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E & D Blocks

Whereas the year in F is a foundation year for all that follows, the two years in E and D are a unit as a boy proceeds to his GCSE and International GCSE (IGCSE) examinations in the summer of D.

E Block

During the Lent half in the middle of their F-block year all boys start to decide which subjects to study for GCSE when they enter E block.

The choice is wide, but with some restrictions:

  • Every boy must study English and mathematics
  • Every boy must study either two or three of the sciences
  • Every boy must continue with at least one of the modern languages he studied in F (and may take no more than two)
  • A boy may normally study only one of art, design and drama
  • He then chooses from classical civilisation, divinity, geography, Greek (if taken in F), history, Latin, computer science and music to complete his 10 subject-choices leading to 11 GCSEs or IGCSEs (English producing two in Language and Literature).
  • In addition, Arabic is available off-timetable.
Compulsory  At least two of  At most one from One or two from The rest from
English  Biology  Art  French  Classical Civilisation
Mathematics  Chemistry  Design  German  Divinity
  Physics  Drama  Japanese  Geography
      Russian  Greek
      Spanish  History
        Computer Science
2 2 or 3 0 or 1 1 or 2 Between 2 and 5

Music Scholars and Exhibitioners may choose only 9 subjects to make time for practice if they wish, but must still satisfy all the constraints on other boys; in practice only one or two boys usually exercise this option.

The parents of E boys are invited to the school to discuss their son’s progress with those who teach him at the start of Long Leave in the Summer half. Boys sit internal examinations called Trials at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer halves.

A boy may drop from 10 to 9 subjects and so 11 to 10 GCSEs in D, but must continue to meet the requirements of the constraints to ensure a balanced portfolio covering his general education and that will meet university entrance requirements.

D Block

Things continue as in E, except that boys may drop one of their 10 GCSE subjects, provided they meet the overall requirements of the curriculum. Music scholars and exhibitioners who have already dropped to 9 subjects in E are not permitted to drop another one.

The parents of D boys are invited to the school to discuss their son’s options for specialist (sixth-form) study with members of each academic department towards the end of the Lent half (in practice always on the same Saturday as the confirmation weekend).

Boys sit internal examinations at the end of the Michaelmas half and take their external GCSE examinations in the Summer.