In the Middle School the emphasis continues to be on the provision of a broad and interesting curriculum, giving students access to as wide a range of subjects as possible.
In Year 9, the core subjects are English, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, history, geography, religion, philosophy and ethics, and an additional foreign language: French, German or Mandarin. Mathematics and Spanish are taught separately in sets to allow each student to develop at her own pace; English and the sciences are taught in smaller groups. The creative and classical subjects remain a valued part of the curriculum and every student studies three subjects from art, ceramics, drama, DT, Greek, Food and Nutrition, Latin or music. Every students also studies PE, computer science and Personal Development (PD).
During Lent term of Year 9 students will be asked to select their preferred I/GCSE subjects, the study of which begins in Year 10. Most students take 10 or 11 subjects to I/GCSE level. The core I/GCSE subjects are English and English literature, mathematics, a modern foreign language and all three sciences: double award I/GCSE is core and students may choose to use one of their options to change this to separate sciences. In addition students take four option subjects from the whole curriculum, which can include extra science as mentioned above and/or a modern language. Subject options are detailed in the Curriculum Policy. All students continue lessons in PE and Personal Development. The result is that students have a manageable workload, which enables them to enjoy their studies and continue to pursue their other interests.
During their time in Middle School, students are encouraged to develop good time management skills through a more flexible approach to homework so that they can accommodate extracurricular commitments alongside their work. Academic progress is monitored by subject teachers and pastoral staff at regular intervals and parents receive regular information about their daughter’s progress via parents' meetings or reports. Form tutors are always on hand to help students manage their time effectively and give them extra support.
Preparation for the transition to Sixth Form begins in Year 10 at the Sixth Form Taster Days and continues throughout Year 11, particularly at the Sixth Form Open Evening in Michaelmas term. Heads of Departments, form tutors and the Higher Education and Careers Department give personal advice and guidance on A-level choices so that by the completion of their I/GCSEs, students are confident and looking forward to the challenges of A-level study.