Key Stage 3 – Years 7 and 8

‘Learn to Learn’

What is our curriculum ambition? 

Having undergone a supported transition from primary school, we guide our Key Stage 3 students through an ambitious curriculum designed to expose them to a breadth of subjects, enriching experiences and skills that help them understand themselves and grow as learners. By the time they are ready to start their GCSE journey, Madisonians are equipped to thrive both academically and personally.  Our curriculum is well sequenced to ensure that students successfully build on their prior learning and have the confidence and knowledge base to make connections between topics and subjects. Social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning is threaded throughout the curriculum to ensure that our students become well-rounded, thoughtful and inclusive individuals. 

What does our KS3 curriculum look like? 

  • Our subject offer is academic, ambitious and broad in scope. The curriculum is carefully sequenced to ensure that all students are prepared for the demands of GCSE, but also equipped to make informed decisions about their futures. Our curriculum is developed with the aims of the national curriculum at its heart.  
  • In preparation for decision making around their GCSE pathways, all of our students will study at least one language, Religious Studies, Performing Arts and different forms of DT, including food technology for all. 
  • All of Year 7 will study our bespoke ‘study skills’ course, ‘Learning to Learn.’ 
  • We have the same high ambitions for all learners and support students to access the same curriculum regardless of ability or need. Our specialist teachers plan lessons to ‘teach to the top’ and adapt teaching approaches and resources to allow all students to achieve their best.  
  • Our students are taught by subject specialists who draw on our ‘Teachers’ Toolkit’, including retrieval practice and rich questioning, to ensure deep learning and long term retention of knowledge. 
  • Our co-curricular offer is vast, including opportunities for Key Stage 3 students to take part in concerts and school productions. They are encouraged to join societies led by Sixth Formers, compete in academic competitions and represent MGS at sport in one of our many teams, including an array of rugby, cricket and football teams in both Years 7 and 8.  
  • We know the importance of reading and are committed to developing literacy skills throughout a student’s time at MGS. Our dedicated Reading and Literacy Lead oversees testing of student reading scores, and the implementation of our reading intervention programme. Alongside silent reading sessions, competitions, reading buddies, and the use of the School’s impressive library, Key Stage 3 students are supported to work through the ‘Fourteen by 14’ reading challenge. 
  • The eight core qualities of Inspire to Learn and Inspire to Belong are embedded in our curriculum and tutor programme maps.  
  • The tutorial curriculum is ambitious in its content as it is aimed at all Maidstonians aged from 11 through to 18, covering topics such as mental health awareness and ethnicity, diversity and inclusivity to broaden mindsets and enrich learning of the core curriculum. 
  • Our PSCHE and tutorial curricular are carefully planned and delivered by a specialist teacher to provide learning, guidance and support for our Key Stage 3 students in understanding age related issues that aid their physical, social, mental and cultural development.    
  • Students will develop and enrich their knowledge of some foundation subjects such as Music, History and Computing, through Enrichment Learning Week, the Year 9 ‘Curriculum Extra’ lecture series and PSCHE lessons. 

How does our curriculum support our learners?  

Maidstonians in Years 7 and 8 become confident learners who quickly feel fully engaged with life at Maidstone Grammar School. The experiences that they have in Key Stage 3 allow them to make informed choices about a bespoke and broad Key Stage 4 pathway when they are in Year 8, with many of the optional subjects proving incredibly popular, for example Food Preparation and Nutrition. Students develop firm knowledge foundations and skills to go on to access the Key Stage 4 curriculum with confidence and subsequently achieve success at GCSE level.  

Key Stage 4 – Years 9, 10 and 11

‘Lay Your Foundation Stones’

What is our curriculum ambition? 

At the heart of our Key Stage 4 curriculum is the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) suite of subjects, that is considered by the government to be the best pathway to keep students’ options open for further study and future careers. 

All students undertake a programme of study that allows them to achieve eleven GCSEs and build progressively on the strong knowledge foundations they have laid at Key Stage 3. We want our students to have a wide understanding of many different academic and practical disciplines that will enable them to develop as well-rounded individuals. In addition to this, students will benefit from our well established PSCHE and tutor programmes that are designed to prepare them for life in modern Britain. There are further opportunities to engage even further with our co-curricular offer that widens in Year 9 to include the CCF (Army, RAF and Navy) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. In order to keep our curriculum broad and allow students the time to explore in depth and with curiosity, we allow three years for Key Stage 4 learning.   

What does our KS4 curriculum look like? 

