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:

  • Art
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • French
  • German or Spanish (from Lower Fourth)
  • Geography
  • Food and Nutrition
  • History
  • ICT and Computing
  • Life Skills and Values
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education (PSCHE)
  • Science (taught as Biology, Chemistry, Physics from Lower Fourth)
  • Religious studies

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

Please see the documents below for further information about our KS3 Curriculum:

1 Curriculum Plan – U3

2 Curriculum Plan – L4

3 Curriculum Plan – U4

The GCSE Years

At Key stage 4, all pupils study the core subjects of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, and either Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Combined Science, in addition to PSCHE and Physical Education.  Most students also study at least one modern foreign language to GCSE.

They are then able to pursue their interests choosing four options from:

  • Art
  • Business Studies
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • Geography
  • History
  • ICT
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Studies
  • 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

Please see below a booklet of information about our GCSE subjects and options selection process

GCSE Subjects and Options 2023-25

For more information on the GCSE curriculum and the options process itself, please contact Mr Coles, Deputy Head: Academic of Senior School

Highclare School is proud to announce its newest Sixth Form Scholarship

Our Sixth Form Pre-Med Scholarship is now live for applicants to Highclare Sixth Form from September 2024 onwards.

The scholarship provides a bespoke programme for students aiming to enter university in September 2026 with a research-science based degree.

For more information email