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 (Curriculum), Jon Ross, oversees all academic matters and reports to the Senior Deputy and the Headmaster. Teaching is organised in academic departments and the Heads of Department report to the Deputy Head (Curriculum) who is supported by the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning), the Director of Studies, the Head of Digital Learning and the Head of Pupil Tracking.


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, Graphic Design, History, Latin, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Physics, Physical Education, Politics, 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 Maths, Sociology, Politics or 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, usually at least two science subjects (from a choice of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, and usually a Foreign Language 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, Electronics, French, Spanish, Latin, Geography, History, Music, Art, Drama, 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, Physical Education, and CPHSE (Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education).

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

Art, Computer Science, Design Engineering, Drama, Latin, Music or a second modern foreign language (French or Spanish).​ 

In addition to this traditional curriculum, all Third Form pupils follow our three bespoke courses:

  • Learning Habits – a dedicated period for developing the skills of “how to learn”
  • Enterprise – a period allowing pupils to develop entrepreneurial skills.
  • FutureTech - a cross-curricular programme involving mathematical problem solving, robotics, CAD, nanotechnology, and aeronautics.

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 of two languages from French, Spanish or German in the First Form.

Pupils study the subjects in the list below: 

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

Page Downloads File Type  
GCSE Handbook Jan 2024 pdf File Download
Sixth Form Handbook 2024 pdf File Download
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