The Putney curriculum follows a structure which consolidates study over time and provides ample opportunity for cross-curricular learning. Students have access to a wide selection of topics and are supported through their choice of GCSE and A level subjects aligning with their strengths and passions.


Putney High School Art department strives to encourage and inspire creative expression, inquisitive thinking and collaborative processes in all pupils, by inciting a genuine love of art and sparking confidence in each girls’ artistic potential and ability.
Mimi Lanfranchi
Mimi Lanfranchi
Katie Ogden Newton
Katie Ogden Newton
Ariana Estrada
Ariana Estrada
Emily Linford
Emily Linford

The aim of GCSE Art is to develop each pupil’s skills and love of art, to inspire and build confidence, wherever their strengths and talents lie. Each project has relevant and stimulating contextual references to support developing ideas and underpins the pupil’s own practice. All pupils develop work using a wide range of materials and experiment with practical skills in fine art, sculpture and photography. The Art, Craft and Design course encourages self-motivation, curiosity, and a strong visual awareness and ability to take creative risks.

Key Stage Three

In Key Stage Three, students take part in two main art projects over the academic year, covering techniques such as printmaking, observational drawing, mixed media, sculpture and papier-mâché. Girls are introduced to different artists, understanding their contextual importance and learning how they can adapt the ideas and various techniques they use to inform their own work.


The GCSE Art course focuses on building up each student’s creative independence and inquiry, alongside experimentation and developing range of techniques alongside drawing; as well as clear planning and evaluation of final responses to successfully cover the  assessment criteria. Girls are fully supported in their creative journey, but are also given a high degree of independence to develop their skills, as well as the space to adapt their ideas appropriately in order to achieve high quality portfolios.

The GCSE Art and Design course consists of two components:


  • Coursework (Portfolio) 60%:

Work in Year 10 is developed through wide-ranging and varied ideas and media. The project themes are Japan Mixed-Media and Natural Form Sculpture projects. The Year 10 Summer mock examination is incorporated into the second project. Critical and contextual studies inform all work as projects progress. Experimentation, recording and planning for personal final works are vital and integral to each project. In Year 11, the projects are completed and reviewed to make sure all work is up to a high standard. There is an additional Year 11 Extended Personal Project with Mock and 5 hours moderated studio time (in examination conditions). This project helps prepare students for the Externally Set Assignment process: Unit 2, as well as completing additional high quality work for assessment.


  • Unit 2 Externally Set Assignment 40%:

The Externally Set Assignment question paper is distributed in January.  Pupils choose the question they will develop with a preparation period of up to 12 weeks.  There are 10-hours of moderated time (in exam conditions in the Art studios) before the end of the Spring term. All work is moderated and marked internally with further external moderation by AQA. A GCSE Art exhibition takes place in school in June.


The art studios are open at lunchtimes and after school for co-curricular activities including life drawing workshops for A level Art students. In addition, CLICK Photography joins us in school to run popular photography workshops and trips.

The Art department run competitions, workshops and host talks by external speakers, including most recently Eleanor Tattersfield, Putney alumna class of 1991, founder of Marby & Elm.

National the highly successful award winning shoe designer, Camilla Elphick, Gallery curator, Dr Suzanna Avery-Quash, the art critic, Andrew Graham-Dixon, alumna, Kathleen Soriano, who opened the Annual Art & Design Technology Show in June 2018.

Taking advantage of our proximity to central London, a number of visits to galleries take place throughout the year, including  the V&A, the Saatchi gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the Royal Academy and other London galleries and Kew Gardens. There was a cross-curricular Sixth Form Textiles and Art trip to the Dior show in December 2017.


The study of Classical language and history begins in Year 7 at Putney.

Students gain an introduction to Latin and Greek, as well as learning about the origins of politics, philosophy, drama, art, architecture, law, science and mathematics which come from the societies of Greece and Rome. At Putney, we believe that learning Latin develops linguistic skills and clarity of thought in a way that no other language can and opens up a world of wonderful literature.

