Once in the Senior College students are offered a broad pattern of academic work that goes beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum. Physics, Chemistry and Biology are studied as separate sciences; students study two modern foreign languages, French and Spanish. Music, Art, Design Technology, ICT, Religious Education, Physical Education and PSHE all form part of the core curriculum in forms 1 to 3 (years 7-9) alongside History, Geography, English and Mathematics. In addition, all students have three sessions of games each week. All courses are designed to cater not only for those who have entered the Senior College from our own Junior School but also for the large number of students who join at 11 or 13+ from other primary or preparatory schools.
The selection of subjects to be pursued at GCSE is made at the end of the third year (National Curriculum Year 9). The more able students are expected to follow a course leading to examination in eleven GCSE subjects, whilst those who are less able will follow a course leading to examinations in six, seven, or eight GCSE subjects.
The curriculum is kept under constant review by the Deputy Head (Academic) and the Faculty Committee, providing flexibility and the possibility for innovation that is necessary to both maintain the highest standards and to benefit each student to the full. A balance is maintained between the needs of the individual student and the demands of society, universities, industry, business, and the professions.
Academic progress is closely monitored and each individual student’s efforts and achievements are graded and discussed every half-term by the entire staff. There is a firm belief within the college that ‘expectation is everything’ and the best is expected from every student. Wherever possible subjects are set – allowing students of similar ability to proceed at their optimal pace.
The college attaches great importance to preparing scholars for future careers and further education. All scholars are introduced to the Careers Department in the third year.
Included within the college fee is membership of the Independent Schools Careers Organisation (ISCO) for all fifth-form parents and scholars. Accordingly all fifth-form scholars take the ISCO Morrisby psychometric tests which provide a profile of individual strengths and weaknesses. Based upon that, together with our knowledge of the scholar, and the in-depth interview with his or her tutor, the careers staff and the regional director of ISCO, possible career options are discussed prior to recommending an appropriate course of study.