Academic Curriculum

The Academic Curriculum

The Academic Curriculum at Reed’s provides as broad an education as possible before pupils choose their optional GCSE/IGCSE and A Level subjects.

The curriculum in each year is designed to lead naturally into the next stage of a pupil’s education. Subjects are taught by specialist teachers at all levels. The Activities Curriculum is integral to the broad educational experience at Reed’s and there is an expectation that pupils joining the School will take every opportunity on offer through to the end of their Sixth Form years.

The Deputy Head Academic, David Atkins, oversees all academic matters and reports directly to the Headmaster. Teaching is organised in academic departments and the Heads of Department report to the Deputy Head Academic who is supported by the Assistant Head (Academic), the Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning), and the Assistant Head (Curriculum).

The Sixth Form (Years 12 & 13)

Students study three subjects at A Level from the beginning of the Lower Sixth. This provides sufficient time and enthusiasm to be focused on each subject. For some pupils a fourth A Level is possible in Further Mathematics or a native language.

The following subjects are offered - we endeavour to accommodate all combinations, subject to timetable constraints:

Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, English Literature, Fine Art, French, Geography, German, Graphic Design, History, Latin, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish.

Alongside their three A Levels students chose electives from a wide variety of courses. Here the opportunity exists to undertake the Extended Project Qualification to promote independent learning and undergraduate-style academic research, and/or take electives in a wide variety of cultural, creative and practical life-skills.

Some electives (such as PE and Photography) allow students to progress on to take an AS Level qualification. For the majority of the electives, courses are designed imaginatively for the benefit of the students and not constrained by examination boards.

In addition, students undertake a series of short courses on preparing for university. These cover politics, research skills, finance, cooking, practical life-skills, and modern languages. These are enhanced by a General Studies course which covers a range of current affairs and social, political, moral and ideological issues. All students participate fully in the wide Sport and Activities programme.

Fourth and Fifth Form (Years 10 & 11)

In the Fourth and Fifth Forms pupils study for GCSE or IGCSE examinations - both are equally well recognised by universities. In each subject the decision is taken to select the examination board and approach we believe stimulates pupils, and provides the most effective preparation for A Levels.

Pupils take English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, a Modern Foreign Language and usually two Sciences as their common curriculum. They then take three further option subjects from a freely available choice. The top two Mathematics sets also study Further Mathematics. As a result pupils take either nine or ten GCSE/IGCSEs in the Fifth Form. Our belief is that it is the quality of results that matter, not the number of subjects or passes; that pupils should follow an enjoyable and diverse course that reflects their strengths and interests and that their choice involves consideration of future academic studies.

Option subjects are Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, French, German, Spanish, Latin, Geography, History, Music, Art, Drama, Design and Technology, Religious Studies and Physical Education.

All pupils also take part in our extensive CPHSE (Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education) programme as well as the Sports and Activities programme.

Third Form (Year 9)

The curriculum in the Third Form (Year 9) is as wide as possible before pupils choose their optional GCSE/IGCSE subjects in the Fourth and Fifth Forms (Years 10 and 11).

Pupils study a common curriculum of the following subjects:

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, French or Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Philosophy and Religion, Drama, Physical Education, CPHSE (Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education) and FutureTech (a cross-curricular course covering Robotics, Computer-aided Design, Problem-solving Mathematics and Nanotechnology).

There is further significant choice available from a combination of option subjects:

Art, Computing, Design Technology, German, Latin, Music and Spanish.

First and Second Form (Years 7 & 8)

In the First and Second Forms pupils study a broad curriculum which aims to introduce them to a wide range of subjects, all taught by specialist teachers. A choice is made between French and Spanish in the First Form and then an additional choice is made between Latin and German in the Second Form.

Pupils study the subjects in the list below: 

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, French or Spanish (First Form language choice) Physics, Geography, History, Art, Philosophy and Religion, Latin or German (additional language choice in Second Form), Drama, Music, Computing, Design & Technology, Physical Education, CPHSE (Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education).

Page Downloads Date  
GCSE Handbook 25th Feb 2019 Download
Sixth Form Handbook 15th Nov 2018 Download
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