How many students are in each class?
In Year 7 girls are in form groups of around 27 but are taught in smaller classes for subjects including Maths, Science, Art, Modern Foreign Languages, Drama and Thinking Skills.
The average GCSE class size is 16. For the Sixth Form the average class size is 8.
Do you stream/set girls?
Girls in Year 7 are not set for any subject, so they have an equal opportunity to develop regardless of material covered in their previous school.
In Years 8 and 9, girls are set for Mathematics.
Is the school library open before and after school?
The Senior School Library is open from 7am until 5pm every school day.
Do girls study all three sciences or are they combined?
Science is combined in Year 7. In Year 8, our Natural Sciences tripos enables students to make connections between concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as developing the underpinning practical techniques and problem solving skills necessary for success at IGCSE.
In Year 9, students take the IGCSE curriculum in all three separate sciences (in some cases, where appropriate, two sciences can be taken).
What languages do girls study?
In Year 7 pupils study either French or Spanish AND German or Mandarin – two hours per week in each. Latin is introduced in Year 8 and pupils in Years 9, 10, and 12 may also join a GCSE course in Ancient Greek which runs outside of the timetable.
From Year 9, students continue their two modern foreign languages and choose a third option from Latin, ab initio Italian or ab initio Spanish. For GCSE, students choose at least one Modern Foreign Language (although they may choose more). NB.
In order to study French, German or Mandarin at GCSE and beyond, you MUST have studied these languages during Years 7 and 8. Which means, for example, if you choose German, you cannot take up Mandarin later on. It doesn’t though mean that you must study German to GCSE. You could still take up Italian or Spanish and/or continue with French, if you chose French in Year 7.
What provision do you have for bilingual girls?
We have a programme for speakers of French, German, Spanish or Mandarin. In Years 7, 8 and 9, bilingual pupils do not attend normal lessons in the relevant language, instead receiving tuition from a native speaker.
In Year 10 tuition continues outside of the timetable so that this extra language GCSE can be sat a year early, at the end of Year 10.
How much homework should girls expect?
In Year 7, girls are given a maximum of four subject homeworks each evening. Each is expected to take around 20 minutes.
What Music provision do you have?
Music is a classroom subject for all girls in Years 7 to 9 and a popular GCSE choice in Years 10 and 11. Every year girls choose Music A Level and go on to study at leading universities and conservatoires. There are two orchestras, three large choirs, and many smaller ensembles.
Many learn instruments and over 350 instrumental lessons are taught each week, with a visiting specialist staff of 27. Some pupils also study at the Junior Conservatoires or are members of regionally and nationally auditioned choirs and orchestras. The Senior Choir tours in alternate years and in Year 9 girls organise and perform an opera – in 2019 it was Mozart’s Magic Flute.
There are opportunities to compose and to have your work performed. Concerts range from weekly practice and class concerts to formal evening performances.
We offer a number of music scholarships. Click here to find out more.
When do girls have Music lessons – do they have to miss other lessons or is it during break times?
Lessons are available for the full range of instruments, including drums and voice. In Years 7–9, these are scheduled on a rota basis throughout the day (8am to 5.15pm).
In Years 10–13, Music lessons do not clash with any academic classes. There are special arrangements for players of two or more instruments.
What sports do girls play?
All girls have lessons in netball, lacrosse, gymnastics, cricket, dance, tennis, football and athletics.
Girls can join the rowing club in Year 8. Rowing is a curriculum sport in Year 9.
In Years 10 and 11, PE options include zumba, spinning, martial arts, self-defence, yoga and squash sessions at Daley Fitness Gym.
The Sixth Form Centre has its own Fitness Suite. The school has achieved particular success in lacrosse, rowing, tennis, gymnastics, cross country, netball and acrobatic gymnastics. In rowing, girls compete at the Head of the River and at the Head of the Charles in the USA – some of the biggest events in the sport. Tennis coaching is available during a PE lesson or at lunchtime. Elite Tennis Coaching takes place before school.
To find out more click here.
Where do girls play sport?
We have tennis and netball courts on-site. Games afternoons, lacrosse lessons and matches are off-site at our home ground, Wimbledon Rugby Football Club, which is a five-minute coach ride away.
We also use Roehampton Playing Fields, Wimbledon Athletics Track, have our own Boathouse on Putney Embankment and the school has membership of the Barn Elms Rowing Club.
What about Computing and ICT?
Computer Science with an emphasis on computational thinking and problem-solving skills is embedded in the KS3 curriculum. Students are encouraged to think creatively about technology and its positive impact on the community through app design and cybersecurity competitions.
