Senior School Curriculum | St Helen's
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In Senior School (Years 7-11) all pupils follow a balanced curriculum which enables them to experience a wide range of academic subjects and develop the depth and breadth of their knowledge and understanding before making their all-important GCSE option choices.

Middle School

In Middle School (Years 7-9) all pupils follow a curriculum which incorporates the best elements of the National Curriculum, whilst extending and enriching their learning well beyond the Programmes of Study at this level. Pupils engage with a broad and challenging programme of study: Mathematics, English, a bespoke skills-based Science course which introduces scientific methodology and key concepts such as mass and energy, preparing them for study of the three separate science subjects from Year 8, Computer Science, History, Geography, Drama, Art, Music, Design & Technology, Latin, Religious Studies, Physical Education, PHSCE and a choice of two modern foreign languages: French, German, Spanish or Mandarin.

The study and practice of Computer Science is an integral element of the curriculum. All pupils follow a foundation Computer Science course in Middle School that gives them confidence in logic and basic programming. Pupils have many opportunities during other lessons to use our extensive ICT facilities: we possess several computer rooms and a fully-equipped Language Laboratory, and classrooms are equipped with Smart boards which enable innovative approaches to support learning and teaching. Science, Music, Art and Design & Technology are taught within well-equipped specialist facilities.

On joining Senior School, students are allocated to a tutor group of approximately 20 pupils. The Form Tutor plays a central role in the School’s pastoral care, and is the first port of call for pupils, teachers and parents. The tutor’s main role, however, is to promote effective academic progress and engagement with our extensive co-curricular programme through our mentoring system, which enables every girl to realise her full potential.


Upper School

In Upper School (Years 10 & 11) pupils take a mixture of GCSE and IGCSE qualifications in a broad and balanced portfolio of subjects which exceeds the Government’s ‘English Baccalaureate’. Pupils will typically take nine or ten GCSE qualifications: Mathematics (some pupils also take the FMSQ Additional Maths qualification), English Language, English Literature, Science, a humanities subject (including Geography and History), a modern foreign language (French, German, Mandarin and Spanish) and two ‘free options’ from a very wide range of choices including Art, Classical Greek, Computer Science, Design & Technology, Drama, Latin, Music and Physical Education. The majority of pupils take three separate science qualifications in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with a small number completing Dual Award Science instead. Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Italian and Japanese are offered as new courses in Year 10, which lead to GCSE qualifications over two years. All pupils additionally join one of our three major co-curricular programmes (Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, CCF and Phab) and take a non-examined course on General Religious Studies.

Throughout Senior School the core curriculum is complemented by our bespoke Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) programme, in which pupils discuss social and current affairs, and follow modules on citizenship, political literacy, study skills, community involvement, ethics, sex and relationships education, self-esteem, personal & internet safety, social & moral responsibility and healthy living. There is also a strong focus on Careers Education to help the girls consider future career options and their Sixth Form choices.

Physical Education is integral to the curriculum: pupils participate in a wide range of core sports and activities in Years 7 & 8, including netball, swimming, tennis, gymnastics & dance, before having the opportunity to try a wider range of sports and activities in Upper School.