Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Key Stage 3 Curriculum



Art lessons in Years 7–9 cover the basic skills of drawing, painting, printmaking and 3-dimensional work. Drawing lies at the core of all the work undertaken and projects are planned so that pupils have a wide range of opportunities to use the many materials, techniques and the staff expertise available to them.

Group project work and individual pieces are displayed, wherever possible throughout the school with  Years 7–9 work as much in evidence as that of GCSE and A Level pupils.

The aims of studying Art: 

  • To think in a creative way.
  • To explore a variety of materials and techniques.
  • To express their individuality while embracing new ideas.

Year 7:

Pupils cover basic drawing techniques, painting and colour mixing, printmaking and ceramics. Work is undertaken in the context of artists’ work and makes social and cultural references.

Examples of work covered:

  • drawing in pencil, conte, charcoal, soft and oil pastel
  • painting in acrylics, coloured inks and watercolour
  • block printing and collage

Year 8:

This year group builds on previous experience with more ambitious printmaking, textiles and sculpture work.

Examples of work covered:

  • drawing in pen and ink
  • relief and screen printing
  • mixed media work and sculpture

Year 9:

Drawing skills continue to be developed. A wider range of materials is used and critical and contextual studies form the basis of practical projects.

By the end of Year 9, all the basic skills required for GCSE Art will have been covered so that pupils may embark on the examination course with confidence.

Examples of work covered:

  • Printmaking
  • screen printing
  • combined mixed media and painting



Biology is taught by specialist teachers throughout Key Stage 3, with dedicated Biology lessons every week. The broad outline of the National Curriculum is followed, but time is allowed for project work, fieldwork and the use of ICT. A major emphasis is on practical work with the development of experimental design. This leads into the GCSE Biology course which is started in the Autumn Term of Year 9.

Pupils enjoy the spacious facilities and modern equipment in the four Callard Biology laboratories.

The topics covered in Year 7 and Year 8:

  • Life processes and responses to stimuli
  • Cellular structures of plant, animal, fungal and prokaryotic cells
  • Microscopy
  • Green plant as organisms: photosynthesis, germination, reproduction, seed dispersal and transport
  • Living things and the environment: adaptations, competition, feeding relationships and ecological sampling
  • Humans as organisms: nutrition and diet, heart and circulatory system, muscles and the skeletal system, reproduction and pregnancy, breathing and respiration, human health

Team Bio: Claire Harrison (Head of Biology) – I studied zoology at Aberystwyth University graduating in 2001 before completing my PGCE at UEA in Science. I have worked at Queen’s for 19 years in the Biology department teaching throughout the age ranges. I am currently Year lead for year 11. My favourite topics to teach include genetics and the nervous system.

Jon Shepherd – Graduated from Loughborough University in 1990 after which spent a couple of years teaching in a Japanese High School. Joined Queen’s in September 2007 having previously taught in schools in Somerset and Hampshire since 1992. Having stepped down from the Houseparent role in School House in 2020, I now focus on my academic science teaching and remain involved in coaching rugby and cricket teams. 

Andrew Williams – I graduated with a BSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Southampton and have thirty years of experience teaching Science and Biology in a range of schools. I am a very keen photographer and I am passionate about natural history and learning languages.

Business Studies (Yr 9)

Business Studies (Yr 9)


Year 9 students who choose to only take one language can choose to take a one year course to introduce them to Business Studies prior to them making option choices for GCSE.

Students will be introduced to the social media platforms that an organisation can use to interact with stakeholders and the reasons why this interaction may be of benefit, developing analysis and monitoring skills.

They will develop and practice communication skills that are needed within a work environment – learning about business etiquette and communication in both remote and face-to-face situations.




In Chemistry, pupils develop practical and analytical skills through topic-related exercises and longer investigations. Pupils are encouraged to learn via both written and oral presentation of collated material, and regular testing is used to assess progress. It is hoped that this allows the work to be enjoyed while confidence and understanding develop.

