The curriculum is arranged to help boys achieve an all-round education with a commitment to academic excellence as well as to equip them with a breadth of academic skills and knowledge. It is under continual review and changes frequently, often depending on changes to the country’s exam structure.
In Key Stage 3 and 4, the curriculum is designed to ensure boys experience linguistic, mathematical, scientific, human and social, physical, technological and aesthetic and creative education. The structure, depth and focus of the curriculum differs according to the age group concerned.
The curriculum from Year 6 to Year 8 is intended to encourage breadth of study and range of experience. It does this by providing a wide range of subjects (12 plus RE, PSHE, PE and Games by the end of Year 8). In Year 9, there are nine compulsory subjects and an additional two options can be chosen.
In Year 7 – 9, in addition to Maths and English, boys study three separate sciences, two humanities and a number of creative subjects. In Year 8 and 9, boys usually take two Modern Foreign Languages (chosen from French, Spanish and German) and can also study Latin and Ancient Greek.
In Years 10 and 11 the characteristic of the curriculum is still ‘broad and balanced’ study, but with greater depth leading to external examination in nine or ten subject areas but with an element of compulsory breadth. A core of English (x2) and Mathematics is augmented by six option choices, together with PSHE, RE and Games. One option should be a Modern Foreign Language: it is also expected that boys choose at least two Science subjects and at least one Humanities subject. Many boys engage with aesthetic and creative education through the wide-ranging extra-curricular programme which compensates for any absence of subjects in this area in their academic options. A number of boys take a tenth GCSE (Latin, Music or Computing) which is studied during CCF time.
In Years 12 and 13 the curriculum is characterised by ‘flexibility and choice’. Students choose four A level subjects from a list of 24. At the end of Year 12 boys may choose to continue with 4 subjects or they may withdraw from one subject to concentrate on 3 A levels in Year 13.
Year 13 boys, in addition to their A level studies, are offered a range of enrichment activities, which range from cooking, to Voluntary Service Unit (VSU), stage crew and the Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The School also offers the AQA Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) for those boys who wish to gain a qualification in an independently researched project of their choosing. A team of staff offer support for boys taking up an EPQ project which is awarded UCAS points worth half an A level.