Senior Curriculum

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Sherfield School’s senior Art programme instils a strong independent attitude to creative learning and problem solving.

Our programme is taught by professional Artist in Residence Lee-Anne Hampson.

Pupils are exposed to a wide variety of media, processes and techniques and are given the opportunity to work on a large scale.

Each term pupils work towards a pupil exhibition which showcases the best work from across the year groups.

Pupils also attend a lunchtime club which gives them an opportunity to work on another skill such as sculpture, still life or portraiture which enriches their portfolio submissions.

We run trips to Salisbury Cathedral, BP Portrait award in London and also offer the opportunity of pupils meeting professional artists during our private views at Sherfield Gallery several times a term.

At GCSE & A Level pupils are entered with the AQA exam board.


Sherfield School’s senior English programme prepares pupils for top academic and career results. Our programme instils a love of literature and culture. Pupils become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, non-fiction and media.

Year 9 pupils follow a broad curriculum. They study modern novels and a Shakespeare unit. Pupils also take Creative and Discursive Writing studies, and Media/Non-Fiction units and drama. The majority of GCSE pupils take English (Language) and Literature. These are separate qualifications but are taught alongside each other.

At the end of the year, pupils take a mock GCSE assessment. Year 9 pupils join Year 7 and 8 students on a creative writing residential trip to the Arvon Foundation. We also run enjoyable theatre trips for Years 10 and 11 students.


Year 9 to 11 pupils enjoy dedicated Computer Science lessons where they develop knowledge and skills to a very high standard.  

In preparation for the GCSE Computer Science course, Year 9 pupils will cover some of the following theory topics:

  • Ethical, Environmental and Legal issues surrounding the industry
  • Operating Systems
  • Utility and Application software, and their differences
  • Networks and their topologies

Pupils in Year 10 and 11 will:

  • Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of Computer Science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • Analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • Think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • Understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • Understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • Apply mathematical skills relevant to Computer Science

Students use the well-equipped ICT suite in Buckfield.

After school clubs

Interested pupils join Sherfield’s popular after school cooking clubs. We have Christmas Cooking and the Great Sherfield Bake Off!

Sherfield’s Head of Food and Catering is responsible for school catering. We embed healthy eating lessons at lunchtimes, where pupils enjoy a healthy and balanced lunch.



Sherfield Senior geography students prepare for top academic results at GCSE and A level.

Geography pupils develop a real interest in their world. Students learn about the Earth’s physical processes and how people interact with those processes.

Geography is a specialist subject from Year R to Year 13 at Sherfield. 

Pupils learn to ask questions, collect and analyse data, draw maps at a range of scales and use ICT to develop ideas.

Year 9 pupils study:

Plate Tectonics: Pupils investigate the Earth’s structure and features
China: A close look at one of the world’s fastest developing superpowers
Globalisation: Pupils study working in a sweatshop
GCSE course: Students begin the new GCSE geography course

We follow the AQA syllabus 8035 for GCSE. 

At A level, we follow the AQA syllabus. Pupils study human and physical units in depth. They undertake fieldwork to investigate real world geographical concepts. 

Assessment at A2 includes a decision making paper to test all skills.


History is very popular at Sherfield.

Sherfield history students achieve excellent academic results in GCSE and A level exams. 

GCSE students follow the Edexcel International GCSE course. They focus on the 20th century. 

Year 9 pupils study the development of government and constitutional systems. They consider key historical events. 

In Year 9, students investigate the modern world. They begin with WW1 and take a popular visit to battlefields. 

Pupils learn about women’s rights, the Suffragettes and the Holocaust. They debate the use of the atomic bomb.

Holocaust survivors visit the school to share their experiences.

Years 10 and 11 Sherfield history students are well prepared for challenging public exams. 

Topics studied include:

- The rise of the Nazis and Nazi Germany. 

This course examines the rise of the Weimar Republic and life in the Third Reich.  

- The Cold War. 

