The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum which we keep under review to ensure its continuing relevance to the modern world and national educational initiatives. Every effort is made to avoid premature specialisation and to meet the individual needs of pupils. The curriculum covers three key stages, summarised here. Further details are available on request.
Key Stage 3: 11-14
In the first three years all pupils study the core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science) and the foundation subjects (Design-Technology; Information and Communication Technology; Geography; History; Modern Languages; Art; Music and Physical Education) of the National Curriculum.
Pupils learn German and French from the outset and we divide up Science into Biology, Chemistry and Physics from Year 8. All pupils also have lessons in Religious Education and follow our programme for Personal Development. Particular attention is paid to Health Education and Citizenship.
Key Stage 4: 14-16
Our students normally prepare for 11 GCSEs over two years. The curriculum consists of a compulsory core with additional subjects selected from option blocks.
Compulsory – Mathematics, English and Science are core subjects, setted to ensure that pupils of different aptitudes proceed at the appropriate pace. Our most advanced mathematicians may take OCR Additional Maths (FSMQ) as well as their GCSE Maths. Our basic English course is supplemented by a further GCSE in English Literature. In Science, we follow a balanced syllabus, allowing Biology, Chemistry and Physics to be taught separately. Nonexamination courses that are part of the compulsory core include: Careers Education; Religious Studies; Personal Development (including Citizenship) and Physical Education. ICT is taught cross curricular.
Options – After careful consultation with parents, students and teaching staff, a further five subjects are chosen from the following list of options: French; German; Spanish; Religious Studies; Geography; History; Business Studies; Design-Technology; Art; Music; Theatre Arts; Media Studies. We require that students select at least one modern language. Please note that this pattern of options may change from time to time.
The Sixth Form: 16-18
A high proportion of our students choose to enter the Sixth Form and in a typical year we also welcome a significant number from neighbouring schools who have completed their GCSEs. Having a large Sixth Form enables us to offer a wide choice of one year AS courses, almost all of which can be continued to full Advanced Level in the second year.
Courses Available – On joining the Sixth Form, each student is given individual help in selecting appropriate courses from about 25 available. Most begin by taking four or five specialist subjects according to their interests, abilities and future aspirations. General Studies (leading to an AS level), Personal Development lessons (including careers advice) and Physical Education also feature on the timetable for everyone.
Full details of all the courses, setting out our entry requirements, are available from the school.
Personal Development – In the Sixth Form, great emphasis is placed on creating a more adult atmosphere in which to work. Students have sole use of their Sixth Form Centre and their own facilities for independent learning. They are also given every encouragement to develop qualities of initiative, leadership and service to school. The great majority will leave school at 18 with the examination results and study habits which they need to take full advantage of courses in higher education or to go directly into careers in business, the professions or the armed services.
At GCSE, AS and A2 Level our students are prepared for syllabuses selected from those offered by the three main examining boards in England and Wales (OCR, AQA and EDEXCEL). A summary of the most recent examination results is provided in the supplement to this brochure.
We expect all pupils to do homework. Usually this work will be linked closely to lessons, either as preparation for work to come or consolidation of work already introduced.
At the beginning of every school year, a homework timetable is prepared and pupils will bring this home for parents’ information. They also maintain a school planner or diary which enables us to monitor homework carefully and provides a channel of communication with parents. In the Sixth Form, students learn to make responsible use of study periods as preparation for the pattern of work required in higher education.
The Jobson Library, with the services of a librarian, is available to everyone in the school. Computers throughout the school are fully networked with access provided at lunchtimes, after school and for private study.