The Perse School


A broad-based curriculum is essential for balanced intellectual development

Pupils study a broad core of compulsory subjects to GCSE (or, in some subjects, IGCSE), including three separate sciences and a modern foreign language. They make guided subject choices principally in Year 9 and Year 10.

We recognise that pupils are individuals, and that they progress at different rates, and require increasingly flexible learning opportunities. Many pupils take advantage of additional or fast-track IGCSE qualifications or other certification. Current opportunities exist in maths, drama, computer science, music, additional modern languages and ICT.

Years 7 and 8

The curriculum is a varied and stimulating introduction to secondary school study, and lays a foundation of effective study skills.

Global studies – a distinctive feature of the Year 7 curriculum – reflects our aim to prepare our pupils for an increasingly international future. All pupils study the language and culture of Japanese, Mandarin and Italian. From September 2016 Year 7 pupils also receive lessons in local studies, taken by the Head, in which they discover the history and geography of Cambridgeshire.

We encourage students about to join us in Year 7 to take advantage of our online linking project, designed to help them use the time over the summer holidays to bridge the gap between primary and secondary education.

Computer science*
Design and technology
English and drama
Global studies (Year 7 only)
Local studies (Year 7 only) – new from September 2016
Modern foreign languages (French* in Year 7 plus German or Spanish in Year 8)
Physical education
PSHE and emotional literacy
Religious studies

*Setted from Year 7 (games is grouped according to ability). Maths is setted from the Michaelmas half term and computer science is taught in the same sets.

**Setted from Year 8.

Optional extension

A wide range of academic societies, the 42 lecture programme with book reward scheme in lower years,  reading lists and extension task booklets, mini investigations (Year 7), Perse Project Qualification (Year 8) and Microsoft ICT certification.

Year 9

In Year 9 students pick five options – we ask for at least two languages (one may be classical and at least one modern) in these choices. Studying at least two modern languages in Year 9 allows for a choice in the GCSE Year 10 selection.

Core Electives
Biology Ancient history
Chemistry Art
English literature Computer science
English language Design and technology
Games* Drama (one year course)
Geography French**
History German (beginners)
Mathematics* German (continuers)
Physics Greek
Physical education Latin
PSHE Music
Religious studies Spanish (beginners)
Spanish (continuers

*Setted (games is grouped according to ability). **Lightly setted.

Optional extension

A wide range of academic societies, the 42 lecture programme with book reward scheme in lower years,  reading lists and extension task booklets, Microsoft ICT certification, one year drama option and subsidised extra-curricular GCSEs in Italian, Japanese and Mandarin.

Years 10 and 11

In Years 10 and 11, all students study the six core subjects shown in the table below.  They choose a further four optional subjects, to include at least one modern foreign language.

In addition, in Year 10, students also choose one of the following options: Year 10 Higher Project Qualification (research), RADA Shakespeare drama certificate, Microsoft ICT certification, PE internal certificate or supervised private study to provide independent study time for other extra-curricular courses. Some pupils study additional maths in Year 10 or take a fast-track GCSE subject over a one year programme in music or computer science.

In Year 11 (and in the Sixth Form) students spend one afternoon a fortnight doing enrichment activities.

Core Electives Not examined
Biology* Ancient history Games*
Chemistry* Art Physical education
English language* Computer science PSHE
English literature Design and technology
Mathematics* French*
Physics* Geography
Enrichment programme (Year 11) German
Religious studies
Year 10 one of: Higher Project Qualification, Microsoft ICT certification, RADA Shakespeare Certification, PE internal certificate, private study

*Setted (Games is grouped according to ability). **Lightly setted.

Optional extension

A wide range of academic societies with leadership opportunities, the 42 lecture programme, reading lists and extension task booklets, Microsoft ICT certification, additional maths, fast-track I/GCSEs in music and computer science, and subsidised extra-curricular GCSEs in Italian, Japanese and Mandarin.

Homework, parents' evenings and reports

In Years 7 pupils gradually build up to about 60 minutes each weeknight. In Year 9 that increases to around an hour and a half which continues through to GCSEs. It is a varied diet which might include following up themes learnt in class, consolidating or revising, reading and independent research projects.

Each pupil receives two full reports a year, with an additional report format in the other term for most year groups, consisting of teacher grades, pupil self-assessment and a tutor overview. The full report includes grades for organisation, engagement and initiative and standard of work. These are accompanied by subject teacher comments and a pastoral overview from the tutor, the Year or Section Head and either the Head or a member of the senior management team, who review all reports.

Parents of each year group are invited into school on several occasions during the academic year. These include one formal parents’ evening (two in some years) plus a tutorial evening, which has a more pastoral focus, and other more informal occasions.



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