You can find more detailed information and what to expect from each subject below.

  • Art
    What makes art great?

    Art demands self-discipline, independence of mind, initiative and insight. At A Level, you will have the opportunity to build on your creative and technical skills. The course can involve many skills, including drawing, painting, printmaking, digital media, film, animation and three-dimensional work. You will be encouraged to explore a range of different materials, techniques and processes, to experiment freely and to refine your expertise. By developing curiosity and interest in all aspects of the visual world, we hope to encourage a mature and individual response to it.

    What does the course cover?

    A Level Art allows you to develop an exciting and extensive range of creative and technical skills. You will also gain a strong understanding of historic and contemporary visual art practice, through supporting contextual studies. Unique to studying Art at A Level, you build up a very personal and continually evolving body of practical work, guided and supported by your teachers. Individual exploration and development of your personal skills and creative directions is a special aspect of this subject.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Art department is a bustling, creative and nurturing environment. The Studios are open daily, and for some become an extension of the Sixth Form common room. There are weekly life drawing lessons, and open studio sessions, throughout the year. A Level artists are able to join a number of visits to galleries and workshops. We regularly visit the John Soane collection, Pallant House Gallery, Cass Sculpture Foundation and other London galleries.
    Our bi-annual residential trip to Venice, viewing both the historical collections and architecture
    of the city alongside the Venice Biennale, is always well-attended and thoroughly enjoyed. Students are also able to attend a day’s practical etching workshop at the Thames-Side Print Studios, producing a range of professional
    print outcomes.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Art?

    A successful Art A Level student embraces challenge and takes risks. Open to trying new materials, techniques and processes, they fully immerse themselves into the creative process.

  • Biology
    What makes Biology great?

    Although Biology forms a natural link with the other scientific disciplines, it also works well alongside many arts subjects. Biology is useful when applying for a huge range of degree courses and is at the cutting edge of topical issues in science and society, such as DNA technologies, stem cell research and issues surrounding climate change. It is a science to use and enjoy and one that is increasingly essential in making sense of the modern world and our place in it.

    What does the course cover?

    Year 12 comprises four foundation topics these embed a range of higher-level biological principles upon which the Year 13 topics will then build.

    These will allow you to develop a much deeper understanding of the nature of the biochemistry of complex organic molecules as they combine to build the structures of the body and how enzyme activity underpins all our metabolic processes. Cellular structures are revealed to be complex and highly organised, possessing a variety of physically and biochemically specialised organelles which interact to deliver the functions of life. The detailed examination of DNA structure reveals how this amazing molecule can replicate with phenomenal precision, and encode and convert information for the production of new body tissues. There is also further study of the respiratory and circulatory systems. You will also develop a deeper understanding of classification to allow the exploration of issues relating to biodiversity and natural selection.

    In Year 13 the additional six topics extend into areas such as the biochemical processes of respiration and photosynthesis. There is also detailed study of microbiology and how some micro-organisms act as pathogens. The roles of the nervous and endocrine systems in control are linked to mammalian adaptations for osmoregulation.

    The nature of modern genetics, its more complex genetic interactions and techniques utilised in genetic engineering, along with the recent
    advances made in biotechnology, bring students to the cutting-edge of science today.
    The practical endorsement of the course is developed through a ‘hands-on’ approach to laboratory work, allowing you to develop a wide range of skills to a high degree of precision whilst providing opportunities for developing analytical and evaluative thinking.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Biology representatives run lots of activities and clubs for the younger years, including dissection club and CREST club, which helps develop leadership and organisation skills. The department provides exciting opportunities including reading lists and essay competitions.

    It also directs pupils to summer schools and work experience, and each year takes students to the New Scientist Live talks.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Biology?

    Successful biologists are scientifically literate, numerate and able to apply themselves to complex and detailed theories. They study beyond their specification and are well-read in subject knowledge around their subjects. They seek out challenge in all of their lessons and outside of school. Using the ‘Independent Study Booklet,’
    a passionate biologist takes up opportunities outside of school, from lectures to biology competitions. Finally, the best students are highly organised about ensuring that they regularly review the material and commit terminology and processes to memory throughout the course. There is a solid amount of content in the course, and students are happier and more confident when they learn it as they go, enabling them to make deep and interesting connections.

  • Chemistry
    What makes chemistry great?

    Chemists are involved in everything from working on new cancer-busting drugs to developing exciting new flavours for crisps, and from protecting the environment to formulating materials that will make computers work faster. Chemistry is cutting-edge and chemists are pioneering and innovative.

    What does the course cover?

    In A Level Chemistry you not only build on the skills and knowledge you developed at IGCSE
    but you will be challenged and encouraged to think about the subject in new ways. The course is divided into three parts: Organic, Physical, and Inorganic Chemistry.

    The A Level course is designed to help you gain an appreciation of how scientific models are developed and evolve, and how they are applied. It includes work which deals with the importance of Chemistry in our own lives and the world in general. This might include aspects of Chemistry
    that are often in the media, such as climate change. You study areas such as these to develop an understanding of the underlying Chemistry and how this might be applied to provide solutions to such pressing modern issues. It also opens the door to discussions on the ethical implications of science, and the ways in which society uses science to make decisions.

    You will develop a broad framework of knowledge as well as the disciplines required to master and combine the theoretical and practical aspects of this exciting science. You will develop practical skills such as making observations, collecting data, analysing experimental results and formulating conclusions.

    A Level Chemistry is a requirement for many scientific degree courses including Medicine and Veterinary Science. However, Chemistry is not just a subject for future medics. It is highly recommended for some engineering courses and is very useful for a wide range of degrees. In the world of work, people with a background in Chemistry can be found not just in research laboratories, but also in patent law, marketing, and investment analysis. It is a science that can take you almost anywhere.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Each year, Year 12 and 13 students participate in the Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge C3L6 competition. Girls in these year groups also run the hugely popular Lotions and Potions club. Students in Year 12 visit New Scientist Live and many attend evening lectures at Imperial and UCL.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Chemistry?

    To succeed in A level Chemistry, you must be inquisitive and curious, able to work accurately, and have a genuine interest in the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ that explain why matter behaves the way it does.

  • Classics Latin
    What makes Latin great?

    Discover more about a society where words are power and power is everything.

    Explore both the alien and the familiar within Rome’s culture and its legacy to our society today. Latin at A Level combines well with a range of arts subjects or provides a balance for would be scientists. This qualification is highly valued by University admissions tutors for the linguistic, literary and analytical skills it fosters and adds weight to a university application. A Level Latin presents a varied programme which introduces many aspects of the history, politics, law and art of Roman civilisation. The skills you will develop will benefit you in whatever path you choose.

    What does the course cover?

    The language half of the course includes unseen translation of both prose and verse passages from Latin into English and learning how to write stylishly in Latin. Most of the necessary grammar has already been covered at GCSE.

