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Business Studies is a popular subject at Preston School and plays an important role in the Business and Enterprise specialist schools status.  We offer two courses at key stage 4, BTEC Business and GCSE Business Studies.  Both courses are highly successful with 95% A*-C in BTEC and 80.46% in GCSE.  All lessons are based around the exam board specifications; however, we strive to ensure that students have plenty of opportunities to work with businesses and develop their enterprise skills.  During the three year course students will take part in business plan presentations, presenting to local businesses, they will participate in national events like Global Entrepreneurship Week and compete in competitions like the Student Investor Challenge, where they learn about the stock market and compete against other schools.  Students on the BTEC course will also learn about recruitment, by applying for an apprenticeship at Yarlington Homes and attending an interview.  Finally, as well as working with businesses in school, we visit Longleat Safari park to learn how they recruit and train their workforce. 

Students studying Business Studies have performed very well in national competitions, Preston School did particularly well last year, finishing 13th out of 500 schools in the semi-finals of Student Investor!!  And this year, our Year 9 students won the regional finals for the Coca Cola Challenge and had their design work used for the Special Olympics marketing campaign!!



Information Communication Technology (ICT) is always a popular option choice amongst students at Preston School. Forming one of the subjects on offer within the School of Business and Enterprise, it forms an important component of the school’s specialism as a Business and Enterprise Academy. Students who study ICT appreciate the broad spectrum of the curriculum on offer, with the OCR Cambridge National Certificate permitting development of creative skills (in the area of digital design) as well technical understanding of computer system and how they function.  The ethos of the department and teachers is to prepare students to not only survive, but thrive in a world driven by technological change and advancement.

ICT results are consistently above the national average (70% A*-C). In 2016 Preston School pupils achieved 78% A*-C. These results are consistent year on year having never dropped below the national average. This sets us aside from other schools both locally and nationally. Our plans for the year, as always, are to continue to stretch students, offering new and exciting opportunities. As part of the Business and Enterprise specialism we partner with businesses to enrich the learning. Watch this space, as industry leaders can sometimes be seen contributing to lessons! 



The ideals that characterise our teaching of Mathematics are based on enabling learners to be responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged, and so equipped for success in the modern world. The foundation of our success is to aim high ourselves and to encourage the highest aspirations in others.

Our results for Mathematics GCSE over the last three years have averaged 18% above the national pass rate (A* - C); the pass rate for last year was 78%. We also enter students for Statistics GCSE, Mathematics iGCSE, ‘A’ level Additional Mathematics and Entry Level Mathematics with 100% pass rate in recent years.

We regularly take teams of students to county and national mathematics events and enter them for national individual competitions. Our students have been extremely successful on many of these occasions.



The Art course at Preston is a long established subject. In the lower school Art covers Art, Craft and Design traditionally. However, at GCSE level the subject becomes Fine Art. The Fine Art course pass rate consistently exceeds the national average. We often hear of students taking Art further and invitations to their degree exhibitions.

With new changes to the curriculum we have reacted by introducing more drawing to our teaching. This had been taken for granted in recent years as quite often contemporary art fails to exercise this skill. In lessons students learn about Art styles and trends in Art; all the time building on skills and techniques. Art is a popular choice at GCSE level.



GCSE Drama is an ever increasingly popular course at Preston School and has really flourished over the last three years. With GCSE results sitting around 78% A*-C students are able to enjoy a wide range of practical exploration with an engaging theory aspect which enables students to fully appreciate the complexities of Drama, Performance and Theatre.

Drama is not strictly maintained in the studio at Preston as we have now also presented three very successful full school productions including Guys and Dolls and Sweeney Todd. We have a very clear sense of Full School Production at Preston and lead roles have been performed by students ranging from Year 11 down to Year 8.

We also do a large amount of live performance outside of the school show including short performances by Year 10 and 11 of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and also ‘The Ash Girl’ by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Students are also encouraged to explore the more technical elements of Theatre, ranging from lighting and sound to stage make-up and costume design.

In addition to this, we run a yearly trip to London where students visit the famous Covent Garden before taking in one of the west end shows which can be explored in the classroom and also in review.



