Academic life is flourishing at College. Our teachers have a deep enthusiasm for their subjects and are committed to providing high-quality teaching which develops intellectually curious, self-motivated, enthusiastic young women with an enduring love of learning.
Under the direction of the Vice Principal Academic and Departmental Heads, much care and attention is devoted to optimising the planning and resourcing of all our academic programmes and facilities. Regular, constructive feedback between teacher and pupil, in all aspects of work and play, is at the heart of our success in allowing each girl to realise her true potential.
Our teaching staff are great enthusiasts for their subjects, who delight in engaging with the girls, fostering curiosity and creating a challenging and stimulating classroom environment. They comprise over 91 full-time staff (approximately two-thirds women, one-third men), with a further 56 part-time teachers and another 49 peripatetic music and drama teachers. More than 64 of the teachers act as tutors, providing support and guidance to pupils during their time at College.
A benefit of being a large school is we can offer many subject areas, allowing a wide choice and enabling a personalised timetable. Girls discuss options and alternatives with their tutors, who work closely with them in helping them make the right choices. Pupils are encouraged to take an active part in lessons through challenging, debating and developing their point of view.
Our Lower College (LC) curriculum provides exceptional breadth, building foundations for GCSE courses, many of which commence in LC3 (Year 9).
In LC1 and LC2 (Years 7 & 8), all pupils study separate Sciences, Computing, Humanities, Philosophical Enquiry and two Languages, with the option to begin a third language in Year 9. The Arts are integral, with Music, Drama, Art and Design and Engineering, Enterprise and Technology also studied. A healthy approach to life is nurtured through Physical Education and the Wellbeing Programme. We encourage everyone to pursue a modern, broad and varied curriculum with advice given at every stage to ensure that even from an early age aspirations for Higher Education are supported.
In Upper College, most pupils will take 10 GCSE subjects, including Mathematics, English Language and Literature. A minimum of two separate Sciences and at least one Modern Language is recommended. Girls have a free choice of options but are encouraged to maintain a broad curriculum whilst tailored to their individual strengths and interests. They can also undertake a design-and-make project to develop their creative, technical and practical skills through a Higher Project Qualification.
In the Sixth Form, students have the option to study either the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme or A Levels.
Those studying the IB must choose six subjects from distinct curriculum areas, three at Higher and three at Standard level. They also study a core programme comprised of three elements: Theory of Knowledge, an Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity and Service.
Those who follow the A Level route can take up to four A Level subjects as a linear course, over the two years. A combination of three A Levels alongside Mathematics and Further Mathematics is also possible for some students. For those who wish to begin studying a new language, such as Japanese, Italian, Arabic, Russian or Spanish, this can be done through the IB language ab initio certificate.
For some students, the optimum number will be three A Levels or three A Levels and one stand-alone qualification such as the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Many opt to undertake the EPQ, which enables independent study in an area of personal interest. Examinations in all A Level subjects are taken at the end of the second year.
The Department pages provide links to the GCSE, A Level and IB specifications.