In Lower School at St Helen's, we aim to provide a curriculum that is as broad and balanced as possible. In addition to the core subjects of English, mathematics, the sciences, history, geography and religion, philosophy and ethics, every girl studies Latin and Spanish. A second modern language – French, German or Mandarin, is added in Year 8.
The week is divided into forty periods, each of 35 or 40 minutes duration.
Creative and practical subjects are a valued part of the curriculum throughout Years 7 and 8, and every girl has access to art, ceramics, DT, drama, home economics, music, physical education and computer science.
In Year 7 students have one lesson of learning skills each week and both Year 7 and 8 have a period of Personal Development (PD), which is delivered by their form tutor.
Most lessons in Year 7 are taught in tutor groups to enable students to settle in by working together. Mathematics and Spanish are taught in different, smaller sets to enable every student to work at a pace best suited to them. Biology, chemistry and physics are taught separately in subject specific laboratories, by one member of the science department teaching staff.
In Year 8, the three sciences are taught by individual subject specialists in each of physics, chemistry and biology, as a rotation of three modules. Mathematics and Spanish are taught in different, smaller sets to enable every student to work at a pace best suited to them. Music, computer science, art, DT, ceramics, food and nutrition and drama are also taught in rotation to provide a balanced and varied curriculum.