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2015 ISI Inspection Report

Excellent in every category

Secondary School - Senior School Department

Mr Alan Whelpdale

Girls from the Junior Department move to the Secondary School (Senior School Department) in Year 6, along with some new Year 6 girls from other schools. New girls also join in Year 7, although it is possible, depending on success in the entrance exam, to join us in any year group.

The Senior School is based in a separate building on the same site as the Junior Department, and has 6 science laboratories, a languages computer suite, drama/dance studio, gym, library, art and design studio, food studies room, IT suites, all set around an award-winning courtyard garden. The school is a mix of the old and new: a £3.7m extension in 2010 has seen much improvement in many of the facilities, but the original old house gives the school character and a homely feel.

At the Senior School, girls learn an increasing variety of subjects, including all three sciences and three languages if they wish. They have a choice of 20 GCSE subjects, some of which are the more challenging IGCSEs, and all subjects offered are traditional, rigorous, and in our opinion, worth having.

As part of their preparation for life outside of the school gates, the girls enjoy a full and engaging PHSCE (personal, health, social, citizenship and economic well-being) programme. Careers activities begin in Year 7, and increase as they go through the school to a Careers Testing programme in Year 10, and volunteer work in Year 11. The girls are also increasingly given opportunities for leadership, with roles on the School Council, in charity and amnesty groups, as Form and Deputy Form Captains, as well as within the three school Houses (Beaumanor; Bradgate; Charnwood).

The variety and frequency of trips and visits increases in the Senior School, because it is so valued as part of the Leicester High educational philosophy. The DofE programme is part of this, but every subject has exciting and inspiring activities to offer: the tour of the WWI battlefields and day visit to Auschwitz in history; Morocco in geography; the Ardèche and Madrid in modern languages; New York and Washington in politics; and London in expressive arts; netball tour to Malta and skiing trip to the Alps in physical education.

What is most distinctive about the Senior School is its ability to combine educational opportunity with an atmosphere of security. We are small enough for the girls to feel that they are important and known, but big enough to develop their talents and imagination.