There are plenty of bangs, flashes – and other exciting reactions to look at – incorporated into the lessons. There is also plenty to stretch the most able.

All pupils study Chemistry through Years 7, 8 and 9. This allows the National Curriculum Core to be covered and from November in Year 9 to start the GCSE course in Chemistry.

The end-of-year Chemistry exam in Year 9 is particularly significant, as it provides Year 10 pupils with information on their suitability to study either three separate Sciences or Trilogy Award Science when selecting Science options.

The three Chemistry labs are spacious and very well equipped, enabling lots of practical work to be done. All the Chemistry labs are well served in terms of fume cupboards, with space for five pairs of pupils to work at any one time. Alongside the Chemistry labs is a computer room which provides excellent opportunities to use Information Technology and Chemistry-related software. Classes are taught by Chemists with support provided by a qualified technician.

Many pupils find Chemistry fascinating outside the lessons themselves and we aim to stretch our students beyond the curriculum. Our Year 8 pupils are involved with Bristol University’s Salter’s Festival competition and many of our younger pupils in Years 7-9 take part in regular Salter’s A Pinch of Salt competitions. Older pupils are involved in the RSC Top of the Bench competition for Years 9, 10 and 11 as well as national Olympiads, the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and masterclasses. We encourage our pupils to read industry publications such as Chemistry Review, run trips to Cardiff University, County Hall (scientific services), Techniquest, the hands-on Science museum At-Bristol, as well as holding lecture days in school.

Topics included: 

Year 7:

Topics include: laboratory safety, use of Bunsen burners, the principles of investigation, the states of matter, properties of materials, separation techniques, metals and non-metals, acids, the pH scale and antacids.

Year 8:

Topics include: elements, compounds and mixtures, preparation of oxygen, metal and non-metal oxides, oxidation and reduction, extraction of copper iron and aluminium, preparation of hydrogen, reactions of acids and metals, preparation of carbon dioxide and the Periodic Table.

Year 9:

Pre-GCSE topics: Kinetic Theory, conservation of mass and chemical reactions.

GCSE topics: Air, oxidation and rusting, metals – reactions, uses and extraction, crude oil, alkanes, fractional distillation, atomic structure and formula mass.



KS3 Computing 

Computers are now part of everyday life and, for most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill that all pupils must learn if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in the digital world. The curriculum for computing has been developed to equip our students with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. They will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, and they will develop their ideas using technology to create a range of digital content.

Pupils experience Computing in two ways:

  1. a) across the curriculum, using it as a tool in different subject lessons
  2. b) Computer Science lessons

The use of computers across the curriculum is coordinated by individual Heads of Departments. Computers are used as an integral part of teaching throughout the school and their use is under constant review.

Home access to the school computer system is achieved through ‘remote access’. Pupils have access to their school files and email at all times. Most of the school site is covered by wireless provision, and the use of laptops and other mobile devices is encouraged as appropriate.

Computer Science lessons

In Year 7 and 8 the aim is for pupils to understand the importance of being responsible when using social networks and other online tools and know how to use it safely and understand the possible dangers that they can face online and know how to deal with them, as well developing their computational thinking. 

Computational thinking is core to the programme of study. It is the process of recognising aspects of computation in the world that surrounds us, and applying tools and techniques from computing to understand and reason about both natural and artificial systems and processes. Computational thinking provides a powerful framework for studying computing, with wide application beyond computing itself. It allows pupils to tackle problems, to break them down into solvable chunks and to devise algorithms to solve them. In summary, computational thinking involves: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, pattern generalisation and algorithm design.

In Year 9, students learn about the hardware and software components that make up computer systems and how they communicate with one another and with other systems. They will also continue to further develop their programming skills using Python, a text- based programming language, to solve a variety of computational problems. This will be achieved primarily in a ‘hands-on’ fashion through a mixture of practical work and project work.

Design Technology

Design Technology

For Years 7, 8 and 9, lessons are designed to deliver a comprehensive experience in Design and Technology.

