The focus at Thomas Gainsborough School is on educating the whole person and providing young people with the experiences and opportunities that will help them to achieve success wherever their talents and interests might lead.

Our Curriculum

The Thomas Gainsborough School curriculum provides a broad choice of ambitious and balanced choices at every stage to best equip young people for safe and successful lives as responsible citizens, confident workers and inspiring leaders.

Each student is placed at the heart of their curriculum, with personalised choices to reflect the full range of opportunities and aspirations in our community. 

Each key stage is:

  • deep in challenge and support for all learners;

  • suitably broad and rich in opportunities;

  • built upon key concepts, carefully selected from the best of what has been thought and said; and is

  • balanced and focused on the knowledge & skills needed for future success.

The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all our learners. It is a broad and balanced curriculum, characterised by stretch, challenge, specialisms and the development of the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of students within both formal time tabled lessons as well as the wealth of extra-curricular activities and experiences promoted through the year.

In a curriculum described as “innovative” by OFSTED, students are provided with a choice of Pathways right from their admission in Year 7 to Year 13 and beyond. We aim to ensure that a students’ learning journey is smooth and seamless from the day they join the school through to sitting their final exams in our Sixth Form before they leave us at 18 to go on to University or the world of work.

Curriculum Content

All students study the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, and PE throughout Key Stages 3 and 4. In addition, KS3 all students study the full range of subjects that you would expect to see in a Secondary school; Humanities, Modern Foreign Languages, Drama, Art, Music, Technology and ICT/Computer Science.

Innovatively, however the Grammar, Arts, STEM and Access Pathways model at Thomas Gainsborough School allows students to follow a curriculum that plays to their strengths, aptitudes, interests and needs from Year 7.

All subject areas are represented in each of these four pathways; the Grammar Pathway has a greater emphasis on Humanities and Languages whilst the STEM Pathway sees a greater emphasis on Science and Technology.

The Arts Pathway has a greater focus on developing creativity, experimentation and creative thinking. This is reflected through a higher proportion of lessons in the visual and performing arts across years 7, 8 and 9 and more opportunities to experience and get involved in creative and arts-based projects and experiences.

At the end of Year 9, students choose from a wide range of subjects, informed by their choices made in Key Stage 3. More information on this process is shared with students and parents in the autumn term of Year 9 to ensure ample time for individual advice and guidance conversations to take place.

Our curricular and extensive range of extra-curricular activities actively encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and develop a clear understanding of British values such as democracy, mutual respect and tolerance.

Progression through the curriculum is seen as students develop a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Organisation of the curriculum

Classes at KS3 are set based on students’ prior attainment following consultation with parents and partner schools, within each of the Pathway models. The curriculum that students then study is then based on each student’s strengths, skills and aptitudes.

At Key Stage 4 students are set based on prior attainment and progress within core subjects and are usually taught within mixed ability classes in option subjects.

Our learning environment

We are fortunate to work in a very modern, very well equipped,  purpose built main building, augmented with outstanding Sports facilities, excellent Media Studies, Dance and Drama Studios. Furthermore, the suiting of 6th form provision has created a highly purposeful, specialised environment for students studying A levels and other Level 3 courses.

We continue to develop the learning environment to meeting the changing needs world that we live in and to ensure that our students continue to thrive; for example, we have a specialised 6th form Art facility.