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Lessons are about so much more than learning facts and practising for tests. We teach students to explore, to question, evaluate and analyse – as they solve problems, debate and think creatively with confidence.

Our Non-Examined Curriculum (Years 9 - 11)

IDavid Walkern Years 9 to 11 we offer weekly lessons that help students access areas of academic interest not typically found in the curriculum.

Free from teaching to a syllabus we use this time to explore topics of genuine interest to both students and teachers.

Our focus is on encouraging students to take risks, to approach new ideas with confidence and to be willing to think for themselves where there is not a pre-determined 'right answer'.

Six key thinking skills are integral to our learning: 
  1. Exploring – going beneath the surface of a topic, looking from a variety of angles and perspectives.

  2. Questioning – encouraging enquiring minds, that don’t accept things  at face value.

  3. Imagining – having the freedom and the confidence to apply divergent thinking to a problem and to toy with big ideas.

  4. Evaluating – weighing each point or idea and reaching your own informed conclusions.

  5. Problem-solving – having a can-do attitude towards intellectual and practical challenges and the ingenuity and initiative to think your way through difficulties, helping others along the way.

Analysing – being able to grasp both the big picture and the finer points of detail, identifying small but significant points of similarity and difference and forming reasoned conclusions from raw material.

View some of our Non-Examined topics by year: 

Year 9
 
  • American Politics

  • Modern face of Feminism

  • Psychology

  • Linguistics
year 10 
  • Modern face of Feminism

  • American Politics

  • Political Cartoons: what’s the point?

  • Early Greek Philosophy & Philosophers

In Year 10, students also receive training in research and data analysis skills as part of maths and science. They apply these skills in Spring term through a quantitative and collaborative project of their own choice.
year 11 
  • Politics & Debate

  • Linguistics

  • Photo-journalism

  • Environmental Tensions

Critical thinking lessons have opened my mind to lots of new ideas and theories.”