    The literature component involves the in-depth study of verse and prose literature. The verse selection is taken from the works of Catullus and Ovid, looking at different aspects of love: the agony, the ecstasy, and everything in between. The prose selection comes from Cicero’s Pro Cluentio and Tacitus’ Annals. Here we see one of the world’s most successful lawyers passionately defend Cluentius against charges of killing his step-father (who previously tried to charge Cicero with attempted murder), and Tacitus’ reflections on the early years of the reign of Tiberius, where scheming and treachery are rife and wine and mushrooms are no doubt laced with poison.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Classics department offers an extensive programme of extra-curricular opportunities. Our Sixth Form students are able to volunteer to teach Latin in local primary schools as part of the Minimus Project, with our aim of fostering a love of all things ancient in students of all ages.

    Students of Latin A Level attend the Harrodian Sixth Form Conference for lectures from leading academics, which complement their reading in class. The Classics Masterclass offers students the opportunity to research their own areas of interest and share these with their peers. Our Sixth Form students also run the Junior Classics Club, sharing their love of the subject with the younger girls. We also hope to be able to offer an overseas visit.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Latin?

    Students who have enjoyed the GCSE course, have good linguistic skills and are interested in literature will find the transition to A Level easily manageable.

  • Classics Classical Greek
    What makes Classical Greek great?

    Greek is the language of the stories that have shaped our world. Heroines and heroes, gods and monsters, revenge and betrayal.

    These elements form part of the myths and legends that have captivated generations – all derived from Greek literature. In addition, Greek drama created theatre and much of ‘entertainment’ as we know it today. The Greeks gave us tragedy, where a man who murders his father goes on to marry his mother, while also bringing us comedy and art. The Greeks were also the first to ask important philosophical questions like ‘what is virtue?’ and ‘how do I lead a good life?’. Classical Greek is studied in very few schools and quickly sets you apart for university admissions and any future career. The logical skill in decoding a language in a different alphabet, combined with the ability to analyse literary works of numerous genres, makes the investment in studying Classical Greek a rewarding achievement and a surprisingly marketable one.

    Classical Greek can be studied equally successfully in combination with Latin or as a stand-alone option. Unlike in Years 10 and 11, classes take place as part of the normal school day.

    What does the course cover?

    The language half of the course includes unseen translation of both prose and verse passages from Greek into English and learning how to write stylishly in Greek. Most of the necessary grammar has already been covered at GCSE.

    The literature component involves the in-depth study of verse and prose literature. The verse selection comes from Sophocles’ Ajax, where students meet the eponymous Greek hero and learn about his difficulty in coping with the end of the Trojan War. The prose selection comes from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian Wars. Here we meet Alcibiades as he faces the consequences of the scandalous ‘mutilation of the herms’ on the eve of his doomed expedition
    to Sicily.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Classics department offers an extensive programme of extra-curricular opportunities. The Classics Masterclass offers students the opportunity to research their own areas of interest and share these with their peers. Our Sixth Form students also run the Junior Classics Club, sharing their love of the subject with the younger girls. We also hope to be able to offer an overseas visit.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Greek?

    Students who have enjoyed the GCSE course, have good linguistic skills and are interested in literature will find the transition to A Level easily manageable.

  • Computer Science
    What makes Computer Science great?

    In today’s world, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, robots, cyber security and Big Data are seldom out of the headlines. Computer Science is the subject that encompasses all these exciting areas and an A Level in the subject will equip you with a good insight into these topics.

    What does the course cover?

    Computer Science is about designing algorithms to solve problems. This is a course with an emphasis on abstract thinking, general problem-solving and algorithmic and mathematical reasoning. The qualification has been designed for students who wish to go on to higher education courses or employment where problem-solving skills are
    highly valued.

    In the first component of the course, students are introduced to the internal workings of the Central Processing Unit (CPU), as well as the processes of data exchange, software development, data types, and various adjoining legal and ethical issues.

    The second component builds the first to include computational thinking and problem-solving.
    It covers what is meant by computational thinking (thinking abstractly, thinking ahead, thinking procedurally etc.), problem solving and programming, and how algorithms can be used
    to describe and solve problems.

    In the final component, students apply the principles of computational thinking to a practical coding project. They analyse, design, develop, test, evaluate and document a program written in a suitable programming language. The project is designed to be independently chosen by the student and provides them with the flexibility to investigate projects within the diverse field of computer science. We support a wide range of languages.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Our A Level girls are active outside of the classroom too! They have helped run the Lego Robotics club where we won the Regional Finals, and assisted girls from KS3 and KS4 develop their coding, acting as ‘coding mentors.’ We also run visits to leading edge multinational companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Computer Science?

    Computer Science students should enjoy problem solving, have a real curiosity for the workings of software and hardware and most importantly have a tenacious attitude to their studies.

  • Design & Technology
    What makes Design and Technology great?

    Product Design is a creative and academically rigorous A Level, offering students an invigorating and challenging creative experience, centred on real-world design challenges.

    What does the course cover?

    During the course, you will undertake a range of skills-based projects before completing the major NEA (non-examination assessment) project.
    The skills-based projects consist of short, practically-driven designing and making tasks to encourage you to experiment with a range of new techniques, skills and processes. You will become proficient using professional manufacturing processes, such as laser cutting and high-spec 3D printing to broaden your skill set. As you become more confident and proficient, you will commence the NEA. From the offset, you will have full ownership of the project and have the creative freedom to choose your own major project theme.

    You will adopt the working practices of professional designers by following an ‘iterative process’– a methodology based on research from the University of Cambridge and adopted by many professional Product Designers.

    The theory content is assessed through two examinations at the end of the course. Combined, these two examinations are worth 50%. The NEA makes up the remaining 50% of your overall grade. You will derive huge satisfaction from seeing your creative ideas progress into functional and desirable products with a potential for further marketability.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Learning outside the classroom is supported with a variety of trips, including a visit to the London Design Festival. We embrace STEM activities and many of our students participate in Engineering schemes, including the Engineering in Education Scheme. Our students also enter a range of national competitions, such as the Triumph Design Awards and the Technology Design and Innovation Challenge (TDI). We promote independent learning and encourage students (particularly those wishing to pursue Product Design at University) to use their skills and knowledge to create a design portfolio based on personal projects.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Design & Technology?

    The course requires independence, creativity, innovation, self-discipline, and a proactive approach to learning. As product design processes and materials are constantly developing, you will always find new and exciting opportunities to learn, discover and create. The majority of our students go on to study engineering, product design and architecture however, the skills taught are also applicable to a wide range of other careers.

  • Drama & Theatre
    What makes Drama and Theatre great?

    A Level Drama and Theatre is a challenging and demanding discipline both intellectually and artistically. It enables students to be creative, push boundaries, take risks and work within an ethos of experimentation.

