Curriculum Overview


We keep our curriculum under constant review, using cycles of self- evaluation and development, to ensure our students benefit from the best opportunities available, whilst preserving our commitment to rigorous academic values.

We are very proud of our balanced, comprehensive curriculum which puts the needs of all students at its heart. In Year 9 students can choose which foreign language and Design and Technology subjects they want to concentrate on.

At GCSE, we use evidence from students’ achievements and parental feedback to evaluate the balance of subjects on offer. We believe students have an excellent choice from a wide variety of traditional GCSE subjects and newer vocational courses.

An extensive extracurricular programme of trips, sports and additional learning activities, from the German exchange to debating club, further enriches our curriculum. Our careers information, advice and guidance programme helps students investigate careers when deciding which subjects they will choose to study in Years 10,11 and beyond.

Our options system at GCSE and A level is student-centred, which means students have a free choice, under the guidance of our pastoral and subject teams and the curriculum is designed around them. We feel this is the best approach to meet the needs of each individual student in our care.

In Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key stage 3) pupils take the following subjects:

Art; Computing; Design and Technology; English; French; Geography; German; History; Mathematics; Performing Arts; Philosophy, Beliefs and Ethics; Physical Education; Science and Spanish.

In the current Year 7, students are organised into mixed ability classes, using Primary School data. Mathematics uses Sets from Year 7 with Science setting in Year 9. These Sets are frequently reviewed and further Year 7 testing can result in some pupils moving classes

Many students study two Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) and then go on to study at least one Modern Foreign Language at GCSE. A few students will study just one MFL in Years 7 and 8 and then drop languages completely in Year 9 in preference for extra Literacy and Numeracy work.

In Years 10 and 11 pupils follow a varied programme of GCSE courses, some of which are chosen in consultation with their parents and the School.  Information about these courses is available on the school website. During the Spring Term of Year 9 a meeting is held to describe them fully to parents.

Certain GCSE subjects are compulsory during these two years. These are…

English Language; English Literature; Mathematics; Science (Double Award); Humanities subject and Modern Foreign Language (for some students).

In Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4), Option Courses include:

Art; Business Studies (BTEC and GCSE); Computing; Drama; Food; French; Geography; German; Childcare; History; ICT; Italian; Music; Physical Education (GCSE and BTEC); Product Design; Religious Studies; Russian; Spanish; Textiles and Triple Science.

Students in Years 10 and 11 are organised into teaching groups for the core subjects English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities. Some core subjects use Sets and others are mixed ability.  Students also have a choice of up to three other subjects and are taught in mixed ability groups. The Learning Support Department helps students with particular educational needs both within lessons and outside the classroom on an individual basis.

The School believes that Independent Learning outside of the classroom (homework) is an important aid to good progress and we set pupils relevant work that consolidates, develops and extends the learning in lessons.  This work may take a variety of forms.  There is no set timetable for the setting of Independent Learning.  All work will be recorded by staff on and pupils may also choose to use a traditional planner/diary.  Each parent will receive instructions on how to use this website, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. From time-to-time pupils will also be directed towards optional extension opportunities which they may find interesting and we also publish a half-termly learning opportunities newsletter.

The Cotswold School Sixth Form

Students in our Sixth Form are able to study a wide range of Level 3 courses.  Entry requirements vary from course to course (details of subject entry requirements can be found on the Sixth Form section of the School website) with consideration of the individual student’s strengths, interests and aspirations helping to inform any decision.

Applications are welcome to the Head of Sixth Form following the Sixth Form Open Evening which is held in November, with interviews with a senior leader carried out in the weeks following this. External applicants will be interviewed by the Head or Deputy Head of Sixth Form. Application forms are available with the Sixth Form prospectus or online via the Sixth Form section of the School website.

AS and A Level Subjects:

Art; Biology; Business; Chemistry; Computer Science; Design & Technology (Product Design); Drama and Theatre; Economics; English Literature; English Language; French; Geography; German; History; Italian; Mathematics; Further Mathematics; Music; Physics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology; Spanish.

Other Level 3 Subjects:

Business (Double Award); Health & Social Care (Double Award); I.C.T.; Sport (Double Award; Extended Project