Curriculum Overview

Winchcombe School offers a wide range of courses under the National Curriculum, for all pupils. Throughout Key Stage 3 (Y7-Y9) students study 15 different subjects; whilst in Key Stage 4 (Y10-Y11) all students study English Language, English Literature, Maths, Double Science, alongwith 19 further Option Subjects from which to choose for GCSE.

Pupils are taught in a variety of ability and mixed-ability classes. We use information supplied by, and in consultation with, the feeder Primary schools, alongwith our own testing and assessment. Different Year groups, and different Subjects, are set according to the Head of Department preference.

We are conscious that setting students is not always to the benefit of the individual student and many Departments prefer to teach in mixed-ability classes, such as in Tutor Groups. Within the ability ‘Sets’ we also aim, where possible, to place students in different sets according to ability in that area. Being ‘Set 1 English’ doesn’t follow that you should be in ‘Set 1’ for everything else.

We continually reflect on the classes students are in and have flexibility of movement between teaching groups, ensuring pupils are appropriately placed throughout the year. 

Over recent years, Winchcombe has been over-subscribed with increasing numbers of students. Despite this we pride ourselves on keeping class sizes around 22 students, on average. Some classes will be as high as 32 (GCSE Set 1 Triple Science), whilst other may be as few as 8-10 (GCSE Music).

All Students have a 1 hour Tutorial period, across the fortnight, with their Form Tutor. This enables the PSHE, Citizenship and Careers programmes to be delivered to individual year groups and differentiated to suit their needs and aspirations.


In Years 7, 8 and 9, pupils will study the following:

  • English
  • Religion and Philosophy
  • Geography
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • French
  • History
  • Design and Technology/Art/Music/Drama (Carousel across the year)
  • Science
  • Spanish
  • Physical Education
  • Year 8 & 9 – Hospitality & Catering (also in carousel across the year)

In Years 8 & 9 the Modern Foreign Language Curriculum is differentiated for all students:

Students in Sets 1 and 2 will study French and Spanish over the 2 years.

Students in Set 3 will study either French or Spanish only and also take ‘Enrichment Curriculum’ which will include additional periods of Literacy, Numeracy and also Team Building Skills, Careers Applications, Orienteering, amongst other Life Skills.

Students in Set 4 (around 6-8 students) do not study either French nor Spanish. They have additional Enrichment Curriculum on the timetable, covering Literacy, Numeracy and other ‘Life Skills’. Winchcombe School believes in creating as close to an Individual Timetable as is practical and, for students who find MFL a significant challenge, it is not appropriate for their needs to have to taken French and/or Spanish.


In Years 10 and 11 students follow a programme, primarily, of General Certificate of Secondary Education (G.C.S.E.) subjects, some of which they have chosen in consultation with their parents and teachers.  Full details of this programme of study and Options are explained to pupils and parents in the Autumn and Spring terms of Year 9.  Courses may involve project work and coursework but, with recent changes in the National Curriculum, the onus is increasingly on the final written examinations for all subjects.

As statutory, within the timetable, all students in Y10 and Y11 continue to follow courses in Religion & Philosophy and Physical Education – these will not be examined, unless chosen as a GCSE ‘Option’ as well.


For current Y9s (starting GCSEs September 2019) the possible Option choices are:

  • GCSE Art
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Design Technology
  • GCSE Drama
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Media Studies
  • GCSE Music
  • GCSE Physical Education
  • GCSE Religious Studies
  • GCSE Spanish
  • GCSE Additional Science (Set 4)
  • GCSE Triple Science (Set 1)
  • Eduqas Hospitality & Catering
  • CoPE (Asdan) (selected students)
  • Sports Technical Award
  • OCR Creative Media
  • GCSE Music