    “Society is built on the ability to tell stories, to tell us who we are, to understand our potentials, to know our past histories – we need to understand who we are, why we are and what we can be.” Scott Graham, Artistic Director, Frantic Assembly

    Drama prepares pupils for a world that is increasingly team oriented and allows them to explore emotions, to acquire tolerance and to develop the empathy to navigate contemporary life. Drama promotes divergent and critical thinking, as well as honing skills in team building, decision-making, problem solving and leadership. The performance elements allow students to develop presentational skills and public speaking.

    What does the course cover?

    We follow the Eduqas course which engages students through encouraging creativity and collaboration, focusing on work that reflects innovative twenty-first century theatre practice and theatre making skills. Students will gain a knowledge of the history of theatre, key influential practitioners, challenging set texts, critique of live theatre as well as practical skills in performance, theatre design and directing, creating potential theatre makers of the future.

    There are 3 assessed components to the course. For the Theatre Workshop, students collaborate to create, design and perform an original reinterpretation performance created from an original piece of text in combination with a style of theatre or theatre practitioner as a stimulus. This is examined in performance alongside a creative log documenting the stages of the creative process and refinement of the process up until performance. For Text in Action, students perform or design a performance to an external examiner from the creation, development and performance of two pieces of theatre based on a stimulus: One devised and in conjunction with the techniques and working methods of either an influential theatre practitioner or a recognised theatre company (a different practitioner or company to that chosen before and an extract from a text in a different style, for which students produce a process and evaluation report within one week of completion of the practical work. Finally there is a written examination, Text in Performance, which comprises the study of three contrasting set texts from the perspective of a performer, director and designer. Students will analyse and evaluate a range of live theatre in performance, answering questions on contemporary theatre practice.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Contemporary theatre is an integral part of the course and students will go to see a wide range of genres and styles of theatre throughout the A Level. Workshops with external practitioners are vital in extending the range of opportunities and skills across the performing arts disciplines. Students are encouraged to participate in additional theatre activities and supported to audition for prestigious companies such as National Youth Theatre.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Drama and Theatre?

    There is no typical Drama and Theatre student. Some are committed to pursuing a career in the creative industries whilst others combine Drama and Theatre with subjects some might have traditionally seen as incompatible. What unites them is a passion for the subject and a determination to be creative, self-starting and dynamic.

  • Economics
    What makes Economics great?

    Possibly, without realising, you are already an active part of the global economic system, whether you are buying the latest technology manufactured in China, paying more for flights at weekends, or questioning why the government has so much debt.

    Studying Economics will help you understand why prices fluctuate, where your taxes go, how government legislation can push people to change their spending habits (or not), why some companies dominate their market, how global or societal changes like climate change and ageing can have an impact on a country’s economy, why people fight for resources, and why certain economies grow faster than others.

    What does the course cover?

    Economics can be broken down into microeconomics, which looks at individual decisions, and macroeconomics, which is concerned with the economy as a whole.

    In your first year you will gain an introduction to the nature of economics and examine how markets allocate resources effectively, from the housing market to the market for coffee. You will analyse the nature of market failure and investigate the extent to which a particular market requires government intervention, such as the sugar tax on soft drinks.

    Your study of macroeconomics will focus primarily on the UK economy where you will look at the key measures of economic performance and a range of economic problems that a country might face, such as inflation and unemployment. You will investigate policy instruments governments and central banks can use to overcome these problems and evaluate their impact on the economy.

    In your second year you will continue to investigate various markets and assess the extent to which they operate efficiently – from the supermarket industry to the global video streaming market. There is a particular focus on how governments can intervene to ensure that businesses act in the interests of the consumer.

    You will look at macroeconomic theory on an international scale and explore the impact of Brexit on the economy along with trade wars and the effects of America’s tariffs. There is a particular focus on development economics – including strategies to tackle poverty in the developing world.

    Current affairs form a large part of our discussions and students report a real satisfaction at feeling able to understand what they hear and read in the news. Since Economics is a subject with many conflicting ideas, you’ll have the opportunity to form and defend your own view on economic matters – useful skills at any stage of life!

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    You will have the opportunity to take part in competitions such as The London Institute of Banking & Finance Student Investor Challenge, the Tycoon Enterprise Competition, as well as the Royal Economic Society’s essay competition. There will be the chance to attend an inspirational day of economics at the annual Economics in Action student conference in addition to hosting visiting speakers in school.

    A successful trip to New York was run in 2020, which we hope to be able to deliver again in the future.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Economics?

    Economics involves the analysis of quantitative data and evidence, so sound mathematical ability is required to study economics successfully. Students should also have an interest in the workings of individual industries and the policy decisions of governments, as the A Level looks at both of these. Economics helps you understand more about the world around you and students will be expected to keep up-to-date with economic changes and trends, so an interest in watching or reading current affairs is important.

  • English Language & Linguistics
    What makes English Language and Linguistics great?

    English Language and Linguistics is very much in the here and now. It is constantly evolving, and by its nature this means that studying it is a dynamic and highly relevant option. As the dominant language in the modern world, communication governs our media, advertising, law and business.
    In an era of ‘fake news’, being able to understand the power of language has arguably never been more important.

    A highly regarded subject by universities, English Language and Linguistics develops many transferable skills such as research, data collection and close analysis. The subject and skills complement many subjects, particularly
    Psychology, History, Politics, English Literature
    and Languages. Degree programmes in Creative Writing, Journalism and Law are all possible routes into higher education.

    What does the course cover?

    Throughout the course, we study how and why the English language has developed in the way that it has. This includes:

    – Language diversity (including race, gender, occupation, region)
    – Language change over time
    – Child language development
    – Text variations and representations

    Analysis of data sets of various forms is essential; this includes: spoken transcripts, webpages, articles and multi-modal pieces like children’s books. We also consider linguistic theories and debate the merits of the various sides of the argument.

    One of the most exciting elements of the course
    is the independent investigation, where you are
    free to choose any topic that inspires you and undertake practical research. Previous projects include: how language of YouTube vloggers has changed over time; perception and reception of
    UK regional accents; and a comparison of the slang used by teenagers in the UK and USA. There is also an original writing coursework piece based on a style model.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Linguistics research field is rapidly growing outside the classroom. We participate in A Level conferences – and hosted our first conference last year. We regularly invite guest speakers from universities to talk about aspects of their own research (Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton, Newcastle, Lancaster) on topics ranging from forensic linguistics to computer generated languages. These enriching opportunities, coupled with access to external competitions and using resources from places like the British Library make this course an exciting prospect.

    What are the attributes of successful students of English?

    There is not one ‘type’ of English Language student, and those who have studied this course have gone on to read degrees in subjects as varied as English, Psychology, Medicine, History and Music.

