Senior Curriculum

St Chris is a progressive school which supports children to develop independence, creativity and tenacity through their own learning styles.  The quality of teaching is excellent, and lessons are inspiring, fun and purposeful.

Our students are not simply coached to pass exams, but are instead encouraged to enjoy their learning, challenge themselves and to try new things.

The core school day runs from 8.30am to 3.55pm and is made up of five hour-long lessons.

Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3) Curriculum

The curriculum at St Chris in Years 7 to 9 (I Group to III Group) is designed to offer pupils a broad range of subjects and experiences, and to encourage a smooth transition from primary education to secondary, ensuring a firm foundation for the move to GCSE and beyond.

The main priority in these years is for pupils to feel at home, settled and happy in the environment at St Chris and to instil in them the skills needed for successful independent learning.

In Years 7 to 9 pupils study:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Art
  • Cookery
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Education and Games
  • Personal, Social, Health, Economic Education (PSHE)

They also take a one hour Options class every Thursday afternoon – please see below.

Years 10 and 11 (GCSE) Curriculum

In Years 10 and 11 (IV and V Group) pupils are encouraged to develop their own ideas and opinions and to gain a deeper understanding of the subject areas that interest them.

All pupils study a two-year GCSE course, with the majority undertaking 9 or 10 GCSEs. St Chris offers a broad spectrum of subject options to maximise the choice of subjects in the Sixth Form.

Pupils are strongly advised to opt for those subjects that they enjoy and are good at, taking into account Higher Education and career aspirations. You will be fully supported through this process in Year 9, or during the admissions stage if you are new to the School.

While St Chris supports a balanced programme of study, there is no requirement for a pupil to choose courses to include all the main curriculum areas (languages, humanities, creative subjects and technology). It is therefore possible to select a combination of subjects tailored to individual strengths and interests.

Core Subjects (all are studied)

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Personal, Social, Health, Economic Education (PSHE)

Optional Subjects (4 chosen)

  • Art & Design
  • Art & Design: 3D Design
  • Computer Science
  • Drama
  • French
  • Film Studies
  • Food Preparation & Nutrition
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish

All pupils have PE and PSHE lessons. PE lessons encompass a broad and interesting mix of team and individual sports as well as a focus on physical and mental fitness.


Senior School students have a weekly PSHE lesson with a dedicated teacher, following a programme created with the PSHE Association. Each year, we explore a range of topics under the three themes; Health & Wellbeing, Living in the Wider World and Relationships. These are taught in a spiral curriculum, building in an age-appropriate way, to cover the knowledge and skills needed by young people to make safe, well-informed choices.

For further information about the subjects taught download the St Chris GCSE Curriculum Information booklet below:

Options Programme

The Options programme at St Chris is an integral part of the curriculum and takes place on one afternoon a week for all students in Years 7 to 12.

The aim of the Options programme is to give students an opportunity to expand their horizons, learn and develop new skills and discover new opportunities.

Students choose up to four Options a year and are able to select from a broad range of topics – creative, physical, community/social awareness and academic.

A list of recent Options includes:

  • Advanced Cookery
  • Amnesty International Group
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Bangs, Balloons, Bubbles and Science
  • Badminton
  • Be Green – Zen Garden
  • Card Games
  • Canoeing
  • Chess
  • Climbing
  • Cricket
  • Cross Fit
  • Cycle Maintenance
  • Debate
  • Drama Productions
  • Electronics
  • Enamelling & Jewellery Making
  • Film Making
  • Geocaching
  • Knitting
  • Origami and Tea Tasting
  • Mini Drones
  • Mock Trial
  • Mosaics
  • Mountain Biking
  • Poetry Writing
  • Recycled Fashion Show
  • Road Cycling
  • Robotics
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Science of Food
  • Scuba Diving
  • Sculpture
  • Skateboarding
  • Spanish Films
  • Spinning
  • St Chris Radio
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Wild Wood Walking

For further information about the extracurricular activities offered at St Chris please see our Senior School Activities page here.

The Library

The Library is open to all pupils all day, including at break and lunchtime, and until 4.30pm after school. Pupils are welcome to come and do homework, read quietly or use the computers. After 4.30pm, students can take part in Homework Club in the IT rooms until 5.30pm.

All pupils are encouraged to borrow books from the Library for their reading lessons and the Library staff are always happy to suggest suitable books for children who are struggling to choose what to read next.

We have a flourishing Book Club, and we have taken part in many book and author-related events, as well as several literary quizzes. The Librarian works closely with the English Department to encourage and reinforce reading skills and enjoyment and there is an exciting programme of talks by visiting authors; poets and storytellers as well as writing workshops.

Morning Talks

Morning Talks, the St Chris name for an Assembly, take place three times a week. There is a rolling programme of visiting speakers and Morning Talks also provide an excellent opportunity for music and performance – both as a collective and in smaller groups.

Morning Talks also include a period of silence, a tradition which has long been held at the School, which gives pupils and staff alike the time and space to think about what they have heard in the context of their own life and that of the wider community.

Next Steps: Transition to Sixth Form, Work Experience and Careers Advice

Moving to Sixth Form is an exciting time and there is a full programme of activities to ensure that our students’ transition to the increased demands of A-levels is supported.

In Year 11 pupils meet with a member of the St Chris Senior Management Team to discuss their A-level choices and post-16 plans, both ahead of and again following their mock exams.

All pupils take part in the careers curriculum from Year 7, and from Year 10 they access the St Chris dedicated careers programme called Pathways which includes work experience. For further information about Pathways please click here.

Structure of the Day in the Senior School

8.30am School starts
8.30 to 8.40am Registration
8.40 to 9.05am Company Time / Morning Talk
9.10 to 10.10am Period 1
10.10 to 10.30am Little Break
10.30 to 11.30am Period 2
11.40am to 12.40pm Period 3
12.40 to 1.40pm Lunch
1.40 to 1.45pm Registration
1.45 to 2.45pm Period 4
2.55 to 3.55pm Period 5
3.55pm School ends
3.55pm onwards After school activities

For more information about day boarding to extend the school day, please click here.