Our Curriculum

A short summary of the key points of the curriculum

At Frensham, we provide a well-rounded education: broad academic, creative and cultural. We aim to stimulate our youngest students because we believe that if we can capture their imagination when they are young, they will be curious and eager to learn for the rest of their lives.

Our curriculum

As they move towards their GCSE and A Level years, we aim to give every student a broad academic, creative and cultural education while also preparing them for life after school in higher education and work.

Below, you will find a short summary of the key points of the curriculum for the different year groups. For further information about the curriculum, particularly about the content of GCSE and A Level subjects, please contact [email protected].

The academic timetable runs from Monday to Friday. There are no lessons on Saturday. Sports matches take place after school and on some Saturdays while extracurricular activities take place at lunchtime and after school. Specific weekend activities take place for boarders.

Reception and Year 1: Early Years/Foundation

Our aim in Early Years is to build in our children strong foundations for future learning – both in their school years and in the wider world. Our youngest students become confident, creative, motivated do-ers and thinkers, with flexible minds and enquiring spirits.

As in every other part of Frensham Heights, every child is treated as an individual with their own unique needs and interests. Equally, we know that every child will be at a different point in terms of their physical, personal and emotional development. It is therefore important that we identify these and use the information to plan challenging and enjoyable experiences in all areas of learning.

Through this individual approach, children achieve deep levels of involvement, which in turn translates into rapid progress in all areas of the curriculum.

The curriculum for our youngest children covers five important areas:

  • Communication and language
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world

All Reception and Year 1 children benefit from specialist teaching in:

  • Physical education
  • Modern languages
  • Music
  • Forest class
  • Dance
  • Drama
Junior School

Years 2 to 6

We know that young children grow and develop at often surprisingly different rates so it is vital that we work hard to identify where every child is so that we can tailor the learning to meet each child’s needs. We have strict maximum numbers for our classes – few enough to ensure individual attention yet enough to ensure there are plenty of friends to play with.

The core curriculum (English, Maths and Topic) is delivered by the class teachers and students also benefit from specialist teaching in:

• Modern Languages
• Music
• Sport
• Dance
• Drama
• Science (from Year 6)

IT skills are taught in discrete lessons from Year 2 and are practiced across the curriculum.

‘Topic’ lessons combine subjects such as history, geography, citizenship and religious education – in fact ‘topic’ is a small word for what actually amounts to a great deal of discovery, learning and fun. The aim is to inspire in our children a quest for knowledge and to develop learning, questioning and thinking skills.

Our teachers know their students incredibly well and differentiate the work they set across all subjects to ensure each child receives the support or challenge that they need. We also provide extension groups to children who are ready for further goals in Mathematics.

Our Multiple Intelligence enrichment programme is designed to stimulate and motivate our most able children in Years 3-6. Students are invited to take part in specific sessions and activities which are designed to build on the strengths that these children are demonstrating and cover all elements of the curriculum including Creative Writing, Philosophy, Sport, Art, Technology, Logic and Music.

We support the quietest to be more confident, the most timid to be more courageous, the loudest to be more gentle and the most gifted to help their peers.

As part of their well-rounded education, the students also use the school’s wonderfully imaginative and creative learning spaces, including:

  • The award-winning Aldridge Theatre
  • The Treehouse classroom on the edge of our woods
  • The stunning open-air Terrace Theatre
  • The Music Recital Room
  • Drama Studios
Junior School

Years 7 to 9

The school day is divided into six 55-minute lessons.

Each week the curriculum for Year 7 to 9 covers:

  • Science: 4 hours
  • English: 3 hours
  • Maths: 3 hours
  • Physical education/games: 3 hours
  • History: 2 hours
  • Geography: 2 hours
  • Modern Foreign Languages: 2 hours
  • Computing: 1 hour
  • Religious education: 1 hour
  • Dance: 1 hour
  • Drama: 1 hour
  • Music: 1 hour
  • Art: 3 hours. (Covering, Ceramics, two dimensional art and Product Design)
Middle School

Years 10 and 11

Students usually study for nine or ten GCSEs,
with all students taking:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Maths
  • A Modern Foreign Language
  • Science: in Science the more able students (ie separate papers in Physics, Chemistry and Biology) and other students take the Double Award (ie two papers)
  • One creative/performing subject from: Fine Art, Graphic Communications, Product Design, Dance, Drama, Music or Physical Education.

Students then choose from:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Science

Photography GCSE students follow this course as one of their extracurricular activities after school.

Middle School

Years 12 and 13

The Sixth Form subject options are reviewed annually. Students choose to study three A Level subjects and also have the option to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or a fourth subject.

The current A Level subjects offered are:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Maths
  • Further Maths
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Government & Politics
  • History
  • Sociology
  • English
  • English Literature
  • Fine Art
  • Dance
  • Drama (Theatre Studies)
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Photography
  • Product Design
  • Languages
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Sport
  • Physical Education or BTEC Level 3 National Sport and Exercise Science

The EPQ is offered to suitable candidates.

English as an Additional Language is available if required as a charged extra – but we do expect all prospective candidates to have the level of English required to access the curriculum.

Sixth Form