  • Students begin their programme of study in Year 9, with all taking the EBacc suite of subjects, including English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics (most undertaking the Triple Science qualification), History or Geography and a Modern Foreign Language. In addition, all students take GCSE RS, PE (non-examined), Games (non-examined) and PSHCE (non-examined), plus two further GCSE options of their choice to broaden their curriculum further. 
  • Our three-year Key Stage 4 allows our subject specialist teachers to cover the course content in depth, providing scope to enrich learning and extend higher order thinking. In subjects such as Science, English, MFL and Mathematics, students build on their learning as part of a ‘5 year’ curriculum. 
  • The eight core qualities of Inspire to Learn and Inspire to Belong are embedded in our curriculum and tutor programme.  
  • Our wider programme of independent careers education and guidance evolves in Key Stage 4 where we begin to introduce students to lectures from expert speakers in different subject disciplines and career professionals. Students will also benefit from careers interviews and a well-developed careers programme, exposing them to a wealth of information to support them in making informed decisions about future post-16 pathways. The School is committed to ensuring that students learn about a range of options, including university, apprenticeships, T-Levels, and the world of work. 
  • As our co-curricular offer grows with the introduction of CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, so does our intention to stretch students with academic experiences, including academic debating and membership of clubs and societies.  

How does our curriculum support our learners? 

We are proud of the young adults our Key Stage 4 students develop in to and enjoy welcoming the vast majority back into our Sixth Form for their A Level studies. Outcomes in Key Stage 4 are consistently secure, enabling students to choose a pathway most suited to them post-16. Our carefully planned curriculum ensures that students are prepared with the skills and knowledge that they need to achieve success in their A Levels, whilst the vast array of co-curricular, enrichment and leadership opportunities allow them to develop confidence and self-efficacy in all that they do.   

We believe that our strong record of destinations for school leavers to be a further indicator of our impact at Key Stage 4; Maidstonians have the breadth of opportunities, challenges and experiences to equip them to achieve succeed beyond our walls.

Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13

‘Build Your Future’

What is our curriculum ambition? 

We aim to offer all students an exciting and broad selection of subjects, so that they are free to build a programme of study that interests them most. All students begin Year 12 undertaking four A-Levels, with the potential to complete them all. Not only does this allow us to keep our range of subjects broader for longer but, we believe, creates a culture of ambition for high attainment. It also allows students who want to continue studying three subjects in Year 13, to decide which three A-Levels suit them best. Our curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced so that students can build successfully on their learning from previous years. Those who undertake ‘new’ subjects such as Psychology and Media, are supported by subject specialists to develop firm foundations for learning. 

What does our curriculum look like? 

  • The broadest possible curriculum with Year 12 students starting on four A-Levels. 
  • Students who decide to continue with a three A-Level pathway will benefit from the opportunity to study an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to enrich their programme further. 
  • Alongside our core curriculum sits the ‘academic journal’ designed to inspire students to learn beyond their key course content, and engage in reading academic literature and enrichment material, to develop a love of learning of their subjects and beyond. 
  • All Year 12 and 13 students attend ‘Core Four’ (PSHCE) sessions where students learn about topics such as consent, personal safety, UCAS applications and wider topical issues such as inclusivity and diversity in the modern world. Students further benefit from leadership experience, sporting opportunities, public speaking and academic lectures to ensure that they leave the school as well-rounded individuals, fully equipped for their next stage of learning or employment. 
  • Sixth Formers are empowered to be ambassadors, mentors and leaders within our vertical House system. For example, they act as reading buddies to support our reading intervention system. 
  • Our co-curricular offer grows even further at Key Stage 5, with extensive opportunities to access unique experiences. Of particular note, we offer a competitive level debating forum against some the most prestigious schools in the country, the Model UN at Harvard, ‘Meducate’ Programmes and Philosophical and Psychological societies. Sixth Form students immerse themselves in leadership roles and societies across the School and enjoy sporting opportunities, from social table tennis, to competitive netball or entering the country’s most elite rugby and football competitions.     
  • The eight core qualities of Inspire to Learn and Inspire to Belong are embedded in our curriculum, tutor programme maps and careers provision.  
  • Our programme of independent careers advice and guidance is extensive, including a ‘Futures Evening’ and bespoke sessions covering finance, universities, careers and apprenticeships.   

How does our curriculum support our learners? 

Our Sixth Form students develop detailed knowledge that they can apply in new contexts and situations. They become experts in their subjects, which they are keen to go on to study beyond their time at MGS. This is evidenced by the number of Sixth Form students who go on to excellent university destinations or career placements. They achieve well at A Level and are equipped with the academic knowledge and life skills to successfully access the next stage of education, training and employment of their choice. 

Our Sixth Formers are ambassadors for MGS, retaining a lifelong relationship with the School, regularly returning to give back later in life.