Academics are serious business here, and the curriculum is nicely broad in order to suit a wide range of abilities and interests. German and Japanese are on offer at GCSE; maths is the most popular A-level subject; pupils can pick BTECs in sport, media and business; and there’s a very well-resourced art and photography centre. Science is also exemplary with impressive science labs and a termly science magazine written and published by the pupils.
There’s plenty of extra support available for those who need it (we chatted to one dyslexic pupil who waxed lyrical about the one-on-one guidance she was getting outside of normal lesson times) and opportunities for the most gifted pupils to be really stretched. Most pupils take 10 GCSEs and results are impressive, as are A-level results, but Mr Hutchinson is not grade-driven. For him, it’s all about the journey and experience. Leavers last year went on to study a range of disciplines, from architecture and actuarial science to law, mechanical engineering and psychology. A small number also joined apprenticeship schemes.
Don’t panic! We have more than ten years’ experience of visiting schools and advising parents, and we are all parents ourselves – we can make this easier for you.