The Senior Curriculum

In the Senior School all girls study four core subjects in the VII from a choice of 24 options. All girls also have dedicated time with their tutor, their choice from a wide range of sport, and a weekly lecture as part of their main timetable.

VIII students may either continue with four core subjects, a choice popular with further mathematicians and applicants to American universities, or drop to three. We encourage girls to focus their time and energy on three subjects in the VIII where possible. This allows greater opportunity to research areas of special interest independently, and develop the scholarly engagement that is central to our ethos.

Government reforms to A and AS levels are drawing to their close, and full linearity is in place for those studying from September 2017. This means there are no written public examinations in the VII. We strongly welcome this opportunity to remove an unnecessary layer of examination between GCSE and A level, increasing the richness and diversity of academic exploration. It also gives time for students to play a full role in the leadership and extra-curricular activities on offer.

Across the 24 subjects available, we offer a mix of A level and Pre-U qualifications. Pre-U is a well-established linear alternative to A level, which is widely understood and accepted by universities. At least nine subjects will follow the Pre-U syllabus from 2017 (English literature, French, German, history, Italian, Mandarin, philosophy and theology, Russian and Spanish).

The type of qualification should have no effect on any individual’s choices. Each department has the freedom to choose the most rigorous, enjoyable and rewarding specification on offer, whether that is a linear A level or a Pre-U, and they can be regarded as fully equivalent.