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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle


The principles of equality of opportunity, tolerance and respect are at the heart of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School.


The school aims are to nurture well-rounded, fulfilled and happy individuals who are ready to make a lasting and positive contribution to the world, live sustainable and rewarding lives and have the skills and resilience to meet any challenge.  We strive to achieve these aims by providing a curriculum, which is balanced, enjoyable, relevant and intellectually challenging. The school prides itself on offering a broad and balanced curriculum underpinned by a strong academic ethos that defines the school as a selective grammar school.  Every effort is made to meet the needs of the individual and to promote and retain breadth of study.

At QEGS we are committed to valuing diversity, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and fostering good relationships between people . We want our students to be inspired by the contributions and accomplishments made by others and to have a sense of belonging within the school and the wider community.

We keep our curriculum under review mindful that it needs to be relevant to the world our students live in and that due regard is paid to national education policy.

Following the return to school after the pandemic situation, our curriculum offer was reviewed and adapted accordingly to ensure that students continue to progress towards their long term aspirations. In order to help students address gaps in knowledge, skills and confidence as learners, we have therefore:

  • Used formative assessment in the classroom to help class teachers understand where students are in their learning.
  • Redesigned aspects of long-term plans in order to ensure students have time to address any gaps in knowledge that may be a barrier to future learning.
  • Ensured that appropriate pastoral support and curriculum opportunities supported our students in re-establishing or creating new friendships with their peers.
  • Strengthened the PSHE curriculum to ensure there is a clear focus on healthy relationships, good positive mental health and resilience. All staff in school received additional safeguarding training on recognising and supporting students who may have experienced trauma.


Our curriculum is designed, both in terms of offer and challenge, with progression in mind to ensure effective transition at all key stages. Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and there are differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time, and we are careful to provide sufficient time for teachers within the same subject to meet together. Further subject specialism is provided by partnerships across and between schools, including the Horncastle Education Trust, and through subject associations.

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. 

At QEGS, school is organised into three Key Stages:

Key Stage 3 (Years 7- 9)

By the end of KS3, students at QEGS will be ready to embark upon their GCSEs. They will have a broad knowledge base, an appetite for learning and the necessary skills to access a balanced GCSE programme including the English Baccalaureate.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

By the end of KS4 students will be ready to embark upon A-levels or, for a few, to apply for vocational courses or apprenticeships. Appropriate support is given to ensure that all students are prepared for their chosen pathway. The broad range of subjects studied at GCSE will provide a platform to access an A-level programme of study.

Sixth Form (Years 12-13)

By the end of Sixth Form students will be ready to progress onto a degree-level courses or into apprenticeships or employment. They have highly developed independent study skills, a clear understanding of the requirements of the courses they want to study at university and the specialist subject knowledge to achieve A-level standard.


At QEGS this intent is delivered through the following curriculum framework:


The curriculum is defined and structured in response to the National Curriculum (NC) with the addition of dual languages and separate Sciences, including enquiry processes from Y7. Students are taught primarily in Form Groups in Y7, except in Technology where students are taught in smaller groups; Maths and English use a combination of banding and setting from Y8. In addition to the compulsory NC subjects, students study French and German (or Spanish in Y9), Religious Studies, Drama, Citizenship and PHSE. PE and Games lessons form a key part of our students’ curriculum.


The curriculum is defined by GCSE option choices which are studied alongside a Core entitlement. All students are required to study GCSEs in English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, at least two Sciences, a Modern Foreign Language and Humanities (Geography, History, R.S. or Business Studies). Option choices facilitate the English Baccalaureate.

Students then choose 2 further GCSE options. They are strongly encouraged to include an Arts (Music, Art, Drama or Film Studies) or Technology subject (Product Design, Food & Nutrition, Computer Science or Resistant Materials). Their final 2 options come from the following:

Art, Drama, Music, Film Studies, Sports Studies, Business Studies, Geography, History, Religious Studies, German, French, Spanish, Food & Nutrition, Product Design, Computer Science and Resistant Materials.

