School House (Years 7 and 8)
Pupils in School House benefit from using the same laboratories, PE facilities, workshops, Art School, Drama and Music areas as our GCSE and A-Level Pupils. Pupils in School House are given as wide an appreciation as possible of what Blundell’s has to offer in every stand of subject learning. The members of staff who teach School House are the same as those who teach as subject specialists at other levels right up to A-level. The majority of Heads of Department teach their subject to Year 7 and 8 pupils.
We pride ourselves on the positive relations pupils build with their peers and with staff. We recognise that those entering in Year 7 come from a variety of different types of school and educational backgrounds so it is necessary to bring them together and give them a common experience to take forward into the Senior School.
All staff are trained and experienced in differentiating learning to ensure all pupils are catered for, whether that be those with Oxbridge aspirations or those who need additional learning support. There are specialists at hand for those pupils studying English as a second language, and for those with specific learning difficulties. Our class sizes are as small as possible.
As pupils move into Year 9, the year group size increases as we have a significant intake from other schools at this stage. Year 9 pupils are given an academic course which is even wider than the one they have been used to in School House, as they have an opportunity to study a second Modern Language alongside French. It is very important to us that new pupils should be given the same opportunities as those who are already known to us and the same chances to excel. Year 9 partly reinforces earlier experience but also acts as a basis for GCSE – indeed some subjects begin working on their GCSE courses in Year 9. At the end of Year 9 pupils make their choices of subjects for GCSE.
Pupils should make nine entries for GCSE. We expect pupils to take Mathematics, English Language and two Sciences. We also recommend pupils take English Literature, at least one Modern Language (French, German or Spanish) and to choose a Humanity; either Religious Studies, History, Classical Civilisation or Geography. The taking of at least one ‘creative’ subject such as Art, DT, Drama or Music is encouraged. Latin is available for those with appropriate experience and many pupils opt for Religious Studies.
The process of making choices of subjects is taken very seriously with consultation between pupils, teachers and parent, and the full support of the Careers department.
Sixth Form (Year 12 and 13)
The two key points we emphasise as pupils move into the Sixth Form are:
i) Which subjects do I need in order to pursue a chosen career? You may not know what career you want to follow and there is no immediate necessity to make up your mind. If, however, you wish to make a career in one of the subjects you study at school or if you have even a faint idea that you might want to be an Lawyer, Musician, Engineer, Doctor, Vet, Pharmacist or Physiotherapist, you may need to choose particular courses.
(ii) Which subjects do I most enjoy? You are going to spend at least eight periods per week in lessons for each subject, plus your own study time, so choose subjects which you can live with for this amount of time. Ask those already in the Sixth Form how they have reacted to the subjects they study or get in touch with the Head of Department for more details.
Deputy Head (Academic)