At Rainham School for Girls we have an ambitious and rich curriculum with opportunities to develop thinking skills, promote curiosity and to nurture life-long learners.

New curriculum model 2021 copy


Our curriculum intent is underpinned by ambition, richness and thoughtfulness and designed to support students in knowing more, understanding more and demonstrating more.

Students study a broad range of subjects in KS3 from academic, creative and physical subjects, such as Dance and Textiles, this broadens at KS4 with subjects such as Photography and Enterprise, and broadens further at KS5 such as Law and Criminology to give students choice for future progression. Our progressive curriculum is designed to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills, and its integration with our teaching and learning model enables them to retain and apply knowledge over time.  In English, Year 7 learn about Victorian England through reading an abridged version of Oliver Twist which supports their learning when they study Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in Year 10.  The explicit teaching of knowledge and techniques make it really clear 'what' students need to know and 'how' to demonstrate this so that over time students can show that they know more and can demonstrate more. At the heart of our curriculum is the big question which allows students to think about conceptual topics that transcend subjects.  For example ‘What is power?’ is considered in Physics, History and English in similar and different ways allowing students to draw on their knowledge from different subjects.  Our reading curriculum from Year 7 - 13 develops the links between subjects (as well as supporting students’ reading skills) and further enhances our wider curriculum that develops students’ personal characteristics.  You Are Awesome by Matthew Syed helps students to appreciate and develop confidence, but also make links to Maths, Performing Arts and PE.  Our curriculum aims to develop the individual as well as their ability to know, understand and demonstrate more.

Each subject Curriculum Map holds the holistic view of knowledge from Year 7 to 13, taking into account the knowledge acquired in each transition phase. 

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is taught for three years, meaning that every child at RSG maintains the broadest possible curriculum for the longest possible time. During Year 9, students are provided with bespoke support and guidance to help them choose the subjects which are most appropriate for them in Key Stage 4. Through the ‘options’ process, the school ensures that students maintain a broad and balanced curriculum whilst also supporting them in making personalised choices. We have high expectations and ambitions for all of our learners and aim to provide a range of academic, technical and vocational options to meet the needs of every student. The options process is mirrored as students make the transition from Key Stage 4 into Key Stage 5.



Our Curriculum-Centred Pedagogical Model is the vehicle for delivering our progressive curriculum.  The Big Question sits at the heart of this and is our key method of promoting curiosity and encouraging conceptual thinking. It enables pupils to address key concepts and make links between knowledge and ideas over time, developing a broader understanding and providing a wider context to learning. This equips students with the understanding and expertise they need in order to take the next step in their education and future employment.

Teaching and Learning at RSG is characterised by lively discussion, engaging and thought-provoking activities and supported by the excellent relationships between staff and students. 

In every learning sequence, we provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills by working independently or collaboratively and, finally, we regularly assess and review what our students have remembered and understood. The information learnt from assessments is then used by teachers to plan the next sequence of lessons and the cycle of learning continues.

We have high expectations of every student and vary the level of challenge and support to ensure every child is encouraged to do their best. Where a student might have misunderstood a concept or be struggling to apply a skill, our teachers provide additional support in a variety of ways to help them make progress in line with their potential.


Key Stage 3

Learning in Year 7, 8 and 9 is colourful, innovative and challenging and is supported by our broad and exciting curriculum with opportunities for cross-curricular and project-based learning. Our RSG Big 5 character traits are woven throughout our learning journey, with students working collaboratively in a learning community to develop resilience, confidence, leadership, health and initiative in lively classroom environments.  We work closely with our Key Stage 2 partners in the local community to build upon the knowledge and skills targeted in primary schools to ensure that the offer for our students is appropriate and forward-thinking. Our curriculum, with The Big Question at its heart, supports the aims, ethos and values of the school by:


• promoting the intellectual, aesthetic, moral, physical and social development of all students

• providing opportunities for the creative and performing arts to make a contribution to the education of young people

• ensuring that equality of opportunity in access to the curriculum is an entitlement

• ensuring that extra-curricular activities, play an important part in school life

• providing students with every opportunity to be happy and successful learners

The school provides a broad, balanced and innovative curriculum with a firm focus on Mathematics, English and Science for all students.  To stretch the more able a bespoke curriculum is offered within our Stellar stream.

Our taught curriculum is delivered through a two week timetable with each day divided into periods of 60 minutes; an additional 20 minutes for registration takes place each morning.

The Stellar groups at Rainham School for Girls are those students who achieve highly in their CATS testing, Key Stage 2 testing and Accelerated Reader testing and are placed on a specific programme to stretch and challenge them. This is an excellent opportunity for many students to broaden their cultural awareness.  The Phoenix group has been added to the curriculum for those students who show the potential to possibly move into Stellar in their education.  They follow the same challenging curriculum as Stellar at the appropriate pace.

For students who may need additional support our SEND faculty provide a more specific support programme tailored to individual needs.

