Academic Programme

The Henrietta Barnett School Curriculum

We are committed to providing a broad education that is ambitious, varied and stimulating. Ms Mandy Watts (Acting Head) has overall responsibility for the Academic Programme.

Statement of Intent

We are committed to providing a broad education that is ambitious, varied and stimulating. Academic excellence and a wide range of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities are offered in an open, caring and supportive environment, enabling each individual to thrive and achieve her potential. We aim to develop the whole person, encouraging students to explore their interests in a wide variety of ways and promoting curiosity of mind, independence of spirit and a love of learning. In a culture of respect for others, but without the need for bells or lists of imposed rules, we want HBS students to be driven by self-motivation, self-discipline and a common purpose, a thirst for learning and a strong sense of pride in belonging to the diverse, inclusive, high-performing, friendly and supportive school community. We intend for them to leave HBS full of integrity and ambition, ready and equipped to make a positive contribution to society, with the world at their fingertips. The enjoyment of learning is fundamental to the success of our school and the happiness of our students. We encourage our teachers to use innovative teaching and learning methods to stimulate higher-order thinking and to go beyond the requirements of the national curriculum in order to keep students focused and motivated. Lessons are interactive and carefully planned, with a commitment to high standards of academic achievement. We pay attention to our students’ individual learning needs, and they are very much encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, with many opportunities for independent research and leadership to extend their learning both in and outside the classroom. The school’s focus on the breadth of provision is reflected in its curriculum at each Key Stage. In KS3, students study three Modern Foreign Languages in Years 8 and 9 and Classics in all three years, as well as a range of creative subjects: Art, Drama, Music, Design, Technology and Engineering. The balance of provision is reflected in the GCSE curriculum, in which, in addition to three separate sciences, students are asked to choose one from each of three option groups: humanities, languages, and creative, as well as two ‘free’ choices. At A level too, students are asked to choose four subjects, and about half continue with all four into Year 13. Most students go on to university, and we prepare them for the breadth and scope of university study, which is much wider than the content of 3 A-level courses, by teaching them transferable skills, application of knowledge to different contexts, and to make connections within and across their areas of study.

November 2021

Our Stats

  • 1911 School Founded by Dame Henrietta Barnett
  • Over 88% A*-A at A Level and 97% A*-B; 94% Grades 8 and 9 at GCSE in Summer 2022
  • State School of Year 2023 for academic achievement in The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide
  • 34 Oxbridge offers January 2023 (24% of the Year 13 year group)
We are committed to providing a broad education that is ambitious, varied and stimulating.
Years 7 - 9
At Key Stage 3, we want to enable girls to pursue a wide variety of academic and extra-curricular interests to the full.
Years 10 - 11
Progress into Key Stage 4 is both a psychological one, entering the ‘GCSE years’, as well as a literal one.
Sixth Form
Sixth Form is a vibrant, friendly and happy community, where every student is valued and given individual attention.