The age range of the Senior School is 11-18 years with an entry of six forms of twenty-five boys at age 11. Additional boys may join the school at 13 + and 16+, dependent upon available spaces. There are forty periods per week in the timetable.
Curriculum for Year 7
In their first year in the Senior School at Habs the boys are taught in mixed groups. These are unstreamed and usually comprise between 25 and 27 boys which ensures classes are small enough for teachers to assess each boy’s strengths but also to provide individual attention where required. The boys form friendships which last not only throughout their school career but throughout their lives.
During Year 7, the boys are taught the following subjects:
- History, Geography, Theology & Philosophy
- Biology, Chemistry, Physics
- Languages – French, German, Latin, Spanish. All four are taught as a carousel.
- Creatives – Art, Design and Technology, Computing & ICT, Music, PE
We believe that this combination provides the boys with a good foundation for future study. It also enables them to enjoy a timetable which is both balanced and broad, giving them a secure base on which to build their future subject choices. In Year 7, four languages are studied on a ‘carousel’ basis. This gives each boy the opportunity to discover something of the nature of each language for himself and to be well-placed to make an informed choice as to which two languages he would like to study in more depth in Years 8 and 9.
The boys also have one afternoon a week devoted to Games and a further double period each week for Physical Education.
Curriculum for Year 8
The boys continue to study the full range of academic subjects although they now only have two languages in their timetable. These are chosen at the end of Year 7. Mathematics is streamed in Year 8 in order to optimise the teaching of this essential subject. During the Spring term of Year 8, boys are asked to make some subject options choices for Year 9. This allows them to focus their attention on specific creative subjects as they move into the Middle School (Years 9 – 11). Boys are asked to choose two subjects from Art (Ceramics, Illustration, Lens Art or Sculpture), Design and Technology (Graphics or Resistant Materials), Drama and Music.
Involvement in Games and Physical Education continues with one afternoon a week timetabled for Games and a double period each week for Physical Education.
Curriculum for Year 9
In Year 9, the timetable is organised so that those subjects which need to have sets, may do so (Science, Mathematics, and English). This arrangement allows the boys to work at a pace most appropriate to their stage of development and to build on positive achievement. All sets follow the same syllabus and work towards the same School examinations.
In the Spring term of Year 9 the boys are asked to choose their GCSE subject options. They are encouraged to consult with their parents, teachers, and their personal tutor before making their final choices. When making their selection, the boys must take into account their plans for the Sixth Form as some AS and A level options require specific subjects at GCSE. It is usual for boys to take a GCSE in those subjects which they also intend to study at either AS or A Level, although not all subjects depend equally on a progressive step-by-step development of knowledge and understanding.
Participation in Games and Physical Education remains an integral part of the timetable to ensure that the boys have a sensible and sustainable balance between their studies and physical activities.
Curriculum for Years 10 and 11
The boys study an optimum number of ten subjects at GCSE and there are opportunities for them to exercise their own choices within the specified categories. The core subject requirements ensure that the boys’ GCSE choices are broad and balanced. All boys in Years 10 and 11 study English (preparing for GCSE English Language and English Literature), Mathematics and then seven other subjects.
A student’s choice must comprise one language, two sciences and one humanity subject and one creative/technical subject, together with any two others. In addition to their academic studies, the boys have one period each week assigned to the PSHE/Well-Being programme and they are able either to join the Combined Cadet Force, Adventurous Training or the School and Community Service programme. They continue with Games and Physical Education as part of their curriculum time to ensure they are active both mentally and physically.
Curriculum for Lower and Upper Sixth Forms (Years 12 and 13)
The Sixth Form years at Habs form an important transition between the formal, directed learning of GCSE and the more liberal and individual experience of a university education. It is a time for growing maturity and independence but within the guided framework of the School. All the Sixth Form boys are expected to take on more responsibility for their own progress and personal organisation and the opportunities for study and co-curricular activities also increase.
All boys follow four academic courses to AS level in Lower Sixth reducing to three courses to A level in Upper Sixth. Boys wishing to take both Mathematics and Further Mathematics together with two other A Level subjects will be able to do so. In addition, boys follow courses in General Studies and Games and work either with the Combined Cadet Force or the School and Community Service Programme. As in all years, these activities are part of curriculum time.
Each of the subjects offered is of equal status and validity and an extensive range of subject combinations is possible. The boys are able to choose their subjects freely and there are no restrictions put on the combinations they choose. The boys have the chance to specialise in subjects they particularly enjoy or begin afresh with a subject not studied before so the decision about the choices of AS and A2 level subjects is very important. Boys in the Sixth Form have extensive access to advice and materials to help them make realistic and achievable decisions and they are encouraged to make extensive use of these resources.
Following the AS examinations all Lower Sixth formers return to School for an extensive enrichment programme. All lessons are taught off the A level specifications and are designed to enrich a student’s subject knowledge. All pupils also complete an extended independent investigation known as the Aske Project. In certain circumstances, there could be the opportunity for a boy to take all four AS Level subjects to A2 Level. It might also be possible to begin a completely new AS course in the Upper Sixth, thus allowing a particularly able boy to study five subjects beyond GCSE – three at A Level plus two at AS. Such decisions are made on an individual basis; usually part-way through the Lower Sixth.
For most boys the chance to specialise in those subjects he most enjoys, or begin afresh with a subject he has not studied before, is a very exciting and positive one.