Wilson's School

The Curriculum

‘Leaders have a clear vision for challenging able pupils and providing them with a broad and deep curriculum. They challenge all pupils equally, including those with SEND.’ — Ofsted, 2020


As a school with responsibility for challenging highly able boys, our curriculum must be stimulating and demanding, both academically and in terms of pupils’ personal development.

  1. Challenge through subject-based knowledge: Pupils are taught discrete subjects by specialists from Year 7. Challenge is ensured by subject leaders giving careful consideration to the knowledge to be delivered enabling the strongest possible progress.
  2. Challenge through breadth: Pupils are taught a broad curriculum throughout Years 7-13 (see Curriculum: Structure below). Challenge is ensured by pupils’ experience of a wide range of disciplines and their associated progression models, alongside our aim for 100% participation beyond academic study.
  3. Challenge through depth: Pupils are taught linear specialist courses (not carousels or blended disciplines) in all academic areas of the curriculum. Challenge is enabled by specialist planning which aims to deepen core knowledge across Years 9-11 as part of our GCSEPlus programme.

Curriculum: Rationale

At Wilson’s our GCSEPlus programme from Year 9 gives pupils access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Our rationale for this structure is as follows:

  • To make a clear distinction between the Lower School (with its own distinctive ethos aimed at ensuring a smooth transition from primary to secondary school) and Key Stage 4.
  • To give boys a fresh start and set new expectations for them in Year 9, in the interests of their personal development and wellbeing.
  • To enable pupils at Key Stage 4 to make exceptionally strong progress as a result of significant deepening of core knowledge within each subject over three years, creating more opportunities for them to think independently and grow in confidence when taking intellectual risks.
  • To allow study in greater depth of a range of subjects for which pupils have greatest aptitude, whilst maintaining a language for all, EBACC for every pupil, triple science for the vast majority and a four A level offer in Year 12.
  • To allow pupils to be taught in smaller groups in a range of subjects and given access to even greater levels of expertise in the sciences.
  • To enable the school to develop boys’ wider cultural and political knowledge as a core part of the curriculum.
  • To enable a smooth transition to advanced level study, keeping our highly able pupils stimulated and challenged and enabling them to meet their potential.

Curriculum: Structure

In Years 7-8 pupils study Wilson’s courses in: Art & Design, Computing, Cookery, DT, Drama, English, French or German, Geography, History, Latin, Music, Mathematics, PE & Games, PSHE, RE, Science. In Year 8 they are taught Computing. In Year 7, all students receive small group instrumental tuition as part of their Music curriculum.

In Years 9-11 all pupils study Level 2 GCSE qualifications in: Biology, Chemistry, English Language and Literature; French or German; Geography and/or History; Mathematics; Physics; RE (and then Philosophy in Year 11). Pupils are able to opt for two of: Art, Business, Computing, DT (Level 3, AS), History, Geography, Latin, Music, Academic PE, Spanish (as a further MFL). In addition, all pupils in Year 9 follow a programme of development in political knowledge and public speaking, combined with exposure to a range of wider cultural experiences. This is called The Elizabethan. PE & Games and PSHE continue throughout Key Stage 4; new opportunities to learn outside the classroom (Duke of Edinburgh Award and CCF) are made available to students.

In Years 12-13 all pupils study a broad curriculum of four A level subjects, alongside a range of high quality non-qualification experiences. Full details of the Sixth Form curriculum and how we embrace the 16-19 study programme requirements can be found here.

Further Details
For further information about the curriculum content and the courses studied at each level in each subject, please visit the subject department pages.

If you require further information about the curriculum followed at the school please email.

The Curriculum
The Curriculum
The Curriculum
The Curriculum