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The key concern of the curriculum at Chetham's is to offer breadth, balance and quality in the context of the music specialism of the school.

Instrumental programmes are tailor-made for the aptitudes and interests of the individual student, as far as practicalities allow. We aim at a fine balance of timetabling, staffing and resourcing in pursuit of both outstanding instrumental performance and high academic standards.

On the academic side, details of courses and options are set out in three curriculum handbooks, for lower and middle school and for sixth form. There is some student choice at all levels, but especially in the selection of GCSE and AS/A2 subjects.

Personal and Religious Studies (or Enrichment Studies in the sixth form) and Physical Education are timetabled across the full age range. All students participate in choir on a weekly basis.

ICT is delivered as a separate subject in the lower school, through academic subjects in the middle school, and as an ECDL-based Enrichment Studies course in the sixth form.

For most students, the GCSE range covers the core of Music, English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, Single Science plus options from Double Science, Modern Foreign Languages and Humanities.

In the sixth form, all students take Music A-level and then choose between one and three additional AS-levels, at least one of which is continued to A2. Most students pursue three subjects for the full two years.

Each academic department has its own handbook, including subject-specific aims and approaches and schemes of work. Many of the broader statements about policies and goals in these documents follow the lead of the staff handbook, e.g. equal opportunities.

There is a keen awareness of opportunities to promote cross-curricular links in day-to-day teaching and learning, including whole-school projects, such as the recent Holocaust and Spirit of Norway themed activities.