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Curriculum aims at The John Lyon School

The aims of our curriculum of The John Lyon School are to enable all students to develop:

• a sense of enquiry, the ability to question, solve problems and argue rationally;

• a willingness to apply themselves and an aptitude for learning;

• knowledge and skills relevant to adult life and employment in the changing world;

• literacy, numeracy and competence in ICT use;

• creativity, critical awareness, empathy and sensitivity;

• a recognition of their own and others’ achievements, in school and beyond;

• self-worth, self-esteem, self-awareness and self-confidence;

• the skills of working as an individual and as a member of a group or team;

• appropriate moral, social, cultural and spiritual values; tolerance of others, to value each individual and to learn to live together in an atmosphere of mutual respect;

• an awareness of the pupil’s place in the community and opportunities for service to each other and to the community.


The School Timetable

The John Lyon School operates a 30 period week; there are 6 periods Monday to Friday. Provision is made for assembly/tutor time in each year group.


Mixed ability teaching, setting and differentiation

Pupils are taught in both mixed and set groupings; within mixed and set groups teachers provide differentiated learning, approaches and materials to cater for student needs.


Class Sizes

Class sizes vary depending on the subject and set/group but the teacher - pupil ratio is excellent ensuring greater focus on pupils as individuals within the class.


Schemes of work, lesson planning and homework

Each department has schemes of work for all of its courses/programmes related, where appropriate, to the National Curriculum and or examination board requirements. Schemes of work are followed by all departmental staff and monitored by heads of department. Schemes of work establish how the course content is structured, so that students’ skills, knowledge and understanding are developed progressively. Schemes of work are supported by assessment strategies/methods for ensuring beneficial and informative assessment. Departments also have marking policies which all staff follow.

Homework is provided for all students with appropriate time given for all students to complete the work set. It is marked in line with the whole school/departmental marking policies.


Year 7

All boys study the following subjects (number of periods given in brackets):

Mathematics (3)    History (2)  Drama (1)  Religious Studies/Philosophy (2)
English (3)  Geography (2) Music (1)    ICT (1)
French (2)   PSCHE (1)   Art (1)   Activities (2)
Spanish (2)   Assembly/Tutor (1)  Games (2)   PE (1)
Biology (1)    Chemistry (1)   Physics (1)  


Year 8

All boys study the following subjects:

Mathematics (3) Biology (1)   Geography (1)        Religious Studies/Philosophy (1)
English (3)    Drama (1)    PSCHE (1)   French (2)
Activities (2)    Music (1)    Assembly/Tutor (1)  Physics (1)
Games (2) Art (1)     Latin (2)    History (1)
PE (1)          Spanish (2)   Chemistry (1)     Mandarin (1)
ICT (1)      

At the end of Year 8, boys are required to choose two of the following:





Year 9

The Curriculum is organised in the following way:

Mathematics (3)  History (2)
English (3)   Geography (2)
Language I (2) Drama (1)
Language II (2)  Music (1)
Physics (2)    Art (1)
Chemistry (2)  PE (1)
Biology (2)    Religious Studies/Philosophy (2)
PSCHE (1)    Games (2)
Assembly/Tutor (1)  

During Year 9, boys make six option choices for GCSE to add to their core curriculum. 

We strongly recommend that every boy takes at least two subjects from: Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

 We recommend that every boy takes at least one subject from: Geography, History or Religious Studies.

 We recommend that every boy takes at least one creative subject: Art, Drama or Music.

 We recommend that every boy takes at least one subject from: French, Spanish, Latin or Classical Greek.


Core Subjects taken by everyone in Years 10 and 11

English (IGCSE)                 

English Literature (IGCSE)   

Mathematics (IGCSE)         


GCSE Optional Subjects


Biology (IGCSE)

Chemistry (IGCSE)

Physics (IGCSE)           






History (IGCSE)       

Computer Science             

Geography (IGCSE)  

Ancient Greek            

Religious Studies/Philosophy                 


Non-examined parts of the Year 10/11 Curriculum

Core PE                 



Study skills/careers work are delivered through the tutorial programme.