    There is essay writing and discussion in this subject, but the main requirement of someone to be successful in English Language and Linguistics is to be curious.

    Do you find yourself asking why things are the way they are? Or do you wonder how some people are moved by the words of others? To be prepared to ask probing questions, and to challenge your own ideas, will really help.

  • English Literature
    What makes English Literature great?

    There are numerous opportunities to think independently, discuss and argue literary and critical opinions. This development of analytical thinking, and willingness to consider different interpretations and listen and respond thoughtfully to others, is an ideal preparation for the seminar style environment you are likely to encounter at university. You will develop sophisticated analytical skills which will prove invaluable in your personal and professional lives, whatever your future plans. As well as the possibility of studying English itself, students also find English A Level useful for entry to a wide variety of other degree courses, such as Law, Politics, History of Art, and Anthropology. English opens many doors, and does not close any.

    What does the course cover?

    You will have the opportunity to study texts drawn from drama, prose and poetry in great detail. Not only will you explore the psychology of characters but you’ll also look at the motives of writers and the political, social and historical contexts in which texts were written and read.

    There are two main exam units on pre-1900 literature and the Gothic genre respectively. The texts you will study in depth are:
    – Hamlet (Shakespeare)
    – The Duchess of Malfi (Webster)
    – The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale (Chaucer)
    – Frankenstein (Shelley)
    – The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (Carter)

    There are also two pieces of coursework to complete: a close-reading piece and a comparative essay. These pieces of work have a focus on the 20th and 21st century and cover poetry, prose and drama.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Discussion-based lessons will place an emphasis upon the importance of independent reading and we frequently attend the theatre and literary conferences. Recent Sixth Form trips included lecture days on the Gothic and Shakespeare, and students have attended Chaucer study days hosted by the Ashmolean Museum and Oxford University. There are extra-curricular seminars run by staff in the department, which encourage discussions on texts as varied as John Donne’s poetry to Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea. Meanwhile, our Sixth Form students run masterclasses, where those applying to read English at university deliver presentations on areas of literature that inspire them. We regularly host visiting lecturers from top universities and have author visits. Recent theatre trips have included King Lear at the National Theatre, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the Old Vic and The Duchess of Malfi at the Almeida Theatre.

    What are the attributes of successful students of English Literature?

    A successful English student should be one who enjoys reading widely and engaging in discussion about their opinions on books. The idea of sitting and reading should feel a treat rather than work! There are essays to complete, so being able to write in a clear and logical way is important; your teachers will help you with this moving forward. Finally, being prepared to contribute and listen to others are hallmarks of the very best English students.

  • Geography
    What makes Geography great?

    A Level Geography offers students the chance to critically engage with some of the most pressing challenges of today, including polarising geopolitical views, pandemics and rapid climate change. Through these topic areas, students develop skills in analysis, evaluation and creative problem solving which support their studies in other subjects as well. The wide-ranging and interdisciplinary nature of Geography particularly adds breadth and perspective to other humanities and science subjects as well as providing the skills for a wide range of university degree options. Beyond the classroom, exciting fieldwork opportunities allow students to put theory into practice and test their ideas in real world scenarios. These trips are both academically and socially rewarding, and all future travels beyond school will quickly become Geography field trips!

    In summary, Geography is not just about gaining
    an understanding of where places are. It’s about being open minded, outward looking and
    ultimately bringing ideas and people together.
    Put simply, if you want to learn more about the world, study Geography.

    What does the course cover?

    The course covers a broad range of current issues and is split evenly between physical and human geography topics. Geographers ask big questions including:

    – Is a world with no borders a dream or
    a nightmare?
    – What is the future of energy?
    – Has social media changed the world?
    – What is the future of globalisation?

    In Year 12, during the Autumn and Spring terms, you will study Tectonic Processes and Hazards, and Landscape Systems, Processes and Change, with students studying either Glaciated Landscapes and Change or Coastal Landscapes and Change.

    Students then study Globalisation and Shaping Places, with students studying either Regenerating Places or Diverse Places. In the Summer term, you will complete an independent Investigation and Fieldwork trip. In the Autumn and Spring terms of Year 13, we cover the Water Cycle and Water, and the Carbon Cycle and Energy. We also cover Insecurity and Superpowers, and Global Development and Connections, where students study either Health, Human Rights and Intervention or Migration, Identity and Sovereignty.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Geography department offers an extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities to enrich student learning. Residential trips are offered throughout the course and recently these have included visits to Iceland and Switzerland. Local trips to Epping Forest and central London further allow students to apply their learning from the classroom to the real world.

    To allow students to network and enhance their synoptic and critical thinking skills, the Geography department organises and hosts their own lecture series from leading professionals and universities, which local schools are also invited to attend. This runs alongside a programme of evening lectures at the Royal Geographical Society and subject conference days in London. The Geography and Conservation Society also offer leadership opportunities for Sixth Form students. This involves organising and delivering lectures to younger students and designing projects that raise the profile of Geography across the school.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Geography?

    Successful geographers have an interest in the world around them and enjoy engaging critically with current affairs. Students who like debate and forming their own opinion will also enjoy this course.

  • History
    What makes history great?

    Young people in the twenty-first century are bombarded by information, with traditional media outlets competing with the range of diverse commentary on social media. It has become difficult to separate fact from fiction in this ‘information age’. Therefore, as a History student at NHEHS you will be taught to read with a critical eye; using analytical and evaluative skills to uncover bias and get to the crux of an issue.

    What does the course cover?

    A level History offers a real opportunity to study major themes and issues over extended time periods as well as looking in depth at more detailed events. The overarching theme of the course is
    ‘The Making of Modern Europe, 1774–1997.’ Within this period, we are teaching units on the ‘French Revolution and Napoleon 1774–1815’, ‘Russia and its rulers 1855–1964’, and ‘Churchill and Britain
    1930–1997’. You will also write a Topic Essay, the independent coursework module.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    You will have the opportunity to play a role in the school’s History societies, which organise a variety of events. We host a range of speakers on a usual year, and during the pandemic we have organised a range of video lectures including links with our partnership school in Pennsylvania. There is also a regular History Masterclass which encourages students to deliver their own presentations on topics of interest to them.

    What are the attributes of successful students of History?

    The best History students are curious, self-motivated and independent learners. You
    will discover that History is more than just writing essays: you will need to use a range of skills and will experience a wide variety of learning activities in lessons.

    If discussion, analytical writing and developing ideas and arguments appeal to you, and you are willing to commit yourself to independent reading and research, then History could be the subject for you.

  • History of Art
    What makes History of Art great?

    If artworks are a product of our culture, it is through them that we can unlock past worlds, deciphering what people thought, believed and imagined, as well as better understand our present moment.

