We take great pride in the exceptionally high quality of the teaching and learning that takes place at Northwood College for Girls. Our professional, enthusiastic and dedicated teachers support the girls in their education and encourage them to take responsibility for, and pride in, their work.
Small classes ensure that the academic progress of each student is closely monitored and at every age we adjust our teaching to suit the ability and learning needs of the individual girls, whether this means providing additional learning support or through offering activities from our Gifted and Talented programme.
Years 7, 8 and 9 (Key Stage 3) for girls aged 11 to 14 Years
Teaching in Years 7, 8 and 9 offers a new and exciting set of challenges for pupils entering the Senior School. The curriculum is academically rigorous and enables girls to develop those significant intellectual skills that go beyond each academic discipline, to ensure they can use their knowledge in new situations and see connections between and within subjects. Such skills are fundamental if pupils are to achieve their maximum potential and develop as independent, focussed learners, who are academically successful.
In Years 7 and 8 in particular, the curriculum is based largely around subject specialisms, but seeks to maintain the collaborative enquiry–based approach developed in the Junior School.
The girls study English, Mathematics, Spanish, one additional foreign language (from a choice of French, Mandarin or Latin with Classics), Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Art, Technology (including Design, Food, Graphics and Textiles), Information Technology, Music, Drama and Physical Education (including Athletics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Swimming, Tennis and Gymnastics).
Girls follow courses in Library Education, Health Education, Latin, Current Affairs and Careers Guidance.
In Year 7 Mathematics classes are divided in to groups across the year according to ability and this also applies for Sciences from Year 9. Girls are taught in mixed ability classes in all other subjects.
The emphasis in Science is on thinking like a Scientist, before learning the benefits that a more specialist disciplinary focus provides, and covers all of the three natural sciences. From Year 9, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught separately and IGCSE courses will commence. Computer Science is taught as a distinct strand.
There is a cross-curricular commitment to literacy, communication and numeracy. ICT and Thinking Skills are embedded across the curriculum.
To complement and support traditional subject study there is a ‘Deep Learning’ programme, in which pupils are encouraged to delve more deeply and make links between subjects within a particular faculty (or ‘family’ of subjects). The precise focus changes every half term, so that each family of subjects has an opportunity to engage pupils in deeper study for a sustained period. All pupils in Year 9 undertake a personal project on a topic of their choice.
The creative Arts and Sport are a vital and fundamental part of each girl’s entitlement, and throughout the school, a tailored and enhanced PSHE (personal, social & health education) programme encourages girls to develop emotional resilience and mindfulness.
Towards the end of Year 9 girls are advised by staff to select the subjects that they wish to study over the following two years in preparation for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs).
Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4) for girls aged 14 to 16 Years
In Years 10 and 11, pupils build a personalised programme that ensures breadth and balance. The curriculum is built on a firm academic base, choosing IGCSEs where appropriate, to ensure stability, rigour and progression to specialist A Levels.
In Years 10 and 11, all pupils study the core subjects which include English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Spanish, at least one additional Modern Foreign Language and either Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate GCSE subjects or a double GCSE in Core and Additional Science.
In addition, pupils choose three or four optional subjects from the following selection:
Art and Design, Classical Civilisation, Drama, French, Geography, History, Information Technology, Latin, Mandarin, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies and Textiles.
Non-examined Religious Studies, Physical Education, Information and Communication Technology and Thinking Skills complete the curriculum.
Additionally, pupils in Years 10 and 11 choose a subject from the ‘Enrich and Extend’ programme, which offers subjects not constrained by testing at (I)GCSE. The subjects available, together with the publically examined programme, add up to the base of essential knowledge and skills for any well-educated young person at the age of 16.
Subjects offered in the ‘Enrich & Extend’ block include Astronomy, Creative Writing, History of Art, Philosophy, Psychology, Politics and Law.
Careers Advice is offered to all girls in Year 11. All girls follow a detailed course in study skills and learn how to use study time effectively.
Whole year lectures cover life skills and personal and professional development, which incorporates PSHE.
Physical Education is taken by all pupils in Years 10 and 11.
We believe that a fully rounded education cannot be complete without an awareness and appreciation of culture and the arts.
Art, Graphics and Textiles are integral to our curriculum and girls are encouraged to explore their creativity and experiment with a wide range of media and materials.
The results of this innovative approach are much in evidence in the colourful and powerful displays that greet visitors throughout our school.
Musical and Dramatic talent flourishes in our Performing Arts Centre which is equipped with state of the art facilities to enhance the superb range of opportunities available to our girls, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Drama attracts huge support through an eclectic programme of performance. Our regular productions, as well as studio workshops, are always eagerly anticipated while the House Drama Competition is an annual showcase for impressive, and sometimes unexpected, talents.
The thriving musical life of the school opens up exciting possibilities at all levels of ability with formal orchestras, a jazz group, string quartets, two choirs and various ensembles providing opportunities for girls to expand their talents or discover new ones.
There is a full music programme throughout the year with recitals and concerts, culminating in our annual House Music Festival which is always guaranteed to generate lively competition and enthusiastic support.
Health and well-being are strongly promoted through a wide range of activities on and off the sports field. Our impressive facilities include a 25m indoor swimming pool, sports hall, netball and tennis courts, all-weather pitches, playing fields and a fitness suite.
PE is taken by all pupils and, as well as the seasonal sports of hockey, netball, athletics, rounders and tennis, a wide range of leisure opportunities are available including trampoline, badminton, table tennis, gymnastics, dance and self-defence.
The sports fixture list is guaranteed to be packed with a full programme of inter-school matches, as well as inter-house competitions.
Gifted and Talented girls are identified according to teacher nominations and baseline data and a list of names is distributed to all members of staff. Tasks with significant stretch and challenge are then delivered across the curriculum to meet the needs of our most able students.
Individual and personalised gifted and talented plans are set up for all students who have been identified, in order to maximise their individual strengths. These girls are targeted to further their knowledge and are encouraged to host lunch-time presentations followed by question and answer sessions, to members of the Leadership team and staff. Recent topics have included talks on Gravity, Four Fundamental Forces, Black Holes and the Large Hadron Collider.
We strongly believe that there are many alternative ways to add stretch and challenge for our most able and we will provide an appropriate curriculum for individuals. Whilst we prefer to not accelerate students through the curriculum, as many schools do, we will always assess the individual needs of our girls and act accordingly. We have found it far more engaging to complement the curriculum, rather than accelerate and consequently offer our most able the opportunity to study for additional GCSEs such as Statistics, Astronomy or other qualifications that do not make up the more traditional subjects on offer.
The Senior School Centenary Library is housed in a beautiful building which was originally constructed as the school gymnasium in 1899 and transformed into the Library in 1994, one hundred years after the school moved from its original site in Euston Square to Northwood – hence the name.
The Library is open from 08:15am to 17:00 daily and aims to support all aspects of educational and recreational life at Northwood College for Girls as well as nurturing a love of reading and knowledge.
We are very happy with our daughter’s progress. She is very happy in class and it shows in her work.