The study of Classics is well-respected for teaching a precision of thought alongside an understanding of how modern languages work and from where their vocabularies came. It can be very useful to the study of law, medicine, modern languages and English.

Key Stage Three

In Key Stage Three, Year 7 girls study Greek mythology as an introduction to the Classical world, covering stories of the Trojan War and the adventures of classical heroes like Odysseus and Theseus. There is also the opportunity to take an introductory course in Ancient Greek. In Year 8, girls begin the Cambridge Latin course, learning about the language and social history of the Roman world covering theatre, gladiatorial games and Roman elections. In Year 9 the course moves closer to home, with an introduction to Roman Britain, and further afield, to Alexandria in Egypt.


At GCSE, students can continue their classical studies in both Latin and Classical Civilisation.

GCSE Latin builds on previous language work. Pupils also study a range of Latin literature including the poetry of Catullus and Ovid, epic poetry by Virgil and prose texts by Tacitus, Cicero and Apuleius. These texts deal with a wide variety of themes, from the assassination of an heir to the imperial throne to the exploits of a Republican con artist and even the supernatural.

GCSE Classical Civilisations explores the culture of two hugely influential civilisations – the Greeks and Romans – through their literature, art and archaeology. The course contains modules on Myth and Religion and The Homeric World; covering religious beliefs and practices, myths about the gods, as well as the cities of Athens and Rome, as well as Homer’s Odyssey and its archaeological content.

GCSE Greek is also offered as an additional two-year course to students entering Years 9, 10 and 12, taught during lunchtime and after school. Students read extracts from texts in the original Greek, including Homer and Herodotus, as well as studying adapted versions of Aesop’s Fables and biographies of famous figures such as Alexander and Socrates.


Co-curricular activities include a lunchtime Classics Club, where students can learn basic Greek and perform myths and plays in translation. This is alongside trips to:

  • Bath
  • The National Gallery and the British museum
  • Local theatres to watch Classical plays
  • Rome, the Bay of Naples and Pompeii (biennial)

Learning support is available to every Putney girl who would like to improve her study skills, set academic goals or adopt effective learning strategies.


IT teaching has come a long way in the last few years and Putney is at the forefront of that change.

Computing at Putney prepares girls for the world of digital technology that is ingrained in many aspects of daily life and in the majority of potential future careers. The study of Computer Science is essential for today’s students, as confident use of computers is necessary to support learning across all subjects.

Key Stage Three

In Key Stage Three, students build on the coding work they have learned in Primary School to develop their skills in text-based coding using iPads, including the SwiftPlaygrounds app. They also study Physical computing using the BBC Microbit, learning to programme real life movement and tempterature sensors as well as coloured LED lights. Student learn early on how to use WordPress to build multimedia website, an example of one of the open-ended tasks which girls can then run with to explore more advanced concepts and creative design outside class.


At GCSE, students take a qualification in Computer Science, which addresses the theory of how computers operate, from the physical electronics, up to user interfaces, such as the Windows operating system. They learn about sensors and technology which is use in everyday life e.g. GPS, motion sensors and switches, and use industry standard tools for programming including C# and Microsoft Visual Studio.


Computer Science is well-suited to offering co-curricular activities. We hold a Computing Club for students in Years 7-9, where concepts learned in class can be expanded and developed further. Our Sixth Form students attend a series of lectures, including Imperial College’s talks about latest tech, ‘Computing in Action’. Students even take part in a launch of a high-altitude weather balloon, tracking its progress via GPS.

Design Technology: Product Design

Putney offers a course from Year 7 that builds on the experiences gained across a range of resistant materials and design solutions.

Students focus on transferring two-dimensional design principles into three-dimensional reality. Working with industry standards of CAD/CAM, students gain confidence in approaching real world design problems and creating their own solutions. Product design is at the heart of STEM study, as the practical application of mathematics and physics.

