“Pupils are encouraged across all subjects to ‘give it their best shot and know that they can make mistakes in a positive environment.’ Interestingly, they are also actively involved in their teachers’ appraisals, completing anonymous questionnaires on each teacher’s performance, a modern approach that is praised by parents as ‘encouraging excellence’.”
- The Good Schools Guide 2021
“We provide teaching that goes beyond mere exam success; an education that engenders a real sense of wonder and excitement and an enthusiasm for learning.”
Third Form Curriculum
In the Third Form (Year 9), all pupils study a wide range of subjects, including design technology, music, drama and PE. The curriculum emphasises breadth and depth of understanding; every pupil studies the same wide range of subjects, including two modern languages and three sciences.
In addition, there are lessons in study skills, personal and social education (PSHE), information and communication technology (ICT) , philosophy and religion, and thinking, research and communication skills (TRC).
Our aim is to make the Third Form curriculum as exciting and as challenging as possible. As well as preparing Third Formers for the start of their GCSE courses, we hope to expose them to a wide range of new ideas, teaching them useful techniques and instilling productive work habits.
“Pupils have excellent study skills. From Year 9 onwards they develop a very high level of ability to analyse and to compare; the younger pupils are taught these skills through the use of mind maps and flash cards, and they said that they quickly develop the ability to use these techniques.”
- ISI Inspection Report 2018
At King’s we are committed to the success of each pupil. As you will see from our GCSE Courses Booklet we offer a broad range of subjects, and a freedom of choice which very few other schools can match. We cannot guarantee that every combination will work, but each year almost all pupils are able to take the subjects of their choice.
In the Fourth and Fifth Forms, pupils study the core subjects of English Language and English Literature, Mathematics and the Sciences. They have the choice of taking three separate sciences, counting as three GCSEs, or a balanced double award science course, which counts as two GCSEs.
They are expected to study at least one modern foreign language. They are then free to choose their remaining three or four subjects. There is plenty of advice available on which subjects to choose from Houseparents, House Tutors, careers staff, and Heads of Department.
Most pupils take ten GCSEs, but this is not essential and we always try to tailor the workload to suit the individual. Progress is carefully monitored throughout the GCSE years and all necessary support will be given to ensure that each pupil achieves the best results of which he or she is capable.
Details of all GCSE courses that we offer are to be found in the GCSE Courses booklet.
“We expose pupils to new and challenging experiences and ideas, and encourage them to explore beyond the safety of their comfort zones. ”
A Level Curriculum
At A Level, pupils usually choose to study four subjects from a range of 22, although some study five. Careful advice is given from the outset to ensure that choices match the requirements of popular courses at prestigious universities.
Pupils are also able to opt for the modern AQA baccalaureate, with the additional programme of AS critical thinking, enrichment activities and extended project. Please see the A Level courses booklet for greater detail.
King’s College, like all schools, finds itself navigating its way through a changing post-16 educational landscape. A levels are once again two-year, linear courses, examined terminally, with no interim modules and no re-takes possible. By and large this reversion is to be welcomed, not least because it restores a whole term of teaching – the summer of the Lower Sixth Year will no longer be taken up with AS exams.
Although there are alternative post-16 qualifications on offer, we remain convinced that A levels are the best choice for the majority of pupils in the Sixth Form, offering depth and rigour. Their flexibility allows us to construct individual courses to suit each student. Together with the broader King’s enrichment and extra-curricular programmes, A levels are an appropriate preparation for the good universities which are the next step for most of our leavers.
The students at King’s receive one of the broadest educations imaginable; and this breadth is not prescribed, but rather developed to suit the interests and talents of each individual.
We are determined to stretch and challenge all our students, whatever their abilities. While success in exams is of great importance we encourage our teachers to go beyond what is prescribed wherever possible. I believe that inspiring a love of learning for its own sake is one of our most important tasks.