The Third Form (Year 9) is when children really blossom as learners. Our broad yet carefully balanced curriculum is designed to kindle intellectual curiosity and foster a genuine love of learning, setting solid foundations for future academic success.

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Third Form Curriculum 

Our extensive curriculum enables pupils to explore many different subjects and encourages them to make the links between disciplines. Our core curriculum comprises Maths, English, the Humanities and Sciences, as well as Classical and Modern Languages. Further options include Art, Computing, DET (Design, Engineering and Technology), Drama, Music and Physical Education. Each of these options run for the entire year, giving pupils the best possible base for selection at (I)GCSE level. Third Formers also have weekly lesson dedicated to reading, giving pupils the opportunity to think and let imaginations run free. Overseeing the whole of the First to Third Form curriculum is our Head of Lower Years, ensuring that pupils joining at Oundle at Third Form benefit from specialist expertise across these transitional years.

“Reading is invaluable for pupils and it is important we give them time to read for pleasure. The vocabulary and understanding of the written word they gain assists them in their studies and helps them express themselves eloquently, both in School and beyond.”
Doc Rowe, Head of Lower Years

Beyond the curriculum

One of the great benefits of being part of a boarding school is the willingness of our teachers to share their own interests and expertise beyond their subject specialism through an extraordinary range of academic societies, intellectual electives and trips. Third Formers also benefit from information literacy courses in our stunning Cripps Library, supporting them to balance critical judgments about information sources and helping them navigate the digital world. This a crucial step in developing responsible readers, learners and citizens.


Individually designed and delivered by Oundle teachers, Trivium is a wholly bespoke course for our Third Form that is based purely on ‘interestingness’. There is no syllabus or prescribed content, which means that pupils can simply enjoy learning for learning’s sake. The aim is to educate; to introduce pupils to ideas and culture, to sow seeds and to broaden educational experience. Whilst one class is studying the music of protest movements, another may be immersed in mindfulness, the history of the Olympic games, Chinese architecture, surrealist art or Italian cinema.

The (I)GCSE years

Our (I)GCSE curriculum is grounded in a thorough preparation for public examinations, complemented by our determination to ensure that pupils have ample opportunities to explore areas of personal intellectual interest. We want our pupils to succeed as independent learners, capable of thinking, questioning and debating, as well as being thoroughly prepared for the next stages of their education and the responsibilities of adult life. At every stage, pupils’ progress towards their goals is carefully overseen and supported by their teachers and their Tutors.

All subjects are examined as (I)GCSEs. Pupils sit examinations in Mathematics, English, three Sciences and at least one Modern Language, along with five option subjects. All our departments run a comprehensive programme of after-hours ‘academic surgeries’ for pupils seeking specialised support both to extend or clarify their understanding, as well as to review work in progress.

In addition to the core curriculum subjects, five subjects, including at least one Modern Foreign Language, are chosen from the following extensive list; Arabic, French, Latin, Art, Geography, Music, Chinese, German, Physical Education, Computing, Greek (classical), Religious Studies, Design and Technology, History, Russian, Drama, Italian, Spanish, and Computer Science.

"When choosing options, we encourage pupils to keep an open mind and to consider all subjects and all possible subject combinations equally. There is a careful path between where a pupil’s interest lies, a balance of subjects and the future implications of subject choices. A breath of subjects is likely to keep options open in future years when considering university and career options."
Dr Adam Baragwanath, Deputy Head Academic

The options and opportunities on offer

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