Alongside their examined curriculum, students at QEGS will have P.E./Games, PHSE, Careers, Citizenship and Religious Education.

A differentiated curriculum is provided for students who would benefit from the additional time gained within a reduced GCSE study programme. Those who study for two science qualifications rather than the three separate sciences work towards the Level 2 Certificate in Personal Finance.

GCSE Options Booklet 2024-26

Sixth Form

Students entering the Lower Sixth (Year 12) are expected to take 3 A Level subjects, though a minority will choose a 4 A Level programme. Alongside their A Level choices the students will follow an enrichment course. The enrichment choices are:

Lower Sixth

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Finance

Level 3 Arts Award

Level 3 Sports Leader Award


Upper Sixth

Level 3 Certificate in Personal Finance

Extended Project Qualification

Work experience

Pre-teach qualification (through BGU)

Level 3 Sports Leader Award

Level 3 Arts Award 


In addition to their examination courses, Sixth Form students will have Personal Development lessons, Careers, PE/Games, Life Skills lessons and PHSE.

There is a wide choice of A Level subjects:

Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Film Studies, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, Geology, German, History, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish.


We believe that good careers guidance widens students’ horizons, challenges stereotypes and raises aspiration and our extensive programme starts in Y7 providing students with opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. At Key Stage 4, based upon the Gatsby benchmarks, our curriculum includes work experience for all Year 11 students and a range of activities and opportunities to support students in making good choices post 16. At Key Stage 5, advice and guidance are high profile and ensure that curriculum choices are informed and appropriate. 

The Pastoral Curriculum

All students have a morning registration period from 8.55 to 9.15. Each student is in a tutor group with a form tutor who acts as the key point of contact for parents and staff for all matters relating to the students in that form.


Form tutors work closely with their tutees and have an overview of academic progress and emotional wellbeing. Tutor time is dedicated to purposeful learning activities, including nurture and well-being activities, and current affairs, as well as a vibrant assembly programme.



The delivery of PHSE is augmented by a dedicated  lesson once every fortnight. In these sessions students work in forms or as a year group and follow a special programme that includes delivery by outside speakers. PSHE teachers specialise in different strands and lessons are delivered on a ‘carousel’ system.  In addition, the timetable may be collapsed for themed days or to accommodate conference-style curriculum events.

The Timetable

To provide for such a rich and varied curriculum, a two-week timetable is used.  

Subject Organisation

All subjects belong to a Faculty with a Faculty Leader.  Each Faculty has a Link Senior Leader and a Link Governor attached. 

The Faculties :    

Creative Arts: 

Art, Drama, Music.


English Language, English Literature, Film Studies.


Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Psychology, Religious Studies.


Mathematics, Further Mathematics.


French, German, Spanish.

Physical Education:

P.E., Games.


Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics.


Computer Science, Food & Nutrition, Product Design, Resistant Materials.

Curriculum Enrichment

The curriculum is enhanced and enriched in a variety of ways, offering support and challenge via a range of subject-linked opportunities and extra-curricular activities. Many educational visits take place throughout the year and visitors bring expert knowledge through projects, workshops and performances. There are a number of clubs and groups that students can choose to engage with in order to gain broader experiences and opportunities both in curriculum areas and beyond, such as the National Citizen Service and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 


We understand that the curriculum we offer is a student’s journey through QEGS which builds their knowledge and skills and exposes them to a breadth of experiences whilst being guided effectively as they make informed decisions about their future. Our ambition is to secure consistently high standards of progress in every area of the curriculum and in each key stage, whilst developing well-rounded young people who are ready to contribute to their community. With excellent standards of teaching and learning, highly qualified and skilled staff, responsive student support systems and effective intervention strategies, the curriculum delivers outcomes that are at least in line with national expectations and often exceed them. We are restless to improve what we do and continually search for ways to deliver the best possible outcomes for our students.