The curriculum at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School reflects our philosophy and aims. It is broad and balanced, recognises national guidelines and fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum and beyond.

 Curriculum Policy 2021-2022

 Curriculum Catch-Up Strategy Statement 

The curriculum at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School reflects our core values, promoting and developing ambitious, resilient students who are encouraged to take full advantage of opportunities but who also support one another, learning the crucial importance of trust and respect.

We provide a broad programme of experiences which enables students to appreciate their cultural inheritance and understand more about themselves and the world in which they live. It also promotes the view that learning should be experienced as something which is enjoyable, engaging, rewarding and confidence building.

Our curriculum aims to:

  • inspire and motivate
  • foster life-long learning
  • develop individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • develop responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

At BRGS, we have chosen to maintain a three year KS3 as we believe all students should have full access to arts, humanities and two modern languages for as long as possible to give them a broad, balanced education with a wide range of study. Art, drama and music are a central part of our curriculum at KS3 and the GCSE uptake reflects this, as do the high number of pupils learning to play an instrument and the range of co-curricular art and music clubs.

Our knowledge-rich curriculum ensures our students’ proficiency in a range of fields and develops students who are able to speak knowledgeably and with authority on a wide range of topics and not be bound by their circumstances or experience, gender or their socio-economic background. Our curriculum provides depth: deep knowledge and secure understanding as we believe every learner is entitled to a curriculum that is varied, challenging and inspiring, which enables every individual to fulfil her or his potential to the highest possible standard, developing enquiring minds capable of original thought and well-balanced critical argument.

We provide education that is suited to able students and there is great emphasis on academic excellence. At the heart of our curriculum is a strong academic core for all our students at KS3 and KS4: the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). At KS4, all students select a minimum of one humanity and one MFL (Germanic or Romance). The vast majority of our students also undertake three separate sciences at GCSE as we believe the widest possible participation in STEM education is crucial to a better prepared workforce for the future, enabling all our students, to take full advantage of future opportunities in this field if this is their choice. At post-16, we maintain a particular focus on academic A-Level subjects. We believe all our students are entitled to access an ambitious curriculum programme, securing the best achievable qualifications, providing them with the greatest opportunities in higher education, higher level apprenticeships and employment.

However, we firmly believe that the value of our curriculum goes beyond purely what is examinable. The changing nature of work means that life-long learning and the emotional resilience that goes with it, have become necessities rather than luxuries. The development of the correct attributes, habits of mind and thinking skills are central to our evolving curriculum. Our curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at the school and in society more widely. Religious studies is taught from year 7 right through to year 11 by members of the Religious Studies department and is also available as a distinct course for students in KS4 and KS5. PSHCE is a fully timetabled subject and is taught throughout KS3 and 4 by specialist teachers following a spiral curriculum and already incorporates Relationships and Sex Education.  The course fully meets, and exceeds, that recommended by the PSHE association. Additionally, we ensure a strong focus on personal development through a structured tutorial programme at KS3, KS4 and our Sixth Form.

It is our intention to lay secure foundations for progression into Further and Higher Education and we consider preparation for Sixth Form Advanced Level study to be a key feature of our 11-16 education, with the Gatsby Career Benchmarks forming a framework for our practice with a comprehensive ‘Next Steps’ programme. From the beginning of Year 7, students begin to receive specific Careers Education and Guidance through the IAG Programme and our Careers Adviser, aiming to support our students in making the right choice for them and effective transition to the next stage of learning or employment. Students in Year 10 benefit from a diverse range of work experience placements with Year 12 students also able to pursue this opportunity. We also value and encourage the participation of local business in our wider curriculum. Our curriculum includes a wide variety of co-curricular and enrichment activities and we encourage our students to take full advantage of these.

Curriculum Plans for each year group are available below.

If you would like any further information about the curriculum at BRGS then please contact us at

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