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Students in a lesson, with teacher providing support


We prefer to describe our curriculum as a “thought-full” curriculum, since we seek to develop thinking skills and habits of excellence to nurture life-long learners. Within a secure environment, we are able to provide personal challenge: within a stimulating environment we are able to provide for enjoyment in learning. Both elements are the foundations for academic success.

The Curriculum

Our curriculum is both broad based and increasingly personalised. We are committed to meeting the needs of each individual through high quality teaching and learning, assessment both of and for learning, monitoring and tracking student progress.

Thinker’s Toolkit

Working with Exeter University, a university with an excellent reputation in education and curriculum development, we are enriching our curriculum to be “thought-full”. Putting the learner at the heart of our curriculum we are developing a common and visual language of Thinking Tools and embedding habits of excellence in our work. Habits such as acting with persistence, creating, imagining and innovating are the foundations of life-long learning and personal achievement.

The Rochester Grammar School is now recognised by Exeter University as one of the few Advanced Thinking Schools in the country and is pioneering the use of a cognitive approach to education and student learning.

Years 7 – 11

Students start the Rochester Grammar School with a compressed two year Key Stage 3. During this time students are supported in their transition to a secondary school curriculum with the support of specialist teachers.

Teachers are supportive and encouraging, they help me work to the best of my
Megan, Year 7

During Year 8 students will consider their pathways for Key Stage 4 and with the help of their teachers will be guided through the options and acceleration process to choose the best subjects and levels of assessment for them. This includes GCSE and AS courses depending on the subject. All students are expected to take a language.

Some students will have the opportunity to accelerate beyond what is normally expected of a Key Stage 4 student in the Core subjects of English & Mathematics. Those accelerated in English will take their English GCSE qualifications in Year 10 and AS English Literature and Language at the end of Year 11. Accelerated Mathematicians complete GCSE Maths, Statistics and Further Mathematics.*

* Please note that student options and pathways are subject to change.

Student Progress & Assessment

On entering the school in yr. 7 all students will be given a target grade for each subject based on prior attainment in English and Mathematics at the end of KS2. At KS3 regular assessments will occur based on assessment criteria which, where appropriate, is based on GCSE standard. The grade your daughter receives will then be weighted to compensate for the academic year in which she is in. This system is designed to allow your daughter’s progress through KS3 to be accurately measured. If your daughter is making progress in line with what we would expect, based on her prior attainment, she will be receiving assessment grades at a similar level to her target grade. Progress will be reported to parents twice annually.

When your daughter enters KS4 in year 9 all assessment carried out will be to GCSE standard. There might, therefore, be a time in year 9 when the grades your daughter receives seem below those that she was achieving in KS3. As your daughter progresses in her subjects your daughter will work towards achieving at and beyond her target grade. Progress will be reported to parents twice annually.

In all departments, teachers have a very good expertise in their specialist subjects and a thorough grasp of which areas to address for different

Into the Sixth Form

Students are supported by individual interviews, group discussions and interactions with their teachers to help them choose the right Sixth Form pathway for them and we seek to make the transition to Sixth Form as seamless as possible.

Both A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) are offered as academic pathways to students. Both pathways offer an outstanding choice of subjects for students to choose from and tailor their curriculum to best fit their future aspirations. In addition to the outstanding curriculum offer students are supported through a dedicated Sixth Form team, study area and recreational facilities.

Almost all our students decide to apply for University and consistently gain places in the most prestigious institutions both in the UK and around the world.

Course Offerings

Course Title Qualifications Obtainable Awarding Body
Key Stage 4 Courses
Art and Design: Fine Art GCSE AQA
Chemistry GCSE AQA
Biology GCSE AQA
Business Studies & Economics GCSE Edexcel
Business Studies & Economics AS Level GCE Edexcel
Gateway Science – Chemistry B GCSE OCR
Citizenship Studies AS Level AQA
Classical Civilisation GCSE AQA
English Language GCSE AQA
English Literature GCSE AQA
Creative Writing AS Level AQA
Geography GCSE AQA
History GCSE Edexcel
Information and Communication Technology GCSE WJEC
Computer Science GCSE OCR
Mathematics GCSE Edexcel
Statistics GCSE Edexcel
Further Mathematics GCSE AQA
French GCSE Edexcel
German GCSE Edexcel
Spanish GCSE Edexcel
Music GCSE Edexcel
Music BTEC Edexcel
Philosophy AS Level AQA
Physics GCSE AQA
Graphic Products GCSE Pearson Edexcel
Psychology GCSE AQA
Physical Education GCSE AQA
Religious Studies (short course) GCSE AQA
Religious Studies (full course) GCSE AQA
Sociology GCSE AQA
Key Stage 5 Courses
Art and Design: Fine Art A level Edexcel
Biology A level OCR
Business Studies A level OCR
Chemistry A level OCR B (Salters)
Applied Science BTEC Pearson
Design and Technology ‐ Product Design A Level AQA
Drama and Theatre Studies A level WJEC
Economics A level OCR
English Literature A level AQA
Geography A level Edexcel
Government and Politics A Level Edexcel
Computer Science A Level OCR
History A level Edexcel
Information and Communication Technology BTEC OCR
Mathematics A Level Edexcel
Mathematics ‐ Further A Level Edexcel
Media Studies A Level AQA
Music A level Edexcel
Music Technology A Level Edexcel
Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics A level OCR
Physical Education A level AQA
Physics A level Edexcel
Psychology A level AQA
Sociology A level AQA
IB Courses
Anthropology IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Biology IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Chemistry IB (Higher) IBO
Economics IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
English IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Environmental Systems and Societies IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
French B

German B



IB (Standard/Higher or Ab Inito) IBO
Geography IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
History IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Mathematics IB (Standard/Ab Initio or Higher) IBO
Music IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Philosophy IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Physics IB (Higher) IBO
Psychology IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Theatre Arts IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Visual Arts IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Global Politics and Sport IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Exercise and Health Science IB (Standard or Higher) IBO
Classics and Films IB (Standard or Higher) IBO