Our broad and balanced curriculum journey continues into Year 9, where students enjoy a challenging and varied programme of study in each of their disciplines, forming cross-curricular links and developing the skills needed for the next stage of their education. Students in all years are encouraged to continue debating, critiquing and challenging through our dialogic teaching model and explore and tackle a wide range of topics, issues and challenges.


Key Stage 4

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is designed to support the school’s vision of ambition, aspiration and success. The Big Question remains integral to the Key Stage 4 curriculum and enables pupils to address key concepts and make links between knowledge and ideas over time, developing a broader understanding and providing a wider context to learning.

During years 10 and 11 the students timetables become increasingly personalised and focus on the needs of the individual.  Throughout the options process, students are guided towards choices from a broad range of options that will meet their needs.  The focus remains on students achieving their potential in Mathematics, English and Science accompanied by a demanding and wide range of subjects for each student.  Key Stage 4 options enable students to choose personal pathways which could include all GCSEs or a mixture of GCSEs and vocational qualifications, or include a non-examined option, Personal Development.

An example of the Key stage 4 option subjects are:

Art - Fine Art, Art - Graph Communication, Business, Child Development, Dance, Drama, Design Technology, Enterprise, Media, Food, French, Geography, German, Health & Social Care, History, Hospitality, ICT, Music, PE, Psychology, Public Services, RE, Sociology, Spanish, Textiles, Travel and Tourism.

Within the Stellar Key Stage 4 curriculum students will complete the English Baccalaureate.  The EBacc is a combination of subjects that encourages breadth and balance that supports most future career routes. The EBacc recognises students’ achievements across a core of selected academic subjects. The focus of the EBacc is to support students maximising their full potential, and putting them in favourable positions when it comes to deciding upon post 16 courses and career aspirations. The EBacc consists of English, Mathematics, History or Geography, the sciences and a language.  All students at Rainham School for Girls who would like to opt for the English Baccalaureate will also have the chance to do so.

Rainham Girls is committed to helping support learners to best prepare them for 21st century life; the introduction of a Personal Development as a non-examinable option at GCSE has further cemented this pledge, to ensure where possible, we alleviate some of the exam pressures facing our learners today; creating confident young female leaders of the future is a key part of the school’s ethos.  Within personal development lessons students have the opportunity to study British sign language, self-defence and a range of alternative activities that broaden their horizons and provide opportunities to focus on their own mental health.

The school is ambitious in its desire for opportunity for all and promotes aspiration to all year groups. On-site specialist staff, careers fairs and an extensive World of Work programme enable students to make informed decisions based upon clear advice. Students are supported through the option process in their year 9 pastoral curriculum.

Students continue to study culture and ethics and physical education to support their own personal development and the opportunities available throughout the broader curriculum further enhance this.  Character development in the school is intrinsically linked throughout the curriculum and pastoral work.  The Big 5 includes the five traits of a Rainham Girl; Confidence, Health, Initiative, Resilience and Leadership. These traits are developed throughout both the pastoral and academic curriculum.


Key Stage 5

The Key Stage 5 curriculum builds on the aspirational emphasis from the Key Stage 4 curriculum but incorporates more personalisation and independence to prepare students for future career pathways.  The Big Question is still at the heart of the Key Stage 5 curriculum enabling students to be both profound and judicious in their learning.

As a non-selective school, we are keen to ensure we offer a truly comprehensive sixth form. The breadth of our curriculum caters for diverse interests and abilities; we offer a variety of A-levels, Applied courses, BTEC Nationals and GCSE retakes in English and Maths providing progression from Key Stage 4.

Subjects offered include:

Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Criminology, Dance, Drama, Economics, English Language and Literature, English Literature, Finance, Forensics, Geography, Government and Politics, Graphic Communications, Health and Social Care, Human Biology, History, Law, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy and Ethics, Photography, Psychology, Physical Education, Sociology, Textiles and Travel and Tourism.

Students have their own personalised pathways and will study 3 courses, although some students choose to study 4.  At the end of Year 12 students will undertake a week’s work experience to gain valuable employability skills to help prepare them for the transition to university or into the workplace.  To ensure our sixth formers achieve their potential in their academic study we provide the opportunity for both structured and independent study to help them achieve the highest grades. Those students who failed to secure a grade 4 in English and Maths in Key Stage 4 are allocated extra Maths or English GCSE lessons. 

Tutor time for Years 12 and 13 focuses strongly on the personal development of our students through the Big 5 Characteristics: Confidence, Resilience, Initiative, Health and Leadership. Opportunities to develop these characteristics are also provided through sessions run by external speakers on such topics as CV and Personal Statement writing, Applying to University and various career and apprenticeship sessions which support each student regardless of their chosen Post-18 path.  As well as supporting students in their next steps in education or the workplace, we value developing the personal attributes of our sixth formers, as well as their academic abilities.  Enrichment activities in Year 12 and numerous volunteering opportunities within the school community enable students to develop their skills in communication, organisation and leadership to name a few.

To obtain more information about the curriculum please contact Deputy Headteacher N Sills at