English Language and Literature are compulsory subjects at Preston School, taught with passion and vitality, providing students with skills and knowledge for academic success alongside aptitude for understanding and communicating with the world around them.  Our aim is to engage and enthuse, inspire and motivate, creating learners for life. Both our GCSE courses are challenging and rewarding, following the AQA specification accordingly, building on objectives explored during KS3 years. Throughout the courses, students will study 19th-century literature, modern drama, the work of William Shakespeare, a vast array of wonderful poetry, all whilst exploring the powerful language used in both fiction and non-fiction extracts. Recent results boast an impressive 76% 9 - 4 grades in English.

This year we have taken students to see play versions of the set texts and hope to take students to see the poets on the GCSE syllabus talk about the poems they have written. There are plans afoot for a reading challenge and more exciting things surrounding World Book Day – watch this space!

In the Preston School English Department, we pride ourselves on shaping independent learners that use initiative and reflection as tools for success. Our teachers love their subject. It is this love, this dedication to the craft that ensures every classroom is flourishing.



Since joining the team in January 2016, Music has taken started to grow again even if the exam results were not as predicted.  Orchestra and choir have grown and successful concerts have been held through the rest of the year.  There has been a one third increase in numbers taking GCSE Music for academic year 2016 and retention rates are potentially higher according to initial student feedback.  Revision guides and intervention are already in place for Year 11 and Year 10 as well as team teaching sessions for GL and LH.

Potential visits to watch live Music and schools of music have been requested and will be happening this academic year.

There are 2 extra peripatetic teachers starting at Preston this year adding vocals and ukulele to the teaching repertoire. 


Physical Education

Physical Education and Sport play an integral role at Preston School. As a PE team, we aim to create an enjoyable and engaging environment where all pupils experience success through a range of sports. Our wide and varied curriculum provides the opportunity for pupils to learn and develop a range of skills, which are necessary for sport and beneficial in daily life.

During curriculum time, our experienced and passionate staff endeavours to offer a wide range of activities. Furthermore, we give students the opportunity to commence AQA GSCE PE a year earlier than the traditional Year 10.

Students have extensive opportunities in our extra-curricular setting. Breaktime, lunchtime and afterschool clubs are run for students of all abilities and in a wide range of sports. These include Football, Netball, Rugby, Hockey, Basketball, Fitness, Table Tennis, Badminton, Rounders, Softball, Athletics, Cricket and Archery. Students who attend these clubs often have the opportunity to compete in district, county and regional fixtures throughout the year.

Alongside the curriculum, students are offered the chance to become a Sport Prefect. They will assist with the running and officiating of festivals, fixtures and tournaments across the year, as well as helping with local primary tournaments.

Preston PE strives to ensure that every student has the opportunity to stay healthy, enjoy sport and take these valuable skills with them in to their future.



"You can travel the seas, poles and deserts and see nothing. To really understand the world, you need to get under the skin of the people and places. In other words, learn about Geography. I can’t imagine a subject more relevant in schools. We’d all be lost without it."

Michael Palin - Actor, Writer, Comedian, TV Presenter

Geography is the study of the world around us. It involves learning about a wide variety of issues and topics ranging from climate change and cities to natural hazards and globalisation. Geography also teaches pupils important skills such as problem solving and critical thinking and allows them to gain an appreciation and understanding of the world and its processes. At Preston School, Geography is taught using a variety of contemporary methods focusing on an enquiry approach to learning. This involves the use ICT, GIS and a number of fieldwork opportunities outside the classroom.

Geography is a popular subject at Preston School. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 study a number of different topics focusing on geographical issues, such as weather and climate and tectonic hazards; as well as specific countries and regions, such as the UK and Brazil. In Years 9, 10 and 11, pupils study the AQA GCSE Specification. This new GCSE course focuses on many of the key issues facing the world in the 21st Century, as well as teaching pupils about their important role as global citizens. Geography is also a highly successful subject within the School of Global Understanding with last year’s GCSE Geography students achieving 79% A*- C.



Historians are often asked: what is the use or relevance of studying History? Why on earth does it matter what happened long ago? The answer is that History is inescapable. It studies the past and the legacies of the past in the present. Far from being a 'dead' subject, it connects things through time and encourages its students to take a long view of such connections.

