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.
Literacy and numeracy support is also offered throughout the School in a number of ways: support classes; literacy and numeracy mentoring by senior pupils; intervention support by staff.
Religious Education classes are timetabled for all boys in Key Stages 3 and 4. Parents may indicate that they do not which their son to be timetabled for Religious Education by written application to the Vice Principal.
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.
Careers Education underpins the curriculum at Bangor Grammar, and CEIAG is taught both in separate classes and within the taught curriculum throughout the School.
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.
Instrumental tuition of a high quality is available from specialist music tutors and leads to external awards.
LINKS WITH OTHER SCHOOLS
While Bangor Grammar School is an all-boys school, there are close links with the girls’ grammar school in the town, Glenlola Collegiate. Boys and Glenlola girls participate together in Scripture Union meetings and Debating. The Contingent of the Combined Cadet Force is a joint contingent between Bangor Grammar School and Glenlola Collegiate.
The School is a member of the Bangor Learning Partnership, comprising the four post-primary schools in Bangor, BGS, Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor Academy and St Columbanus’s College. This enables sixth form pupils to study a level 3/A Level course at one of the partner schools. The school is also part of the North Down and Ards Area Learning Community, by means of which it is seeking to deliver the Entitlement Framework.
We are also currently engaged in a Shared Education project with Bangor Academy and St Columbanus’s College, part of which involves working towards achieving Rights Respecting Schools status, hosting joint School Council meetings and training pupils from each school to be Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.
The academic year 2016/17 has seen the development of closer ties with Primary Schools in the area, our school leading projects to ensure the best possible education for all children in Bangor, irrespective of school attended.
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.
- Study skills are taught in Year 8.
- 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, Mathematics, Religious Education, Preparation for Adult Life.
Optional GCSE Subjects: Further Mathematics, Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Drama, English Literature, French, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, ICT, Journalism, Manufacturing, Moving Image Art, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Education, Spanish.
Cross Curricular Themes: Employability, Citizenship, Personal Social and Health Education. *These are taught through the Preparation for Adult Life 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. For example European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) and Prince’s Trust Achieve Award.
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, Digital Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, 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, BTEC Engineering, BTEC Sport and BTEC ICT .
The School is considering broadening the curriculum by offering Hospitality, Journalism and Professional Business Services at A level in 2017/18.
- Classes depend on subject choice and normally are not streamed.
- A programme for Learning for Life and Work is taught to all boys.
- One hour of games per week is provided.
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.
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 Key Stage 3, Careers is taught as a theme throughout the curriculum, with boys encouraged to apply skills learnt in the classroom to the world of work. 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.
In Key Stage 4, 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.
Students in Year 12 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. 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 Careers Officers from the Department for Employability and Learning. A Mock Results Day and Careers Fair in February prepare the boys for what they will face in June.
In Sixth Form, pupils prepare for their second Work Experience placement and familiarise themselves with the process of university application (UCAS). A talk is held for parents of Year 13 pupils in 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 and DEL Careers Officers. 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 regularly visit the school, both to speak to our Careers Club and to year groups. Representatives from several universities, including Oxbridge, and local FE Colleges give presentations. Students in Year 14 attend Open Days at QUB, UU and TCD, a UCAS Convention and various careers conferences. We also hold an annual Careers Fair which is attended by pupils from other schools.
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.