The Grey Coat Hospital

Church of England Comprehensive School for Girls

Introduction to the Curriculum


The Grey Coat Hospital’s curriculum is distinctive in its breadth, balance and rigour: it has the power to transform lives.

At The Grey Coat Hospital, we believe that a broad balanced curriculum prepares students best for adult life because our fast-changing world requires a range of transferrable skills. 

Our curriculum takes girls from primary school to the heights of academic study in ancient and modern languages, the arts, sciences and humanities. It can also prepare girls to take up a technical or vocational pathway with confidence. Boys who join in the sixth form recognise that our curriculum design is among the most important ingredients in enabling all students 'to take charge of their learning, make decisions based on Christian values, and meet the challenges of the twenty-first century'. 

Key Stage 3 

In Years 7, 8 and 9 our pupils benefit from a broad combination of traditional subjects. Pupils study, English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, History, Geography, Art, Music, Design and Technology, Information Technology, Physical Education and PSHCE. All girls study Spanish combined with either French or German. In addition, in Year 8 pupils begin specialist Drama lessons. 

Pupils are set by ability from Year 8 in English, Maths, Science and Modern Foreign Languages. In other subjects girls make excellent progress in our mixed ability classes. 

Key Stage 4 

In Years 10 and 11 our pupils continue to enjoy a broad core curriculum. All pupils study, English, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry. All of our pupils study Religious Studies to GCSE. In addition, all girls must study a Modern Foreign Language from Spanish, French or German. Pupils are set by ability in each of these core subjects. Physical Education is also part of our core Curriculum with girls enjoying a range of exciting opportunities including kayaking, yoga, aerobics, trampolining and many others.  

In addition to the core, girls take three option subject choices. They are encouraged to take an artistic or practical subject to complement their academic studies. There is a broad choice of subjects including: Art, Business Studies, Drama, Geography, History, Latin, Music, PE (GCSE), Sport (BTEC), Textiles and Product Design. Option subjects are largely in mixed ability classes. 

Key Stage 5 

The curriculum offer for the Sixth Form ensures that students have a wide range of options. Most students study three Linear A levels subjects with terminal exams in Year 13. 

We offer the following A level subjects: English Literature, English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Religious Studies, French, German, Spanish, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Art, Music, Drama, Product Design, Textiles, and Film Studies.  

This range of subjects enables students to study subjects which are new to them in Key Stage 5, as well as to develop interests they already have. To study in the Sixth Form, students need to attain five GCSE grades at level 9-5, including English Language and Mathematics. In addition, there are particular GCSE grade requirements for most A Level subjects.  

In addition, we offer the Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which complements the standard offer of three A levels.  This qualification is well regarded by universities and allows students to develop the skills required when studying at undergraduate level; such as independence, research skills, academic writing, presentation skills, project management skills, data analysis and problem solving.   

Please click here to read more about the programme of study for ages 16 -19 years

Teaching and Learning 

At the Grey Coat Hospital, we recognise that all students have individual learning capabilities and we use a range of teaching methods to meet these. We are committed to providing outstanding teaching and learning within the classroom. Effective teaching is the result of a clear established practice, which includes the most basic of principles, from classroom management to creating effective learners as well as using assessment for learning strategies. Assessment for Learning means using evidence and dialogue to identify where pupils are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there. We do not prescribe any one teaching method and feel that teachers need to adapt teaching styles to suit the needs of the class. Whilst schemes of work provide guidelines for teachers to follow in delivering the curriculum, they need however, to be brought to life by the teacher, interpreted creatively to inspire and challenge students wherever possible.