This foundation course is designed to provide all pupils with a range of designing, making and evaluating skills through a variety of challenges which also increase technical knowledge. Throughout these tasks students develop important creative problem solving, team working and communication skills that are essential in today’s world. Through these challenges, resilience is built and progress is made.

  • Year 7 – An introduction to Design Technology
  • Year 8 – Design and making principles
  • Year 9 – Computer Aided Design and Manufacture

We have a new modern Design and Technology workshop that comprises traditional woodworking tools and machinery as well as modern computer-aided manufacturing machinery such as Laser and Vinyl cutters and a 3D Printer. Pupils will be introduced to these technologies during Key Stage 3 so they can gain a better understanding of modern manufacturing. The topics covered and projects undertaken at KS3 will help develop a passion for the subject and set pupils on the pathway for success, based on the key skills and knowledge developed which will help them, should they opt to carry on studying Design Technology for GCSE and A Level.

At Queen’s we have tried to develop a workshop environment where health and safety is paramount and pupils can learn how to select and use appropriate tools and machinery independently and with confidence.




The schemes of work in Years 7 to 9 aim to equip the students with building blocks to communicate, collaborate and create. The lessons are skills based and aim to sharpen the imagination, engage the mind, raise the confidence and train the body and voice as effective tools to communicate in a variety of contexts.  

The Middle School Play (for Years 7–9) takes place in the Summer Term and is an opportunity for pupils to consolidate the skills acquired in Drama lessons by taking part in a major production as a performer or member of the backstage crew.


In Year 7, the techniques covered will include: freeze framing, stage movement, approaching scripted text, mime and creative movement, chorus work and improvisation.

In Year 8, the techniques covered will include: creating a role, non-verbal communication, developing improvisational skills, chorus work and developing scripted work.

In Year 9, pupils will continue working on collaboration and devising. There will also be some opportunity to work with scripts and develop characterisation. Dialogue and monologue will be focused on in one module.

Performing Arts Scholarships are available at 11+ entry.



English for pupils who have a first language other than English.

Having chosen to study in England you are choosing a whole new future for yourself, which is exciting, challenging and an adventure! There are many positive points to being bilingual:

You use and develop more brain power which has been proven to keep your brain younger for longer!

  • You are in touch with two worlds; giving you twice the opportunities and twice the fun!
  • You can communicate with two (or more) different communities and be pivotal to these connections. You can learn and teach tolerance, consideration, and respect. These are increasingly important qualities in today’s globalised society.
  • Your extra language(s) will open up a wider choice of careers, opportunities, and experiences.

Your bilingualism is a wonderful gift which will undoubtedly enrich your future!

KS3 EAL Course

EAL pupils attend EAL lessons in place of mainstream English and/or foreign language lessons. Teachers use a variety of resources and methods to improve language in terms of reading, writing, listening and speaking, using the CEF (Common European Framework) scales to monitor progress.

Within their EAL course, KS3 pupils will receive extra support with skills which will assist them in all their subjects such as: note-taking, skimming of texts, deeper reading comprehension, and presenting, as well as improving their general language level in terms of grammatical accuracy and vocabulary expansion. Pupils are introduced to many aspects of international and British culture to assist their general integration and knowledge.

The Cambridge PET Exam (Preliminary English Test) is taken at the end of Year 9 as proof of real achievement in English and as preparation for the IGCSE ESL course taken in Key Stage 4.  The PET Exam is internationally recognised and assesses candidates on their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills (each weighted as 25% of the final grade).

Useful Links:

Team Bio: 

Head of EAL:  Miss Helen Goodall.  Miss Goodall has over 15 years of experience teaching EAL and has worked in the UK and overseas including China and Indonesia.  She completed her degree and PGCE at Cardiff University and has worked at Queen’s College since 2013.

