The Middle School Key Stage 4 courses are in line with national priorities in education and the majority of pupils take nine GCSEs.
The aim of the Middle School Curriculum is to provide a strong foundation for GCSE and the future challenges of the Sixth Form. It builds on the foundations laid in the core subjects already studied, but also adds new subjects to stimulate and extend pupils' thinking. Great emphasis is placed on developing independence and also on study skills, such as the ability to research an answer and present findings through a talk, blog, project or report. Differentiated learning is recognised and embraced using mobile technology in the classroom, which maximises pupil engagement and helps to nurture the enjoyment of learning in these formative years. Pupils are helped to make informed choices so that they can reach their true potential.
The most able pupils are stretched through the Scholars' Programme and a nationally accredited scheme for able, gifted and talented pupils, with extended reading and discussion groups to encourage independent thinking. For those needing extra guidance and support, the Learning Support and English as an Additional Language Departments provide tailored lessons.
In Year 10, pupils take the following core subjects: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Science. Pupils will study either Combined Science (2 GCSEs) or three separate sciences (3 GCSEs) but in the case of the latter this will need to be one of their four option choices.
Four additional GCSE subjects are chosen from Academic PE, Art & Design (Fine Art, Photography, or Textiles), Business, Classical Civilisation, Computing, Design & Technology (Food Preparation & Nutrition or Product Design), Drama, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Media Studies, Music, Religious Studies, Separate Science and Spanish.
Pupils are encouraged to consider at least one humanity and one creative subject. The majority of pupils will continue with the modern foreign language they have studied in Year 9. They may continue with two languages if they have studied both in Year 9. From September 2020 our most able pupils will be able to select to study History 'off-timetable' as a 10th GCSE. In Year 11, a small number of pupils may be removed from one of their GCSEs to receive targeted support in literacy and numeracy or, in the case of pupils for whom English is not their first language, additional EAL (English as an Additional Language) support.