Middle School - 13 to 15 years
All pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum right through to GCSE. There is no pressure on them to specialise early, but the options system does allow pupils to study the subjects that interest them. Most take a full range of GCSE examinations, comprising English Language and Literature, Maths, Co-ordinated Science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology), History, Geography, two foreign languages and a Creative Arts subject. The option system allows variations on this pattern, but the emphasis on breadth and balance remains.
Pupils are divided into teaching groups called "sets". Some departments set according to ability, while others choose to have mixed groups: these choices are made from experience and aim to ensure that each pupil has the best chance of success.
With the exception of Information and Communication Technology, Physical Education and Religious Education, all subjects are allocated specific prep times in the third and fourth forms, whose total prep time per week is about eleven hours.
Fifth formers are set work in all subjects; a total of around 12 hours a week. We encourage them to become increasingly responsible for organising their own work and to make full use of the Smallbone Library, which provides outstanding facilities for self-motivated study. Whilst pupils are encouraged to pursue wider interests on their own initiative, informal support is always available.
Oakham participates in the HMC value-added baseline testing scheme, which involves all members of the third form taking a 45-minute test early in the year. This scheme aims to help us to monitor progress and identify the strengths and weaknesses of pupils. Analyses to date indicate positive value-added results for the School.
Pupils in the third and fourth Forms take a full range of examinations in the second half of the summer term. Fifth Form pupils take mock GCSE examinations in the first week of the Spring Term.
Most GCSE examinations take place in the summer term of the fifth form. We make pupils aware of their timetable in good time and encourage effective revision during the Easter holidays. Results are usually published on the Thursday of the third full week of August. The Examinations Officer distributes full information on how to collect results in the early part of the summer term.