History at Preston School is becoming an increasingly popular subject as an option choice with results in 2016 at 75% A*-C. We follow a GCSE course from the AQA exam board that incorporates a broad sweep of history along a theme of Power and People 1170 to Present Day. There is also the opportunity to focus on specific depth studies that include Norman England 1066-1100, America 1920-1973 and Conflict and Tension 1894-1918. The History Department aims to provide the opportunity to visit the Battlefields of WW1 each year to support the learning of our students.

We believe in academic rigour and challenge whilst encouraging our students to learn independently to be the best that they can be. Bringing History to Life and Life IS History!



Modern Foreign Languages at Preston School encompass French, Italian and Spanish. Whichever language you study you will have high quality and engaging teaching, using up-to-date and authentic resources and materials, including ICT and software / websites designed specifically for language learning. In the MFL department here at Preston School our aim is to develop competent and confident linguists who understand the wider benefits of language study, whether for career opportunities, communication skills development, or for personal growth and developing a more open and curious mind. Our students are very successful in their studies with 85 % (on average) achieving A* - C in their GCSE in 2017. Furthermore, 43% of all MFL grades achieved at GCSE in 2017 were A* or A.

During the course students will study a variety of topics learning how to share opinions on wide range of issues from family life, to school and future plans for study and work, from social issues to environmental debates. The course is designed to include as much cultural input as possible, students will explore music and film in their chosen language as well as some literature and poetry. Of course this is all combined with the fundamentals of the grammar and structure of the language studied.

The department runs a very successful exchange programme ongoing with a Spanish school for y9 /10 students and in June 2017 we are planning a fantastic French and History trip for year 9/10 students to further their experiences, knowledge and understanding in both subjects. For year 7 / 8 Italian students we are currently organising a trip to Rome for July 2018. With European Day of Languages in September and several link events with our local primary schools in the months ahead it’s an exciting time to get involved in languages!

life studies

Life Studies, Philosophy & Ethics

This subject is fundamental to developing the whole student in school. We study belief systems from all over the world and look at their response to a variety of moral and ethical dilemmas. We challenge the students to investigate their own views on the world and make sure they are comfortable with how they view the world. This year we have been redesigning the course for the year 10 and 11 students who have not chosen to do a GCSE course to make the subject more relevant and accessible.

We have recently gained 75% A* - C for the option group this is on the back of other years of comparable successes for the whole year group. We have visited Bristol Cathedral and the Dechen Buddhist Centre in Bristol in the past year and will be visiting Jam Yang Buddhist centre in Kennington in the new year as part of the GCSE Philosophy and ethics course.

design & technology

Design & Technology

‘Design Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation’. (National Curriculum)

The DT department at Preston fully supports this and offers pupils a fantastic mix of disciplines where they have the opportunity to work with a wide range of materials at KS3.  It is always a busy and purposeful department and an area of the curriculum that pupils enjoy being part of where they learn through theory and practical activities.

We offer a wide range of very popular and successful courses at KS4 including Electronics, Materials Technology, Child Development, Food, Fashion and Textiles and Child Development, all of which regularly achieve above the national average in the results our pupils achieve.

All of the KS4 courses consist of controlled assessment and a final exam and within the controlled assessment a large number of marks are made up of practical work.



Marie Curie (a physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity) once said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

In science lessons at Preston School, we aim to help students to develop into scientists with independent thinking, problem solving and practical skills that they can apply to understand and explain the world around them.

Science is a compulsory subject, within which students study a range of Chemistry, Physics and Biology topics from Year 7 onwards. The culmination in year 11 is to gain two GCSEs in AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) or three GCSEs through examination in each individual subject.

Study of the curriculum is further enhanced by students’ involvement in national challenges such as the Royal Society of Biology – Biology Challenge; STEM workshops through EDF Inspire; and National competitions offered by Shell and GSK. Students also have many opportunities to apply their learning to real-world contexts through trips. Some of the trips that we offer include visiting places such as @Bristol, Bristol Zoo and The Living Rainforest.

2017  Preston School