- The ethos of the school expects that all pupils will take a full and active part in all areas of the curriculum and school life.
- Our aim is to provide our students with an appropriate and academic curriculum that has breadth and balance.
- Our core purpose is to provide effective teaching and to inspire lasting learning.
- Pupils with particular aptitudes, abilities and needs are identified from Year 7 onwards. Provision to support more able and less able pupils is organised by Subject Departments. Further support beyond the taught curriculum is co-ordinated by the Learning Enrichment Department.
Through the curriculum we seek to develop the whole person, creating opportunities for scientific, technological, linguistic, creative and artistic talents to be developed. The school teaches and uses thinking skills (de Bono) and is the first secondary school in the Country to be accredited as a “Thinking School” by Exeter University.
The Governing Body has a Curriculum Committee, to which the Headmistress and Deputy Headteacher report regularly.
In Key Stage 3
The National Key Stage 3 Curriculum in English, Mathematics, ICT and Science is applied and adapted by the Departments so that it is relevant to the pupils in this school.
All students follow the National Curriculum with lessons in Art, Music, Physical Education, History, Geography, Religious Studies and Technology. One Modern Foreign Language (French or German) is followed by all students in Year 7.
The great majority of pupils study two Modern Foreign Languages, or one Modern Foreign Language and Latin, in Years 8 and 9.
Personal and Citizenship Education (PACE), including Health and Sex and Relationships Education, is delivered by the year tutor team in a timetabled lesson. Citizenship is also addressed in other areas of the curriculum.
All students are encouraged to develop their own skills and interests by following extended curricular activities. The expectation is that each girl should participate in at least three such activities per week. The school considers it essential that students read for pleasure and continue this habit throughout their lives.
Homework is set by each subject according to a weekly timetable.
At Key Stage 4
All students will follow a compulsory core of subjects:
- English Literature
- Core and Additional Science, or three Separate Sciences
- Modern Foreign Language (French or German, or both)
Students then have a free choice of an additional three subjects. However it is generally expected that all students will choose at least one Humanity and one Creative subject at GCSE.
Non-examination subjects include:
- PACE (Personal and Citizenship Education): this includes Health and Sex and Relationships Education, Careers and Work Based Learning as well as Citizenship. The latter is also address in other areas of the curriculum.#
- Religious Studies
- Physical Education
All students are still offered a large choice of activities in the extended curriculum and encouraged to continue to participate in at least one.
Homework is set weekly by each subject. Students organise their own time and work to meet the deadlines.
In the Sixth Form
The school has a large Sixth Form of 350 girls and offers a range of academic subjects at Advanced Level. The entry requirement is a minimum of six Grade Bs at GCSE with the particular subject’s requirements.
The expectation is that all students will follow four AS courses in the Lower Sixth, followed by three or four A2 courses in the Upper Sixth.
There is flexibility to allow consideration for individual students in special circumstances.
Students have an entitlement to follow a range of academic subjects as outlined in the options booklet.
The school works in collaboration with the Boys’ Grammar School to offer joint courses, thus increasing the choice of A Level courses and ensuring minority subjects continue to be viable.
All students will take part in the two year General Studies Course.
All students will continue to take part in Physical Education in the Lower Sixth.
All students take AS examinations at the end of Year 12. It is school policy that no AS modules are taken in January.
Students participate in activities offered in the extended curriculum. It provides an opportunity for them to help with, and to organise, many activities for younger pupils, some of which may lead to further qualifications.
All students have the opportunity to follow the Key Skills programme and will be encouraged to take the Communication Level 3 Qualification. Additional academic opportunities includes Critical Thinking, AEA examinations, Open University courses, Community Sports Leader Award and preparation for entrance examinations such as BMAT and LNAT.
Students are expected to give service back to the school through a variety of opportunities to take on roles of responsibility.
Students have complete responsibility for their own studies including private study and homework.
The school has Visual Arts specialist status. This has enabled an extensive programme of work with partner schools, evening classes and community work to be developed. In school the number of opportunities and courses available to students has expanded.
As a High Performing School, a second specialism of Mathematics and Computing has been awarded. This has built on the established expertise to develop further community and school activities (see link for further details of specialist status).