Exeter Cathedral School | Prospective Parents | Curriculum | Curriculum Overview
  • "What I like most about ECS are the teachers because they make the lessons exciting!".
    Year 5 pupil

Curriculum Overview

Independent schools are not bound by law to follow the National Curriculum either in terms of content or level.  However, in common with many independent schools, it is our policy to treat the National Curriculum as an acceptable minimum and to add both breadth and depth where we consider it valuable and achievable.  In short, our schemes of work reflect the full scope of the National Curriculum without being constrained by it. 

Exeter Cathedral School is a Pre-prep and Prep School. As children grow through the School we aim to provide a wide-ranging curriculum supported by a breadth of specialist teachers.  Within our broad curriculum every child has the opportunity to discover and develop interests and talents whether they lie in the academic, practical, artistic or physical.  Through the successful development of abilities in any area, children grow in confidence and are encouraged in those aspects of the curriculum they may find more challenging. 

We offer all of the national curriculum subjects and also French and Latin.  French is formally taught from Year 3 (with an optional French Club for our Pre-Prep pupils), whilst Latin is an optional subject from Year 6 and beyond.  Drama is taught as a separate subject from Year 4 and Design Technology and Food Technology are timetabled from Year 5.

Children join our Nursery from the age of 3 and progress through the Pre-prep being taught predominately by their class teacher until the end of Year 2.  The gradual transition to specialist teaching begins in Year 3 in which the core subjects of English, Maths and Science are taught by the Form Teacher while children begin to enjoy the particular skills and enthusiasm that specialist teachers bring in subjects like French, Religious Studies, History, Geography, Art, Music and Games . This transition continues through Years 4 and 5 until from Year 6 (10+) to Year 8 (12+) every subject is taught by a specialist.

Academic standards and achievements are high. A large percentage of children leave us with significant senior school scholarships (music, academic, art, drama etc.) to their next school and are supported in the preparations to do so.

A full Games and PE programme forms an integral part of the experience offered to our children, including the opportunity to compete in a range of sports against other schools.   We believe that sport offers very significant benefits to all children, the naturally sporting and those with less interest or natural talent.

Music has always been an important part of the curriculum. All the boy and girl choristers of Exeter Cathedral are educated here, together with 264 other pupils who are not choristers. Approximately 160 individual instrumental lessons take place in the School each week.  This is, however, not compulsory and the children's pleasure in music is allowed to develop naturally. Sport, drama and creative talents are also greatly encouraged.

Food Technology, Information Technology, Design Technology, Drama, Art and Outdoor Pursuits are part of the regular timetable. These departments provide opportunities for a wealth of challenging and rewarding activities.

Our aim, for the majority but not all pupils, is for entry to a chosen senior school at 13+ achieved by good results in the Common Entrance examination or in the senior school's own entrance examination and, in the case of many, scholarship success.

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