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Curriculum Overview

Year 7In 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:

  • Mathematics
  • English
  • 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.


Year 8The 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.


Year 9In 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.


Year 10 and Year 11The 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.


Year 12 and Year 13 (Sixth Form)A Sixth Form education at Haberdashers’ is exciting, enriching and deeply rewarding. Our Sixth Form pupils also enjoy a significant advantage in accessing the most competitive university courses in the UK, Europe and North America.
The Sixth Form years form an important transition between the formal, directed learning of GCSE and the more personal and individual experience of university education. It is a time for growing maturity and creativity within the guided framework of the School, a time when pupils develop valuable independent study skills and a sense of responsibility for their own academic progress.

Pupils choose to study three linear A Levels in the Sixth Form, providing the depth and breadth that is appropriate for our very able young men.
The School offers pupils a vast choice of 26 subjects to study in the Sixth Form. Pupils are invited to select their own combination of subjects, rather than being required to accept a set compulsory grouping. Pupils also follow courses in our highly successful Enhancement and Enrichment curriculum, together with a diverse Games and Sport programme. In addition, all boys participate in either the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) or the School and Community Service (SCS).
During their Lower Sixth year, all pupils prepare for and write an extended independent investigation known as the Aske Project. This project provides an exciting opportunity to develop our boys’ expertise in and passion for an area of interest beyond the confines of the A Level syllabus. 

From September 2020 we will introduce an Aske’s Level as a supplement to A Levels, which will draw from the best elements of the IB. From September 2021 we will also increase collaboration between ourselves and Habs Girls by ensuring that every Sixth Former is taught at least one subject in a mixed-gender class.

Curriculum Booklets