EAL Teachers:  Mrs Karen Williams  & Mr Sam Tarr

Mr Tarr has had extensive experience in education for over 15 years, working in Italy and China. He graduated with an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Portsmouth in 2011 and joined the staff at Queen’s College in February 2020 where he also undertakes boarding house duties in School House. An Old Queenian, Mr Tarr was a pupil here from 1989 to 1995.

EAL Teacher: Mrs Karen Williams

Mrs Williams has ten years of experience teaching EAL to students of all ages and abilities. She joined Queen’s College in 2014. Prior to this she spent two years in the north of Spain, teaching English to teenagers and adults.

She completed her degree in History and Religious Studies at Lancaster University.

Before life as an EAL Teacher she lived and worked in London for a number of years where she tried her hand at freelance travel / lifestyle writing, alongside various roles in the charity sector.

In her spare time she enjoys travelling, baking, swimming, reading and, more recently, being a mum.



Years 7, 8 and 9 – works on the foundation of four major skill areas: reading, writing, grammar and oral work. In year 9, we move towards GCSE-level study skills, without specifically teaching the content.

The aim is to structure the course progressively whilst at the same time providing sufficient opportunity for creative and imaginative exploration of language.

English is taught in a suite of classrooms each equipped with an extensive range of prose, poetry and drama specifically selected for each age group, including classic fiction and contemporary award-winning texts and reading. A love of fiction is encouraged with a cosy, quiet area in the department, named ‘The Book Nook’.

The English Department work closely together, sharing ideas, maintaining consistency in the assessment of pupils’ work and planning together and monitoring the progress of the pupils. Because we share a common belief in the value of language competence, of reading awareness and of those insights literature offers, pupils move between stages – Key Stage 3, GCSE and onto A Level – building incrementally on knowledge and understanding.

Year 7 

Year 7 begins with a novel study, such as ‘Private Peaceful’, through which we teach a groundwork of skills for English: analytical skills, personal and narrative writing, and transactional writing such as letters, articles and speeches. Over the course of the year, we introduce all students to the fun of Shakespeare plays, through ‘Much Ado About Nothing’; we study a selection of poetry that tracks the theme of growing up; we develop narrative writing skills through silent film; and learn how to advertise and sell (we believe you can sell a holiday to the moon if you use language well enough). Throughout the year, lessons begin with ten minutes of guided reading; a popular choice is ‘King of Shadows’ by Susan Cooper (a young actor time-travels and finds himself acting on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre).

Year 8 

Year 8 builds on the skills and – we hope – the enjoyment of a rich variety of texts, developed in year 7. We explore Gothic fiction, both through analysis and creative writing; we continue an anthologised approach to poetry, but build on this with a study of a particular poet, using Robert Frost as a starting point. Shakespeare’s comedy is looked at in closer detail, but at the crueller side of it in ‘Twelfth Night’. A broad range of literary non-fiction is discussed and explored; this includes media bias, and the language of campaigning and advertising. Guided reading continues through the year; we believe firmly in the value of this, in terms of comprehension and reading for accuracy, but also to foster enthusiasm for reading. Reading is part of our pupils’ daily diet of prep. This year, we are reading Horowitz’s ‘Magpie Murders’ and Patrick Ness’ latest novel, ‘Burn’. 

Year 9 

The year 9 curriculum is intentionally challenging, and designed to gently prepare our pupils for the rigours of GCSE, and allow them in year 10 to immediately access the increased demands. We do not teach the content of the GCSE in year 9, but teach engaging texts that develop the approaches required. We begin with one of the greatest novels of the 21st century, Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, as a model of the impact historical context has on a writer’s choices. Of course, we study a full Shakespeare play, and we opt for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in year 9. We study a carefully-chosen collection of poems by poets who are in the GCSE anthology, to develop a prior understanding of both contexts and style; and we explore literary fiction and non-fiction on the topic of Crime and Punishment, which includes debate and argument. We cover all forms of transactional writing in this year, and narrative writing too, all of which proving to be a secure foundation for both GCSE Literature and Language.