Pupils learn about the Berlin Airlift, the Berlin Wall, Kennedy v Khrushchev and the Cuban missile crisis.

- USA 1917-1941. 

Students consider subjects such as the WWI and the USA, mass immigration, prohibition and gangsterism, mass production, the stock market boom, and the position of black Americans.

- The changing nature of warfare 1936-2003. 

Students examine changing land, sea and aerial warfare. They debate atomic warfare and warfare at the beginning of the 21st century.


Mathematics is one of Sherfield School’s strongest subjects. Over 50% of our 2016 A Level mathematics results were graded A*. Our teachers are among the UK’s best.

Mathematics pupils develop all-round abilities. They learn facts and the ability to think logically. Senior School teachers ensure pupils achieve National Curriculum skills and progress even further. We prepare students for GCSE, A Levels and ongoing academic study. Individual strengths and weaknesses are identified. Teaching is adjusted to ensure pupils achieve their best academic results. We provide for students across the needs range.

Ability groups

Sherfield School has three ability sets in each year. Key Stage Three students follow an online Mathematics Enhancement programme. Key Stage Four students follow the Edexcel International GCSE (Specification A), which is a two year linear GCSE.

A Level Maths pupils follow the Edexcel A-level Mathematics course (number 9371).

Maths activities and challenges

Sherfield School’s many interested maths pupils take part in a range of exciting activities.

Pupils celebrate Pi Day with mathematical activities. We also hold regular maths clinics and drop in sessions for students of all abilities. Talented students participate in UK Mathematics Trust Challenges.

On Gifted and Talented Maths Challenge Days, pupils from other schools visit Sherfield to participate in Maths Masterclasses.

Modern Foreign Languages

At Sherfield, senior language students are prepared for top GCSE and A level results.

Pupils develop outstanding communication skills. Proficiency in modern languages gives young people extensive study and career opportunities in a global world.

Year 9 students continue studying two languages. They choose from French, Spanish, Latin and Classical Civilisation.  

Years 10 and 11 pupils may study at least one language to GCSE level. 

Sherfield uses the AQA board for French and Spanish and the WJEB for Latin. Every student has the chance to gain an official qualification in Modern Languages. 

Sherfield School has an excellent record in the DELF diploma. The diploma is highly regarded internationally. Students can sit for the diploma in Year 11.

A-level languages is an exciting option, with a focus on studying literature text and a film in either French or Spanish.

At Sherfield, we use the AQA board. Pupils also study a literature text and a film in French or Spanish. 

Extra curricular language activities

Sherfield School’s Languages department runs popular language clubs. 

Clubs include French Music, Spanish Conversation, French Conversation, Beginners’ Italian and European Film Club.

Recent trips have included a visit to the Marché de Noël in Lille and a language study trip to Cadiz. 

Visiting theatre companies also perform plays in French and Spanish at the school.


The Music Department is a vibrant and busy department and there is a considerable emphasis on performing, which touches the life of the whole school community.  This is because we believe that music plays a fundamental role in a child’s learning and social and personal development.  We strive to enrich every pupil in our school with the opportunity to learn and experience music on all different levels, whether it is in class as part of the curriculum or by learning to play an instrument through individual instrumental tuition.

We offer a diverse, enjoyable and mostly practical music curriculum in which pupils engage in practical group-compositional tasks, computer-based activities and listening topics. These lessons are intended to develop creativity and to prepare the more able students for GCSE Music.

GCSE Music is a popular subject and we follow the EDEXCEL syllabus at Sherfield. We also offer AS- and A2-level Music for which we also follow the EDEXCEL syllabus.

Individual tuition and ensembles

The Music Department consists of a strong team of teachers working together to create a very successful and happy department. Sherfield has one full time Head of Music, one Musician in Residence and 11 excellent and dedicated Visiting Instrumental Teachers, who teach one to one instrumental lessons on a rotated timetable within the school day. 

Individual instrumental tuition is available to all students from years 1-13. Lessons are offered on all woodwind, brass and string instruments as well as voice, piano, drum kit and guitar.