Key Stage Three

The Key Stage Three emphasis is on developing a culture of confidence amongst the pupils to enable them to feel safe and secure in a workshop environment. Pupils use a range of materials and learn a variety of processes that help them to engage in the subject in a positive and affirming way. Year 7 provides opportunities for the pupils to design and create solutions to problems that they have identified. Pupils are encouraged to think laterally and to use a range of materials, relevant processes and to familiarise themselves with a variety of tools and machines. The Year 8 and 9 syllabus prepares girls for a seamless transition into GCSE, if they should elect Product Design as an option. A range of prescribed design solutions will be completed across the two years. Pupils learn to incorporate resistant materials, electronics and CAD/CAM using CNC machines and the SolidWorks and 2D Design packages. Vacuum forming of thermo-plastics is also incorporated into the realisation process.


The GCSE specification provides the opportunity for Year 10 pupils to design and create their own design solution, in response to a problem they have independently identified. They are encouraged to independently use a range of materials, processes and CAD/CAM. This exercise is supported with the teaching of relevant theory. In Year 11, pupils are presented with an open-ended design scenario from the exam board, which is used to guide them through independent research, culminating in a design solution that is presented for internal assessment and external moderation at the end of Year 11. This practical outcome is weighted at 50%. Theory will continue to be taught through Year 11, which will culminate in a written exam with a 50% weighting.



Our co-curricular offering includes short courses offered in engineering, electronics and CAD/CAM, where students can sign up to take part in activities which aren’t covered in class.

Design Technology: Textiles

Putney’s popular Textiles department has seen a record take-up at GCSE and A Level and is testament to how much creative disciplines are valued at the school.

The department encourages creativity and technical discipline in design, allowing students to develop their skills, techniques and individual vision with the support of a dedicated team from the world of fashion.

Key Stage Three

Students are encouraged to respond to a series of different design briefs ranging from the design and manufacture of a cushion in year 7 to a corset top in Year 9. Each year the complexity and challenges evolve as new designs, decorations and construction techniques develop and are applied to work in an individual and personal manner. Students are taught not only practical skills but how to think creatively and independently, gathering research from a chosen or given theme to generate a series of original ideas that will fulfil the given design brief. Every aspect of the work is the students’. They learn to draft paper patterns, select appropriate materials and components in order to manufacture high quality products that marry creativity with technical ‘know how’. They are then fully prepared to take studies further if they feel it is a subject they enjoy.


Students are now following a GCSE Art Textiles qualification. The emphasis in this course echoes the philosophy of the related subjects in higher education. Students at this stage are expected to understand a broad context or theme and develop an outcome of their choice based on this starting point. There is much emphasis on experimental and sample work in the developmental stage of a project but the final outcome is very much whatever the student wishes to produce. Where most students opt to produce Fashion garments, they are free to manufacture anything using textiles.  Textiles has grown into a very popular option at GCSE level with students enjoying great success and 100%* attaining A or A* grades (*GCSE results 2018).


The department operates an open door policy for exam students with staff being available before, after school and at lunchtimes where possible. Younger students can opt to attend two specific lunchtime sessions. Creative Corner is intended for Year 7 and 8 students to improve their making skills through a series of mini projects. Fashion club is aimed at Year 9 with the emphasis being placed on clothing manufacturing. There is also a bi-annual Fashion show which showcases the work of GCSE and A level students and allows girls of other age groups to be involved.

The Textiles department organises trips for pupils, mainly for exam students. These include exhibitions and visits to museums in London and students have recently travelled to both Paris and New York.

Students attend tutorials and talks and work with a range of designers in the world of fashion including Philp Treacy, former Head of Couture at Alexander McQueen Deborah Milner and Ben Rice (Paul Smith and Lemaire Paris). Some of these have also gone on to offer internships and work experience to students considering a career in fashion.


Performance is an integral part of life at Putney, with many girls choosing to study Drama at GCSE and beyond.

Girls gain experience on and off-stage. All girls are encouraged to train in technical aspects of stage production, using state-of-the-art equipment in our FOPHS sound and lighting booth.