    Art History is the study of the history of visual culture from Ancient temples such as the Parthenon, to Contemporary site-specific installations such as Ai Wei Wei’s Sunflower seeds. This is a history that is diverse and multicultural, that explores the Benin Bronzes alongside the Italian Renaissance. Art History can be thought of as an umbrella subject in its ties to other subjects, not only History, but also PRE, English and Politics. We will draw upon all of these subjects in order to ask challenging questions, to understand why certain artworks and buildings from the ‘Mona Lisa’ to Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits have had such enduring popularity. With millions of images and videos posted on Instagram daily, visual literacy has never been more important.

    What does the course cover?

    The course covers artworks and architecture from across the globe, ranging over a 2,500 year time period. We study a number of case studies within two themes (Nature and Identity) and two historical periods: the Renaissance in Florence, Venice and Rome (1420-1520) as well as the Contemporary period in Britain and American post-1960.

    There is also an ‘unseen’ Visual Analysis course in which we learn key visual literacy skills. For each
    of our case studies, be it a painting or a photograph,
    we examine it in terms of its materials and techniques, its subject matter, its patronage and historical context.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    There will be the opportunity to participate in Art History seminars, debates and conferences at other local schools such as the ‘West London Art History Cafe’, at Harrow School and further afield for instance at Heathfield School, Ascot. There are also yearly events organised by the Association of Art Historians such as the ‘Ways of Seeing Conference’ held last year at the National Gallery. Students are encouraged to enter competitions such as the SPoKE filmmaking competition, ARTiculation and
    ‘Write on Art’.

    As often as possible, you will learn in London museums and galleries as well as on trips within the UK and overseas, such as a trip to Venice in 2019.

    What are the attributes of successful students of History of Art?

    There is no one type of successful Art History
    student but you must enjoy essay-writing and examining artworks and buildings. Art History complements other A Levels whether humanities
    or sciences. Artworks can be approached scientifically, mathematically even, as well as
    from a historical perspective.

  • Mathematics
    What makes Mathematics great?

    Mathematics is profoundly beautiful, exciting and incredibly important to our lives.

    What does the course cover?

    The laws of Mathematics govern the world around us and by studying the subject at A Level you will begin to see some of these applications. As well as developing your numeracy, algebra and graphical skills, Mathematics A Level will help hone your ability to problem-solve and hence is highly regarded by employers and universities.

    Algebra, trigonometry, and sophisticated number work are all part of the Pure Mathematics course. These are joined by work on Probability and Statistics, and the exploration of Mechanics.
    Here are just a few examples of where all this can take you:

    – Differential equations are used when studying population growth.
    – Proof by induction is a powerful tool which is incorporated in the study of logic.
    – Statistical testing is used widely in the study of psychology.
    – Applications of forces, links strongly with Physics, and allows us to model the dynamics of the world around us.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    There are several competitions you can participate in at Sixth Form:

    – Who Wants to be a Mathematician – an international competition
    – The Senior Team Maths Challenge – a fun team competition with a variety of rounds
    – Hans Woyda – compete as a team with Year 9 & 11

    In Year 12 you also have the option to mentor younger students, either those who need support or those who are the most enthusiastic and are looking for a challenge. You can also sign up to be a Maths Rep and share your passion for the subject through clubs and events.

    In Year 12 you will attend a Maths in Action day in London which involves a series of lectures given by experts in their field telling us about the many applications of Mathematics in the real world. Past examples include: “Maths in a Spacesuit”, “Fighting Disease with Mathematics”, “Bad Stats: What they don’t tell you on the news”, “The maths of weather and climate” and “How to build a 1000mph car”.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Mathematics?

    You enjoy logical thinking and you derive satisfaction from problem solving. You want to find out more about how Mathematics is used in the real world and would like to delve more deeply into the mathematical ideas introduced at GCSE level. You are dedicated to putting in the practice and not afraid to push yourself harder. The course will suit students who are confident with the more algebraic aspects of the mathematics covered in Years 10 and 11 (algebraic fractions, the sine and cosine rules, and surds, for example).

  • Further Mathematics
    What makes Further Mathematics great?

    Further Mathematics provides enjoyable, more challenging material and the chance to explore more sophisticated and interesting mathematical ideas. If you are considering applying for a university course involving mathematics (or if you really love the subject and are good at it), then you should think seriously about studying Further Mathematics, which leads to an extra A Level qualification. It is an entry requirement for most mathematics-related degrees.

    What does the course cover?

    As well as building on calculus, proof and many other topics, Further Mathematics allows us to explore some new areas of Mathematics including:

    – Complex numbers, involving the square root of √-1, are used routinely by engineers.
    – Matrices, involving solving systems of equations or describing transformations, these are used in computer graphics.
    – Probability generating functions, used by actuaries to calculate risk
    – Elastic collisions, used to model the movement of a snooker ball

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Alongside the opportunities listed for Mathematics you will also have the chance to compete in the gruelling Mathematical Olympiad for Girls and, for those that are interested, the UKMT Senior Mentoring Scheme.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Further Mathematics?

    You love mathematics for mathematics sake; you are interested in how topics link together but are equally happy to work through a problem merely for the satisfaction of solving it. You find yourself outwardly exclaiming when you discover a new piece of beautiful mathematics and you regularly read about the subject more widely.

    The course will suit students who are extremely fluent with the more algebraic aspects of the mathematics covered in Years 10 and 11 (algebraic fractions, the sine and cosine rules, and surds, for example), and are confident with the work done in Additional Mathematics.

  • French
    What makes French great?

    You will go beyond the guidebooks to explore a rich and fascinating cultural heritage; you will go beyond the stereotypes to evaluate the impact of past events, societal shifts and the influence of globalisation, while charting the shifting currents of free-thinking, protest and joie de vivre. Your linguistic competence will flourish, taking you beyond grammatical proficiency to a life-long love of the language. Finally, our hardworking team of experienced and knowledgeable teachers and French Language Assistant will go the extra mile to support you every step of the way. Venez avec nous!

    What does the course cover?

    You will study the topics of Family, Education, Music, Media, Festivals and Traditions, Immigration and The Resistance. Building on your prior knowledge, you will develop your language in all four skills and will be introduced to more complex grammar in a systematic way. In Year 13, you will complete an independent research project on a topic of your choice.

    You will have a weekly lesson with our native speaker French Language Assistant. Finally, alongside your linguistic and cultural studies, you will study a set film in Year 12 and a set work of literature in Year 13.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    A level linguists are actively encouraged to take on leadership positions and to run the many enrichment events that are offered in the department, such as Languages Week, GDST Languages Festival, French Film and poetry club. We also have an exchange programme with a school in Paris. Girls get to host their French penpal, and then go and visit them in Paris for a week. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop their language skills and develop their knowledge of French culture and society outside the classroom. Girls also enter national competitions, such as ‘Les Joutes Oratoires’ run by the French Institute and the essay writing competition run by ISMLA. Finally, there is a programme of preparation for competitive university courses, which, in recent years, has proved highly successful.

