Bolton School Senior Boys

The Curriculum

The curriculum at Bolton School Boys' Division is organised in the spirit of the National Curriculum but is certainly not limited by it.

The curriculum operates on a 60 period two week cycle, with six 50 minute periods per day.  It provides a strong framework for future study, in that it:

  • encourages breadth of experience without sacrificing depth of understanding;
  • combines traditional academic rigour with opportunities for self-expression and creativity;
  • offers a breadth of study and range of experience for the Lower School;
  • gives a range of choice to give a broad and balanced curriculum in the Middle School for GCSE;
  • offers the chance for boys to study the three science subjects as separate disciplines at GCSE;
  • allows the possibility of two or more foreign languages being taken through to GCSE;
  • offers a wide choice of 4 AS subjects, and at least 3 are normally taken through to A2 in the Upper School;
  • gives all Lower and Middle School boys experience of outdoor activities at Patterdale Hall.

All boys in the first five years of the school have a carefully balanced academic programme, set within a wide core of subjects, the majority of which are studied to GCSE level.

Pupils progress through the Lower School and Middle School into the Upper School, where they are joined by students from other schools who have achieved the standard required of all entrants to Year 12.

Monitoring Progress

Pupils' progress is monitored by subject teachers, Form teachers and Heads of Year. Parents will receive two written reports a year and they will have the opportunity to attend a Parents' Evening for a face to face discussion with those involved in their son's education. Parents have constant access to their son's academic progress on line, through the School's ePortal record system. However, they are urged to contact their son's Form teacher if they have any concerns about his academic progress. Internal examinations for Years 7-10 take place in early June. GCSE mock examinations for Year 11 take place in early January, with the main GCSE examination period being in May and June. AS and A2 Level examinations take place in January and in the summer.


Evening homework is set throughout the School, and parents are encouraged to ensure that their sons have adequate working conditions for personal study at home. Pupils in the Lower and Middle Schools are required to spend between one and two hours a night on homework assignments, and for them a formal timetable of subjects is arranged. In the Upper School, pupils have greater flexibility, assignments normally being set by the week, allowing them the opportunity of learning to plan their own schedules. Year 12/13 students need to do considerable reading and research in addition to set exercises, and for this, they have private study periods allocated within their weekly timetable.

Each pupil is given a study planner to help him organise his work. Parents are encouraged to use the relevant space in the planner to communicate with staff.

Form teachers regularly check these planners in order to monitor pupils' organisation.

Departmental Planning and Delivery

Within this overall curriculum structure the responsibiltiy for devising schemes of work lies with the Heads of Departments.  A department's handbook will often describe the particular departmental emphasis in each part of the school and schemes of work will guide the day to day work of colleagues. Departments are encouraged to have an agenda item on teaching and learning at their planned meetings. The nature of classroom teaching is guided by Bolton School Boys' Division's Teaching and Learning Policy. The work of the Heads of Department is managed by the Academic Assistant Head.

Personal Social Health Education and Careers Guidance

PSHE and careers guidance are delivered through the PSHE lessons in Lower and Middle School, by the pastoral system, assemblies and form meetings, through curriculum study and the wide variety of extra-curricular activities. The work is managed by the Deputy Head with the Heads of Year and the HoD PSHE and HoD Careers. The Pastoral Group recommends strategic decisions on the aspect of the curriculum and other pastoral issues to the SMT.

Curriculum Management and Delivery

The curriculum content and delivery is managed by the Academic Assistant Head, in leading the team of Heads of Department, who meet each half term to discuss issues affecting the curriculum and teaching and learning.  The Learning Development Group, chaired by the Director of Learning is a forum for discussing teaching and learning initiatives, which are fed back to staff on inset days and inform the agenda of Heads of Department meetings.


"The quality of the pupils' academic and other achievements is excellent."

"Pupils possess strong numeracy and outstanding communication skills."

"Pupils display insightful and dextrous technological skills, reinforced by their use of tablet computers in many lessons. Tablet use is embedded to the extent that doing so in lessons seems totally natural."

"The increasingly sophisticated study skills that pupils develop as they move through the school underpin the very good progress made by the vast majority."

"Progress of pupils is more rapid than those of the same gender and ethnicity nationally."

ISI Inspection, December 2016  


Boys enjoy use of the Senior School library at lunchtimes and break

Boys enjoy use of the Senior School library at lunchtimes and break

A Chemistry lesson

A Chemistry lesson


A Russian Club session