As an independent school we are not bound to follow the National Curriculum, but we believe that the balance that this provides is suitable for our pupils.
The three core subjects are English, Mathematics and Science. English counts as two GCSEs with Literature as a separate subject. Science is completed in Year 10 and Additional Science is Year 11 (two GCSEs although all three sciences are studied), making a total of five GCSEs for most pupils.
We agree with the prescriptions of the National Curriculum that a pupil should try to study a humanity – Geography, History or Philosophy & Ethics - and a practical or creative subject such as Art, Design &Technology, Music, Physical Education or Performing Arts. Additionally, the pupils have been advised to consider seriously taking a modern foreign language as some of the more academic universities value the study of a language, even at GCSE level.
Those pupils in the Core Learning Development group in Year 9 will continue this support which will effectively take the place of an option subject.
The total tally of GCSEs from our system is nine and we believe that this represents a more than adequate number. We prefer our pupils to do well with nine GCSEs and allow themselves time to enjoy the other aspects that life at Shiplake has to offer.
Click here to download the GCSE Options Guide for pupils beginning Year 10 in September 2014 and finishing Year 11 in July 2016.