    What are the attributes of successful students of French?

    You will need a keen interest in all things French, a positive and curious mind-set, a strong work ethic and a willingness to proactively and independently develop your language learning,
    for example through the regular learning of vocabulary. Students who embrace the plethora of opportunities for leadership, trips and enrichment are particularly successful in this subject.

  • German
    What makes German great?

    Germany is by far the largest European economy, and proficiency in this language will provide students with a competitive advantage when seeking employment after graduation. A Level German will equip you linguistically to explore and appreciate classics by Kafka, Nietzsche, Hesse and Goethe in their original form; it will enable you to evaluate the past and present when exploring the German mind-set over and above the usual stereotypes; it will allow you to shape your thinking when debating societal and ethical issues on immigration, emancipation and the influences on our environment. Our department is committed to offer a bespoke learning experience that goes beyond the set curriculum and our experienced team of native speaking teachers and assistants will support you on your journey to master a language whose unique traits and poetic descriptions make learning German a fascinating experience. Join the Zeitgeist movement!

    What does the course cover?

    You will study topics on the Environment, Education, the World of Work, Music, Media, Festivals and Traditions, Immigration and Reunification. Building on your prior knowledge, you will develop your language in all four skills and will be introduced to more complex grammar in a systematic way. In Year 13, you will complete an independent research project on a topic of your choice. You will have a weekly lesson with our native German Language Assistant. Finally, alongside your linguistic and cultural studies, you will study a set film in Year 12 and a set work of literature in Year 13.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    A level Germanists are offered many opportunities
    to take up leadership positions by running departmental clubs such as the German Society or German Booster club or lead whole school events such as the Stephen Spender Prize competition, Languages Week, GDST Languages Festival or the Languages and Careers event.

    Students are encouraged to enter national essay writing and translation competitions, such as the German Olympiad, DAAD writing competition, the Stephen Spender Prize, the Goethe Institute and ISMLA competition. We have established a collaborative partnership with Germanists at Greenford High School, Harrow School as well as an online partnership with Wimbledon High School, another member of the GDST community. Pupils are expected to spend time in a German speaking country and are supported by the department to apply for a scholarship at the
    UK-German connection programme.

    The German department has a successful track record preparing for competitive university courses by offering a bespoke and rigorous programme.

    What are the attributes of successful students of German?

    Being interested in all things German is a given,
    but successful students also form positive learning habits. This means being proactive by seeking out learning and leadership opportunities, being organised and creative when revising vocabulary and grammar or leading clubs, and building resilience by learning from mistakes. Making mistakes is, of course, part of learning, but what counts is how you grow from there. Acquiring a growth mind-set is key when studying another language.

  • Mandarin
    What makes Mandarin great?

    The Cambridge Pre-U Mandarin Chinese syllabus equips learners who are learning Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language with the skills to survive in a Chinese environment.

    The syllabus also provides a stepping stone for university courses in Chinese and Chinese studies. As well as allowing learners to develop their language skills, the syllabus fosters an awareness of Chinese culture and history. The official language of the People’s Republic China (PRC) is Mandarin, therefore, this syllabus only requires knowledge of this language. In writing, simplified characters, again prescribed in the PRC, are used.

    What does the course cover?

    Over the two years, the focus on Listening, Reading and Writing components is to develop proficiency in contemporary, vernacular Mandarin Chinese. Students study a set of topic areas including Family, Young people, Education, The Media, Work and Leisure, and Equality of Opportunity. In Year 12, the syllabus will look at Modern Chinese history starting from the Xin Hai Revolution in 1911 to the formation of the PRC in 1949 and beyond, alongside Mandarin language learning. In Year 13, the syllabus will cover Chinese literature, mostly fiction, with more advanced use of language, such as idioms, embedded into the lessons.

    For Speaking, you will complete an independent research project on a topic of your choice. There will be a weekly oral lesson with a native language assistant who will offer plenty of opportunities to practise Mandarin.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    All Pre-U Mandarin students are encouraged to take on leadership roles and to proactively run subject clubs for KS3 and KS4 students. There is an excellent selection of clubs at NHEHS, such as Chinese Calligraphy club, Chinese Book and Film club and Chinese Cooking club. In addition, there are also GDST wide competitions and activities relating to language learning. Externally, NHEHS participates in the annual HSBC speaking competition, ISMLA Original Writing completion, The Stephen Spender Prize and the GDST Anne Hogg Modern Foreign Languages prize.

    From this academic year, there has also been a new initiative to collaborate with Year v12 at Harrow School on activities that will support the development of language learning.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Mandarin?

    You will need a keen interest in all things Chinese, a positive and curious mind-set, a strong work ethic, attention to details and a willingness to proactively and independently develop your
    language, for example through the regular learning of vocabulary. Finally, students who embrace the plethora of opportunities for leadership, trips and enrichment are particularly successful in this subject.

  • Spanish
    What makes Spanish great?

    From the rhythm of Flamenco in Andalucía to the alluring landscapes of the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, you will embark on a unique journey. Your ability to speak the language of Cervantes to an advanced level will enable you to communicate with the 400 million speakers worldwide, and it will bring other academic benefits as well. Our team of experienced teachers and Spanish language assistants will be here to help you open every door along the way.

    What does the course cover?

    You will study the topics of Family, World of Work, Tourism, Music, Media, Festivals, Immigration, The Spanish Civil War, the Francoist period and the Transition to Democracy. You will build on your prior knowledge and develop your four language skills harmoniously. Furthermore, in Year 12, you will study one film in depth and in Year 13 one Spanish novel and you will carry out an independent research project on a topic of your choice, which will enable you to delve deeply into an aspect of the Hispanic world. In order to boost your speaking skills, you will have a weekly oral lesson with one of the Spanish Language Assistants to discuss issues of interest related to the course.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    We encourage you to participate in a myriad of events which will boost your confidence in Spanish These include the GDST Languages Festival, the annual Spanish debating competition, the biennial trip to Spain, the Spanish Club led by Sixth Form-Spanish representatives, the essay writing competition run by ISMLA and the ‘Oxford Flash Fiction Competition’. You will also be given the opportunity to take on a leadership role, in a team of A Level Spanish representatives, and showcase your love of the subject across the school. Our department also designs a programme for competitive university courses which has been very successful in recent years.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Spanish?

    You will appreciate the cultural diversity of Spanish-speaking countries, have a strong work ethic, be proactive about reading beyond the syllabus and keen to learn exciting new vocabulary and grammar. You will be eager to embrace the extracurricular opportunities at school.

  • Music
    What makes Music great?

    “…the department encourages us to grow into confident musicians and allow us to take on leadership roles, bonding with and inspiring younger year groups through a shared passion for music.”

