Senior School

Years 7 - 11

All our children are on the path to GCSE, but the journeys they take are different and, to the greatest possible extent, tailored to the needs of each child. The key philosophy is that, even when exams are in prospect, we never lose sight of making learning fun. The key reassurance is that at Stoke there is always a friend to talk to or a teacher to explain something. Class sizes are small and we will sometimes stream (especially in Maths) into sets of just four or five.

Year 7 marks the commencement of a faster pace of learning and the introduction of discrete subjects and a homework timetable to match. Until Year 9 we try to maintain the broadest range of subjects we can for every child: Maths, English, a humanities and languages cycle of Geography, History, Spanish and French, Art & Design (including Design and Technology), Creative Arts (Music and Drama) and Food Technology too. We are very proud of our STEM teaching and we progress from general Science in Year 7 towards Chemistry, Biology and Physics taught by subject specialists by Year 9.

We are flexible enough to allow our children to choose between the gentler path of Combined Science at GCSE or separate sciences. Indeed, though a small school, we teach a remarkable range of subjects, including Drama, Music, Business and Mandarin, most of which children can pursue at GCSE if they wish to. One reason we can do this is through classes held in our extended, flexible lunch period, into which we incorporate rehearsals, debates, society meetings and guest speakers as well as some extra teaching.

No child takes every subject to GCSE, though most take ten or eleven. Children who need additional Learning Development lessons would tend to drop one or two subjects, sometimes well before GCSE courses begin properly in Year 10. However, we do not allow children to drop more than one or two subjects – even performing without great distinction in an exam subject is better than avoiding the challenge altogether.

Ultimately, we want every pupil to achieve the best GCSE results they can, regardless of their previous academic abilities. Pupils here are aspirational and realise that hard work yields positive exam results.


What do pupils study for GCSE?

What do pupils study for GCSE?
Compulsory English Language, Maths, Combined or Separate Science (either 2 or 3 GCSEs). Most students also sit English Literature.
Options Art, Business Studies, Computer Science, Design and Technology, Drama, Food, French, Geography, History, Music, PE, Spanish, Statistics

“An education at Stoke College is a ‘whole education’. It is inspiration, not pressure, that allows children to thrive.”