Curriculum Information

Curriculum Policy

Colchester Royal Grammar School is committed to providing a quality education, and aims at excellence in all that it does.  Our principal raison d’être is the academic achievement of our students.  The aims of the CRGS curriculum are to provide a challenging yet supportive education, broadly following the National Curriculum, based within a framework of teaching and learning in which each child can perform to his or her utmost.

All students are encouraged to become confident learners, who are increasingly able to take responsibility for their own learning as they progress through the school.  We aim to prepare students for university entrance, employment and the challenges of the wider world, fulfilling their role as responsible citizens.

The curriculum is designed to be broad and balanced, and to allow students to:

• Enjoy and achieve – develop the capacity to enjoy learning and succeed in it
• Stay safe – learn how to stay safe and manage risk
• Be healthy – understand how to maintain a healthy lifestyle
• Make a positive contribution – form relationships and participate in society
• Achieve economic wellbeing – acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to adult and working life – including Independent Advice and Guidance on future careers

These principles are embedded into departmental Schemes of Work, as are those which prepare learners for life in modern Britain by equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society, by developing their understanding of fundamental British values and their understanding and appreciation of diversity, and by celebrating what is held in common and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics.


Curriculum Intent:

Colchester Royal Grammar School provides a curriculum which:
• is rich and varied; challenges, inspires and motivates
• addresses personalised learning needs through differentiated programmes of study in each subject, adopting a variety of learning approaches
• caters for the gifted and talented
• fosters an environment in which all students may fulfil their potential
• equips students with the skills needed for work and life after school
• shadows the National Curriculum, providing a broad and balanced education
• promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students
(this includes Religious Education, collective worship, and sex and relationship education (SRE) except where parents choose to withdraw students)
• promotes a positive environment for equal opportunities, and eliminates discrimination in all forms
• provides Independent Careers Advice and Guidance from Year 8 onwards
• encourages cross-curricular co-operation, including citizenship, work-related learning, enterprise
• promotes cohesion, community participation, critical thinking, healthy lifestyles, cultural identity, global awareness, sustainable development
• enables students to develop as learners through self-assessment and evaluation
• identifies those with SEND or in receipt of the Pupil Premium, and provides appropriate support

Curriculum Implementation:

The Timetable

The School operates a one week timetable.  There are ten periods per day, each of which lasts for 30 minutes.  There are therefore fifty periods per week.

Each morning has a 20 minute registration session, when students can attend a year group assembly in a weekly cycle.  Afternoon registration is incorporated into the first lesson after lunch.


In addition to the formal taught curriculum, an extensive range of extracurricular clubs and activities, subject enrichment or support, and trips and visits are offered to the students.  These are advertised to students and parents by email, through assembly or registration, through lessons, and by means of a termly clubs and societies bulletin.

Lessons in Religious Education are compulsory for Years 7 – 9.  In Years 10 and 11, Religious Education is taught as a compulsory part of Personal Development lessons (and of course in GCSE Religious Studies, if taken as a GCSE option).  Parents have the right to withdraw their child from religious education lessons, assemblies and collective worship, and should discuss this in advance with the Headmaster, who will make alternative arrangements.

There is a programme of careers education and opportunities throughout the student’s time at school.

Almost all lessons are taught in mixed attainment groups, with the exceptions being Mathematics (KS4) and French (Year 9 and KS4).

All lessons are delivered by suitably qualified teachers and subject specialists.


Key Stage Three

The School operates a three year Key Stage 3, which is designed to keep a student’s education and future options as broad as possible for as long as possible, and facilitates access for the students from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4.

In Year 7, all students study:
• Art, English, French, Geography, History, Computing, Latin, Design & Technology, Mathematics, Music, PE and Games, Religious Studies, and Science as weekly timetabled subjects.
In Year 8, all students study the same subjects as they study in Year 7 with the following exceptions:
• additionally, all students take a third language, which is a free choice between Classical Greek and German;
• science is now taught distinctly as Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
In Year 9, all students study the same subjects as they study in Year 8.

All students will also study sex and relationships education (SRE), PSHE and citizenship chiefly via a weekly Tutorial lesson, although for Year 9 this is incorporated into their morning registration sessions and at least one themed PSHE day per term.


Key Stage Four

The curriculum remains broad in Key Stage 4, with all students studying towards at least ten GCSEs, and having the opportunity, depending on ability and interests, to take up to two further GCSEs/Level 2 certificates.  The Key Stage 4 curriculum is also designed to facilitate access for the students from Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5.

In Years 10 and 11, all students study the core subjects of:
• GCSE English, English Literature, Mathematics and French.
All students additionally will study one of the following:
• “Triple science” consisting of separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
• Combined Science, which contains equal elements of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and is equivalent to two GCSEs.
Depending on the science option chosen, students will then have a free choice of either three or four of the following, all studied as full GCSEs:
• Art and Design, Classical Greek, Computing, Design and Technology, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, Religious Studies.
Students also have the opportunity of studying an extracurricular GCSE in either Astronomy or Spanish.  Those in the top three sets for Mathematics will also study towards a Level 2 certificate in Further Maths.

All students will also study Religious Education, unless their parents choose to withdraw them and a planned programme of sex and relationships education (SRE), work-related learning, PSHE and citizenship via Tutorial and Personal Development (PD) lessons.  All students will also have weekly time devoted to PE and Games activities.

Parents currently have the right to withdraw their children from Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), except for material contained in science curricula, from which there is no right of withdrawal.


Sixth Form (Key Stage 5)

The Sixth Form curriculum offers a wide range of courses at A level, any permutation of which can be selected:
• Art, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Computing, Design and Technology, Economics, English Literature, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Studies, Spanish.
• Most students will study four subjects in Year 12 and carry on with these choices to A level.  Some students will study three subjects to A level.
• An AS level in Government and Politics is on offer to students as part of their enrichment programme.
• Students have the opportunity to study for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and will be supported by a mentor with the appropriate subject knowledge.  Mathematicians also have the opportunity to study for an AS in Further Mathematics over two years.

All students will take part in a tutorial programme which covers a range of issues to support academic, health and citizenship development.

The School will endeavour to meet the variety of options permutations requested by the students; however at times this may not be possible due to the constraints of the timetable, or cost-effectiveness of running the subject.


Curriculum Impact:

The impact of the curriculum is assessed by considering:
• External examination results at both GCSE and A level, including the numbers gaining top grades in a wide variety of subjects, as well as the progress made by students between GCSE and A level.
• The range and variety of extracurricular and enrichment activities and students’ participation in them.
• The retention of students from Year 11 into the Sixth Form.
• The numbers of students applying to join the School in Year 7 and Year 12.
• The proportion of students who are able to choose the courses they want to do at GCSE and A level.
• The destinations of our leavers at the end of Year 11 and Year 13.
• Student voice and parental surveys.
• Annual reviews of departments, and on-going revision of the careers and PSHE programmes.

Important documents to be viewed in conjunction with this policy are:

• CSSE – Consortium for Selective Schools in Essex, 11+ information booklet (
• Annual Year 7 information pack (issued at 11+ Open Evening in July)
• Annual Year 9 GCSE Options information pack (issued in December)
• Annual Sixth Form information pack (issued at Sixth Form Open Evening in October)

Important annual events and information sources explaining the curriculum further to students/parents are:

• Information evening for incoming Year 7 parents (June/July)
• 11+ Open Evening in June/July
• Sixth Form Open Evening in October
• Parents Evenings throughout the year (one per year)
• Brief or Full reports to parents (termly)
• School website and Learning Platform (Moodle)


Page Downloads

Year 9 Options Booklet 2023 20th Dec 2022 Download