Curriculum Policy

Curriculum Policy, Seniors

Name of Policy

Curriculum policy, Seniors

Reviewed by

Ferdinand Doepel
Date September 2023

Date of next Review

September 2024

Stepping in: we aim for every girl to feel known, supported, confident and able to shine at Wimbledon High.
Striding out: we aim for every girl to leave us prepared to shape the society in which she lives and works.


The Wimbledon High School Curriculum comprises all formal opportunities for learning plus broader opportunities outside the classroom


  • Knowledge

Pupils will acquire the knowledge and understanding needed to equip them for life in the 21st century in a manner that gives them confidence and satisfaction

Pupils will develop the ability to think critically, and to assess the validity and appropriateness of sources in an information-rich, global society

  • Skills

Pupils will acquire the transferable skills, both academic and social, that will enable them to learn independently and engage effectively with others

  • Emotions

Pupils will be given experiences from which they can derive pleasure and enjoyment and, in so doing, develop a love of learning

  • Achievement

Pupils will be provided with both a challenge and sense of achievement

Pupils will be assessed in a way that clearly shows their progress

  • Self-esteem

Pupils will be given opportunities to develop their self-esteem, the more easily to achieve their full potential and independence

  • Enrichment

Pupils will have the opportunity for enrichment and support through provision of additional activities from which they may choose and which will facilitate further study and develop them as well-rounded individuals

  • Striding Out

Pupils will develop worthwhile and satisfying relationships based on respect for themselves, for others and for their environment, with particular reference to the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. Please also refer to our PSHE Policy and Promoting British Values policy

  • The broad curriculum incorporates the elements of learning – knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes .
  • Students are given access to the following areas of experience – aesthetic and creative, human and social, linguistic and literary, mathematical and numerical, moral and spiritual, physical, scientific and technological, alongside speaking and listening.
  • The curriculum incorporates the National Curriculum (NC) KS3 and KS4 for Years 7 to 11 and the requirements of the A-Level specifications at Sixth Form level. However, at all levels, the NC is not the sole determinant of the curriculum.
  • To ensure a balanced curriculum, appropriate weight is given to the elements of learning and areas of experience detailed above.
  • All of the above is delivered and supervised by teachers, coaches and trainers, in accordance with GDST policy.
  • Staff at all levels share the responsibility for ensuring provision. Each Head of Department (or the member of staff in-charge of a subject area) is responsible for developing a programme of study appropriate to the students’ ages, aptitudes and needs. This may include the use of Schemes of Work published by QCA or other agencies, in addition to those of their own creation. Subjects leaders are expected to monitor and evaluate regularly the effectiveness of these Schemes of Work.

The school week comprises 26 hours 15 minutes. Within this, Y12 & 13 have Private Study time; Y12 and 13 have freedom to use different spaces (e.g. Sixth Form Study Area, Sixth Form Common Room, Library) and have exeat privileges to study off-site.

Key Stage 3

  • At KS3, breadth and balance is achieved through a compulsory curriculum of English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (taught in combined Science in Y7 and Y8), Geography, History, Religious Studies, two of three modern Languages (French, German, Spanish), Latin, Music, Art, Computer Science, Design Technology (DT), Physical Education (PE) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE). Within PSHE and form time in particular, students are encouraged through schemes of work to develop their skills of communication, speaking and listening in particular. 
  • In Year 9, this breadth and balance is augmented by a focussed syllabus that ensures pupils can study their chosen subjects in greater depth, and properly advanced towards and beyond the skills required for GCSE and A Level in that subject. They are offered an options matrix which requires the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They can then choose a series of eight subjects to make up their personalised syllabus, with the proviso they must choose (at least) 2 languages; 2 humanities; and 2 "practical" subjects.
  • Where our STEAM+ approach encourages cross-curricular learning and assessment,  this is as an exploratory addition to the individual subjects the girls study. 

Key Stage 4 

  • At KS4, the core subjects of English and Mathematics are compulsory, as are at least two of the government defined sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science), though the school recommends three traditional sciences for all girls intending to take science A Levels and may allow girls with specific learning requirements only to take one science. In addition, PE and PSHE will be studied. Students choose four or five further subjects from those studied in KS3 (depending on the number of sciences studied). Students can opt to add Classical Greek or Additional Maths as a 10th GCSE taught in twilight time. All students in top set Maths will be working towards Additional Maths in their lesson time, students in the second set can opt to study this at lunchtime. All are taken to GCSE, except PSHE and those not studying PE formally. Students who do not opt for a 10th GCSE will embark on the non-examined PPE course, designed in-house for WHS girls to enrich their scholarship and learning, to increase opportunities to acquire speaking and listening skills, and to have a greater grasp of economic education in particular.
  • The choice is a free one, although GDST policy does expect at least one Modern Foreign Language. We strongly recommend girls take at least one subject in each of the groupings of Humanities (Geography, History, Ethics & Philosophy of Religion[EPR]), Languages (French, German, Spanish, Latin, Greek, Mandarin) and Creative/Technological (Art, DT, Drama, Music, Computer Science, PE). Again, this is tailored to students' individual and specific learning requirements. 

