Sir William Ramsay School

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The Curriculum

In 2020/21 SWR was awarded the Beacon School status for Holocaust education. This means that as a school we have shown a commitment to rooting out racism, hate and discrimination in all forms and have shown excellence in the standard of our history holocaust education programme. 



Key Stage 3

The transition programme ensures that Year 7 students are familiar to us when they arrive.  This enables them to progress more smoothly from Key Stage 2 into Key Stage 3.  A personalised approach begins the moment a student arrives.  

The focus in Key Stage 3 is to ensure that the core skills of literacy and numeracy, which act as the foundation for all learning, are secure.  Some students are allocated additional time to ensure that any gaps in their literacy and numeracy understanding are closed.  Some students are offered additional support with literacy and numeracy interventions.  

Students are put in sets for Maths from October half term of Year 7 so that they can be taught at their most suitable pace.  Other subjects are taught in mixed ability groups. We encourage our most able students with a ‘teach to the top’ approach.

Key Stage 4

All students study a core curriculum which includes English, Maths, Science, Religious Studies, Personal Social Health & Careers Education and Physical Education.  In addition, they have up to 4 Pathway choices from a wide range of GCSE and vocational subjects.  

They are encouraged to choose a broad and balanced programme which serves as a strong foundation for further progression into academic study in the Sixth Form and beyond.  Guidance on the E-Bacc is given to all students in Year 9.

Key Stage 5

The Sixth Form attracts students from Year 11 as well as students from a variety of other schools.  

We offer a range of A Levels and Level 3 Vocational courses within an inclusive environment.  Partnerships with local businesses ensure that students are presented with opportunities to enrich their learning and develop themselves as active citizens.

Every week, Year 12 students spend an afternoon at a work experience placement where they gain an insight into their career of interest as well as developing vital employability skills. Each year our students progress to high quality destinations, with the majority going to university or into an apprenticeship.

The Sixth Form plays an important role in setting high standards of work and attitude, and students provide an excellent example to younger students in the school. Sixth Form students lead the Sixth Form Council and take part in a range of community activities. Students are involved in many opportunities for their own spiritual, sporting and academic development together with their own specific course study.

Our focus as a Sixth Form is to develop our students into confident and effective young leaders. Every student who joins our Sixth Form is given the opportunity to gain a qualification in leadership. They are expected to lead their peers and younger students throughout the year and take an active role in our community.

Supporting Learning


It is well understood that a strong and creative curriculum extends beyond the classroom and all students benefit from a wide range of enrichment activities in addition to their classroom learning. These range from trips and visits, home learning clubs, catch-up sessions and revision workshops, to opportunities to develop skills in areas such as Sport and the Performing Arts.

Sir William Ramsay School is committed to offering a wide range of activities across all year groups and across the year. Some successful activities we have run are: Careers Fairs, Shakespeare Schools Festival, The Crest Award, Sports Leader Award, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, skiing trips and theatre trips. We are always looking for new and innovative enrichment opportunities to offer our students and welcome ideas from our student body.

Student Progress

Sir William Ramsay School is ambitious in the targets set for their students (top 20%). Data reports are sent home three times during the year to inform parents of their child’s progress as well as Parents’ Evenings and Parental Information Evenings. At regular times, one-to-one learning conversations enable students, parents, carers and tutors to be fully aware of the progress being made. If a student falls behind with their studies, they receive support to help them get back on track.

SWR Lesson

At Sir William Ramsay we fundamentally believe that the SWR lesson provides clarity, consistency and rigour in our approach to learning. Through the implementation of Learning Modes and SWR lesson, students understand the expectation required of them and staff work hard to deliver lessons that meet the needs of all students in their class.

From the moment they are welcomed into the classroom, students are expected to read in silence for 10 minutes and then transition into their learning activities. Teachers guide students through the lesson using our Learning Modes revisiting key learning to embed knowledge and understanding. This process develops excellent learning behaviours to ensure students fulfil their full potential.