Drama is a lively and collaborative class, spent learning through doing. It encourages teamwork, conversation and regular performance in lessons. We enjoy the benefit of a dedicated drama studio, the Performing Arts Centre as well as the outdoor Bluebell stage in summer.

Through their study of Drama, girls develop confidence in speaking, presentation skills and analyse a variety of texts – many skills which are applicable to subjects like English, History, Classics, Psychology, Politics, Debating and Law.

Key Stage Three

The Key Stage Three texts studied include Much Ado About Nothing (William Shakespeare); Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens); The Witches (Roald Dahl); Kindertransport (Diane Samuels) and Blood Brothers (Willy Russell). Students are introduced to the skills that will be used for study at GCSE and take part in a collaborative primary school project with our neighbours, Ronald Ross Primary School.


The GCSE curriculum at Putney introduces key contemporary texts and methods of devising original theatre. Students develop practical skills and allow girls to be inspired, moved and changed by studying theatre in greater depth. Girls develop by the skills of being a director and theatre practitioner by exploring how you would approach performance text in rehearsal and reviewing the effectiveness of the live theatre they watch as part of the course. Texts studied include The Crucible (Arthur Miller); Us/Them (Carly Wijs); The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Tim Price); Girls Like That (Evan Placey) and DNA (Dennis Kelly)


LAMDA lessons are offered in Years 7-13, with three dedicated teachers who prepare students for exam sessions twice a year. All Year 9 students take part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival which in the past has performed elements of Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and Macbeth.

Every year we hold a Year 8 – 11 production, this alternates between a musical and a play. This year we are staging the wonderful The Ash Girl, directed by our guest Director in Residence Katharine Drury. Other productions have included Schools will rock you and Bugsy Malone.

Year 10 students have the opportunity to take part in the National Theatre New Views programme, developing budding playwrights and allowing them to work with professional writers and submit their final scripts into a competition to have their work premiered professionally.


English lessons focus on igniting and sustaining a passion for the subject, with students reading a wide variety of literature.

Putney pupils study texts from a range of cultures, genres and time periods and assess the social, historical, political, philosophical and spiritual contexts in which they have been written. Girls are also supported as they develop skills of communication across a number of forms and styles of writing. Crucially, the analytical and expressive skills gained through the study of English form the essential tools at the heart of all learning.

Key Stage Three

We aim to make the transition into Key Stage Three as smooth as possible. Throughout each year, students are exposed to a range of increasingly challenging poetry and prose, including a detailed appreciation of Shakespeare. Works from across various contexts and cultures present many creative and analytical opportunities. The curriculum builds to cover works of varying length and degree of challenge, working up to studying a Victorian or Regency novel in Year 9, and the skills that all students have by the end of Year 9 prepare them perfectly for the demands of their IGCSEs. There are opportunities each year for individual, paired and group speaking and listening tasks, which develop students’ skills and confidence in this area. Once a week, students take part in focused literacy lessons where their progress is monitored.


Students sit two IGCSEs, in English Literature and English Language. Girls work across the two years to develop the skills they will need for the final examinations by studying a play, a collection of poetry and a novel. They also write their own poetry and descriptive prose, thereby practising their creative writing for the English Language exam. Final assessment is through written examination only, but Putney also offers additional examined accreditation in speaking and listening, should girls wish to extend their skills.


There are many co-curricular opportunities on offer for enthusiastic young readers and writers. Book clubs are held for each year group in the library outside of lessons, where younger students are encouraged to discuss their interpretations by those in the Sixth Form. Each year we hold a poetry festival, where girls can submit and perform their poems for an audience, and the Ink creative writing club generates a considerable number of works each year. A new creative writing competition within the school will also encourage students to submit a piece of writing from across a range of subjects. Budding journalists can pitch articles to the school magazine, A Study in Purple and once a year, Putney takes part in BBC News School Report.

Students are also encouraged to submit their writing to external competitions such as the GDST creative writing competition, Wimbledon Book Festival and various essay writing competitions.