We offer various opportunities for students to participate in ensemble sessions during lunchtimes, such as Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Wind Band, Brass Group, rock bands and Chamber Ensemble. We also offer group theory and aural lessons for grades 1-5 which takes place during lunchtimes.

Concerts and Musical productions

Sherfield offers students plenty of opportunities to develop their performing skills in a variety of concerts, musical productions and other events. We offer a variety of concerts every term, in which students of all age groups can perform in public for the first time, as well performance practice before a music exam. It is an ideal opportunity for the younger students to be inspired by the older and more experienced students! There are also two more formal evening concerts every term, for the more polished performances.

We are keen to prepare and enter our students for the Associated Board music exams three times a year. Our talented musicians are regularly invited to perform as guests in various public concerts and venues and we enjoy getting involved within the community.

At Sherfield School we enjoy cross-curricular projects and we regularly work with the English, Dance and Drama department to produce some fantastic musical productions. These include “Grease”, “Bugsy Malone”, “High School Musical” and “Camp Rock”, “Our House”, “Avenue Q”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Wizard of Oz” and “Oliver!” as well as providing some live background music to Shakespeare productions such as “Much Ado about Nothing” and “Romeo and Juliet”. Our last two productions, “Wizard of Oz” and “Oliver!”, were performed in the Haymarket Theatre (Basingstoke), and were very successful!.

Pastoral Care

At Sherfield, pastoral and personal care are key at all levels. We place great emphasis on empathy, motivation and social and cultural awareness. Pupil wellbeing is at the heart of Sherfield.

Tutor groups are small and every pupil has a tutor. Each child has a high level of support. Our aim is to ensure each child achieves their full potential in a nurturing environment. We take our partnership with our parents’ very seriously. Tutors contact parents with progress updates. Regular parent information evenings give further contact.

Sherfield School House system

Pupils are placed in one of four Houses: Buckfield, Loddon, Lydney and Wynstow. Children mix with all age groups in their house. Each house has a monthly assembly. Housepoints are awarded for competitions in areas such as sport, art, music, maths, English and languages. Children work together for team success. Each house also raises funds for charity.

 The school provides excellent support and guidance. Tutor groups are small and pupils are known well by their teachers. Staff are fully committed to helping the pupils to achieve the best of which they are capable and relationships between staff and pupils are very positive.  (ISI Inspection Report).

 Pupils demonstrate excellent standards of personal development; they are aware of the needs of others and have caring and responsible attitudes… and show a keen awareness of spirituality; they know right from wrong and appreciate a wide range of cultures.  (ISI Inspection Report).


Personal, Citizenship and Health Education at Sherfield School promotes positive behaviour, mutual respect and self-awareness.

Our school ethos is based on these concepts. Health education and citizenship are taught along with study and employability skills. PCHE is a platform for teaching in all subjects. Pupils learn about healthy lifestyles, building good relationships and understanding their roles in society. We teach PCHE enthusiastically by involving pupils in school life and the local community.

Career guidance

Effective careers guidance is key to each pupil’s future.

Sherfield students develop into well rounded learners with the right skills and competencies for their career goals.

In Year 11, pupils have a week’s work experience. Senior pupils regularly take part in talks and seminars with working and academic professionals. All pupils are supported by a personal tutor. Upper seniors also have a mentor. Aspirational goals are set. This nurturing programme and close parent partnerships helps pupils make the most of their opportunities.


Sherfield School’s senior Photography programme gives pupils an opportunity to work in both a technical and creative way. Over the course they are required to produce a portfolio of work and also complete an externally set timed assessment with AQA.

Our programme is taught by professional Artist in Residence Lee-Anne Hampson.

Pupils are exposed to a wide variety of different styles of photography, processes and techniques and are given the opportunity to manipulate their work digitally. They are also encouraged to be experimental in the production of a final piece.

Pupils are able to use our professional studio lighting to work on portraiture, whilst also being able to use the extensive grounds to develop their landscape photography.

