Third Form Curriculum
All boys follow the same core curriculum in the Third Form but there is some variation depending on ability and previous experience. Choices concerning GCSE are made in late February of the Third Form when boys' academic strengths and interests will be more evident and when they have had time to make decisions based on experience. Changes to choices can still be made after February but only subject to timetabling restrictions that will have been imposed at that point.
The following guiding principles reflect our aims within the junior curriculum.
The quality of work and learning is more important than the quantity;
The curriculum should recognise the diversity of boys and their needs. It must stretch the most able and effectively support the least able and in so doing we must not assume that 'one size fits all';
Co-curricular work should be encouraged wherever possible;
Core life, interpersonal and academic skills, and independent learning, should be developed for all boys over the Third Form to allow them to learn better later;
The Third Form should provide educational opportunities that go beyond the constraints of the public examination system.
Occasionally, after discussion with parents, it is felt that it is not in the best interest of an individual boy to study the full range of subjects in the Third Form.
All boys study English, Mathematics, Geography, History, Theology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, ICT and Health & Fitness throughout the year. They take at least one Classical subject and two Modern Languages, though there is individual choice as to which particular courses are studied. All boys study Art, Design Technology, Drama and Music in the Michaelmas Term, and then choose two of these four to continue after Christmas.
Boys are taught in sets based on ability, although there will be some movement between sets during the course of the year. Sets are totally re-drawn in the Fourth Form. English, Mathematics, Classics and Modern Languages are set independently of other subjects. The three Sciences are set together (and ICT and Health & Fitness are included in this grouping) and Geography, History and Theology form another group of sets.
Some boys will have studied Latin and/or Greek before their arrival and others will not. We firmly believe that every boy should have access to the classical languages, so some sets are run for boys who have not studied Classics before: Beginners' Latin and Latin & Classical Civilisation, with the latter being suggested for the less able linguists based on ability in French and English. The top set studies Latin and Greek; there is no need to have studied Greek previously.
Boys will study two modern languages and they will need to choose from French, German and Spanish. There is no course for beginners in French but the courses in Spanish and German are suitable both for beginners and for those with some experience. The top set will study French, German and Spanish together and boys can continue with all three languages at GCSE if they wish.
Boys who do not speak English as a first language can select English as an Additional Language (EAL) as one of their Modern Language options.
All boys will have one lesson of ICT each week and will work towards a Functional Skills qualification. Lessons will encourage the boys in developing the use of Microsoft Office applications and Web 2.0 tools. This will provide them with the necessary skills to complement their learning in all subjects across the curriculum.
'Preparing for Life'
Sherborne School has its own course in personal development and study skills called 'Preparing for Life'. This involves a series of modules that focus on issues such as alcohol, communication, current affairs, discrimination, drugs, finance, friendship, health, internet safety, public speaking and relationships. The broad aim is to develop decision-making and self-awareness in many situations. It also has a study skills element, which helps boys develop a variety of learning and note-taking techniques. This programme is delivered through the House system in the Third Form.
Health and Fitness
In addition to the Games programme, boys will have one period per week of Health and Fitness and the opportunity to play a number of games such as badminton, basketball, swimming, volleyball, water polo and weight training.