Putney is excellently placed to experience the many live performances, workshops, readings and lectures in London. We seize every opportunity to visit the theatre, especially when the chance to see set texts arises. Some trips include:

  • Year 7 trip to see author Jamila Gavin speak at the Foundling Museum
  • Year 9 trip to see Jane Eyre at the National Theatre
  • Year 13 trip to Shakespeare’s Globe and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse to see Othello and Doctor Faustus
  • Year 12 trip to Charleston and Monk’s House
  • Year 13 visit to the National theatre archives
  • Year 13 trips to the Sovereign and EMC conferences


In a society as interconnected as ours, it’s more important than ever that students can understand the world around them.

Geography is a subject that encompasses a broad range of contemporary issues and challenges, and is therefore highly valued by universities and employers alike. It suits students with an enquiring mind and an interest in exploring the world around them.

Geography students will gain a broad range of essential study skills including analysis, extended writing, graphicacy, data collection, interpretation, evaluation, map skills and statistics.

Key Stage Three

In Key Stage Three we develop knowledge and understanding of a broad range of human and physical environments, as well as how you can begin to interpret them. We take an analytical approach, bringing out the core themes and concepts which run through the whole of geography. Year 7 pupils study place, oceans, plate tectonics and enter the RGS Young Geographer of the Year competition, moving onto coasts, weather and climate, China and globalisation in Year 8. In Year 9, girls progress to gaining a knowledge of rivers, population, development and Russia in preparation for the GCSE course.


At GCSE, students use the analytical skills they have acquired and apply them to the subject areas of urban environments in Lagos and London, landscape systems, development, ecosystems, economic change and natural hazards.


Fieldwork is an integral part of the curriculum; there is a residential trip to Dorset in Year 10 and the opportunity to take part in expeditions to locations such as the Azores and Iceland.

The variety of Geography trips on offer is testament to the essential role of fieldwork in this area of study. In addition to attending lectures and conferences, students take part in a variety of field visits:

  • Year 7 – Kingston-upon-Thames
  • Year 8 – Birling Gap, Sussex
  • Year 9 – Rivers investigation
  • Year 10 – Residential trip to the Jurassic coast and investigation into urban change in Bournemouth
  • Year 12 – Snowdonia to study glaciated landscapes
  • Non-curriculum trip to Iceland or Sicily (Years 9-11) and Morocco for Sixth Form students


The study of history teaches a wide range of critical and evaluative skills. At Putney we provide students with a sound foundation of historical knowledge and analytical skills. Classes are interactive, encouraging lively debate about the topics covered, allowing students to practise the ability to make, sustain and evaluate an argument.

Key Stage Three

At Key Stage Three, pupils begin their historical studies by exploring iconic medieval history, from the Battle of Hastings to the Crusades, The Black Death to the Peasants Revolt, also integrating lively activities such as building a defensible castle. In Year 8, they explore the new ideas that shaped the world between 15th and 18th Centuries – Reformation, Renaissance and Revolution. In Year 9 we turn their attention to European history during the 20th century, examining WW1, the failure of Democracy in Weimar Germany and Hitler’s rise to power.


GCSE classes are kept small, to encourage discussion and debate. Students learn about the Russian Revolution and the nature of autocracy and opposition to Tsarist rule; the impact of Rasputin and the First World War and the creation of the Communist State under Lenin and its continuation under Stalin. They later learn about the Cold War and consider the creation of the Berlin Wall, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Finally, they examine change and continuity over time. Pupils study the changing social, economic and political climate in China c. 1900-1989 looking at the 1911 and 1949 revolutions and immense impact of Communist rule on China and her people.


Trips take students across the globe to visit the locations of many historical events. Year 7 visit Hampton Court Palace, Year 9 visit Ypres to study battlefields and trenches and GCSE students visit Berlin. This is complemented by local lectures and the opportunity to join the debating society.


The aim of the Mathematics department is to provide the students with stimulating and interesting instruction to enable them to develop Mathematical knowledge and skills, and to encourage their enjoyment of the subject as an exciting discipline.

