While reflecting the special requirements of high ability children, our curriculum also provides excellent opportunities for their spiritual, physical and aesthetic development. The main aim of the curriculum in years 7 to 9 is establish skills and knowledge that areessential if a rigorous examinations course is to be pursued in Years 10 and 11. Students are encourages to develop their intellectual curiosity, first fostered by their primary schools, and to establish the work habits and attitudes necessary to exploit it.
Rainham Mark Grammar School is a specialist Science College. Our refurbished laboratories are fitted with the latest ICT technology and are well equipped. General Science is taught in years 7 and 8. From year 9 pupils are taught Biology, Physics and Chemistry as separate subjects. Students benefit across the curriculum from the specialist status. As part of our status we loan science equipment to primary schools as well as develop other links with the local community.
In addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, students study Modern Languages (French, German and Spanish are offered), Religious Education, Geography, History, Art, Design Technology, Music, Physical Education and Information and Communications Technology. We also teach Drama, Economics and Sociology to build confidence and help students develop a better understanding of the society in which they live.
Students also have lessons in Personal, Social and Health Education, which encourages the development of self respect and respect for others, and helps students acquire knowledge and skills important to adult life. PSHE starts in Year 7 when it is designed to help students cope with the demands of being in a new school, organising themselves and managing homework. The programme expands from Year 7 to include topics such as the environment, health, first aid, equal opportunities and careers.
Students make their choices for GCSE courses in Year 9. They are prepared for this through a series of PSHE lessons, a detailed booklet on the GCSE years and comprehensive careers advice. Parents and students meet with subject teachers in the Spring Term before choices are made. In a few subjects, GCSE courses start in Year 9.
Each student must study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, a Modern Foreign Language and Science (most students follow a course leading to separate GCSEs in Biology, Physics and Chemistry). Further courses are chosen from a wide range which currently includes Drama, Music, Economics, Business Studies, Information and Communication Technology and Religious Studies, in addition to the usual National Curriculum subjects. There are opportunities for our most able students to take additional or higher level qualifications, for example, Level 2 Certificate in Further Mathematics and AS level Classical Civilisations.
Mathematics have express sets where students take their GCSE early and in MFL they are able to take 2 language GCSEs. Alongside GCSE courses, students will study PSHE and Religious Education based on the Kent Agreed Syllabus. Human relationships, moral values and contemporary issues are examined from a broadly Christian viewpoint while other religious systems are sympathetically treated throughout. The Physical Education programme offers a wide choice: games, athletics, dance, trampolining and the use of a multi-gym, skating at the Ice Bowl and skiing on the dry ski slope at Capstone.