Subject overviews

Senior School

We encourage students to move well-beyond the curriculum.

Senior School subjects

Art and Textiles

The Art and Design Department is in well-equipped studio classrooms in Eaton Grove and also two studios in Lanchester House providing wide opportunities for textiles and fine art multimedia work in two and three dimensions.  


  • All girls take Art and Design in their first three years in the Senior School.  
  • Art and Design (Textiles and Fine Art) is a popular option subject at both GCSE and A level and the department is proud of its examination success, achieving consistently high results.
  • Visits have included the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, The Tate Modern and The Botanic Gardens as well as Amsterdam and the USA. 
  • Work by students is widely shown including at the Winter Arts Festival, annual exhibitions in the summer term and the end of year Fashion Show.
  • We have close links with feeder schools and higher education institutions including Norwich University of the Arts. We also undertake outreach with local schools catering for children with complex needs. 
  • Every year a good number of A Level students continue their Art and Design education at regional and national Foundation and Degree courses or gain direct entry onto Art and Design, Art History or Architecture degree courses.

Vaccine development, food security and climate change are just some of the huge scientific challenges facing our girls over the course of their lifetime. We want to inspire students and give them the knowledge they need should they decide to tackle those challenges. 


  • Teaching is based on fundamentals of educational research and principles of cognitive science through collaboration with other GDST schools and insight from the Norwich Research School.
  • Links with the John Innes Centre, the British Trust of Ornithology and the UEA enable us to show students careers and research in emerging fields that use science and add a tangible element to their learning in school. 
  • We practise fieldwork skills locally including in our own school woodland, the Broads National Park and the North Norfolk coast, which has ample possibilities for ecological studies and analysis.
  • Students have the opportunity to investigate flora and fauna further afield through the Operation Wallacea programme and other field trips.

When you study Chemistry you are learning about the building blocks that combine to make everything in the universe: the substances of which matter is composed, the investigation of their properties and reactions, and the use of such reactions to form new substances.


  • Our highly qualified and experienced team believe in teaching the subject in a dynamic way, with a strong practical element and lots of exciting demonstrations. 
  • We relate the subject to everyday situations as well as exploring its historical and cultural context.
  • You will need to study Chemistry if you are intending to go to university to study Medicine, Pharmacy or Veterinary Science. It is also the gateway to other exciting careers such as Chemical Engineering, Forensic Science, Oceanography and Environmental Science.

Latin is compulsory in Years 7-9 and is an option at GCSE and A Level, alongside Classical Civilisation and Classical Greek. 


  • We are a thriving department with four GCSE classes in both Year 10 and Year 11 and a strong uptake at A Level. 
  • Our aim is to bring the Classical world to life, fostering a passion for learning language and understanding different cultures.
  • The girls enjoy many creative tasks and all Year 7 girls take part in a Latin play competition, from which selected students go on to the ‘Ludi Scaenici’ in Cambridge.
  • ICT is used widely in the Latin classroom, through the Cambridge Latin Course E-Learning resource and its accompanying website.
Computer Science

Computer science is an intellectually challenging yet very practical and rewarding science subject which draws on problem solving, logical and concise thinking. 


  • Our bias is towards practical investigations and creating programming solutions to real world problems. 
  • We also study a range of theoretical topics to help students understand how computers work and how they can be used to solve problems in the fast changing technical world in which we live.
  • Computer Science is a field in which graduates are in extremely high demand, and many companies are actively recruiting females with an appropriate degree background following Computer Science GCSE and A-Level. 
Design Technology

We have a simple yet important mantra in D.T. – Problem, Design, Make and Evaluate. We give our students the skills to ask why, solve problems, learn new skills and think iteratively about their creative endeavours.


  • Students from key stage 3 through to A Level are encouraged to understand that good design is a balance of both academic investigation and creative construction. 
  • We believe every young woman has the capacity to be a great designer, and we feed in the skills needed at GCSE and beyond including client focused briefs, product analysis, drawing, constraints and opportunities, specification, new technologies and traditional hand skills.

Drama engages and encourages students to become confident performers and designers with the skills they need for a bright and successful future. 


  • We cover both the practical and creative aspects of Drama developing knowledge of the theatre while working as a team, while students continually gain confidence in their ability as performers.
  • Beyond GCSE level, Drama has many transferable skills. You will have developed your confidence, learned to negotiate as part of a group, used your initiative and imagination to solve problems and accepted instruction and direction. 
  • You will have a greater knowledge and understanding of how social, cultural and historic issues from a range of sources have an impact upon global society.

In the English department we aim to inspire a love for reading and language in each and every one of our students. Speaking and listening is at the heart of all English lessons: learning takes place through discussion.


  • In Lower School we read many exciting texts to challenge and engage us: from Elizabethan sonnets to modern poetry, from contemporary fiction to the plays of Shakespeare. 
  • Writing tasks are wide and varied including analytical writing, to explore characters, themes and language and style and creative responses in poetry and prose. 
  • Enrichment opportunities include the Lower School English society and writing competitions. Workshops on writing haiku and prose fiction are integrated into the school’s annual Winter Arts Festival.

Geography is taught throughout the school and is a compulsory subject at Key Stage Three and then is offered as a GCSE and A Level option, where it continues to be a very popular choice. 


  • The Geography classroom is a place of great discovery and excitement exploring people, places, resources and landscapes as well as the physical and human processes which have shaped and connected them. 
  • Geography is taught in a dynamic and varied way featuring discussion and debate to foster all students’ interests in the subject. 
  • Students frequently complete group or independent presentations to investigate a topic. We use model making of processes and film creation to enable pupils to demonstrate their understanding.
  • We aim for all of our pupils to be sustainable global citizens wanting to make a difference whether it is tackling plastic pollution, our own carbon footprint or global climate change.
  • Fieldwork plays an integral part of our curriculum with visits into Norwich as well as residential fieldwork at examination level and international fieldwork to Iceland.

