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Curriculum

Academic Life

There is a real work ethic and academic expectation at OSH, and pupils from across a broad range of ability achieve great results at GCSE and A level. Ofsted thinks so too, calling the achievements of our pupils ‘outstanding’.

A stimulating academic programme which gets the balance right between innovation and tradition is central to the life of our school. Our curriculum is broad, balanced and very lively. With our dedicated teaching staff on-hand Monday to Friday, we have the right people in place to encourage and support your son’s academic progress and challenge him continually to aim high.

Our teachers are not only dynamic classroom practitioners, they are also experts in their subject areas with authors, doctors, polyglots, explorers, composers, artists and sportsmen amongst them. From our newest recruits, to the Headmaster, all of the teaching staff at OSH are expected to know their subjects inside out in order to impart knowledge, understanding and insight to our pupils, as well as to encourage and to inspire.

We also have in place boarding staff and mentoring groups to assist, including when our teaching staff are not present. We provide a wide range of GCSE and A level subjects with several notable additions, so, whatever our pupils’ particular skills, interests or future career paths, we have the subjects to support their ambitions.

We also understand how important the right combination of subjects is and that’s why we recommend that our pupils engage with us at the earliest opportunity and let us guide their decision making.

Take a peek inside the classroom and discover the exciting lessons that the OSH curriculum has to offer.

Subject choices are only one part of the picture and that’s why we also recognise the importance of learning key skills. Throughout our curriculum, pupils are shown how to learn efficiently and effectively using different techniques. They will be challenged to solve problems, to work in teams, to manage different kinds of information and to communicate their findings in different ways. A careers programme complements and supports their preparation for life after school. Finally, and at all times, we will support and prepare them, so that they grow in independence and resilience. For us, this is as important as examination success because exams cannot by themselves prepare young people for the future.

Our society needs people who can stand on their own two feet and who can keep going, no matter what, and that’s why we aim to stretch, challenge and yet always support our pupils.

Our aims remain in keeping with those of our Founder, some 350 years ago, so that when your child leaves us he or she may make a genuine impact for the common good.

KS3

In Year 7 and 8 pupils work from a well-structured and exciting curriculum in which they’ll be able to fully explore and develop their understanding of a range of subjects:

Art Music
Computing PE and Games
English Beliefs and Issues
FrenchScience
GeographySecond Language (French and German)
HistoryTechnology
Mathematics

In Year 9, and in addition to the subjects listed, they will be able to concentrate their academic efforts and focus more on the subjects they’ll study at GCSE.

Boys using microscope

KS4

With so many exciting subject options available, it’s vital that we don’t neglect the basics.

That’s why pupils are required to follow a core programme of subjects.  These will include GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), or Combined Science.  Within the Core there are also course in ICT Applications, Physical Education and Beliefs and Issues. In addition pupils will choose three further subjects.

We understand that choosing three additional subjects is not necessarily an easy decision, but pupils won’t be expected to make this choice alone. They’ll have the full support of their tutors, housemasters, heads of year and, of course, parents to give them all the advice and guidance they need to ensure the final decision is the right one. Also, we do not require that all of our pupils are examined in all of the subjects they study, so that if a particular subject proves more problematic than expected, a pupil does not have to follow it to examination.

Our optional subjects include:

ArtEconomicsComputing
Business Studies
FrenchGeography
DramaGeographyGerman
FrenchHistoryMaterials Technology
HistoryPEMusic
REVisual & Graphic
Communication
Spanish

For Sixth Form subjects, please see our dedicated Sixth Form page.

View KS4 subjects booklet
Rugby players

Sports

Sport is not only about maintaining a fit and healthy body, but also about having a respect for rules and training, a willingness to compete and fight for others and, of course, having fun along the way.

We have an impressive range of modern facilities that we encourage pupils to take full advantage of, with numerous sports pitches, tennis, squash and basketball courts, cricket nets, a gymnasium and two climbing walls to name but a few. Trying and appreciating new sports is an important part of the OSH experience.

We take great pride in the sporting reputation we have successfully built over the years. With amazing dedication from all those involved, we are fortunate enough to have outstanding coaching talent, facilities and opportunities available for all our pupils to pursue and develop their sporting interests.

Basketball, cricket, football, and netball, enjoy considerable strength. We are also well-known for our rugby and, with strong ties to Worcester Warriors Rugby Club, we’ve seen our pupils represent the school regionally, nationally and internationally in South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina.

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Discover how sport helped Jack integrate into the school, by representing OSH in first team rugby.

Each year group has one afternoon of sport each week, and this experience is enhanced by regular PE lessons and Saturday fixtures, so whether it’s football, athletics, netball, cricket or anything else that takes our pupils’ fancy, we’ll do our utmost to help them realise their sporting ambitions.

View Sports activities
Band playing music

Music

Music is a huge part of the curriculum here at OSH and we are justifiably proud of the massive contribution our music department makes to school life.

With nearly a third of our pupils choosing to play a musical instrument, we have a real breadth of opportunity for them to rehearse and perform at school, locally, and on tour.

The Music department has considerable success, with many students going on to study at universities and conservatoires. Music at OSH still provides an excellent non-career choice for enthusiastic and able musicians by allowing them to develop self-discipline, teamwork, creativity and confidence, all of which will prove immensely valuable in later life.

Musicians at OSH have had the opportunity to represent the school at concert events in Barcelona and Venice, whilst the student-organised ‘Battle of the Bands’ still proves to be one of the most popular events on the school calendar. Our links with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Central England Ensemble mean that they won’t be short of opportunities to take their musicianship as far as they can.

For more detailed information, please visit our music site.

Co-Curriculum

We are proud of our co-curriculum. It offers great breadth and inventiveness. The pupils find themselves stimulated and stretched. They are also regularly introduced to new and unusual activities.

Participation in our co-curriculum sets the pupils up for a life of change and challenge. We want them to live long and healthy lives. We want them to have hobbies and interests which enrich their future years. Finally, we want them to prove to themselves that they can venture into the unknown and achieve what they once thought was beyond them.

From debating to dance, coding to climbing, Model International Parliament to model aeroplanes, some 45 different clubs and societies collectively strongly enhance our academic curriculum. Between 3.45pm and 5.30pm, the pupils are busily engaged in a full programme of sporting, cultural and intellectual pursuits. Of course, rugby, football and cricket teams occupy their places in the busy timetable, as do the keenly fought inter-house contests.

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Trips

We think pupils greatly benefit from learning both in and out of the classroom. That’s why we organise regular trips to complement the academic curriculum.

Through trips to theatres, geography excursions, university maths lectures, science roadshows and orchestral performances, we seek to provide a fully-rounded learning experience which allows pupils to visualise first-hand the information they study in the textbooks.

Overseas visits to Rome, Berlin, North America and South East Asia both broaden horizons and build confidence in our pupils.

There is no shortage of exciting excursions at OSH. To find the perfect school trip, take a look at some of those we have planned for the upcoming academic year:

View Expeditions
Cycle trip

Results

We’re proud of our pupils’ educational achievements. Take a look at the past 3 years’ GCSE results below:

Enquiry

If you need any further help or advice, please leave us your details and a member of the OSH admissions team will be in touch. Alternatively give us a call on 01384 817325 and we'll be happy to help.