Skip Navigation LinksHome » Academic » Introduction » Year Group Information

Year group information - Shells and GCSE


In the first year the curriculum is very broad. All pupils follow the same basic programme, which comprises all the subjects offered at GCSE as well as our own course in ICT and computing, comprising elements of Microsoft Office and basic coding. There is one choice in the curriculum, between German and Spanish, made by pupils after a short taster course in the two languages.

The full range of academic subjects is:

English Biology
Maths Art
French Design Technology
German or Spanish Music
Latin and Classical Civilisation Physical Education
History Drama
Geography ICT
Physics Philosophy and Religion
Chemistry PSME


To view further information about the Shell curriculum, please click here.


Fourth and Fifth Forms

All pupils study for GCSEs or IGCSEs. Most take ten subjects in total of which one (Philosophy and Religion) is non-examined. The seven options (in addition to the core subjects English, Maths and Philosophy and Religion) may be chosen from the subjects listed below. In order to encourage a degree of breadth, we require that at least two of the options are single sciences, one a foreign language. English is examined in both language and literature, so that most pupils gain 10 GCSE or IGCSE grades.


+ two from

+ one from

English Physics French
Maths Chemistry German
Philosophy & Religion Biology Spanish
Connections (incl PSME)    

+ four from

History Physics
Geography Chemistry
Business Studies Biology
Classical Civilisation Religious Studies
Music German
Art Spanish
Design Technology Latin
Drama Learning Skills
Computing Physical Education


The last option, Learning Skills, is recommended to a small number of pupils who find difficulties either with organisation or with other aspects of learning. Instead of following a course which leads to a GCSE or IGCSE, pupils are given help by our specialist Learning Support Centre with particular problems they may face. As well as offering them strategies to help with their prep and other work, they have a more manageable workload as they will finish with one fewer – but of a better standard – qualification.

For further information about GCSE options, please click here.