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Curriculum

Plymouth High School for Girls aims to be an outstanding Grammar School for the 21st century remaining true to the philosophy of the school’s motto ‘For Life Not School We Learn’.

A school which:

  • Promotes a culture of high aspiration enabling personal and academic success.
  • Prepares students to become confident, independent learners.
  • Provides an outstanding education for all, the key to this being high quality teaching.
  • Provides enjoyment, excitement and challenge for all, stimulating an enthusiasm for lifelong learning
  • Prepares students to become active citizens, equipped to succeed in a world of rapid change

Students study a broad and balanced curriculum and are encouraged to take up a wide range of subjects.  Students in KS 3 (Years 7-9) follow the National Curriculum, while those in KS4 (Years 10-11) take up to 10 GCSEs within the normal timetable. At KS5 (Year 12-13) students take 3 or 4 A levels and may also study for an Extended Project Qualification. The school ensures a high take up of the EBacc subjects, while also continuing to offer, and value, a range of other subjects such as art, drama, music and design technology.

Enriching the understanding and experience of our students is something we value highly. Our curriculum is therefore seen in its broadest sense. Our Additional Curriculum of: dedicated Wellbeing lessons, a carefully planned Personal, Social and Health Education programme, and focussed Careers education, builds the students confidence and knowledge of themselves, giving them the skills necessary to succeed. Enrichment opportunities, whether in lessons or on trips, and residential experiences build knowledge and team work, as does our very strong House system around which school activities revolve. The termly House Festivals and competitions, independently organised by the House Captain teams build character, and resilience, while simultaneously providing great enjoyment and many happy memories.

In this way our additional curriculum:

  • develops the whole person and their character so that they move on from Plymouth High happy, confident and ambitious ; able to lead and succeed.
  • provides opportunities for developing cultural literacy
  • makes meaningful links between the knowledge in the curriculum and the major issues of our time, in the local, national and international dimensions.

For further more detailed information about our whole school approach please click below.

 Pastoral Overview.

At Plymouth High School, we aim to create the kind of environment that allows for personal development, happiness and academic achievement to go hand in hand.  We want our students to look forward to coming to school, to participate actively in lessons, to stretch themselves and to have fun.  We want them to feel successful, to continue to grow in confidence and to be proud of who they are. 
Each pupil is a member of a tutor group based on the House they are allocated in Year 7 - either Anthony, Kendall, Latimer or Temple. All students see their tutor at the beginning of each day who will ensure students are ready for their learning. The tutor is the central point for communications regarding the academic progress and pastoral support of the pupils within their tutor group. The tutor is the first point of contact for parents and subject teachers, and liaises with other members of the school’s staff as appropriate regarding students in their group. Oversight of the academic and pastoral support of pupils within each year group is provided by the Head of Year, who meets regularly with each form tutor in the year group. Additional support may be provided by our Support Base if needed: this may lead on to counselling or involvement with outside agencies, if appropriate. 

The Pastoral Curriculum has been developed to ensure we meet the requirements of our motto ‘for life, not school, we learn’  whilst ensuring we meet our pastoral objectives:

  1. Support students in being resilient, responsible and independent in all aspects of their lives.

  2. Develop the ambition of all and support students in becoming the best they can be.

  3. Ensure a consistency in approach to behaviour and uniform.

  4. Create a comprehensive tutor programme for all year groups.

  5. Ensure students develop a wider understanding of the world and their place in it.

Each year group has a slightly different focus, depending on their curriculum experience at that point. Largely, the focus for each year group is as follows:

Year 7: Transition from primary school to secondary school. This focuses on settling into new friendships, new academic rigour and new school routines.

Year 8:  Promote confidence and resilience in students and embrace the school as a community.

Year 9: The year of being supported to make big decisions.

Year 10: Developing the pupils as positive citizens in the wider community. As they embark on their GCSEs they look forward to their future. Work experience placements and important roles of responsibility within the school support this.

Year 11: Developing students’ revision and organisation skills to apply during mock and summer exams. Next steps support includes an evaluation of work experience, interview techniques and 1:1 interviews with our Careers Advisor to support students’ next steps whatever they may be. 

Year 12: Study skills for more independent learning; enriching and extending their learning as well as researching different pathways beyond school, and careers planning. Students are encouraged to become active citizens with a wider perspective on the world. The focus is on current events and issues, the role of social media, employment law, rights and responsibilities, keeping safe and managing wellbeing.

Year 13: University applications and the UCAS process, preparation for specialist courses such as Medicine, Law, Veterinary Science and Oxford or Cambridge applications, apprenticeships and other opportunities. Preparation for life beyond school, examples could include wellbeing strategies, budgeting, car maintenance, cooking on a budget, first aid, TEFL.

Our sanctions and rewards policies are age appropriate and implemented rigorously.

Safeguarding remains, at all times, the highest priority within the school, led by our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Sam Payne and Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Mr Shaun Willis.