Aylesbury High School offers every student a balanced and broad STEAM curriculum which is forward-looking, innovative and of the highest academic quality. We plan for each student to reach their full potential and recognise their individual needs. We ensure there is a variety of creative subjects on offer across the year groups as we place a high emphasis in preparing our students to be the problem solvers of the future.
We cultivate self-confidence, independent thinking, tolerance and a sense of responsibility in our students. We believe that learning is enhanced by a happy, friendly and secure environment characterised by co-operation and mutual respect.
We provide opportunities for students to develop their skills and their ideas through the arts, sport and recreation, House activities and community involvement. We offer a wide variety of co-curricular opportunities that sit alongside the academic studies and we encourage all of our students to participate in enrichment activities.
Throughout our curriculum, the AHS values should be apparent:
In all that we do, we aim to prepare girls for life in the fast-changing world of which they will become adult members, ready to play an active and positive part in the local, national and international community. As a girls’ grammar school, we want to encourage confidence and aspiration. We want to inspire every student to seek challenge, realise their potential and prepare for the world of today and tomorrow.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7, 8 and 9 we aim for a broad curriculum. We want our students to have the opportunity to experience many of the subjects on offer to them in KS4. We value the skills obtained from creative subjects and nearly a third of a Key Stage 3 student timetable is made up of the creatives – Art, Computing, Dance, Drama, Music, PE and Technology. All students have swimming lessons throughout KS3 and we have the benefit of a shared pool with AGS to facilitate this. Our Year 7 students learn three languages – French, German and Spanish and choose two of these to continue with in Year 8 and Year 9. In Science, our students will start learning GCSE material just before Christmas of Year 9 as this ensures they can cover the content to an appropriate depth by the end of Year 11. It also gives them an opportunity to appreciate the three separate sciences before starting Y10. Because of this, Y9 Science is taught as Biology, Chemistry and Physics with specialist teachers.
Our Learning for Life (L4L) programme delivers areas of the curriculum that are not covered by academic subjects as well as complementing some of the skills they will learn in their other lessons. It allows us to cover Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, British Values and Careers education. Throughout our L4L curriculum we aim to create confident, resilient individuals capable of making informed decisions and making the most of opportunities that will help them to live happy, healthy lives.
In Years 10 and 11 our students will take 10 GCSEs. In addition to the six core subjects of English Language, English Literature, Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, we ensure the breadth of curriculum is maintained by asking students to select one Creative subject, one Humanity subject and one MFL subject from a wide variety of subjects on offer:
- Creatives include Art, Computing, Dance, Drama, Engineering, Food, Music, PE and Textiles
- Humanities include Business, Economics, Geography, History and RS
- MFL subjects include French, German and Spanish
Their tenth subject is a free choice from the last three categories. Some students will be entered for Further Maths GCSE in addition to their other choices.
In addition to their examined curriculum, students will have four lessons of Core PE and one lesson of L4L (including RS) per fortnight.
Further details about the Options process can be found here on the AHS website.
In Years 12 and 13 the majority of our students will take three A Levels, chosen from the broad range of subjects on offer. Some students will take four A Levels and in exceptional cases, Further Mathematicians may take five A Levels. We aim to deliver a range of A Levels to give students the opportunity to pursue a wide range of career aspirations. The majority of our A Level subjects are taught over 10 hours per fortnight in Year 12 and 8 hours per fortnight in Year 13, however, some smaller classes that have lower student to teacher ratios will have 8 hours per fortnight in each year.
Students taking three A Levels are expected to take an Extension Study in Year 12. This is usually a non-examined course taught in 2 hours per fortnight but two AS options and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are also available which have a higher number of teaching hours – 8 hours per fortnight for an AS and 4 hours per fortnight for EPQ. Additionally, Year 13 students who have not completed an EPQ in Year 12 have another opportunity to do so.
In addition to their chosen curriculum, throughout their time in the Sixth Form, students will have one lesson of Current Issues per fortnight. They also have the option of participating in Girls Active (physical activity) sessions.
There is a carefully planned Next Steps programme to complement the Sixth Form curriculum. This starts in Year 12 and continues until our students leave school. The programme covers aspects such as UCAS, apprenticeship, competitive entry courses, interview skills and considerations for living independently, amongst many others. In Year 13, our students spend an hour each fortnight in a timetabled lesson with their tutor to help support them with their next steps.
Further details about the subjects available in the Sixth Form can be found here on the AHS website.
The school will measure the impact of the curriculum in a number of ways including:
- External examination results at GCSE and A Level, with a focus on progress
- Tracking, through termly data drops and annual reporting
- Participation of students in co-curricular activities
- Destinations of leavers, both in Year 11 and Year 13
- Retention of Year 11 students into Year 12
- Quality assurance through Leadership Team monitoring
- Option trends, including STEAM
The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that all required elements of the curriculum have aims and objectives which reflect the aims of the school and indicate how the needs of individual students will be met. The Leadership Team will monitor the curriculum through data summits, lesson observations. learning walks, Deep Dives, student and staff surveys, student focus groups and conversations in fortnightly line management meetings.
Governors will monitor whether the school is complying with its funding agreement and teaching a broad and balanced curriculum which includes the required subjects, through school visits and reports made to the T&L Committee or the FGB.