Years 7, 8 & 9
Years 7, 8 and 9 form the Lower School – our youngest group of senior school pupils.
The Lower School equips each pupil with organisational and social skills appropriate to their increasing level of maturity. Form rooms are physically grouped by year group. This further enables pupils to socialise within the whole year group and feel secure in their surroundings.
In Years 7 to 9 all our pupils study a wide range of compulsory subjects. A significant proportion of curriculum time is devoted to the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science. We teach Biology, Chemistry and Physics as three different subjects, with different subject specialist teachers, from the beginning of Year 7. As we operate a two-week timetable, the girls are also able to study five creative subjects (Music, Art, Food, Design Technology and Drama) throughout all of Years 7 to 9; we do not use the “carousel” system often found in other schools.
All girls are introduced to French, German, Latin and Spanish as part of a carousel in Year 7. They then choose any two languages out of the four languages on offer after the February half term and continue studying them until the end of Year 9, when they may keep both languages or choose one of them to study at GCSE. Humanities subjects are also an important part of the curriculum in Years 7 to 9, with all pupils studying History, Geography and Religion / Philosophy.
With solid foundations in such a wide range of different subjects, the girls are well-placed to make their GCSE option choices towards the end of Year 9. Girls have a completely free choice of optional subjects; the blocks are constructed after they have made their choices in January of Year 9. Girls in Year 9 are also offered the opportunity to take the Higher Project Qualification. This is a GCSE qualification which is awarded to those who have pursued an independent piece of research on a subject of their choice. It provides an excellent foundation for A level and university study.
Years 10 & 11
Years 10 and 11 form the Upper School. The key focus in Years 10 and 11 is to encourage academic achievement at GCSE level and the opening up of opportunity. The pastoral team continue to build upon the skills and self-awareness developed in the earlier years.
During Year 11, guidance is given to each pupil individually with regards to subject choices and A Level study. As well as the regular feedback through the reporting system and taster-sessions of life in the sixth form, each pupil and their parents attend an interview with a senior member of staff to ensure they are making the most appropriate decisions for their future.
In the Upper School, we offer a mixture of GCSE and IGCSE courses. For each subject, we have chosen the course which we feel best meets the needs of our pupils. Most of our pupils will gain qualifications in 9 GCSE / IGCSE subjects, but there is variation, with some pupils following additional courses.
Although several subjects are compulsory, there is still quite a lot of scope for personal choice at this stage. We encourage girls to study a broad and varied range of optional subjects, taking into consideration their interests, strengths and future career plans.
The compulsory subjects are:
- English Language (GCSE)
- English Literature (GCSE)
- Mathematics (IGCSE)
- Either 3 separate Sciences or Dual Award Science (IGCSE)
- A Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish IGCSE)
Dependent upon their choice of sciences, 3 or 4 subjects are then chosen from the list below (all GCSE):
|Food Preparation & Nutrition|
|A second Modern Foreign Language|
The Non Examination Subjects covered are Physical Education and Preparation for Adult Life (PAL)