    Music at A Level is a fantastically diverse subject to study. It requires a multitude of skills and an active interest in Music that goes beyond the prescribed exam specification.

    At Notting Hill & Ealing, we support students of all musical backgrounds to develop their musicianship, their performing, their creative output, and their listening and historical understanding of music. Small classes allow for personalisation of teaching and learning, and many students also opt for an EPQ in the subject.

    What does the course cover?

    Students will study three main components: Performing, Composing and Harmony and Appraisal. Each of these modules is delivered in different ways (some one-to-one, some group sessions, individual listening) and strengthened by opportunities to perform, to workshop, to attend professional masterclasses, and to get acquainted with new genres and works through trips to concerts at the London concert halls.

    Students will study 12 set works spanning from
    1650 to the present day. These set works are important for their genre and style, and are a great starting point for accessing a whole new world of music, prompting the girls to explore the links between composers, genres, and types of work. Students will not only deepen their understanding of music and develop their ability to write about music, but, most importantly, will learn how to critically analyse the music itself, a skill that will support their love of music going forward.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    The Music Department is a lively hub of music-making and A Level Music students are expected to take a leading role. Girls are encouraged to come up with their own initiatives and to action them.

    Whether it be setting up their own ensembles, writing their own pieces for these groups, or taking on the responsibility of providing music for assemblies, students are fully supported in trying new things out. Beyond our own 120-seat school recital hall, where a formal termly concert takes place, our students have enjoyed recent performances at prestigious venues such as St. Martin-in-the-Fields and The Royal Festival Hall (with the Bach Choir). We have also benefited from choral and orchestral workshops with ensembles such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Blossom Street Singers, to name but a few. Some of our students here at Notting Hill & Ealing go on to study Music, both at university and conservatoires.

  • Philosophy, Religion & Ethics – PRE
    What makes Philosophy, Religion and Ethics great?

    PRE A Level is a must for all curious minds who want to consider the big questions which have shaped human thought for thousands of years, in a hope of bringing about a better understanding of who we are and how we ought to live.

    PRE combines very well with a whole range of subjects, complementing themes covered in history, politics, classics and psychology, or providing a welcome contrast to maths and other sciences. It enables you to research information from a wide variety of sources and will help you develop key analytical skills. You will be exposed to a range of alternative points of view and you can expect stringent debate, and lively discussion to be prominent features of the course.

    What does the course cover?

    There are three elements to this course:
    – Philosophy of Religion
    – Religion and Ethics
    – Developments in Christian Thought

    Philosophy of Religion looks at such abiding questions as, “Does God exist?”, “Can the existence of God be proved or disproved?” and the perennially thorny “If God is good, why is there evil in the world?” You consider how – if God does indeed exist – we can meaningfully talk about a being that is so completely different from everything else with which we are familiar. We also look at the nature of humankind – are we simply material beings or is there something non-material that perhaps distinguishes us from animals?

    Ethics involves the study of ethical theories, including Kant and Utilitarianism, the relationship between religion and morality and a study of applied ethics, including sexual ethics and business ethics. We look at the conscience and even consider whether the word ‘good’ has a fixed meaning or is simply a social invention of mankind. Developments in Christian Thought explores key theological issues that have challenged the Christian church over the last few hundred years. We will consider Jesus as a teacher of wisdom and a liberator, the influence of Marxism on Liberation Theology and the beliefs and action of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in response to Nazism. Feminist theology, pluralism and secularism are also considered, informing the study of the relationship between religion and society.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Each year we attend an external A level conference, specifically designed for that year group. These conferences are highly interactive and involve lectures, debate and essay planning. We also host a number of external speakers in school and you will be encouraged to invite in leading academics to help you explore new areas of this fascinating discipline.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics?

    Whilst you don’t need to have taken RS/RE at GCSE, it is crucial that you come to the course with an inquisitive mind and appetite for debate.

    PRE involves engaging with original philosophical arguments and critiquing them within your wider understanding. Successful students take time to consider the wider implications of a position and draw this into a balanced and reasoned analysis. Strong essay writing skills and perseverance will stand you in good stead!

  • AS Level Physical Education
    What makes Physical Education great?

    Have you ever wondered why some athletes thrive under pressure, whereas others perform poorly? Are you interested in the anatomy of the human body
    and how it can move in the complex way it does? Have you noticed the divide in media coverage for women’s sport compared to men’s, and wanted to understand why this exists?

    This subject tackles all of these thought provoking questions as well as giving you the opportunity to learn outside of a classroom, putting into practice psychological theories, nutritional plans and analysis of your own performance, in your chosen sport.

    What does the course cover?

    The AS Level in Physical Education has been designed to allow learners to develop the relevant knowledge, understanding and skills in both an academic and practical setting. Pupils will study a variety of topics including Exercise Physiology; Applied Anatomy and Physiology,the Biomechanics of Sports Performance, Technology in Sport, Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology, and Sport and Society, as well as looking to improve their own individual performance, analysis and evaluation
    skills in their chosen activity.

    The examined components (70% of the course)
    will provide the knowledge and understanding
    which underpin the practical component (30%).
    The practical component includes both oral analysis and performance, as either a performer or a coach, and sports which can be chosen can be found on the OCR website.

    This course will be taught over two years, with pupils sitting the AS examination in the second year of their sixth form. The course provides a strong underpinning if you wish to study a Sports Science, Psychology or a Biological degree at university. Learners will also develop the transferable skills that are in demand by Higher Education and employers in all sectors of industry.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    Given the nature of Physical Education, opportunities outside the classroom are embedded into the course. There are some lessons which will also be taught in a practical setting. Whether this be going down to the sports hall to map out the movement of blood through the heart with cones, going into the dining room to make nutritional protein balls, or taking to the Astro to test your VO2 max. There are also several occasions where visiting expeditions are on offer, for example, the BodyWorks in central London and there are opportunities to attend organised lectures in school on topics such as nutrition and sports psychology.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Physical Education?

    A successful student is firstly, passionate about sport and regularly involved in sport themselves. They must want to develop knowledge and understanding of the scientific factors that underpin performance in physical activity and sport and want to analyse, evaluate and improve their own performance. They should have an interest in Biology, Physics and Psychology and be committed in their approach to reading around the subject area.

  • Physics
    What makes Physics great?

    Physics is the science that deals with fundamental laws of nature: why things happen the way they do, all over the universe, from the subatomic particles to the very large galaxies, and everything in between.

    It equips you with problem-solving skills, analytical skills, mathematical skills and allows you to start to explore the realms that Physics has an influence over, from basic structures, the clever uses of quite fundamental entities like waves, to the evolution of the universe and the development of particle accelerators. Studying the subject at A Level fosters the skills of logical thinking, working independently and expressing oneself clearly and concisely; all valuable skills in whatever route you take after school.

