Blanchelande's academic departments are more than an arbitrary selection of subjects. Within a liberal education, each subject discipline trains the mind or the body in a distinct way, and when brought together this constitutes a well-rounded education. As a 'liberal' education, the emphasis is on growing in freedom - as such, students are not told 'what to think'; rather, they learn 'how to think', and thereby leave with the tools needed to discern between truth and ideology.
The academic life of our senior phase focuses on enabling pupils to flourish as virtuous, rounded and culturally literate citizens. Our guiding philosophy is that of a classical liberal education, which means that we promote the ultimate goal of intellectual freedom: freedom for the pupil to turn his or her hand to anything; and freedom to ‘think for oneself’, seeing into the nature of things and judging them soundly, rather than receiving information and opinions unquestioningly. Learning here is not only about passing exams, but about developing pupils’ appreciation of whatever is true, beautiful and good.
Our curriculum seeks to equip pupils with powerful knowledge, train the mind in disciplined thought and nurture the mind with an encounter with the best that has been thought and said. Alongside this, curiosity lies at the heart of our teaching, and we look to develop a shared love of intellectual adventure and foster pupils who ask questions, express ideas and explore their own academic interests. Through our subject-specialist teachers and the supportive atmosphere of our classrooms, we particularly look to empower pupils with the confidence to embrace intellectual risk.
With nineteen subjects on offer, our senior academic curriculum is broad and stimulating, and every pupil has the opportunity to discover his or her passion.
In the first three years of seniors, pupils are introduced to a wide range of subjects including English, maths, sciences, religion, classics, history, geography, French, Spanish, art, design technology, food and nutrition, music, PE/Games and PSHE. The aim is to give pupils a solid grounding of knowledge across the curriculum on which to build.
As pupils move to the upper seniors, they are increasingly able to specialise in the areas that interest them most. In Years 10 and 11 pupils study English, maths, sciences, RE and PSHE, as well as three options subjects, all of which are studied to GCSE or IGCSE level.