Academic Curriculum 

Our ‘aspire’ ethos is absolutely key to our Quality of Education, and as a result we hold unapologetically high expectations of all of our students. Our teaching staff are all specialists and are rightly very enthusiastic about their subjects and are able to challenge our students’ thinking to the highest of levels. We ‘care’ deeply and are relentless in our work to ensure that our students achieve their goals. We are also passionate about a curriculum which ‘includes’. Consequently our students are given a wide range of curricula activities and opportunities. This enables them to both find and hone their individual interests, skills and talents.

We follow a three year Key Stage Three (KS3) curriculum in years 7, 8 and 9.

This KS3 curriculum not only provides a broad and balanced provision with a full range of subjects, but it also ensures that students have an element of choice and personalisation as they move up through the school. For example, in Year 9 students are able to choose an extra language from German or Spanish. They will also specialise slightly with mini options in Technology (Resistant Materials, Graphics, Food and Nutrition, Electronics and Systems) and also Creative Arts (Drama, Music, Art, Media and Dance). At KS3, class sizes are small and average 23 students in English and Maths, with 28 students being the average across the rest of the curriculum. This is with the exception of Technology, where classes never exceed 24 students.

In years 10 and 11 there is a curriculum pathway to suit everyone; all talents, tastes and motivations. We offer an extensive range of subjects and courses. Students take between eight and twelve GCSEs in core and optional subjects, chosen from over twenty GCSE subjects and other applied courses. All students study Maths, English, English Literature and as a minimum Combined Science (double award). Students then select one subject from four different option blocks. It is worth noting that these four ‘free options’ mean that The Romsey School gives more choice than most other schools; which allows students to personalise their pathway to best match their interests and aspirations for the future. At Key Stage Four (KS4) our class sizes are small; they average 23 students in core subjects and 20 students in option subjects, giving teachers the time and capacity to provide first-rate and personal education.

Other features of the curriculum include:

  • An options process based on student choice rather than predetermined blocks, to maximise the opportunities for students to study their first preference courses.

  • An options system which enables students to take English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) subjects e.g. Mathematics, English, Combined Science, a Humanities Subject (from Geography or History) and a Modern Foreign Language (from French, German or Spanish) as well as two other subjects, for example, from the Arts or Technology (see below). We have a very high uptake for Ebacc relative to other schools, and around 70% of students study at least one Modern Foreign Language at KS4; aligning with our very high expectations of what our students can, and do, achieve.

  • Students achieving higher levels in KS3 Science have the opportunity to study three separate sciences; Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Due to the school’s ‘aspire’ ethos, around half of our student body take triple science and all students study at least the double award Combined Science.

    We have a wide variety of courses listed below: 

    • Performing Arts – GCSEs in Music, Drama, Dance, Art & Media and NCFE Technical Award in Music Technology

    • Technology – GCSEs in D&T Timbers, Graphics or Systems and Control, Food Preparation and Nutrition and a Level 1 vocational course in Construction (ICM)

    • GCSE Business Studies

    • GCSE Computing

    • GCSE Sociology

    • GCSE Religious Education

    • GCSE Physical Education

    • Cambridge National Level 1/2 in Sport Studies

    • Cambridge National Level 1/2 in Creative IMedia

    • Most of these courses are examined at the end of Year 11.

    • All students in KS4 follow a non-examined Physical Education course which includes off-site physical activities and is intended to enrich the curriculum and ensure our young people stay healthy throughout their GCSE years.

  • High performing students who achieve very high scores in Year 6 standardised tests, or who display exceptional talents in the areas of the curriculum are identified on our register. Teachers stretch them in lessons using specifically designed activities and techniques. There are also additional opportunities beyond the curriculum. For example, in KS4 students may take additional GCSEs in Latin and Further Maths. Some of our ‘English as an Additional Language’ students opt to study an extra language out of school. For example we have had students studying Russian, Persian and Portuguese. We support them with this in a variety of ways, and they sit their GCSE examination in school. A very high percentage of students enter further education. Our feeder sixth-form colleges report back to the school on how very well prepared our young people are for further study. Many students also achieve entry to higher educational establishments including Oxbridge.

  • As a result of our aspirations, our most able students achieve particularly well at GCSE. For example, in 2022, a quarter of our our students achieved 5 or more Grade 7+ qualifications (A or A* grades), 36% of the cohort achieved a Grade 7 in English, and for each of the triple Sciences these numbers are above 40%. Nearly 30% of all grades awarded were grade 7 or above. This is significantly higher than at the national level.

There is an extensive and successful programme of revision and support to enable students to achieve their best in their exams. This includes a mentoring programme called SKIPPER for those students at risk of underperforming.