GDST schools seek to provide an outstanding all-round education for our pupils, enabling each one to realise her potential. Curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment are all designed with this aim in mind, and are built from the following fundamental principle.
Breadth and balance within an academically challenging curriculum
GDST schools offer a predominantly academic curriculum, although practical subjects have a place. To the age of 16, all girls are offered a curriculum predicated on breadth and balance.
Gradual specialisation in terms of choice of subjects
As girls progress, they are offered the chance to specialise, to tailor their curriculum, and take different routes, engaging with subjects at greater depth. In the Sixth Form, they are able to choose to continue with those subjects in which they have the greatest interest, experience and expertise.
Exam success is essential, but mustn’t constrain the curriculum
Success at GCSE and at A Level comes not by pupils being taught to the test, but by pupils being encouraged to go well beyond the formal syllabus in their learning. In addition, GDST schools offer courses that, while not being directly examined, better prepare pupils for success in the exam subjects.
How pupils learn is as important as what they learn
Knowledge is vital & more than that, it's an entitlement. But the way pupils gain that knowledge & the kind of teaching that takes place & affects a pupil's dispositions towards learning, and determines what sorts of skills she leaves with at the end. Inspiring teaching that encourages intellectual curiosity, active and autonomous learning, and sustainable study skills, enriches school experience, underpins exam success, but also leaves a long-term mark.
Not everything that is important can be measured
Girls leave GDST schools with more than high grades in certificated exams. They leave with sustainable academic skills and dispositions. They haven't simply passed and banked exam grades in a subject in which they are specialising they understand it in a joined-up way.
Learning doesn't end at the classroom door
Formal lessons are just one learning style among many, just as classrooms are not the only learning environment. Girls at GDST schools are encouraged to break down the imagined boundaries between formal and informal learning, school and home and to make the best use of mobile technology and remote learning opportunities.
Academic progress and success is just one strand of a GDST education
At GDST schools, the education in its entirety is wide-ranging and offers great opportunities in the areas of sport, music, drama, arts, enterprise, expeditions, social and community service.