Curriculum (Living to Learn)

Please select a Subject and Year Group using the menus above to view curriculum details for each year group.

Please use the downloads menu below to view curriculum intent, implementation and impact for each department.  


Please note, curriculum plans may need to be adapted due to the COVID-19 situation. 

Further Information

For further information about the curriculum on offer at North Halifax Grammar School (NHGS), please contact Mr D Crossland (Vice Principal - Curriculum & Assessment) -

Curriculum Intent

The curriculum at NHGS reflects our ethos and aims. It is challenging, broad and balanced and knowledge engaged. At NHGS we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. At NHGS we strive for academic excellence and also understand the importance of preparing students for life beyond these walls. Therefore, the curriculum at NHGS is designed to support the Living to Learn, Learning to Live ethos of the school.  

At NHGS we are committed to a broad and balanced curriculum which, in accordance with our funding agreement, must include English, Maths, Science and RPSE. While all subjects are important at NHGS we do have an emphasis on Science. Our curriculum is based on the most up-to-date research and guidance. At NHGS we are quite rightly proud of our curriculum and constantly evaluate its intent, implementation and impact in order to make further improvements.

At NHGS we set out to develop the very best historians, linguists and scientists, etc. Departments challenge students to think, act and behave as those working in their field would. We strive for the best and look to impart knowledge and skills beyond national curriculum guidelines and exam specifications.

The curriculum at NHGS goes far beyond what is taught in lessons, for whilst we want students to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable. At NHGS we strive to be the school everyone wishes they went too. For whilst the ‘taught or lesson based curriculum is one component, the wider curriculum encompasses the totality of students’ lived experiences at school, starting with the receptionist’s smile and ending...who knows where?

Our curriculum forms a backbone to our ethos statement which in turn develops the ideas behind the motto Living to Learn; Learning to Live and identifies the values, qualities and behaviours that we live by in the school.  The letters E, C and M come from two sources, the phrase ‘Every Child Matters’ and from Einstein’s famous quotation E = MC2.  These two sources reflect our belief in the importance of respect for every individual and in our tradition as a specialist science college.

The development of nine key values and their associated behaviours are key to our ever evolving curriculum. Whilst students gain knowledge, we also wish them to become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic, engaged, creative, confident, co-operative, mindful, motivated and mannerly.

The school curriculum should enable all learners to:

  • Satisfy future economic needs for individuals and for the workforce as a whole, including the development of secure knowledge and skills in communication, literacy and mathematics, and confidence in acquiring new knowledge and skills;
  • Help students to appreciate the national cultures, traditions and values of the UK, whilst recognising diversity and encouraging responsible citizenship;
  • Provide opportunities for participation in a broad range of educational experiences and the acquisition of knowledge and appreciation in the arts, sciences and humanities;
  • Support personal development and empowerment so that each student is able to develop as a healthy, balanced and self-confident individual and fulfil their educational potential.

Of course it is our intention to lay secure foundations for progression into Further and Higher Education and we consider preparation for Sixth Form Advanced Level study to be a key feature of our 11-16 education. Additionally, from the beginning of Year 7, students begin to receive specific careers guidance through RPSE lessons. This continues throughout school and is a real strength of our curriculum. Our curriculum also includes a wide variety of enrichment activities and extracurricular trips.

Furthermore, lessons are taught by highly qualified staff who are subject experts. Departments are well resourced and have detailed schemes of work across all Key Stages.

The curriculum aims to be accessible to all our students regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, special needs etc. 

The vast majority of our students follow the same academic pathway. We don't feel that a blanket approach which sees students disapplied  from a subject due to their Special Educational Need or Disability is the right course of action. Therefore the majority of our students  access our full curriculum offer, including learning an MFL.  However, inclusivity is built in to our curriculum offer.  We treat each of our students as individuals and when necessary we do adapt the curriculum to suit there individual needs. When we do need to adapt the curriculum we aim to involve all stake holders, this includes the child and their parents.  

Within these parameters, individualised curricula are devised for students with Special Educational Needs who ,for whatever reason, are unable to access the full range of subjects. The offer here still remains broad and balanced. 

There is a high retention rate into the sixth form, and all students are placed on suitable courses with no students categorised as NEET.

At NHGS we also believe that our curriculum goes beyond what is taught in lessons and we are duly proud of our extracurricular offer. Our co-curriculum aims to provide a wide-range of experiences and the school actively encourages all students to participate in these.  Student Progress Tutors monitor participation of their students and the school surveys students regularly to analyse the levels of take-up of activities by different groups  within the school.