Our Senior School Curriculum
At Ipswich High School, we pride ourselves on offering a broad and balanced curriculum through a wide array of academic subjects, and a diverse set of opportunities, available through our vast enrichment programme. This combination is certainly unique to many independent day schools, and is one that we are immensely proud of.
The aim of teaching across the Senior School is to foster a love of learning by really engaging students in their learning and ultimately help them develop as outstanding learners. We want our pupils to be intellectually curious, ambitious, courageous, reflective, and resilient and, above all, armed with key learning skills which will help them beyond GCSEs, for whatever choices they make.
Our Lower School Curriculum in Years 7 and 8 gives pupils an opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, perhaps studying subjects they have not studied before. The subjects vary from Performing Arts to Computing, as well as from Latin and Classics to Art and Design.
In Year 7, all pupils study one Language initially, but in Year 8 they are able to select another Language, broadening their study even further. By the time pupils reach the end of Year 8, they have learnt the fundamental concepts that provide a firm foundation to embark on their GCSE journey, which starts in Year 9.
From September 2018, our Lower School Curriculum is an integral part of our newly formed Ipswich High School Diploma Programme. Year 7 and 8 pupils will be formally rewarded for their combined academic achievements and commitment to extracurricular activities they participate in.
At the end of Year 8, pupils can choose subjects they want to continue to study into Year 9. This is important as we start teaching the GCSE content in all subjects from Year 9, but final GCSE choice are not made until mid way through Year 9, which means that pupils have had the academic experience of GCSE study in each of their subjects before making their decisions to pursue a further two years of study. Studying GCSEs over three years enables our teachers to cover the GCSE programmes of study thoroughly, and gives our pupils’ time, not only to learn the content of the GCSE syllabus, but also time to apply their knowledge in different context. This facilitates real ‘in depth’ learning and has certainly contributed to Ipswich High School’s excellent GCSE results. This strategy ensures that our pupils are fully prepared for both the challenges of GCSE, and are also for their studies beyond GCSE.
Throughout the Senior School there are planned educational visits, for example Geography field trips and visits to language centres, which are always extremely popular with pupils and enrich learning beyond lessons. Our Enrichment Programme also allows pupils to pursue their academic interests beyond the classroom.