Senior Curriculum

At Highclare Senior School the academic curriculum is designed to prepare pupils for life as independent learners and to give them opportunities to achieve individual excellence.

All pupils follow a broad, balanced curriculum, which is delivered by well-qualified specialist teachers.

Years 7, 8 and 9

Subjects studied during Key Stage 3 in U3, L4 and U4 (Years 7, 8 and 9) are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics – taught as Science in U3 (Y7)
  • French
  • German or Spanish – from L4 (Yr 8)
  • Geography
  • History
  • Religious Studies
  • Art
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Food and Nutrition
  • ICT
  • Music
  • Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)
  • Physical Education

In addition, all U3 and L4 (Y7 and 8) pupils take part in a varied enrichment programme.

The GCSE Years

At GCSE the curriculum is composed of a mixture of subjects that are compulsory and some that are optional.

Compulsory subjects to be studied are:

  • Mathematics
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Combined Science or, for students with particular interest and ability in science, three separate sciences: Biology Chemistry and Physics
  • Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish)
  • In addition all pupils take two non-examination subjects: recreational PE and PSHCE

In addition pupils have three further choices from:

  • Art
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Geography
  • History
  • ICT
  • Music
  • Religious Studies
  • Physical Education
  • a second modern foreign language

A typical pupil will, therefore, study 9 or 10 GCSEs depending upon which science route is followed.

The Selection of GCSE Subjects

How should you select GCSE subjects?

The best way to do this is to collect as much information as possible about:

  1. Yourself:

  • What subjects do I enjoy most?
  • What skills have I?
  • How well do I organise my studies and work?
  • How responsible am I?
  • Do I work better with others or on my own?
  • What kind of assessment do I prefer?
  1. Your strengths and weaknesses, from:

  • Previous reports
  • Discussion with parents
  • Think about yourself honestly
  • Your feelings about the subjects you have taken so far
  • Talking to teachers, peers and your personal tutor
  1. The courses available, from:

  • This booklet
  • Teaching staff
  • Older friends
  • Brothers/Sisters/Parents
  • Examination board websites
  1. Possible careers and qualifications, from:

  • School careers library
  • Public library
  • Teaching staff
  • People in those careers
  • Careers guidance websites (see careers information page for details)
  • University websites
  1. Possible dangers such as:

  • Liking the teacher rather than the subject
  • Wanting to stay with friends
  • Not finding out sufficient information about all subjects to make an informed choice
  • Not thinking about the consequences of your decisions for the future
  • Completing the form without talking to others or without much thought

For more information on the GCSE curriculum and the options process itself, please contact Mrs Healey, Deputy Head of Senior School