Middle School Curriculum Overview

In Middle School (Years 7-9), all girls follow the same curriculum, which incorporates the best elements of the National Curriculum, whilst extending and enriching their learning well beyond the Programmes of Study at this level. 

Subject specialists, with the most up-to-date knowledge of how our girls learn best in their curriculum areas, teach in dedicated subject areas, where exciting and appropriate teaching materials can be deployed. 

All girls study the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, with the three sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics - taught separately from Year 8 onwards. In Year 7 the girls follow an exciting and challenging course which introduces new and scientific methodology, and key concepts such as mass and energy. Girls are grouped by ability for Mathematics from Year 7, ensuring that appropriate support and challenge can be provided.

Throughout Middle School, all girls study Art, Design & Technology, Drama, Geography, History, Computer Science, Latin, Music, PE and Religion, Philosophy & Ethics.

From Year 7, pupils also study two modern foreign languages, chosen from French, German, Mandarin or Spanish, which they will continue to study for at least three years. 

The study and practice of Computer Science is an integral element of the whole curriculum. All girls follow a foundation course in Middle School that gives them confidence in logic and basic programming. The girls also have many opportunities during other lessons to use our extensive ICT facilities. Classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and we have several computer suites, including two digital language laboratories. Girls are able to borrow laptops from the school for individual work in the library or for use in lessons.

In Years 7 and 8, girls have three PE lessons per week and have the opportunity to take part in a variety of sports including athletics, dance, gymnastics, lacrosse, netball, rounders, swimming and tennis.

The timetabled curriculum in Middle School is completed by our programme of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE), which covers Current Affairs, Healthy Living, Sex and Relationship Education, Social Issues and Study Skills, as well as elements of our Careers Education Programme. The sessions are led by experienced staff, with advice and input from outside experts and our own specialist staff, including Careers Staff and the School Nurse.

The progress of each girl is monitored carefully by her Tutor, under the overall guidance of the Head of Middle School. Where extra help is required for a specific long or short term need, this will be supplied by our Individual Needs Department.

Upper School Curriculum Overview

Upper School (Years 10 and 11) encompasses the GCSE years of study. All girls take courses in English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, a Modern Foreign Language and one of the Humanities.

Science continues to be taught by specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There are two courses on offer. The Double Award course covers all the key concepts and allows ample time for consolidation, whilst the Triple Award course leads to separate awards in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and prepares girls for A Level. If a student opts for the Dual Science Award she cannot take A Level Science.

Girls continue to be grouped by ability in Mathematics. This ensures that each girl is able to tackle this core course at a pace which best suits her aptitude and all achieve iGCSE.

We offer the international GCSE (iGCSE) in Mathematics and Science as we believe these courses offer the best possible preparation for the rigours of Sixth Form study.

In addition to the seven or eight GCSES or iGCSES taken as core subjects, girls are able to take two further subjects. Our current options include Art, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Design & Technology, Drama, French, Geography, German, History, Italian (as a beginner’s language), Japanese (also as a beginner’s language), Latin, Mandarin, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies and Spanish.

PSHCE and PE

The core curriculum is complemented by our bespoke Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) programme, together with general Religious Studies and Physical Education. Within PSHCE, we discuss social and current affairs and include modules on citizenship, political literacy, community involvement, ethics, relationships & self-esteem, personal & internet safety, social & moral responsibility and health education. There is also a strong focus on Careers Education to help the girls consider future career options and their Sixth Form choices.

In PE, girls in Upper School have the opportunity to participate in a much wider range of sports and activities. New PE options available from Year 10 include rock climbing, badminton, golf, trampolining, yoga and use of our fully-equipped fitness suite, in addition to sports and activities also on offer lower down the school, such as athletics, dance, gymnastics, lacrosse, netball, rounders, swimming and tennis. These options are offered on a rotational basis so that girls have the chance to try a range of activities.