Senior Years Curriculum
The Sherfield curriculum broadly follows and extends the National Curriculum and enables us to balance the need for specialisation against the desire to provide breadth. We aim to stimulate, challenge and support all pupils both inside the classroom as well as nurture and promote their talents across a wide range of non-examined opportunities.
With the extended lunch break for year 9 to 13, we are able to support the curriculum by a wide range of academic extension and enrichment activities through societies, debates, lectures, poetry readings, sports and performing arts. On occasion, the timetable is suspended or modified to allow activities to occur, such as sports fixtures and subject-specific day trips to enable field work, museum and gallery visits, theatre trips, conferences and concerts that all play a part in helping us create a full co-curriculum which recognises that qualifications alone do not produce the enlightened world citizen that we aspire to nurture.
The Sherfield curriculum is designed to ensure that every individual maximises their full potential. The primary focus of any senior school is to equip its pupils to obtain entry to competitive courses at the top universities if they so wish. Providing our pupils with choices is central to all we do. There is a clear focus placed upon success in public examinations, but Sherfield also takes seriously its responsibility in preparing pupils to succeed beyond school and University but also to equip them to rise to the challenges of their chosen career path.
The course of study in years 9 – 11 leads to GCSE which still provides a broad education. Some subjects have opted for IGCSE, which is a variant of the GCSE with a more traditional method of assessment.
During year 9, pupils maintain the broadest possible curriculum in order to introduce them to the full range of subjects available at Sherfield and options are kept to a minimum.
In years 10 and 11, pupils will study a core of compulsory subjects to GCSE: English, Mathematics and Science – with decisions as to whether pupils are better suited to double award English and double or triple award Science being made in year 10. They also pick from a range of option blocks with the normal range of History, Geography, MFL, RE, ICT, Art and PE. It is also possible to pick up another subject and study it out of block enabling us to provide a truly personalised learning programme.
In year 12, pupils have a wide choice of subjects offered at A- level. AS followed by A2 allows our pupils to study three, four or five AS-levels. We teach in small sets with a strong learning support team ready to offer help and guidance where needed. The capacity to tailor the curriculum to a particular pupil’s specific needs in something we are particularly proud of. We offer A-level as it provides more flexibility than the other post GCSE qualifications; they allow our pupils to either choose an eclectic mix of subjects, or to specialise. We also have the scope to teach beyond the curriculum and we are able to augment our teaching with university style research with personal tutoring.
Subjects are taught in departmental areas to give all pupils the advantage of specialist facilities such as laboratories, art studios, computer suites, design technology workshops and modern language suites. The Library holds a range of resources, with fiction and non-fiction. This provision is well supported by a specialist librarian. Departmental libraries are also well resourced and curricular provision is regularly reviewed to ensure that it best serves the interests of all pupils. Departments are responsible for the development of their particular subject area; this is monitored by the Director of Studies.
Schemes of work are reviewed annually and are designed to ensure that lessons are correctly focused and that all pupils, regardless of their particular needs, are able to make progress through the school.