Click on the link below to download the booklet regarding Year 9 curriculum choices; Yr 9 Curriculum Choices 2018-2020

The curriculum of any school is absolutely central to achieving success. If students can access courses which are suitable for them then motivation, enjoyment and achievement are certain to improve.

At Harrogate Grammar School we aim to adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of each student, not the other way round. We aim to provide all of our students with exciting opportunities which build confidence, develop a range of skills and promote academic excellence and a love of learning. We offer a broad range of courses at all levels preparing students for further education and future careers.

We also value learning beyond that which is recognised within National Curriculum statements and seek to provide a broad and balanced diet, which offers our students the opportunity for enrichment and deeper learning.  We aim to develop confident young people with enquiring minds and a range of attributes that prepare them to be responsible citizens throughout their lives.
At Harrogate Grammar School there is a strong focus on the core subjects; English, Maths and Science which we believe are the pillars that support understanding, skills and success elsewhere in the curriculum.  We also continue to provide enhanced provision for language learning, believing that the study of languages is extremely important in developing our students as citizens ready for the challenges of the global economy.

Whilst seeking to provide a World Class education for our students, our curriculum has at its core
the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. In order to actively promote these values we would expect all staff, students and visitors to challenge opinions or behaviours seen or heard in school that are contrary to these values and to seek all opportunities to build students’ resilience to radicalisation and enable them to effectively challenge any kind of extremist view.

The Big Picture

Students in Years 7 to 11 follow The Big Picture programme of study during their guidance lessons.  This programme of personal development covers aspects such as Citizenship, Careers education, Personal Social Health Education and Financial Wellbeing.

The Big Picture Vision Statement

“We aim for all Harrogate Grammar School students to be happy, healthy, confident young adults who can contribute to the world in which they live now and in the future as active, responsible citizens.  This will be achieved through an innovative, engaging and purposeful whole school programme, which combines elements of PSHE, Citizenship and Careers and is outstanding in its provision”

Lower Secondary Subjects

English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Studies, Physical Education, French, Geography, History, Design (Art & Design, Design Technology, Food & Nutrition), IT (Y7 & 8), Music, Drama (Y9), Spanish and German.  In Y7 students have 2 guidance lessons per week and students in Y8 & 9 have 1 lesson a week of guidance in which they follow The Big Picture programme of study.

Upper Secondary Subjects

GCSE Courses on offer

English, English Literature, Mathematics, Religious Studies, Physical Education, French, Geography, History, Graphics, Product Design, Food & Nutrition, Art & Design, Textiles, Music, Drama, Spanish, Italian, German, Business Studies, Computing, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Combined Science.

Vocational Courses (Cambridge National)


Non-examined Courses

Core Physical Education and The Big Picture.

Sixth Form Subjects

A Level Courses

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physical Education, French, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Graphic Design, Product Design, Art & Design, Photography, Music, Drama & Theatre Studies, Spanish, Italian, German, Business, Economics, Computer Science, Sociology, Psychology and Government & Politics.

BTEC Courses

Performing Arts, Music, Digital Media and Sport.

Students can also study Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) and have the opportunity to complete the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

Provision is made for students who need to re-sit GCSE English and maths.

All students also have private study lessons on their timetable in order to encourage good, independent study habits and time management.

For more information on our extensive Sixth Form provision please see the Sixth Form prospectus

The 2017-18 Curriculum

Year 7 and 8

All Lower Secondary subjects are offered. French is compulsory for all and students are allocated a second language.  A small group of students will be identified for whom 2 languages may not be the best option and they will join a ‘Core Plus’ group benefitting from additional support in literacy and numeracy.  This group is identified during the first half term of school by the English and maths faculties following diagnostic assessment.  From half term onwards, this group do French only and in the second language time have extra numeracy and literacy support.

Year 9

All Lower Secondary subjects continue apart from IT as this is embedded across the curriculum.

All students begin the GCSE Religious Studies course in Year 9 for completion in Year 11.

Years 10 & 11

Compulsory subjects which are examined at GCSE level are; Mathematics, English (Language and Literature), Religious Studies and either Triple or Core & Additional Science.
Physical Education and The Big Picture are also compulsory but are not examined courses.

When making option choices in Y9, students are given personalised recommendations including the following;

  • Triple sciences or Combined science
  • Compulsory minimum 1 language or optional modern language
  • Compulsory either Geography or History to complete the Ebacc suite of subjects
  • Or optional humanity

Most students undertake 4 options but some students may require an alternative curriculum and so will follow fewer option subjects depending on their individual needs.

Years 12 & 13

All students begin on 4 courses. A variety of specialist packages are also on offer such as a Medical Sciences; Education, Training & Public Services; Business & Enterprise; Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM); Art & Creative Industries and Law which offer links for applied learning within these various sectors.

Many students will undertake the Extended Project Qualification. All students are allocated private study sessions and also participate in an enrichment programme.

In 2016-17 students will follow;

A Level/BTEC Plus one from the below
Choice 1 EPQ
Choice 2 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths)
Choice 3 AS Maths
Further Maths/Fourth A Level/BTEC for students with high average GCSE point score


The timetable runs over a fortnightly cycle for 6 periods per day. The allocation of lessons for each subject in each year can be seen in the accompanying document, Curriculum Diagram 2017-18.