There is no longer any funding for Specialist Schools. However, the powerful legacies of Languages, Science and Mathematics specialisms live on.
Bexley Grammar School first gained Specialist Language College status back in 2002. We were later awarded a second specialism in Science with Mathematics, then granted HPSS (High Performing Specialist School) and finally designated a Leading Edge School, enhanced with Gifted and Talented provision.
The funding that accompanied designation as a Specialist Language College enabled us to enhance our Language provision throughout the school to become one of the leading schools in the country for the delivery of Modern Foreign Languages. Although the funding dried up, its powerful legacy has shaped the school, underpinned our move to the International Baccalaureate Diploma and allows us to remain at the top of this area of the curriculum. As the local Language Hub, we still support local schools, both primary and secondary and continue to provide a remarkable range of languages which put our students in a very strong position both for Higher Education and for an increasingly competitive international job market.
All Bexley Grammar students study two languages to GCSE. Students opt to study two or three of the following languages: French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese or Latin, one of which must be French or German. Sixth Form students have the opportunity to study the same breadth of languages in the IB at three levels of challenge.
All students at BGS study all three sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics to GCSE. Sixth Form students have the opportunity to study Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems, Sports Science, Design & Technology and Computer Science as part of the IB curriculum.
Mathematics remains one of the particular strengths of our school and all students continue to study Maths at an appropriate level in the Sixth Form as part of the IB curriculum.
Bexley Grammar School students have had recent opportunities to participate in a remarkable range of overseas visits including the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sicily, Greece, Iceland, Russia, Morocco, China and Japan. There are a large number of extra-curricular clubs to provide students with further language support. Sixth Form MFL students have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement in France, Germany, Spain, Sardinia or Italy prior to their final year at Bexley Grammar School.
The Science and Maths Departments organise a range of enrichment activities throughout the academic year including school trips, external visitors and outreach work within the local community. All key stages have the opportunity to learn outside the classroom, including, at key stage 3, Wildwood: British Wildlife Centre and a STEM Gifted & Talented trip to the University of Greenwich. Year 12 students are encouraged to visit various London universities regularly for science lectures and have the opportunity to attend Astrobiology and Science Christmas lectures. All pupils are also encouraged to compete in a number of external competitions including the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Olympiads and the Chemistry Cambridge Challenge in Year 12. Students across all year groups have the opportunity to take part in the National Individual and Team Maths Challenges and a weekly club runs to support students in working towards this competition.
During the summer term, the whole school participates in an Enrichment Week where all lessons are geared towards broadening the learning experiences of students in each subject area. Sessions are delivered by our own subject specialists, by visiting practitioners, as well as off site in alternative educational settings. During the week, Year 7 students are typically visited by a published author to inspire their own creative writing, students in Year 8 complete a cross-curricular data collection Maths and Geography project on the River Darent and Year 9 visit the University of Sussex. Year 12 students deepen their learning in physics with the help of visiting university lecturers to apply their learning in real contexts.
Bexley Grammar School works extensively with primary school staff and students across the borough. Language INSET sessions take place for primary school teachers, and sixth form students completing the Foreign Language Leader course visit their primary link school on a weekly basis to support language learning. MFL Strategic Learning Network meetings are held at Bexley Grammar School with other secondary schools in the borough, with a number of our MFL teachers leading sessions on current MFL teaching strategies. Whole school MFL events, such as Europa Town, are enjoyed by BGS students and hundreds of students from local primary schools each year.
Bexley Grammar School is also a lead school for Gifted and Talented provision in Bexley. It delivered 14 Gifted and Talented Workshops over a period of 12 weeks to primary school students across the borough, including Astronomy, Psychology, Sport Science and Creative Writing.