Teaching & Learning
Our students benefit from Aylesbury High School's focus on high quality teaching and learning. Our staff have regular training on improving aspects of their teaching and learning and we strive to offer a stimulating curriculum to our students.
‘Standards are very high throughout the school...The curriculum is outstanding. This is because a very rich and stimulating curriculum is offered to every year group' OFSTED Report - November 2006.
You can also explore each curriculum area where you can find further information about the curriculum at AHS
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We offer a broad and balanced curriculum with an exceptional range of choice at both GCSE and A level.
Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
In Years 7-9 all students study English, Maths, Science, Art, Dance, Design Technology, Drama, French, Geography, History, ICT, Music, PE, Religious Education, and, in Years 8 and 9, either German or Spanish.
Key Stage 4: Years 10 & 11
During Year 9 students select the subjects they wish to study during Years 10 and 11. A comprehensive booklet is issued and there are information sessions for both students and parents. We encourage students to retain a broad set of subjects. Students also have the possibility of taking an AS level in General Studies or World Development and a Level 1 Sports Leader award.
GCSE subjects currently available are:
The Sixth Form: Years 12 & 13
The vast majority of our students continue their studies here in the Sixth Form and can select from an impressive list of A level subjects which currently includes:
Drama & Theatre Studies
English Lang. & Lit.
Government & Politics
In Year 12 students usually study 4 AS subjects from the list above and then continue with 3 of them in Year 13. They also commence an Extension Course in Year 12, choosing from courses in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, a Dance Leaders or Community Sports Leaders Award, a GCSE in Italian or Latin, or AS courses in Citizenship, Critical Thinking, General Studies, Statistics and World Development.
English at AHS is comprehensive and various. You will investigate plays such as An Inspector Calls, poetry from Chaucer to Sylvia Plath and novels including Mark Haddon's Curious Incident , Louis Sachar's Holes and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. We also examine the media, with units on film analysis and there are opportunities to use ICT in our dedicated computer room. We encourage students to get involved in a range of extra activities, including public speaking and debating, competitions, theatre trips and workshops and links with our schools in India and Kenya. Surveys regularly show that students love English and find it worthwhile and fun.
Academically we have been very successful at all levels with great results. This year we received four letters from the exam board showing students were in the top five percentile for English Literature at GCSE. At A Level over 90% of Communications Studies and English Literature students gained an A or B grade. Every year we have students go to Oxford or Cambridge to study English and many go to other top universities.
The English department has a total of twelve teachers both full and part time who teach throughout the school in mixed ability classes. We have six dedicated rooms in the Drama/English block and two more classrooms in the sixth form block. At A level we offer three different qualifications in English Literature, English Language/Literature and Communications Studies. Almost two thirds of students last year at AS studied one of these English A levels, demonstrating the enormous and continuing popularity of the subject.
The Humanities Curriculum area contains a diverse and dynamic range of subjects which provide students with a wide and varied range of skills. Students study Geography, History and Religious Studies at KS3 and then have the option to continue with these subjects and pick up other subjects within the curriculum area, such as Business Studies and Citizenship, at KS4. At KS5, students can pick up additional subjects as diverse as Classical Civilisation, Economics and Politics, all of which come under the ‘Humanities' umbrella.
Students are encouraged to develop skills which are useful in other areas of the curriculum as well as in the wider world. All Humanities subjects involve an element of discussion and empathy and require students to take an interest in what is going on in the ‘real' world. Academic achievement is high within the subjects, this year, three Geography, History and Politics students received letters from their A2 exam boards confirming that they had achieved amongst the top 10 marks in the country.
The Humanities area is also very strong in the area of extra-curricular activities. Students have the opportunity to visit places at both a local and a global scale with trips to Russia, North Devon and London being examples. There is also a variety of clubs which students can join, either to support them in their academic work or to inspire them to enjoy their subject. A notable recent event for the History club was to interview the first Headteacher of the school to find out how the school had changed over the last 45 years.
As a curriculum area, we find out what is distinctive about us as human beings, and hopefully make this journey enjoyable and inspiring.
The school is fortunate to be well stocked with modern PC computer hardware and software. The whole school network connects all buildings using the latest fibre-optic technology. There are five dedicated computer network rooms; in addition there are network stations situated in the library and most subject areas throughout the school. The main computer suites have an interactive white board and can accommodate a whole class of students working individually.
Students have access to in excess of 200 computers on the school network, both during and outside their normal lessons, all using the latest Windows and Microsoft Office software. All students have their own email address which enables them to communicate with other students from many other countries.
Computers have widespread use in the world of work, and modern courses at school make increasing use of technology for information and as a tool for learning across the whole curriculum. Students use a wide range of software designed for various subject areas as well as the general application programs currently in use by the world at large. ICT forms a major part of a pupil's learning experience in school. Its use as a learning tool and for the preparation of work is strongly encouraged in all subjects.
The management of the school places a firm emphasis on the development of ICT at Aylesbury High School. Most classrooms have whiteboards and data projectors fitted and linked to a networked computer or a laptop which connects to the school network through our wireless system. Further developments are already in the pipeline.
Throughout Years 7 - 11 our students are provided with lessons dedicated to ICT which are taught by specialist staff. The topics covered include computer awareness and use of the networks; practice with various application programs, such as word processing, data handling, computer graphics, spreadsheets, desk-top publishing (DTP) and computer aided design (CAD); plus the control of external devices and designing and creating web sites. Information retrieval from the Internet and other sources is examined critically before it is used to support a project. Extended projects form a significant part work in ICT and also in many other subjects on the curriculum.
Students can opt to study GCSE ICT as a full or a short course. Both these courses have a high practical content and use the skills that students have acquired in Years 7 to 9. More details can be found on the OCR website (http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/ict_a/index.html).