Food & Nutrition

Food & Nutrition

KS3 – Food and Nutrition: 

In years 7, 8 and 9, all students study one lesson a week of Food and Nutrition.  The course content aims to deliver the theoretical knowledge needed by carrying out practical activities.  The course has been newly developed to prepare students for the topics in the new GCSE.


This foundation course is designed to provide all pupils with a range of cookery skills, knowledge of nutrition as well as understanding of food science, food safety, food choice and food provenance.

Years 7, 8 and 9 will cook every 2 weeks.  The recipe will link to the topic being taught. These practical lessons will develop essential practical skills and understanding of ingredients and recipes.

Course information: 

Year 7 – Topics covered:

Practical lessons:  Recipes may include; Carrot Sticks/Apple Swans, Appleberry Pie, Vegetable Shortcrust Pastry Pasty, Soup and Scone, Quick Pizza, Gnocchi Tomato Bake

  • Preparing for practical work 
  • Personal safety 
  • Weighing and measuring accurately
  • Using an oven safely
  • Using equipment
  • Introduction to nutrition and healthy eating
  • Knife skills – Fruit
  • Preparation skills – Fruit
  • Dough and Pastry skills – Shortcrust
  • Sauce skills – Reduction (Soup/Tomato) 
  • Bread skills – Soda
  • Pasta skills – Gnocchi
  • Food commodities – Fruit
  • Food provenance – how our food is reared and caught, food miles
  • Oxidation
  • Chemical aeration
  • Shortening
  • Gluten formation
  • Plan for practical assessment
  • Practical and written assessment

Year 8: – Topics covered

Practical lessons: Recipes may include; Hash Brown Vegetable Rösti, Vegetable Puff Pastry Pasty, Fruit Mandarin Curry and Naan, Chilli Sans Carne and Taco Shell, Fish Cakes and Sauce, Pizza Breads and Dough Balls, Fruit Berry Bread Swirls

  • Macronutrients – sources and functions
  • Food waste
  • Food labelling
  • Traffic light labelling and allergens
  • Knife skills – Vegetables
  • Preparation skills – Vegetables
  • Dough and Pastry skills – Puff
  • Sauce skills – Reduction (Curry/Chilli)
  • Bread skills – Yeast
  • Food commodities – potatoes and vegetables
  • Food commodities – fish
  • Food commodities – cereals: oats and rice
  • Denaturation and coagulation of protein
  • Enzymic browning
  • Biological aeration
  • Gluten formation
  • Sensory evaluations
  • Planning for practical assessment
  • Practical and written assessment

Year 9 – Topics covered

Practical lessons:  Recipes may include; Filo Pastry Spinach Spanakopita, Choux Pastry Profiteroles with Crème Pâtissière, Gougère Ring with Mornay Sauce, Burger and Brioche Bun, Chelsea Buns, Lasagne and Ravioli

  • Where do bacteria come from?
  • Applying the Eatwell Guide
  • Micronutrients – nutrients in food, their sources and functions
  • How flour is made
  • Nutritional needs of different groups of people
  • How to carry out a nutritional analysis
  • Cereals – turning flour into pasta
  • Preparation skills – Piping and shaping
  • Dough and Pastry skills – Filo and Choux
  • Sauce skills – Roux (Mornay)
  • Bread skills – Enriched Yeast
  • Pasta skills – Lasagne and Ravioli
  • Equipment – the pasta machine
  • Biological aeration and fermentation
  • Gluten formation
  • Gelatinisation
  • Factors that influence food choices
  • British and international cuisines
  • Practical and written assessment
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Ks3 – Geography

We have adopted a concentric approach to the study of Geography at Key Stage 3. This involves a place-orientated structure which we believe forms a firm foundation for the study of the subject at GCSE and A Level.


Geography is the study of our environment and how we interact with it. It is our aim to stimulate pupils’ interest and curiosity in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions on the Earth’s surface.

