In the Upper School we must combine the practical and aesthetic side of pupils’ development with academic studies for GCSE and A Level exams, and consequently these examinations are taken one year later than in most other schools.
We welcome entrants from other schools who wish to take advantage of the broad education provided in Class 12, while at the same time studying and preparing for their next career steps. For those living further away we may be able to arrange boarding with families who also have children at our school.
Each year group comprises 20 – 25 pupils from varied backgrounds, with a wide range of abilities and subject interests. This means the exam subjects are taught in small tutorial groups (average 5 pupils) leading to a high incidence of A and A* exam results. Each year group also has a Class Sponsor who is concerned with the wellbeing of individual pupils and the class as a whole.
Class 12 represents the culmination of the Waldorf Curriculum. This includes morning Main Lessons on a wide range of subjects in the Sciences and Humanities, as well as Religion, Games, Music and Eurythmy lessons at other times in the week.
Remaining lessons in Class 12 cover AS Level* studies in the pupils’ chosen subjects. We offer a wide range of exam subject choices, including Maths, Languages, Sciences, Arts and Humanities. In appropriate circumstances pupils may also study a specialist course on a part time basis outside the school.
The final year of school, Class 13, is dedicated to exam studies and preparation for the pupil’s next career stage. We provide individual career advice as well as help with university and job application forms. The small class sizes in each subject means that most lessons are better described as tutorials, providing excellent preparation for those going on to further education.
Morning Main Lessons concentrate on one individual subject over a period of two or three weeks. The Main Lesson curriculum attempts to chart a course that answers some of the needs of pupils of this age. In essence the Class 12 curriculum does not just complete a pupil’s schooling, rather its intention is to broaden their thinking by turning their questions around. The issue is no longer how does the world affect me in my life, but how can I influence the world around me? This question needs to be asked in very concrete terms of social and personal life, as well as in politics, economics and science. Am I a pawn or a king, a performer or spectator? Where is my position in the world?
Work Experience occurs in the Upper School in years nine and ten. In Class 9 students are allocated slots to help across departments within our school. In Class 10 small groups provide ‘Community Service’ to establishments such as schools for children with special needs. This has proved to be of great value to all parties and valuable preparation for the individual one-week Work Experience placement. Individual Class 10 Work Experience placements are provided through Youth Connexions who ensures that students have a meaningful, safe and well-planned week with a local business, school or charity. References from these placements often enable students to gain part-time or holiday work.
In Classes 11 and 12 students are encouraged to find their own work experience in the holidays with the consent of their parents or guardian. Where this is in a field related to the student’s intended course of study or career, so much the better, however, almost any work or volunteering is to be encouraged where this demonstrates a genuine interest, a willingness to develop new skills or take on responsibility.
*whether or not AS level exams taken depends on the subject.