixed ability.

The School is exploring broadening the Key Stage 4 curriculum by introducing other qualifications outside of the current GCSE portfolio.


Senior School - Years 13 & 14 - Sixth Form

Boys who return to school to pursue AS and A-level studies choose from the following subjects: Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Design and Technology, 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.

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 Art, AS Law, AS Psychology, AS Sociology, AS Environmental Technology, BTech Music Technology, AS Travel & Tourism and AS Home Economics.

  • 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 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.  It varies from a recommended average of one and half hours per night at KS3 to three hours per night in the 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.
  • 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.

  • Parental Consultation Meetings are held annually for each year group to provide the opportunity for parents to discuss their son’s academic progress with his teachers.


Careers Guidance is offered in modular form as ‘Employability Skills’ via Learning for Life and Work (LLW).  Year 10 students are assigned to their own individual Careers Teacher, who will guide and advise them throughout their time at School. 

In Year 10, students begin to map out their career paths and follow a Careers/Employability module delivered through the LLW programme.  Before final GCSE choices are made, there is a Parental Consultation meeting with subject teachers which should help both students and parents to make informed decisions about subject choices.  A further interview with the student’s Careers teacher may be arranged for consultation and guidance in the final selection of GCSEs.

In Year 11, Careers is delivered through the Careers/Employability module of LLW.  Some students may gain further insight into the workplace through Work Shadowing.  Placements are for two days, at the end of the school year, in a place of the student’s own choosing.

Careers guidance continues into Year 12; an Employability/Careers module is delivered in Year 12 by Careers teachers through LLW, where students are introduced to the Kudos programme, which will suggest possible careers to them and involve detailed research into careers which interest them, learning how to apply for jobs and how to write CVs, letters of application and job applications.  We also conduct mock interviews during class.  After the Parental Consultation, students and their parents will be able to meet with their Careers teacher to assist with their plans for the future.  Independent advice for all Year 12 pupils is also offered from the beginning of Year 12 by our own designated Careers Officers from the Department for Employability and Learning.

In Year 13, pupils prepare for their second Work Experience placement and familiarise themselves with the process of university application (UCAS).  A talk is held for parents towards the end of April so they will be better informed as to the decisions their sons will be making in the coming months.

Year 14 is concerned with the UCAS procedure and pupils are given the benefit of guidance and advice from experienced careers teachers; pupils again have the opportunity to use the independent advice of our DEL Careers Officers at this time.  We hold an “Interview Skills Day” where a panel of advisors from the world of work will help prepare students for their forthcoming university or employment interviews.  We also provide a presentation regarding student funding, applying for student loans, contribution to fees etc. 

Throughout the year, outside speakers from organisations such as the Armed Services and other professions also visit the school.  Representatives from several universities, including Oxbridge, and local FE Colleges give presentations.  Students in Year 14 also attend Open Days at QUB, UU and TCD, a UCAS Convention and various careers conferences.  We hold an annual Careers Fair, and all boys are welcome to attend presentations by parents and past pupils on their careers throughout the year.

Bangor Grammar School offers an extremely comprehensive service to each of our students.  We believe that the best interests of our boys must be at the centre of all that we do in the Careers Department.