We intend to foster pupils’ sense of awe and wonder at the

beauty of the world around them and help them to appreciate that they have a responsibility for the sustainable management of the Earth and its people. Geography is about understanding the world in which we live and we believe that it plays an absolutely essential part in the development of young citizens in the modern world.

Through the study of Geography, pupils will learn to use a variety of important transferable skills. They will learn how to collect meaningful data and how to present it in an accurate and appropriate manner. They will make extensive use of maps at all scales, which is undeniably an extremely important lifelong skill. Pupils will be encouraged to participate in debate and discussion, to formulate their own views, and to show tolerance and understanding of the views of others. Information Technology, and in particular the Internet, presents us with many exciting opportunities especially when conducting research. In addition to classroom-based work, pupils will also be given the opportunity to take part in fieldwork, both locally and further afield. Our approach to teaching the subject of Geography is to build a body of knowledge through a variety of learning experiences. Above all, it is our intention that Geography should be fun!

We start with the local environment and the United Kingdom and then broaden our scope by studying the European Union and then the world. Whilst pupils will all have their own textbook, we use a huge variety of resources and like, wherever possible, to make use of data and information collected by the pupils themselves.

Course information: 

In Year 7, pupils will study the geography of their local area (their journey to school, the site and situation of Taunton, the features and characteristics of the local area etc) before moving on to consider selected aspects of the geography of the United Kingdom, such as settlement, weather and climate, industry and retailing. All pupils take part in a field trip to the Quantock Hills.

In Year 8, we study the geography of the European Union, concentrating particularly on farming, resources (energy and water), coasts, rivers and ice. Pupils will have the opportunity to make detailed studies, through their own research, of the geography of particular countries, for example, France and Sweden. In May, all pupils take part in a field trip to Charmouth.

In Year 9, the final year of Key Stage 3, we broaden our scope to study aspects of global geography. We concentrate particularly on the concept of ‘development’ and pupils will learn about the key characteristics of, and contrasts in, countries deemed to represent different levels of ‘development’. Inevitably, there are many issues worthy of debate when tackling this topic. Pupils will study other aspects of Geography which are particularly applicable to the wider world, such as urbanisation, tectonics (volcanoes and earthquakes) and environmental concerns, such as global warming. 



KS3 History 

The History department aims to inspire and enthuse pupils’ interest in the subject so that all pupils are given the opportunity to learn about the world in which they live.

The National Curriculum states that:

“A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world…. teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement…..’

The History Department are passionate about their subject and enable pupils to fulfil the purpose above.

The aims of studying History include:

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world; the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies;
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short-term and long-term timescales.

The topic list we have chosen broadly follows the National Curriculum, and excites and inspires pupils, many of whom go on to study the subject at GCSE, A Level and beyond.

Year 7 History Topic List

Term 1 The Reformation in Europe

  • The problems and complaints of the Catholic Church
  • Martin Luther and the German Reformation
  • Effects of the Reformation in Europe
  • Possible Christmas project on Castles

Term 2 The Early Tudors and religious change

  • The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII
  • Henry VIII – To include his problems and religious change
  • Religious change under Edward VII and Mary I

Term 3 Elizabethan England

  • Problems Elizabeth faced
  • Religious change
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • The Spanish Armada
  • Social and economic change

Year 8 History Topic List

Term 1 The First Stuart Monarchs

  • James I and the Gunpowder Plot
  • Charles I
  • Long and Short term causes of the English Civil War
  • The key events of the English Civil war

Term 2 The End of the Civil War and England without a monarch

  • The trial and execution of Charles I
  • Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans in charge
  • Cromwell; Hero or Villain?

