Teaching and learning at UCS is driven by far more than simply the desire to achieve top examination results. Our aim is to produce pupils who can progress to university with the confidence and motivation to stand alone as independent learners, with a firm basis of knowledge, experience and understanding, and a strong sense of values, personal integrity and compassion.
The emphasis in all that we do is on identifying, supporting and meeting the needs of individual pupils. Teaching is well-structured and orthodox, yet challenging and varied. Much emphasis is placed upon developing in our pupils a commitment to, and an enthusiasm for, learning.
The Senior School is the largest single element of the UCS Foundation. Approximately half of the pupils who sit GCSEs here will have come up from the Junior Branch. Some of those will have started their education at UCS Pre-Prep. The other half will have joined through our admissions processes at the ages of 11 and, 13. Whenever our pupils join us, they all quickly feel full and valued members of the UCS community.
At all stages, subjects are delivered by teachers who are passionate and highly knowledgeable specialists in their fields. In the Lower School (Year 7 and 8), we place a strong emphasis on “core” subjects, with significant timetable provision for English, Maths, Science and Modern Languages, alongside a wide range of other Humanities subjects, Classical Languages and creative disciplines.
At GCSE, in keeping with our founding principles, we prescribe very little. Pupils must take English, Maths, one Science subject and one Modern Language, but thereafter are free to construct their own curriculum according to their own aims, ambitions, interests and strengths. This remains the case when it comes to choosing Sixth Form subjects.
Throughout their time at the Senior School, pupils are supported and advised by their form tutors and their Deme Warden, or housemaster, who retains pastoral and academic oversight of a pupil’s progress throughout their time at UCS.
Our academic provision is complemented by an extensive programme of co-curricular activities, including sport, music, drama, community service, and a wide range of clubs and societies.
Of course we are very proud of our very successful track record in public examinations. Central to our success, however, is establishing the right balance for each and every pupil between their academic ambitions, their pastoral needs and their interests outside the classroom and beyond UCS. We are not a hothouse, but much rather a place where every pupil can expect to receive individual consideration, attention, guidance and support. In so doing our aim is simply to ensure that every pupil achieves his or her full potential during their time with us.