In particular, we strive to equip them with:

  • a good grounding in the basics
  • a confidence to explore mathematics, no matter what their ability
  • the ability to communicate using mathematical language
  • an appreciation of the usefulness and beauty of mathematics
  • the necessary skills to achieve academic excellence
  • an enthusiasm to take their study beyond just learning to pass exams.

Key Stage Three

As well as ensuring the basics are thoroughly consolidated in KS3 we encourage the girls to develop their thinking skills. We use material from CAME, nRICH as well as other sources of mathematical investigations to develop problem solving skills. Monthly extension worksheets with stretching Maths Challenge and Olympiad style problems are produced and the girls are encouraged to tackle these.

The girls are set in Maths from the start of Year 8. In Year 7 they are taught in mixed ability groups. Set sizes will be smaller for the lower sets with the bottom set being no more than 10-12 students.


All girls take the Higher Level iGCSE at the end of Year 11. In addition, those in the top two sets (about half the year group) study for the Additional Mathematics qualification. This is a demanding qualification and serves as an excellent preparation for A Level Mathematics as well as supporting their preparation for their IGCSE.

Monthly extension worksheets are produced for girls in Years 10 and 11. These are intended to be stretching and include some fiendishly hard problems from sources such as UKMT Mentoring sheets.

In Year 10 girls receive 3 hours of Maths lessons per week going up to 3½ hours in Year 11 with those in the top sets in Year 11 receiving 4 hours per week. We find small set sizes for the lower sets helps the girls who find Maths difficult achieve excellent grades. Over the past two years 75% of our GCSE cohort achieved grades of 8 or 9.


The department runs the weekly ‘Mathletes’ club for girls in Years 7-9. This introduces the girls to interesting and unusual areas of Mathematics. Over the past year or so we have investigated things as diverse as Topology, the Mathematics of Elections, Diophantine Equations, Modulo Arithmetic, the Fibonacci sequence, Benford’s Law and the Chicken McNuggets problem amongst many others.

We also run a weekly Code-breaking which introduces the girls to the Mathematics of encryption and decryption.

Girls throughout the school take part in various Maths Challenge competitions run by the UKMT and many excel in these. Girls also attend Maths Masterclasses run by the Royal Institution and attend lectures on a variety of Mathematical themes.

Modern Foreign Languages

At Putney High School we create passionate and confident linguists who develop a love of practising and experimenting with their language skills in the classroom and beyond.

The aim of all language courses is to develop the ability to use the modern foreign language effectively for the purpose of practical communication and cultural understanding. Pupils develop the four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, which are taught in the context of cultural topic areas and through the use of many different types of media.  We emphasise the importance of understanding grammar so that pupils develop the skills to express their own ideas creatively and to become confident, independent language learners.  Developing practical language skills is a central focus of the GCSE, but the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are developed in the context of topic areas such as: Identity and Culture and Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest. Through developing these four skills, pupils will be able to understand and respond to spoken and written language, communicate and interact in writing and speech and thus gain a firm grasp of vocabulary and grammar, as well as the skills needed to continue their language learning in the future.

Key Stage Three

In Year 7, students choose one Romance language and one non-Romance language:

French and German
or or
Spanish Mandarin


At Key Stage Three, pupils gain experience of modern European and non-European as well as classical languages. Year 7 pupils study either French or Spanish AND German or Mandarin for two hours a week each which is continued into year 8. This is introduced alongside the Classical Civilization and Latin in Year 8.  In Year 9, students study three languages, either continuing with the combination studied in Years 7 and 8 or dropping one of these to take up a new language:  beginners’ Italian or Spanish.


By the time they select their GCSEs students have a broad experience of languages and must study at least one Modern Foreign Language GCSE, with the option of studying up to three. Pupils develop the four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, taught in the context of cultural topic areas. Students focus on the importance of understanding grammar to enable them to express their ideas creatively and confidently as independent language learners.


MFL is well-placed to host regular trips and visits. The department visit cultural institutes across London, including art exhibitions and theatre performances of particular cultural relevance. We also invite guest speakers to give talks and run workshops.