Term 3 The Restoration of the Monarchy

  • The restoration under Charles I
  • The Plague of 1665
  • The Great Fire of London
  • The Glorious Revolution

Year 9 History Topic List

Term 1 Economic, social and Political Change in England 1750 – 1900

  • The Agricultural Revolution
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • The transport Revolution
  • Industrial living and Working conditions
  • Protest

Term 2  – Thematic studies

  • Crime and punishment to Include case study on Jack the Ripper
  • Medicine Through Time

Term 3 – World War One

  • The Long and Short Term Causes
  • Weapons of War
  • Trench warfare – to include some major offensives, and conditions
  • The End of the War



Ks3 – Languages 

The study of foreign languages can be enjoyable, enriching and stimulating – often giving pupils an insight into how their own language works.

At Queen’s, we offer a wide range of languages, giving pupils the opportunity not only to learn how to communicate effectively in many places around the world, but also to gain a better understanding of other cultures.

To begin their language journey, pupils in Year 7 choose two languages from: French, Spanish and German. 

In French and Spanish, we aim to have different groups, so as to cater for those who have studied these languages previously – while supporting those who are starting these languages from scratch.

Language lessons are supported by modern textbooks and up-to-date technology. Pupils are taught by subject specialists, who combine the best aspects of traditional teaching methodology with the enjoyment offered by hands-on engagement with online resources. Language learning can be challenging at times, but it can also be great fun!

Pupils usually continue to study their chosen languages for three years through to Year 9.  Currently we give the students the option to reduce to just one of their languages in order to focus on this solely in Year 9.  

Students who reduce to just one language must study an introductory business course. After Year 9 most students will want to take only one language when considering their GCSE options but we do have a number of pupils whose success and enjoyment in two subjects means that they choose to keep up both languages.

Assessment in Modern Languages is done through Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests which are set regularly, often at the end of modules within the scheme of work. All these tests provide opportunities for positive feedback and encouragement.

The provision of overseas visits has changed in recent years. We now run an annual residential language trip for KS3 pupils, visiting either France, Germany or Spain. The value of these trips is considerable and staff give much of their time to accompanying these events, helping to provide an extra, special dimension to the language learning experience of the pupils. 



Mathematics is taught in sets in Years 7, 8 and 9, not in the usual form groups. We are able to move pupils up and down the sets as required to ensure pupils are making the best possible progress. This is made possible because all pupils follow a common basic syllabus with extension work for faster pupils and for those in higher sets.

Lessons are taught in dedicated Mathematics rooms with whiteboards and data projectors. Many members of staff also teach using Tablet PCs with a mixture of different resources being used too. We are keen to be active and engaging in Mathematics so students will often be found to be completing challenges on their own or in teams, making use of mini white boards or competing against each other in games in class.

Our aim is to improve both competence and confidence in basic skills, whilst introducing more complex topics and developing each pupil’s ability to solve problems. Learning to set out Mathematics in a neat and organised fashion is an integral part of the course as the quality of the students written communication is vital in exploring deeper areas of Mathematics later on in their school career.

One or two homeworks will be set each week which often consolidate and practise the topics discussed in class, but may also be revision or more open-ended tasks such as data collection.

GCSE exams are taken in Year 11 and all work studied in Years 7 to 9 provides the required knowledge and skills base required at the start of the GCSE course. 

Pupils with talent in the subject are stimulated in a variety of ways and are entered for national Mathematics contests. We hope to engender an interest as well as technical ability.



Music KS3 

Music is an art form encountered by every single person every day, often without realisation.

It is a constant source of enrichment throughout life and we aim to develop the student’s understanding of music through a broad curriculum which will enable them to more fully understand and appreciate music from a wide range of ages and cultures.

In addition, the study of music has been proven to enhance the academic potential of students as well as developing discreet transferable skills.


Our lessons for pupils in years 7 to 9 are centred on listening, composition and performance, with all the projects incorporating these elements. 

Students learn about a variety of different musical styles and eras of music through highly practical schemes of work that develop instrumental as well as analytical skills.

Singing is a key feature of our lessons and students have access to a wide range of keyboard and percussion instruments as well as excellent music technology resources which further enhance their learning.