Post-16 – Key Stage 5 (The Sixth Form)

  • Students choose three or four A-Level subjects, with the majority taking three. They have a completely free choice from around 22 on offer. Where Further Mathematics is included in their combination, it would normally be expected to be a fourth subject. In addition, girls taking three subjects can opt to take an AS in Further Maths, taken over the two years.
  • The optional subjects are: English Literature, Theatre Studies, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Geography, History, Ethics & Philosophy of Religion, Economics, French, German, Spanish, Latin, Classical Greek, Art, Design Technology, Music, Classical Civilisation and Politics.
  • PE lessons are compulsory in Y12 and Y13. PSHE is compulsory in Y12 and Y13. The Sixth Form Onwards programme incorporates PSHE, academic stretch and development and careers and university preparation. 
  • Students in Y12 will be expected to pursue either an EPQ, GDST Lead, History of Art, Mandarin or Big Data Project. This is optional for girls taking more than three A-Levels.
  • Students in Y13 have a lecture series on a Thursday afternoon. They will be expected to attend lectures relevant to their their A level subjects alongside compulsory ones. There are additional lab sessions for those studying science A Levels on a Friday afternoon. 


  • The curriculum is appropriate to the needs of academically able girls at different stages of their learning, and takes into account age, experience, aptitude and needs, enabling the girls to contribute with confidence within the school community and the outside world.
  • The curriculum acknowledges the differences between children, even of the same age, by generating variation in tasks and content so that there is a balance between the need for challenge, the likelihood of success and the importance of embracing and coping with failure as a means of extending learning. See also Inclusion (below).
  • The curriculum is structured to allow for effective continuity and development through systematic co-ordination of key aspects within each area of study. Schemes of Work at the beginning of Key Stages acknowledge prior experience.

The students will also be given opportunities:

  • to develop and demonstrate the ability to prepare, process, present and evaluate within the disciplines of literacy, number, communication, problem solving and working with others;
  • where appropriate, to develop and apply their IT capability;
  • develop Study Skills;
  • to follow a Civil Discourse Programme;
  • to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (delivered through assemblies and extra-curricular activities, as well as through subject teaching).


  • A full programme of PSHE is delivered by all form tutors and some co-tutors, the school nurses, and external agencies. 
  • Careers advice is delivered through a combination of PSHE lessons, regular Careers Fairs (from Y9 to Y13) and occasional subject-specific Careers Evenings (e.g. Science, Languages) with external speakers. Each student is interviewed in Y9 about her GCSE choices and in Y11 about her A-Level choices. Y12 and 13 girls are advised through  ongoing discussions with their form tutor in an impartial manner, enabling them to make informed choices about a broad range of careers. All have access to the specialist Careers Library, which is manned three lunchtimes per week by the Head of Careers. The Oxbridge Coordinators work individually with those girls who are considering applying to the top universities both in the UK (not only Oxford and Cambridge) and overseas. All girls in the school are encouraged to fulfil their potential. Year 13 have a weekly 'Onwards' programme which prepares them for application to Higher Education and equips them for the next stage of their educational journey.
  • Sixth Form tutors are allocated additional periods to see each of their tutees fortnightly for about ten minutes, to discuss issues of academic progress as well as personal development.
  • The Promotion of British Values policy also details our commitment to ensuring girls understand mutual respect, the rule of law, democracy and individual liberty, as we prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in British society.


  • If a pupil has a special educational need, the school does all it can to meet these individual needs. A separate Neurodiversity (SEND) Policy outlines this support.
  • The Head of Neorodiversity provides a learning plan for each student identified as having an SEND requirement, available to all staff and providing information on ways to best support that student in the classroom. It also sets targets for improvement, to allow for review and monitoring of progress at regular intervals.
  • Students for whom English is an additional language have been assessed on entry to ensure that they can access the full curriculum in English. Advice is given on possible sources of tutoring as necessary.
  • All staff should adapt their teaching to the varied and individual needs of the students in their class.