In Years 12 and 13 students study an Applied GCE to AS level. The course currently offered is administered by OCR (http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as_alevelgce/applied_ict/index.html).
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Opening times are Monday 9:00 / 3:30 and Tues/Fri 8:30 / 3:30
HAS Club is 3:30 / 4:30 Monday to Thursday
The OLIVER OPAC is available in school and via the Internet. It can be used to find authors, titles and subjects available in the Library. OLIVER can also be used for renewals, requests and loan histories. Further instructions are available in the Library.
You can borrow resources and the loan period is usually 2 weeks
You can have resources during the holidays
If you have overdues you should get a reminder via your email. Fines are payable.
You can request specialist items for your coursework
The Library can help you with ideas for ...
Coursework Information Presentations Reading for fun
Newspapers Magazines Scanning Printing Textbooks
Remember to watch for details about International events, book sales and competitions throughout the year.
L5 is now available for the Sixth Form to use for private SILENT study. Food and drink are not permitted in this room.
Please feel free to talk to us about resources you would like in the Library
Mathematics is a popular subject, possibly unusually in a girl's school. Students are keen to do well and welcome the opportunity to contribute their ideas in lessons. Between a quarter and a third of sixth form students continue to study the subject with some going to university to study Mathematics or related subjects.
Mathematics is a very satisfying subject, challenging and enjoyable for its own sake. It is also true that an understanding of Mathematics is at the heart of almost every modern industry. In today's world, Mathematics has an important role in providing Key Skills needed in many different careers. It provides a logical approach and intellectual rigour that contribute to an ability to solve a wide variety of problems.
UK Maths Challenge
The Mathematics team encourages students to take part in these challenges and offers time in and out of class to prepare for them.
- About 100 Yr 8 pupils are invited to take part in the Junior Maths Challenge ( in Spring Term).
- About 100 Yr 10 pupils are invited to take part in the Intermediate Maths challenge together with a few Yr 9 ( in Spring Term)
- Yr 12 & Yr 13 pupils are invited to take part in the Senior Maths challenge ( Autumn term)
Students who do well in the challenges may be invited to take part in other competitions.
Modern Foreign Languages
The languages department at Aylesbury High School offers many opportunities to the pupils at the school, as befits its status as a Language College. Learning a language provides pupils with the chance to develop their communication skills, their self-confidence, their cultural awareness of different countries and their future job prospects.
All pupils have the opportunity to study French in Year 7, and to start a second language in Year 8, either German or Spanish. Both languages are studied until the end of Year 9.
Pupils have several options available to them when they start their GCSEs. All of our pupils study at least one language. There is the chance to study two or three languages within the timetable and even further opportunities through the Language College for extra languages outside of school.
Pupils studying languages regularly achieve excellent results and we have a large number of pupils opting to continue with languages in the Sixth Form.
The language department has its own dedicated ICT suite, a language lab. for the sixth form, access to satellite TV, multimedia film/video and audio equipment and much more.
The language department runs a wide variety of trips; we have exchanges with France, Germany, Spain and Italy, our younger pupils have the opportunity to travel to France, Germany and Spain and sixth form students enjoy the chance to go to Germany and Spain in their final year.
Language assistants from France, Germany and Spain help students with their oral work, especially in the Sixth Form.
Pupils enjoy the status of languages within the school and recognise their importance within their broader education. The languages department at AHS aims to aid pupils in achieving their full potential and developing their linguistic skills to the highest possible level.
We aim to provide a high quality science education through a wide ranging science course which becomes progressively more specialised throughout the school.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 Science unlocks the door to Science education at Aylesbury High School. We follow the National Curriculum culminating in the Key Stage 3 tests.
- topics are delivered through a lively mix of experiment and theory
- research is a key feature, using a variety of resources and methods of presentation
- students are taught in form groups by one teacher who is experienced in all aspects of science at this level
- clubs include ‘Science Links' and ‘Ecowatch'
Key Stage 4
All students take both Core Science (AQA Science B 4462) and Additional Science (AQA Additional Science 4463) at GCSE giving them two separate qualifications, the minimum requirement to take Biology, Chemistry or Physics to a higher level.
- students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics separately under the supervision of teachers who are specialists in each area
- students have a wider option choice for their GCSEs, whilst receiving the appropriate foundation for further study of science
- students are taught in groups which are smaller than form groups
- Biology, Physics and Chemistry are delivered at both AS and A2
- there is the opportunity to study Psychology at AS and A2
- all subjects are taught by highly qualified specialists
- most sixth form students study at least one science, and many study all three
- large numbers go on to science based degree courses or employment
At all levels we explore different aspects of science through a variety of activities including:
- short experiments
- more complex investigations
- problem solving
- computer animations and simulations
- and even performing plays!
"Design and Technology is about making things that people want and that work well. Creating these things is hugely exciting: it is an inventive, fun activity." James Dyson
Design and Technology prepares students to participate in tomorrow's rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think creatively and aim to improve the quality of life. Students learn to become problem solvers, as individuals and as members of a team. They must look for needs and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and by making products and systems. Practical skills are combined with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues together with industrial practices.
Through Design and Technology, all students can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.
There are lots of Technology subjects available to you at Aylesbury High School. The different ‘material areas' of Design and Technology are:
Food - Graphics - Resistant Materials - Electronics - Textiles
In these lessons you can make lots of things to take home. AHS DT has great ICT resources, including CAD/CAM, so take advantage of them as it is vital you leave school with good computer skills.
You must follow the safety rules that your teacher will tell you about when using the Technology equipment. You might be asked to make a small contribution towards the cost of certain materials if you want to take your finished design home. In Food Technology, you will also be asked to provide the ingredients if you want to take home the food you have prepared.