Course information: 

At Year 7, topics include:

  • Musical Journey around the World
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Introduction to Music Technology
  • African Drumming
  • Folk Music

At Year 8, topics include:

  • Blues
  • Eras of Classical Music
  • Hooks and Riffs
  • Reggae

 At Year 9, topics include:

  • Minimalism
  • Film Music
  • Musicals
  • Music and Politics
  • Indian Music
  • Musical Futures


Queen’s College offers Music awards and scholarships to musically gifted pupils in the Sixth Form.

As a guideline, most major scholarships are worth approximately 25% of fees and minor scholarships, 10% off fees.

On top of this, students can apply for means-tested assisted places. 

Click Here to Learn About Co-Curricular Music 

Physical Education

Physical Education

To view all Physical Education information

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KS3 – Physics: 

The Physics Department aims to make Physics an enjoyable subject for all those who study it, incorporating as much practical work at all levels and with as many unusual experiments as possible.

A plethora of toys, popcorn, jellies on turntables, steam puddings and the invisible man have all made an appearance within a lesson!. We are a friendly department and encourage pupils to get involved, ask questions and seek out extra help when they need it.

Physics is housed in a purpose-built laboratory block with three labs and a preparation room. The department has a very good stock of up to date apparatus including an electron diffraction tube, many oscilloscopes including a digital storage oscilloscope module, radioactivity apparatus, data logging equipment with accurate sensors and both a 90mm refracting telescope and an 6” reflecting telescope.

Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

KS3 – Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

Throughout Years 7–9, pupils will engage with an exciting programme of study that will empower them with the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to flourish in an increasingly diverse and challenging society.

From Descartes’ Scepticism to the Five Pillars of Islam to Social Contract Theory and from The Problem of Evil to Environmental Ethics, pupils will be given the opportunity to explore some of the most important, influential ideas that have shaped, and continue to shape, our modern world.

All pupils in Year 7–9 will have lessons dedicated to Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. 


Each lesson is designed to promote critical thinking and introduce pupils to innovative methods and approaches to learning. The lessons are designed to have inquiry at their core, and are focussed around a question or a specific stimulus such as a religious artefact or artwork. The RPE department keenly embraces creative and experiential pedagogy, therefore, visiting speakers and trips are an integral part of the course.

 Year 7 – Topic List:

The Study of Ethics:

Prejudice and Discrimination


Holy War

Just War


Christian Views on the above topics

The Study of Philosophy:

Virtual Ethics

Situation Ethics


Natural Moral Law

Can Violence ever be justified?

Doubt and certainty

Where do ideas come from?

The external world

The Study of Religion:

Pupils will look at the key concepts of Christianity, this will include the following:

Sacred Writings

Key figures




Hindu Gods 

Year 8 – Topic List

The study of Ethics

Crime and Punishment:

What is a crime?

Causes of Crime

Types of Punishment

Religious attitudes

Capital Punishment

Amnesty International

Poverty and Wealth

What is poverty?

Causes of Poverty

Poverty in the world

Religious attitudes to poverty



Salvation Army

The study of Philosophy

End of Life:

What happens when we die?

Philosophical views of the soul

Religious attitudes to death


Funeral rites

Study of Religion:


Life of Muhammad


Fundamental beliefs



Islam in contemporary society

Year 9 – Topic List:




How to look after the environment

How was the world created?

Did God create the world?

The Greek words for love and their meanings

Christian Marriage service


Church views on divorce

Ultimate Questions:

What is free will?

Design Argument

Cosmological Argument

Religious Experience

Why is there evil and suffering in the world?

The Holocaust:

What happened during the Holocaust?

Your views on the Holocaust

Mini-project on the Holocaust

The Life of Jesus through Mark’s Gospel:

The Jews and the Romans



Entry into Jerusalem

The Garden of Gethsemane.

Last Supper


Trial [Roman]



Summer At Queen's

Keeping your children entertained and engaged during school holidays can be a challenge, especially for busy working parents.  That’s why we partner with a variety of exciting holiday camp providers to offer a range of options for all ages and interests.


View May and Summer Holiday Options