Academic - Forres Sandle Manor


At Forres Sandle Manor, whatever your child’s starting point, they will receive an outstanding academic experience.

Developing individual academic excellence in every pupil means ensuring we honour three commitments:

1. Outstanding teachers

– We are a forward-looking school but one traditional value remains important to us – passionate, engaging and highly effective teaching.  We pride ourselves on having the area’s most inspiring teaching staff who seek to instil a love of their subject(s) into every lesson.

2. Small classes

– Whether it is being stretched and challenged, or at other times being supported and encouraged, we expect every teacher to interact with every pupil on a 1-1 basis in every lesson.  That means we cap classes at 20 but aim to have classes averaging 12-15 pupils.  

3. A personalised curriculum

– We have designed our curriculum to fit the ethos of our school.  As they enter our Senior School, that means providing all of them with a huge breadth of study by studying over 12 subjects, using every specialist space we have across our wonderful 35-acre campus.

From the start of Year 9, having experienced two years’ breadth, it is time for them to specialise by choosing the ‘optional’ subjects they wish to continue with.  This selection is further refined at the start of Year 10 when they commence their GCSE courses.  In this way, we achieve the balance of broadening young minds, then empowering them to make informed choices in the curriculum areas best suited to their strengths and interests.

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Individual Academic Excellence – Years 9-11

Year 9

In addition to a continuing focus on outstanding progress in English, Mathematics and Science, from the start of Year 9, we enable our pupils to choose 6 ‘optional’ subjects to continue with.  This gives our pupils several advantages:

1.Most importantly, they are able to select the subjects where their passions and talents are best suited, thereby making their school days even more enjoyable as they prepare for GCSEs.

2.By removing some subjects, more time can be allocated to chosen subjects, enabling greater progress to be made.

3.This process of selection, also ensures that our average class sizes are reduced even further from Year 9, ensuring even more support and challenge from our fantastic teachers at a crucial time for our pupils.

Years 10-11 

At the start of Year 10, this choice of 6 subjects is further refined down to 4, which will complete their GCSE subject selection(s).  This ensures that the vast majority of our pupils will sit ten GCSES:

-English Literature

-English Language





-Plus 4 subjects of their choosing.

Throughout their time in Years 9-11, pupils continue to have weekly Sports/Games lessons (including time for fixtures) and Life Skills lessons.


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A Strong Core

Every pupil, at Forres Sandle Manor, makes outstanding progress in English, Mathematics and Science and in designing our curriculum, these disciplines are at the centre of our planning.

Pupils in these year groups have 4 lessons per week in both English and Mathematics, ensuring these appear almost every day on their timetables.  

In Science, we go even further by splitting Science into specialist Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons right from the start of Year 7. This is in preparation for Years 9-11 when all pupils are entered for Triple Science (enabling them to achieve a separate GCSE qualification in each). We ensure our science lessons are as practical and ‘hands on’ as possible.

An outstanding sports and games provision continues to be part of our curriculum, including time each week for fixtures.


Breadth of Study

In addition to the above, we also want our pupils to experience the broadest possible curriculum, with each subject taught by a specialist in a dedicated teaching space.  Our outstanding campus enables every pupil to enjoy working practically in dedicated and purpose-built teaching spaces, ensuring lessons are as engaging and inspiring as possible.

It is our ambition that all pupils will study:

Dance, Drama, Music, Art, Food Studies, Design Technology, Computing/ICT, History, Geography, French/Spanish and Life Skills.

This breadth of study enables all our pupils to broaden their minds, creating new opportunities for each of them to thrive.



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