International trips and exchanges also form a key part of language study. The Chinese department has established a link with Jin Yuan Senior School, one of Shanghai’s leading schools, which we visit biannually .We also run annual trips to Montpellier (France), Murcia (Spain), Costa Rica, as well as an exchange to Tübingen (Germany).

Language study is an essential skill for pupils to develop in our increasingly global society and one which will open up numerous opportunities for them in the future, as well as boosting cognitive and communication skills, in itself a huge advantage for their studies and future prospects.


Music is embedded in every aspect of life at Putney.

The aim of this wide-ranging course is to extend musical interests, knowledge and understanding, develop aesthetic sensitivity and cultural awareness and create a foundation for further study.  Pupils will study a broad spectrum of music, ranging from Bach to Latin American samba, via film music, fusion and the 20th century musical.

Students may find it useful to know that those who begin this course as a performer of around Grade IV standard can achieve Grade A or better by the end. An understanding of music theory is a definite advantage but it is not essential to have taken the Grade V theory exam.

There is more than 300 girls in the Senior School singing in choirs (both auditioned and not) and many taking regular co-curricular tuition in musical instruments.

Particularly talented young musicians can apply for a Music Scholarship

Key Stage Three

In Key Stage Three we encourage girls to try everything and there is something for everyone. The course combines performance, listening and composition, as well as the chance to try a variety of instruments. Girls study the history of music from the Medieval period to contemporary pop and jazz styles; they are challenged to develop skills in notation and musical analysis and are given the freedom to work on compositions using GarageBand on their iPads. In Year 9, students present performances of a fully staged opera, taking control of every aspect of the performance both on and off stage.


GCSE Music pupils study a broad range of music from across the Western classical tradition, Latin American samba, film music, fusions and the twentieth-century musical. Small class sizes encourage individual responses to stimuli, as well as a collaborative approach to learning.Students are encouraged to immerse themselves in their study of the subject, by carrying out their own research into composition and analytical approaches. They also conduct and direct their own instrumental and vocal ensembles. Pupils become fluent in the industry standard programmes, Logic and Sibelius, both run on the suite of iMacs held by the department.


Students are invited to audition for a variety of co-curricular musical groups, including junior and senior choir, a cappella groups, chamber music groups, Sinfonietta and the Symphony Orchestra. We have a wide variety of performance opportunities with Informal Music concerts spread across each term and an annual Inter House Music Festival.  There are three large choral and orchestral concerts a year, and regular Pop events for girls who like a more contemporary approach.

In 2018, the whole school took part in a musical 125th Anniversary Celebration of Putney High School held at Cadogan Hall, where girls performed alongside the London Mozart Players. Each two years the Music Department hosts a foreign tour, which in October 2020 will take the girls to Tuscany.

Physical Education

Putney has a reputation for sporting excellence.

Our regular victories at regional and national competitions is backed up by the hard work and dedication by each one of our young sportswomen. Each term has a full extra-curricular fixture list for both students who wish to compete and those who want to play for enjoyment and fun.

Our on-site facilities, plus additional off-site grounds at our embankment boathouse and Wimbledon Rugby grounds, enable a wide range of sports to be played and allow further extension of both the curricular and extra-curricular activities on offer.

Through our PE Curriculum, our aim is that all girls will discover and develop:

The joy of moving and being physically active
A deep sense of physical accomplishment and wellbeing
A range of skills and sports
A strong sense of positive physical identity
The desire to play sport outside school, leading to lifelong physical activity

Key Stage Three

Girls in Year 7 and 8 have lessons in netball, lacrosse, gymnastics, dance, trampolining, badminton, volleyball, swimming, tennis, rounders, cricket, and athletics. Rowing, basketball, handball, football, tag-rugby and hockey are introduced as new activities in Year 9.

Years 10 & 11

In Year 10 and 11 girls have a much more varied sports option programme to include zumba, boxercise, spinning, golf, pilates, yoga, squash, pump, self-defence and blitz fitness to provide the opportunity to focus on fitness alongside their GCSE study.


