Curriculum Overview


BHBS believes in a broad and balanced Curriculum.  We offer a wide range of high quality academic and vocational courses. The Curriculum is explained on our website under the individual subject links and within each subject there is a link showing the content for each year group from year 7-11. For examination subjects there are also links to the examination boards for further detail. More information about our Key Stage four Curriculum can be found in our pathways booklet.

For further information about the Curriculum or options process please contact Mrs E Bunston, Deputy Headteacher.


Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

English Mathematics Science
Y7: 4 hours per week  Y7,8,9  Y7,8,9 
Y8-9: 3 hours per week 3 hours per week 3 hours per week
Humanities (History/Geography) Modern Foreign Languages Technology( Food/workshops/ICT)
Y7,8,9  Y7,8,9  Y7,8,9 
3 hours per week

 3 hours per week

Y 9: Dual linguists divide this between their 2 languages

2 hours per week
Creative Arts (Art/Music/Drama) Physical Education Ethics (Religious Education/ Skills for Life)

Y7: 1 hour per week of each subject (except Drama)

Y7,8,9  Y7,8,9

Y8-9: 1 hour per week of each subject

2 hours per week 1 hour per week
25 hours

Setting arrangements: Key Stage 3

In Year 7, students work in mixed-ability form groups for most subjects. In Mathematics and English however, students are set according to ability from the start of the year on the basis of Key Stage 2 results and primary records. In English sets will be adjusted after the October half term, taking into account MIDYIS (Middle Years Information System), prior attainment, expected progress and each student's commitment and progress since the beginning of the year.

From Year 8 onwards students are also set for Science and Languages. The precise pattern of setting varies from subject to subject.

For all these subjects you should receive a letter to indicate in which set your son/daughter has been placed. Setting is reviewed periodically, particularly towards the end of an academic year. Where students have made very good progress, or struggled, changes of set are considered carefully. However, please recognise that curriculum teams always have to work within the constraint of numbers and room size! If we move a student, between sets in any subject you will receive a letter telling you of the change.  We do not let students know set numbers - we want them to know they are placed in the right set for them.  In all classes we grade on GCSE 9-1 criteria.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

Core (all students)
English Mathematics Science
4 hours per week 4 hours per week 5 hours per week
Physical Education* Ethics (Religious Education/ Skills for Life) Core PE and Skills for Life are unexamined
2 hours per week 2 hours per week  
The rest of the time is made up of four option blocks, each totalling 2 hours per week. 
Option Subjects 8 hours per week
25 hours

Target setting and monitoring individual progress

In all years students are set targets based on national data (Fischer Family Trust, Band D). The target grade indicates a grade a student has the potential to achieve. Their progress is monitored against this year on year.

Teachers encourage students to enter into a dialogue regarding ways to improve their grades. This might involve moving to a higher GCSE grade or focus on a more general objective such as improving the standard of homework or, spelling. Form Tutors may also set an objective relating to extra-curricular activities or the students pastoral needs.

Students will record their target grades on the front of all books so that you can see them. Teachers will mark work using GCSE grades 9-1.  Student achievement is rewarded by class teachers and tutors through housepoints and praise cards. If a student is identified as underachieving across a range of subjects he or she will be mentored, usually by the Form Tutor or Class Teacher, and set much shorter-term objectives for improvement.

Later in the year the teacher and student will review progress towards achieving the target. The consultation evening will provide an opportunity for you to discuss your son's/daughter's progress with individual teachers. However, you are free to contact the school at any time to discuss progress.

Student progress is also monitored throughout the year by the Deputy Head, Heads of House, and Curriculum Team Leaders who are keen to identify and act when a student is under achieving. When a student has been identified as underachieving or falling behind across a range of subjects he or she will be mentored, usually by the Form Tutor or Head of House, and set much shorter term objectives for improvement. You will be contacted if this is to happen.

Parents/Carers receive three reports over the academic year, which record progress in all subjects against the subject target grades, give an indication of completion of work and provide feedback on motivation and effort. Two of these are Interim Reports (which record progress in all subjects against the student’s target grade as well an effort grade) and a full school report (which includes progress data and a written comment from a student’s subject teachers and form tutor).

The school also encourages staff to contact you if an issue arises and we are keen to encourage you to do likewise. It is important that any academic issues are dealt with as soon as possible.


Homework will be set on a regular basis. Please note that in Years 10 and 11 some subjects will use homework slots on an accumulative basis to allow students to work on extended pieces.

All students are issued with a Student Diary and Planner and we would ask you to sign it each week in the space provided. There is a section for you to comment, if you wish. Form Tutors will also check them on a regular basis.

The best support parents and carers can give for homework is a quiet location (if this is possible) and encouragement for your son or daughter to establish a regular pattern of study. When they ask you for help we are happy for this to be given, within reason, but it is important to remember that in years 10 and 11 exam related work is expected to be the students’ unaided work. In the GCSE years, it is open to students tackling extended pieces of work, such as Design projects, to seek advice from their teachers, their peers and other adults (including parents) in the early stages. The final product must, however, be the work of the student alone and teachers are required to monitor work carefully for any unexpected variation in standards.

If students fall behind on homework they will attend a homework intervention session.

Should you have any concerns about this or any other aspect of homework – too much or too little – please consult us as the concern arises.