Dr Challoner’s High School is a fully selective girls’ grammar school based in Little Chalfont in Buckinghamshire. As a school and especially as a Sixth Form, our vision is driven by our belief that ‘The World is ever changing; Challoner’s Girls will shape that world’.
At Dr Challoner’s High School we offer a broad, exciting curriculum that ensures that our students are given all the opportunities for academic success but are also well-rounded, confident individuals with a wide-range of skills and interests.
Every Sixth Form student has a range of required and optional choices to make up their timetable, please see the details below:
|Three A Level Courses||A Fourth A Level (Subject to Grade Requirements)|
|An EPQ||A Complementary Studies Course|
|Lecture Series (Weekly)||Sixth Form Sport|
|PSHE (Weekly) Personal, Social, & Health Education||CSLA (Community Sports Leader Award)|
|Volunteering / Work Experience (One Hour / Week)||Super-Curricular Activities|
Levels are the core of our curriculum and make up the majority of each student’s timetable. We expect that the majority of students to study three A levels, with students who attain the required GCSE grades having the option to study four. Students should consider the option of a fourth A level very carefully, as almost all University offers require only three A-level grades. Advice on taking four is offered by the school on an individual basis.
In September 2015 the first wave of changes to A levels was made nationally. For many subjects, this meant a switch to new two-year, linear courses. From September 2017 the final wave of reforms means that all A-levels at DCHS will be linear courses with all examinations in the Summer of Year 13.
All Sixth Form students undertake an EPQ, the Extended Project Qualification. This is an independent study giving students the option to research a topic of their choosing. Students can choose a title relating to their A level subjects, their chosen degree or any area of interest to them. Universities rate the EPQ highly for the skills, independence and research methods involved in the project. The EPQ is worth the equivalent of half an A-level in UCAS points and is often an important point for discussion in University interviews.
For one hour every week, all Sixth Form students attend the Lecture Series. This is a great opportunity for students to hear from a wide-range of speakers. Many lectures highlight careers options, university courses and a range of other fascinating topics including gap year studies, feminism and studying abroad. Previous speakers have included the journalist Jon Snow, Professor A C Grayling and alumnus Lisa Markwell, Editor of the Independent on Sunday.
All Sixth Formers have the opportunity to opt for additional classes to complement their chosen A levels. These include beginner language courses for Italian, Russian and Mandarin; Music Appreciation classes; and University Preparation in Year 13. These give our students the opportunity to learn new skills and have a break from their academic studies. University Preparation for all Year 13’s includes workshops in writing personal statements, interview skills, presentation/public speaking, finance at University, as well as other post-18 options.
All Sixth Form students are expected to undertake weekly volunteering or work experience: students have an allocated afternoon lesson for this. Students organise their own placements and find a wide range of different options including GP surgeries, primary schools, local businesses and mentoring schemes. If students already volunteer outside of the school day, for example at a Brownies group, then they use this allocated lesson as an additional study period.
Sixth Form PSHE takes place weekly and is delivered by specialist Sixth Form tutors or by specialist PSHE teams. Our high-quality PSHE offering is an essential part of Sixth Form life and includes; Financial Responsibility, Preparation for University/Post-18 Independence, Mindfulness and Wellbeing and a range of other useful sessions.
We encourage all our Sixth Formers to stay active during their A-levels. Optional Sixth Form sport on Wednesday afternoons gives students the opportunity to take part in a range of activities of their choosing. Many Year 12 students take part in the Community Sports Leadership Award. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop exceptional leadership and communication skills; participants work with primary schools from the local community and the award culminates in CSLA students leading a community Sports Day at DCHS for local primary schools.
A new opportunity has arisen in the last few years for students to access free online courses on a wide range of subjects: these are known as MOOCs. As they often cover specialist topics relating to a degree or career choices, or to specific areas of A level courses, we encourage our students to check these regularly and to try to participate in at least one MOOC each year. With thousands of courses, all students should be able to find some that are useful and relevant for them.
‘Super-curricular activities’ refers to activities in which students participate to extend their knowledge of their A level subjects. MOOCs are one way of ensuring that students are participating in super-curricular activities but there are a number of other options available to our students. Students can join academic societies, and there is a number of these available. Some are run in conjunction with DCGS (Dr Challoner’s Grammar School), including Medics Society and Engineering Society, whilst some are run exclusively at DCHS. These are generally student-led and have included: Linguistics Society; Politics and Economics Debate Forum; Medical Current Affairs Society; Physics and Engineering Society; the Law Society; and much more. We also encourage students to attend free lectures at Universities, and we run a number of Sixth Form trips to study conferences and public lectures.