At GCSE, students delve into many more areas of sport and sport science, offering the perfect complement to biology students or those who which to study the subject further at A level.


Each term has a full co-curricular fixture list and squads regularly compete and achieve success in regional and national level competitions. The school also promotes a ‘sport for all’ policy which encourages participation of all pupils in a variety for enjoyment and fun.

Religious Studies

Religious studies at Putney combines study of the philosophy of religion, the New Testament and ethics, and is a subject recognised for its analytical and critical skills.

Students work with classical and philosophical arguments and high-level exegesis of biblical text. There is no need for any personal belief or previous work with religious texts, but it does aid students in understanding and evaluating their own and others’ religious beliefs, with a particular focus on the texts, philosophical assumptions and influence of Christianity.

Key Stage Three

In Key Stage Three, students learn about all the major faith traditions using art, discussion, trips to places of worship, rites of passage, belief, philosophy and attitudes, enabling them to examine many of the ‘big questions’ of life and to express and evaluate their own answers to these.

Pupils study the beliefs, teachings and practices of Judaism and Christianity in Years 7 and 8, developing skills of evaluation, critical thinking and analysis. In Year 9, the curriculum moves on to Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics, covering arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, the relationship between science and religion, environmental ethics, poverty, equality and medical ethics.


At GCSE, pupils continue their study of Christianity and Judaism and the influences of these on individuals, communities and societies. Different opinions among Christians and Jews as well as non-religious responses to contemporary issues are studied, and pupils are encouraged to express their opinions and develop evaluative skills. Students consider the origins and value of the universe and human life, philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God, and the nature of the divine revelation. The course also includes an in-depth study of the elements of Mark’s Gospel.


The co-curricular activities within our Religious Studies department are held in partnership with the London Academy of Excellence and Oxford High School GDST. The schools attend study days and revision seminars together.

The sits alongside a programme of trips, including:

  • Year 7 trip to the Jewish Museum
  • Year 8 Tour of St Mary’s Church, Putney
  • Year 10 watch the Life of Christ play at Wintershall


Science at Putney is not about learning facts, but the will to question and find out for yourself.

Our students gain an understanding of the value, relevance and importance of scientific endeavour and how it can apply to the world around them. Experimentation is at the heart of our approach and we take full advantage of the excellent laboratories, resources and facilities we have here at Putney. Above all, we want our students to enjoy learning about and be fascinated by scientific inquiry.

Key Stage Three

The Science teaching at Putney has a practical focus, covering a broad curriculum. Students sit all three science subjects at GCSE, so our Key Stage Three curriculum prepares girls for study across a broad range of topics.

A typical lesson might start with a demonstration from the teacher, after which girls discuss what they have seen in small groups. They will then go on to design their own experiment, carry it out, collect information to test a hypothesis and share their learning with the rest of the class.


At GCSE, students study all three, separate science International GCSES in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, providing a broad basis for science study at A level. Practical experimentation is at the heart of GCSE study. Students are also encouraged to develop their digital skills, using science specific applications and data logging software on iPads and online.


Girls have the opportunity to extend their learning with a variety of co-curricular clubs. Students in Key Stage 3 can take part in STEM club, run by Year 11 students (supported by a teacher), and carry out experiments which are complementary to their study in class.

Year 8 students then have the opportunity to compete in the annual Salter’s Chemistry Challenge and students from Year 9 upwards can join the Medical Society which offers weekly hot topic talks. We also have an eco-committee and Gardening Club for our conscious environmentalists.

The Science Department also runs dedicated day-long science workshops. For example, during Activities Week in 2017, the department ran a CSI day where students had to catch a killer using evidence found at the scene of a teacher’s murder.

A variety of educational trips complement learning in class, including:

• Year 7 visit to Kew Gardens
• Year 8 trip to Marwell Zoo
• Year 9 visit to the Science Museum
• Year 10 lecture at a range of academic institutions in Central London

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