Sixth Form

The main approach to A-Levels is as follows: 4 AS Levels in Lower Sixth, followed by 3 A-Levels in Upper Sixth.

The following subjects are available at A and/or AS Level:

Mathematics  Geography  Music Technology
Further Mathematics   Government/Politics Spanish        
Biology                                      Drama                                       French
Chemistry  Latin Economics 
Physics         Art  Religious Studies 
English Literature   Psychology Classical Civilisation 
History Music Business Studies
Computer Science    

An Additional Studies programme will be studied by all students in the Lower Sixth and suitable students may be eligible to participate in the EPQ programme.


Policy on Modules

Due to changes in legislation, there are no longer January sittings for examination subjects. The school reviews, on an individual basis, the intended programme for new modules and re-takes for students in the Upper Sixth.  Decisions about how many AS and A2 modules should be taken by a student are made in consultation with subject staff, parents and the students themselves.  The process is overseen by the Head of Sixth Form.

If departments enter students for re-take modules it is expected that a dedicated revision programme is put in place to prepare them.


Study Leave

A Period of study leave is scheduled for students taking public examinations in the summer (Years 11-Upper Sixth).


Learning Support/EAL Curriculum provision

Our Learning Support Department assists and supports any students who have additional educational requirements whether this be learning difficulties or English as an additional language.

This sometimes involves a programme of lessons on a one to one or small group basis in addition to being monitored by subject staff during normal lessons.

All students have the right to access the curriculum, regardless of their ability. Students, whether they have learning difficulties or not, have an equal opportunity to participate in the full curriculum of our school and any additional activities. Students with learning difficulties are encouraged to become independent and take responsibility within The John Lyon School. Refer to the Learning Support Policy for more detail.


Able, Gifted and Talented provision

The John Lyon School provides opportunities for pupils who are gifted in some way. Each department details their provision for Able, Gifted and Talented students within their department handbook. There is a cohort of Able, Gifted and Talented students identified by the Head of Able Gifted and Talented and Head of Scholars who benefit from extra-curricular activities to enrich and challenge them. This may involve trips to cultural events or mind-stimulating lectures as well as in-house workshops and discussion groups.  The older Able, Gifted and Talented students are encouraged to run workshops for younger pupils and act as leaders on trips. Refer to the Able, Gifted and Talented Policy for more detail.


Curriculum Enhancements: activities/extra curricular provision

Afternoon activities are organised specifically in Years 7 and 8.

The following activities are available in Years 7 and 8:

Archery Karate Rugby
Communication Kayaking Snorkelling/Personal Survival
Cycling Mandarin Communication Culture  
Dance Music  

Pupils are given opportunities in a wide range of activities provided for them to either enhance prior skills, build on aspects of the curriculum or develop new, untapped talents.

There is also an additional activities programme available to all students across the School from Years 7-Upper Sixth; this is published on a term by term basis. Staff run these activities.

The purpose of such activities is to offer a broader curriculum to students beyond the classroom and to develop students’ sense of achievement, wellbeing and enjoyment. The social benefits also enhance the sense of community at of The John Lyon School.

All students are welcome to attend activities offered to their year group. Refer to the Activities Policy for more detail.

There is a rich programme of sport and pupils are encouraged to play for The John Lyon School teams; these sports include football, athletics, swimming and cricket.

Additionally, extra-curricular opportunities arise in the form of visits to museums, theatres, universities, field courses and other places relevant to particular subjects/curriculum areas. Visitors to the school, such as authors, benefit all pupils and enhance the students’ appreciation of a subject or topic being studied.

Revision sessions are offered at GCSE and A-Level across all subjects; these can be used by students to gain additional one to one support, seek clarification of an aspect of their study and /or to simply reinforce their learning. These sessions are run by subject staff.