GCSEs at Norwich High School for Girls

Senior School

There are some subjects that everyone must study to GCSE, which are called the core subjects:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • A Modern Foreign Language (French, Spanish or German) 
  • Science

Within the core there exists some choice. You can decide whether to study all three science subjects separately, leading to three separate GCSEs, or you can combine the sciences and study for GCSE Combined Science, leading to two science GCSEs.

Download our GCSE Options Guide here.

English Literature

IGCSE English Literature gives the opportunity to read, interpret, evaluate and respond to a range of literature texts to deepen students’ understanding and appreciation of how writers use language to express meaning.


Mathematics enables you to navigate effectively through everyday life. In our academic studies, Mathematics is the language of Chemistry, Physics and Biology, and is essential for many other areas including Design & Technology and IT. Many people like it most of all simply because it is interesting, enjoyable and rewarding.

Further Mathematics

This optional course is aimed at stretching and challenging the most confident mathematicians who are likely to achieve the highest grades in IGCSE Mathematics and progress to A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics.


Biology is the study of the living world encompassing everything from ecosystems to individual cells and the reactions inside them. What could be more exciting than understanding how humans function and how we fit into the natural world around us?


Chemistry is key to our understanding of the natural world and the enhancement of our quality of life and the environment. Advances in Chemistry underpin much of modern science and contribute directly to our everyday lives, from the food we eat to the medicines we take.


We train students to think logically and reduce complex problems to their fundamentals so that we can solve them and make sense of the world we live in. We use scientific models to explain things we cannot see; sometimes the most obvious explanation is not always the correct one.


Combined Science

The AQA GCSE in Combined Science is an excellent general science qualification exploring the majority of topics are covered in the separate sciences. It is a good choice for those not considering studying Science at A Level.

“Studying in Fifth Form brings more independence and the chance to direct your own work in private study, but still feel supported in your work.”

Senior School Student

In addition to the GCSE courses, Senior School students continue to attend PE lessons (in addition to lessons for the Physical Education GCSE should they choose this option). Students also continue their study of Personal, Social and Health Education.

You then have a free choice of subjects from the list below.

Modern Foreign Languages: French

French is among the most widely-spoken modern languages in the world, with over 120 million speakers worldwide. The literature, art and cinema of France are among the richest and most influential in the world. Proficiency in French remains a highly sought-after skill among UK employers, particularly in the post-Brexit environment.

Modern Foreign Languages: German

German has the largest number of native speakers in the European Union and is among the ten most commonly spoken languages in the world. Germany is a world leader in engineering, with German being the second most commonly used scientific language in the world. Proficiency in German remains a highly sought-after skill among UK employers particularly in the post-Brexit environment.

Modern Foreign Languages: Spanish

Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world and the most studied foreign language in the English university system. Spanish culture is always exciting, from classic literary masterpieces to the great painters of the Golden Age.

Classic Civilisation

Studying Classical Civilisation will develop your skills of analysis, evaluation and interpretation, communication and debate. More importantly, you will undoubtedly be intrigued and find a passion for learning about these ancient societies.

Classical Greek

If you enjoy Latin and are interested in languages or maybe have a scientific mind and an eye for logic, you should consider taking GCSE Classical Greek. It is a challenging academic subject which you will start from scratch and reach GCSE standard within the two year course.

Computer Science

Computer Science is an intellectually challenging yet very practical and rewarding science subject. The course reflects this with its bias towards practical investigations and creating programming solutions to real world problems.

Design Technology – Product Design

Design Technology is a unique subject, encompassing and crossing over into many other subject areas. DT and STEM go hand in hand, but there are many other subjects embedded: Geography, Engineering, History, IT, Maths, Physics, Computer Science, Biology, Architecture, Graphic Design and Chemistry.


GCSE Drama is for students who enjoy both the practical and creative aspects of Drama and want to gain further knowledge of the theatre while working as a team, while continually gaining confidence in their ability as performers.

Fine Art

Art is a successful, popular and exciting GCSE subject. This is a subject area which is suitable for anyone who is enthusiastic and interested in the visual world. Art Education develops your whole personality, encouraging you to think in a variety of expressive and creative ways. 


Geography is all about real places. If you enjoy travel and getting outdoors, learning about different parts of the world and how they differ to the UK, and discovering cultural differences and how these affect decisions around the world, then you will find plenty of interest in the new Geography syllabus.


GCSE History involves learning about the fascinating people, social changes and political developments which made the Twentieth Century such a remarkable era. It requires deep knowledge and understanding, constructive critical thought and the willingness to debate.


Latin gives you the opportunity to study the language and literature of ancient Rome, helping you to develop analytical skills and intellectual flexibility which will be useful in a wide range of jobs or in further study.


Music GCSE gives you a deeper appreciation of the music you hear and play and helps you understand how different styles of music are constructed and developed. It leads to greater confidence and better communication skills.

Physical Education

The GCSE Physical Education course will appeal to you if you:

  • have a keen interest in sport and recreation and look forward to your PE lessons
  • take part in sport outside of class time
  • want to follow a course that develops knowledge and understanding through practical involvement
  • want to learn more about the benefits of sports and exercise
  • want to improve your own practical performance
  • are considering a sports-related career or an A Level course in Physical Education.

Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy and Religion is about responses to existential questions: What is a person? What happens when I die? Why is there evil in the world? How do I know what is right or wrong? World Religions are belief systems that respond to these questions.

Textile Design

Immerse yourself in a world of design and creativity. You will develop, in a structured format, your practical and analytical skills using a range of different styles and techniques.

“I have really enjoyed my time in Norwich High School for Girls Fifth Form and I’ve found the immense amount of support from the teachers and pastoral really encouraging. In my opinion, there has been a perfect mix of external support and independent learning. There are also a number of amazing opportunities such as the six plus talks and extra curricular activities.”

Senior School Student

Opportunities beyond the classroom

Read more

Careers support

Read more