Specialist, knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff constantly connect students with a deeper understanding of the past, exploring complex topics, reading the work of real historians and forming our own evidence-based opinions. 


  • History helps students engage with the world around them developing skills of empathy, cultural sensitivity, awareness of identity and the critical thinking skills to ask informed and insightful questions in order to seek truth.
  • Students learn the tools to present their understanding with confidence and consideration, developing the ability to accurately describe, analyse, explain and construct an argument. 
  • We look to find opportunities outside the classroom where possible using our wonderful grounds and with visits to Castles, Museums, workshop days, and with trips from Amsterdam and Berlin to Boston, New York and Washington.
  • As girls progress through the school they work on archive material, special exhibitions and workshops, debates and essay competitions.

As a core subject, we set high expectations for all students studying Maths. We provide differentiation and challenge to enable all of our students to reach their potential, encouraging intellectual interest and curiosity. 


  • We ensure progress in pupils’ learning and follow a bespoke curriculum created by the department. 
  • We aim to nurture resilient and creative mathematicians who can analyse and synthesise information to solve problems. 
  • We encourage our students to appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics, to understand both its foundations globally and its importance across modern society.
  • Our students have the opportunity to be stretched intellectually and they are encouraged to become independent learners in order to maximise the opportunities presented to them. 
Modern Foreign Languages

In Year 7 all girls start with French and then in Year 8 they can also add either German or Spanish. All students are encouraged to take at least one language at GCSE.


  • We are a strong and vibrant department, which is not only high-performing, but which also seeks to provide a rich and positive experience of language learning. Our teaching is fun, interactive and rigorous. 
  • The department is well resourced, with a suite of rooms with interactive screens and a language laboratory, which the girls enjoy using for listening and speaking. We are also fortunate to have Foreign Language Assistants, who support exam classes in weekly, small group lessons.
  • We have an exciting and inspiring trip programme; in Year 8 the whole year group enjoys a language immersion activity week in Normandy, which is followed by opportunities for French and German Exchanges and study trips to Berlin, Salamanca and Paris. 

We are passionate about giving girls of all ages the chance to express themselves musically and stimulate their enthusiasm for performing. We have a vibrant music scene with regular concerts, workshops, masterclasses and recitals.


  • Pupils are able to study a range of music encompassing genres that include Western Classical, Pop, Music Theatre, Fusions and Film music. Together with analytical and stylistics studies, they also learn how to compose and develop their own ideas and record and perform solo and ensemble recitals. 
  • Highlights of our school year include the magical, candle-lit Carol Service and the epic Choral Concert which both take place in the inspiring surroundings of Norwich Cathedral.
  • Our two-week long Winter Arts Festival in February gives girls the opportunity to experience a range of stimulating musical activities and performances culminating in our sell-out Finale showcase at Norwich Playhouse.
  • Our European music tour has visited exciting locations, open to all pupils in U3 through to U6, including Prague, Lake Garda, Barcelona, Tuscany and Salzburg.

In Physics, we explore how the world around us works, we encourage our girls to question how and why things work and push them to develop a deeper understanding of the Universe. 


  • Our girls study a wide range of topics from Year 7 where they look at Forces, Magnetism & Space Travel, all the way through GCSE and into A-Level where they explore Particle Physics and Medical Physics just to name a few. 
  • We provide students with the opportunity to take part in hands on learning and practicals to form not only a strong foundation for their learning, but push them to develop more inquisitive minds and challenge themselves to do things they didn’t know were possible. 
  • Students have the opportunity to take part in trips to The Big Bang Fair, which is the biggest Science Fair in the UK, the Cavendish Laboratories at the University of Cambridge, and if they study Physics to A-Level they will have the opportunity to visit the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. 
Physical Education

Sport is an integral part of the education of girls at Norwich High School. We have a team of dedicated and experienced PE staff and specialist coaches who work with our talented girls to nurture their full potential.


  • Our major games (Hockey, Netball and Cricket) are timetabled during the Games afternoons, with PE lessons in activities such as swimming, dance, trampolining and tennis taking place throughout the morning. Girls in Year 9 and above can also take part in rowing or kayaking during Games.
  • We run examination PE at A level and GCSE, as well as BTEC Sport enabling girls who are passionate about sport to study the subject in great depth and perform and analyse their chosen activities.
  • Talented sportswomen are also offered the opportunity to join the Elite Athlete Programme. This includes a mentor scheme to assist with school work and training commitments, plus a range of sporting workshops on topics such as nutrition and physiotherapy to educate performers.
Religious Studies

Religious Studies is the academic investigation of world faiths such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Humanism in order to understand their immense cultural influence. 


  • The concepts and traditions are based on the ‘Big Questions’ such as ‘God?’ or ‘Moral Goodness?’, which develop important skills such as critical thinking, not taking things at face value but thinking them through as well as communicating effectively. 
  • Our programme of study begins with an overview in Year 7 that includes Biblical Studies and Eastern Religions. Year 8 focuses on the Abrahamic Religions and Year 9 on philosophical and ethical issues. We have many girls who choose RS at GCSE and A level to gain a more in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • At Norwich High School Religious Studies is a forum of free but rigorous thinking to take up the challenge of debate and listening to each other. 

Pastoral care and wellbeing

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Opportunities beyond the classroom

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