    At A Level, you finally get to study physics through mathematics.

    What does the course cover?

    In Year 12, you will cover the topics of Mechanics, Materials, Waves, Electricity and Quantum Physics. In Year 13, you cover Further Mechanics, Oscillations, Electric, Magnetic and Gravitational Fields, Particle Physics, Nuclear Decay and Astrophysics. The course gives the opportunity to learn every topic of physics there is.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    As a Physics A Level student, you will be encouraged to attend university lectures, and summer courses, in addition to the regular Tuesday lecture slot. There is also the opportunity to support or initiate a Physics club for younger years and collaborate with other schools on some events.

    We are also travelling to Geneva to visit the particle accelerator at CERN next year! Finally students with an interest in engineering, will be able to do the Engineering Development Trust scheme and gain a Gold Industrial Cadets award.

    “I love Physics because it’s the perfect combination of maths and the real world. Physics allows you to understand everything around you and gain
    a wider knowledge for a great variety of things.”

    What are the attributes of successful students of Physics?

    A successful A Level student will be eager to expand her understanding from GCSE, resilient when faced with challenging problems, and will persevere when facing seemingly difficult hurdles. They will be an independent learner, using their spare time to practise the skills learnt in lessons in other fora. Strong mathematical skills will support the course, and study of A Level Maths is required.

  • Government & Politics
    What makes Politics great?

    Recent events have highlighted how Politics affects everybody’s lives. From the Brexit negotiations to the decisions taken in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Politics feels as relevant as ever.

    What are the implications of the vote to leave the European Union, after a membership of over forty years? Will the government be able to help the UK recover after the end of the coronavirus lockdown? What impact will the Black Lives Matter movement have on both US and UK politics? If you are interested in these questions, then Politics at
    A Level could be for you.

    What does the course cover?

    The course looks at how people are politically represented in Britain, and how far they participate in politics. We consider how government works –
    for example, how does parliament work, and how well does it represent people’s interests? What exactly is the British constitution, and does it need to be reformed?

    The course covers voter behaviour, political history and the role of the media. We will examine the key ideas and thinkers who have shaped the modern world, including the ideologies of conservatism, socialism and liberalism. We currently study American politics alongside British politics, which allows us to compare and contrast the two political systems. With a changing political landscape
    evident in the USA with the rise of populist leaders such as Donald Trump, the subject has never been so absorbing.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    You will have the opportunity to play a leading role in the school’s Politics Societies. Breakfast Politics club runs for A Level students every Friday morning. Politics students often involve themselves in the wide range of Debating and Public Speaking events that school is involved in.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Politics?

    The best students of Politics are inquisitive, critical learners who are determined to see beneath the surface of daily headlines to analyse how politics works in the UK and USA.

  • Psychology
    What makes Psychology great?

    Boiled down to its simplest definition, Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. It also refers to the application of psychological knowledge, which can be used to understand events, treat mental health issues, and improve education, employment, and relationships. The subject lies at the intersection of applied, educational, and theoretical science.

    Psychology is a fantastic subject to study because it helps us to recognise the intricacies of human behaviour and empathise with others by learning to understand the impact of biological, cognitive, developmental, and social factors in their lives. For example, we might consider why an individual has committed a crime (Forensic Psychology) or how best to define and treat mental disorders (Clinical Psychology), how people behave when given unlimited power (Social Psychology), or what brain activity is related to different stages of sleep (Biological Psychology).

    What does the course cover?

    In just two years, students will learn about the research methods used in the field of Psychology,
    the various approaches and perspectives that aid
    in understanding human behaviour, and the
    practical applications of research in the real world.
    In the research methods unit, students learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of studying the human mind and behaviour. In the unit on understanding psychological themes through core studies, students learn about classic
    and contemporary research conducted on a variety
    of topics such as obedience, moral development,
    and brain plasticity. Finally, students will investigate how these techniques and research can be applied in areas such as mental health, criminal psychology and child psychology.

    While there is no coursework requirement in Psychology, students have the exciting opportunity to carry out their own small-scale research that will allow them to reflect on what they have learnt and investigate a topic of interest.

    What opportunities outside the classroom will there be?

    In order to help students further understand applied psychology, there will be a curriculum trip to the London Zoo to attend a Phobias workshop and to the Bethlem Museum of the Mind. Both of these visits allow students to experience applied psychology first-hand, showing them how useful a psychological insight can be in the real-world, and demonstrating the issues that are faced and overcome on a day-to-day basis by professionals in the field. Additionally, each year we invite a psychologist to give a lecture about their work in the field and answer questions about their career path.

    What are the attributes of successful students of Psychology?

    Successful psychologists are curious about the world around them. They seek to understand human behaviour by critically analysing psychological theories and research. Students of Psychology understand the need to examine both sides of every argument and perspective in order to formulate their own informed opinions. Psychologists are compassionate and empathetic when learning about the experiences of others, and show respect when holding debates with their peers.

    Academically, Psychology students must be dedicated to building a strong foundation of content knowledge and must continually practise important skills such as evaluation, application, and interpretation. They must acknowledge that failure is an important part of the learning process, especially when studying a new subject. Students who possess determination, willingness to take academic risks, and have a genuine fascination with the subject will undoubtedly find success in Psychology.

  • Additional Short Courses
    Italian

    If you enjoyed Spanish, French or Latin at IGCSE, why not try studying the most Romantic of all Romance languages? Italian is the language of 60 million inhabitants and the fourth most studied language in the world. What is the secret of this success? Beyond the beauty of its melodic sound, rich with vowels, or its close connection with art, music, cinema and culture, Italian is also a useful language for many who pursue careers in music, fashion, and tourism. The GCSE Italian course is offered to students of the first year of Sixth Form and taught by a native Italian teacher. It addresses the classic GCSE curriculum for Modern Languages but will be delivered through the study of authentic “made in Italy” resources such as films, songs, and literature. Co-curricular opportunities, from food and culture evenings to visits to Italian sites, will operate jointly with students at Harrow School.

    GDST MBA

    This course, designed in collaboration with a Dr Suzanne Pollack at Henley Business School, will provide a practical introduction to business management and leadership. On the business management side, you will develop your understanding of how businesses operate, including basic principles of accounting and operational structures. On the leadership side, you will learn how to apply contemporary theories of effective leadership to your own practice. The course will consist of a double period a week of taught content, a double period of innovative self-guided learning, and will also support you through the Tycoon

    Photography

    This practically-focussed course will take you to an advanced level of technical and artistic practice, giving you the confidence to ensure that your shots stack up against those of professional photographers. To ensure your images are of a professional standard, there will be a detailed explanation of all the technical aspects of camera work, including the use of darkrooms, to ensure you can take great photographs even in the most challenging situations. Finally, you will participate in an end-of year exhibition which will give you the opportunity to showcase your work to others.