Each term pupils work towards a pupil exhibition which showcases the best work from across the year groups.

We run trips locally and to London to help pupils extend the range of locations available to them for their photo shoots.;

Physical Education

Sherfield School has a thriving Physical Education curriculum. Our facilities and extensive grounds are outstanding. Each pupil learns health and fitness.

Many Sherfield pupils achieve top sports results at regional and national level. Senior school students have one PE lesson and one games afternoon a week. They also enjoy regular fixtures with other schools.

Sports played at Sherfield include football, netball, rugby, cricket, badminton, tennis, cross country running, athletics, basketball, hockey, judo, golf, gymnastics, swimming, skiing, dance, and outdoor adventure activities which include orienteering and caving.

Many Sherfield School pupils complete a Duke of Edinburgh Award in outdoor adventure activities. Our sports teams play competitively at junior and senior level. Sherfield School cricket players often represent county teams. Sherfield School hosts the ISA Cross Country London West Championships every year. We also have a strong partnerships programme with local sports organisations.

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Psychology is an exciting subject which is popular at Sherfield. 

Studying Psychology teaches students to think logically, support their ideas with evidence and also to understand ‘what makes people tick’.

At GCSE level, pupils learn about human behaviour. The course further develops their understanding of themselves and others.  They have the opportunity to design and conduct their own research. 

At A Level students really develop their understanding of human and animal behaviour.  The A level thinking enables them to use their own experiences to further understand their self and others within an academic framework.

Psychology is compatible with most GCSE and A Level combinations. 

“Psychology matches fun with learning. Truly an exciting and intriguing subject.”

“Psychology is my favourite subject and I want to study it at University because we are all humans and understanding why we do things will be invaluable thorough out my life”.

Religion, Philosophy & Ethics

At Sherfield, Religion, Philosophy and Ethics enhances critical thinking and understanding. Students learn in context of current and past world issues.

Year 9 pupils examine debates between science and religion, and the role of religion and responses in war and terrorism. Religious Studies is popular subject at GCSE level.

Year 10 students consider moral issues and religious responses. They are encouraged to form their own views. Year 11 students examine philosophical ideas such as the existence of God, immortality and evil and suffering.

Trips support study at senior level. Students recently travelled to Krakow as part of Holocaust studies.

Students also take a cross-curricular Humanities trip to Italy.


Science is one of Sherfield School’s strongest subjects.

Our teachers are expert and enthusiastic. Pupils learn well and achieve excellent academic results. Sherfield’s science facilities are excellent. We have five purpose built laboratories and one theory room.

Year 9 pupils have two periods each per week of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. After a term consolidating Key Stage 3 studies, Year 9 pupils start GCSE studies in the Spring term. Pupils are taught by subject specialists.

Year 10  and 11 pupils cover a combination of AQA Science courses.

In Years 12 and 13, pupils can study Biology, Chemistry and Physics at A Level. Our Science Department has 6 full-time teachers. We also have two science technicians.


Sports play an important and very enjoyable part in the lives of Sherfield pupils. Sport is part of the curriculum. We have teams and events for all levels. Fixtures with other schools feature regularly on the school calendar.

Sports at Sherfield include:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Horse-riding
  • Netball
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Swimming
  • Ice skating
  • Judo
  • Basketball

World Languages

A broad understanding of languages equips young people to succeed in our global world.

The ability to communicate effectively in different languages is a sought-after skill. Language skills open doors to international placements during a degree.

In Sherfield’s Prep and Senior schools, pupils can learn Latin. Latin is growing in popularity as pupils recognise that Latin studies helps language learning generally.

Sherfield’s language pupils take trips abroad to further their skills. Destinations include Paris, Brussels, Maastricht, and St Petersburg.

Our language teaching also deepens each pupil’s appreciation of different cultures.

Language clubs

Sherfield School’s Languages department run popular clubs. Interests covered include Roman society and French music.

 If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.  Nelson Mandela

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