Canford sets its entry standards at a level which should enable the motivated pupil to achieve a wide range of GCSEs (at grades A to C) and three A levels of sufficient quality to enter Higher Education. Ninety five percent of Sixth formers proceed to university.
There is increasing pressure for exam success and, as shown by the statistics to be found on these webpages, Canford is successful in helping pupils of a wide range of ability to achieve their optimum potential. The school is not a hothouse, however, and it aims at more subtle and long lasting academic achievements.
The pursuit of academic success should be seen by pupils as a voyage of discovery with great potential for excitement as well as profit. Pupils are taught how to learn and to take pride in their performance. Once enthusiasm is generated, achievement is not far behind.
The curriculum is under constant review. In the Lower School it broadly follows the National Curriculum but is not constrained by it. Breadth is important and, in studying as full a range of subjects as possible, pupils can discover their strengths and keep their A level options wide.
Not all periods in the lower school timetable are exam orientated. The first year is used by all departments as a foundation year in preparation for the GCSE courses to follow. It is also an opportunity for 'tasters' in subjects such as Design Technology and Art that can then be chosen for GCSE. In the first and second years, a course in Personal, Social and Moral Education (PSME) is provided. This spends time on such issues as alcohol, drug abuse and sex and is designed to give pupils some bearings and fixed points as they negotiate the tricky waters of adolescence. There is emphasis on self esteem, relationships and independence of thought.
Pupils study for four AS levels in the Lower Sixth and most will study three A2 levels in the Upper Sixth. There is a General Studies programme which each term combines a lecture with discussion in small seminar groups.
Potential candidates for Oxford and Cambridge entrance are encouraged early in their Lower Sixth year to join extra classes and discussion groups to prepare for interviews.
The aim is to encourage the emergence of individuals whose specialist knowledge and skills are complemented and enlivened by a quick and critical interest in a broad range of issues.
Lower School: Shell
The balance and breadth of the Lower School curriculum allow for considerable choice when it comes to 'A' Level.The entire curriculum is reviewed regularly; changes are therefore likely from time to time.
RE & PSME
Learning Skills or