Our philosophy at St Catherine’s is to inspire our girls to a love of learning. We do this through our small class sizes, passionately committed staff and a broad curriculum that offers a strong core of academic subjects alongside creative and other options. This desire to learn carries our girls through to successful results in public exams and on to the universities and careers of their choice.

The curriculum follows the usual path to I/GCSEs in Year 11 and A Levels in the Sixth Form, and every effort is made to teach according to pupils’ abilities, to support all pupils and to stretch the ablest well beyond the demands of the syllabus.


The aim of the first three years in the Senior School is to provide a broad academic foundation which will stretch and challenge all pupils as well as prepare them for the subjects that they will go on to take at I/GCSE and later at A Level.

All girls usually study English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Spanish, Religious Education, Geography, History, Music, Drama, Art, Food and Nutrition, Physical Education and Computer Science.  They also have one lesson a week of PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education).


All students study seven core I/GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Double Award Science (which includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Religious Education and a Modern Foreign Language (French, Spanish or German).

In addition, each girl also chooses three other I/GCSE subjects: options include Geography, History, French, German, Spanish, Music, Drama, Art, Photography, Textiles, Food and Nutrition, Physical Education and Computer Science. There is also a non-exam option of Study Skills.

Most subject combinations are possible and advice on suitable subjects is given during the Spring Term of Year 9.

Public examinations for either GCSE or IGCSE level are usually taken at the end of Year 11. Departments choose the best course for their subject and the two qualifications are viewed as equivalent for the purposes of university entrance. Further information is available from each department.