The School Curriculum


The academic curriculum at Chigwell includes all those activities designed to promote the intellectual, personal, social, physical, spiritual and moral development of our pupils. It includes not only the formal programme of lessons, but the informal programme which includes extra-curricular activities and all the features contributing to the School’s ethos.

The Education Reform Act 1988 places upon state schools a statutory duty to ensure that students follow the National Curriculum. This does not represent the whole of the curriculum available to each student. At Chigwell we offer a wider choice of subjects than the statutory National Curriculum subjects and aim to teach those offered in greater depth, where appropriate, so easing the transition from GCSE to A Level.

Our curriculum aims to offer each pupil breadth, balance, coherence, relevance, differentiation and progression, with the ultimate goal of every pupil fulfilling his or her academic potential in public examinations.
We have high academic expectations of all of our pupils and the pace of work is sustained and challenging. We expect our pupils to work hard and to take their studies seriously.    
We aim to give individual help and support to pupils of exceptional ability, who may need stretching, and to those who find some areas of the work more difficult.
At Chigwell our aim is to offer a core of subjects with an element of increased choice for pupils as they progress through the school. We aim to be as flexible as we can in order to provide a choice of subjects that is appropriate to each individual pupil. 

Core subjects

English, Mathematics, Science, a Modern Foreign Language, Games and PE are core subjects from Lower I (Year 3) up to, and including, the Upper Fifth (Year 11).
• Science is taught from Year 3 to Year 7 inclusive, and then Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught separately up to the end of Year 11.
• French is currently taught from Year 3 to Year 8 inclusive, where after it becomes an optional subject. A second Modern Foreign Language is introduced in Year7. However, all pupils must study at least one MFL to the end of Year 11 at Chigwell.
• History, Geography, Religious Studies, Art and Music are core subjects from Year 3 to Year 9 inclusive.
• PSHE is taught from Year 5 to Year 11 inclusive.
• Drama and ICT are taught from Year 5 to Year 9 inclusive.
• Classics is taught in Year 7 and Latin introduced in Year8.
• DT is taught from Year 7 to Year 9 inclusive.

GCSE Options

All of our pupils study (unless there are exceptional circumstances):
English Literature and Language, Mathematics, Science (Dual or Triple Award as is appropriate) and one Modern Foreign Language (one from French, German, Spanish).
Our pupils then have a choice of 3 further subjects from:
Art (Art and Design or Graphic Design), Drama, Music, DT, Geography, History, RS, Latin, an additional MFL.
Pupils are entered for GCSE examination in all of their core and option subjects. In addition all pupils continue to do Games, PE and PSHE.
Pupils are advised to choose subjects that they enjoy and are hence likely to be good at. Pupils would usually choose at least one Humanities subject and one creative Arts subject; however, this is not a requirement at Chigwell and the choices should be appropriate to the individual pupil.     
AS/A2 Options

We aim to offer as broad and as flexible a choice as is possible in the sixth form. All Lower Sixth students choose 4 AS subjects and will be examined in all 4 subjects, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Middle Sixth students normally continue 3 of these subjects to A2 level, but a number choose to complete all 4 courses. (If a student is capable of achieving 4 A grades then a 4 A-Level course is suitable – exceptional students can complete 5 A-Levels in certain circumstances).

Academic Year Groups   

Age​ ​School Year Group ​National Curriculum Year ​Key Stage
​7+ ​Lower 1 ​3 ​2
​8+ ​Upper 1 ​4
​9+ ​Lower 2 ​5
​10+ Upper 2 ​ ​6
​11+ ​Third Form ​7 ​3
​12+ ​Fourth Form ​8
​13+ ​Remove ​9
​14+ ​Lower Fifth ​10 4
15+​ ​Upper Fifth ​11
​16+ ​Lower Sixth ​12 5
​17+ ​Middle Sixth ​13