We round out the curriculum with Computing competitions; all KS3 students participate in the University of Oxford’s Bebras competition in timetabled lessons. Other competitions like app design, iDEA badges, CyberFirst Girls and CyberDiscovery are conducted through lunchtime and after school clubs. E-safety and being safe online is a recurring theme in the curriculum.
Computer Science is an option for GCSE and A Level. All pupils are issued with their own iPads to aid their research, collaboration and presentation of their learning, we also use Apple Pencils and the latest wireless technologies. The school’s secure virtual learning environment means that girls have access to their school email and learning resources across campus and from home.
Do you offer scholarships and/or bursaries?
At 11+, all applicants are automatically considered for an Academic scholarship. Music and Sports scholarships are also available. At Sixth Form, current pupils are eligible to apply for an additional Academic Travel scholarship in Languages or Science to conduct a university-level research project overseas.
For internal and external students at 16+, Academic, Art, Design, Drama, Music and Sports scholarships are available. Click here for more information.
We are keen to offer the opportunity of a Putney education to applicants regardless of their family’s financial circumstances and offer a number of means-tested bursaries. An award can be up to 100 per cent of school fees dependent on individual circumstances, with joint household income and assets taken into account.
Do you have a House system?
There are four Houses
- Beryl Burton
- Kathleen Ferrier
- Audrey Hepburn
- Freya Stark
We hold regular House assemblies where girls make friendships across year groups through regular House competitions in sport, drama and debating.
What about Pastoral Care?
The happiness, personal development and wellbeing of our pupils comes before all else and we have been recognised by TES and ‘The Week Independent Schools Guide’ for the high standard of our pastoral care. Experienced Form and Deputy Tutors, Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year offer comprehensive, tailored and nurturing support across every year group.
Excellent communication with parents, and within the staff body, is pivotal so students know there is always someone available to listen to them.
Pupils see their tutor twice a day. Pupils in Years 8 & 9, 10 & 11 and in Years 12 & 13 usually have the same Form Tutor who is responsible for their care and welfare. They are alert to their different needs and personalities, ensuring every pupil can thrive.
Pupils also have access to our Wellbeing Lead and Wellbeing Coach, who are there to support and guide them, should they wish. We also have a full-time nurse and counsellor on site.
Girls entering Year 7 are allocated a buddy from a higher year. There is also a Big Sister support programme to help girls settle into school life.
Pupils are encouraged to develop self-confidence and a sense of self – valued members of a warm and democratic community.
Every student has a Progress Mentor – usually their Form or Deputy Form Tutor, who they meet with one-to-one, twice a year – usually at the start and mid-way through the year – to reflect on and plan their overall personal and academic development.
The Positive Schools Programme forms part of PSHE, teaching the skills and awareness to navigate the teenage years. This includes health, online safety, relationships, sex education and citizenship as well as study skills and careers planning.
What trips do you offer for Year 7?
Year 7 take part in a team building activity early in the school year, as well as trips to support the subject curriculum.
There is a three-day residential activities trip in the summer term and the option of participating in the Year 8 ski trip.
Are girls offered careers guidance?
Our award-winning Careers Programme offers support on subject options, work experience and career paths, as well as helping to develop real-world skills for the future.
There are regular careers evenings and a biennial Careers Fair. There are talks with business leaders and visiting entrepreneurs and an Entrepreneur in Residence.
Dedicated Oxbridge and US University specialists work in-house to guide and support students through their applications.
Alumnae lunches link students with current and recent Putney undergraduates, giving them insight into university life.
What extension activities do you offer?
Everything from Art, Drama, Sport and Music activities to Debating Society, Scrabble Club and Medical Society.
There are trips to Iceland, Costa Rica, New York and Berlin, to name a few. The Putney Ideas Exchange (PIE) gives girls the chance to listen to and ask questions of inspirational speakers, from eminent scientists to entrepreneurs and artists.
What about STEAM subjects?
In September 2020, we welcomed our new Teacher of Design Thinking (Computer Science/Product Design). This is a hybrid role to prepare students for the hybrid jobs of the future. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) all come together to solve complex problems using empathy, imagination and skill. To find out more about STEM at Putney High School, click here.
Our new Science, Music, Drama and Debating Centre, opening in 2021, will celebrate science and the arts in an inspiring, cross-curricular environment. The new facilities include a dedicated debating forum and state-of-the-art teaching and rehearsal spaces. You can find out more here.
When will the new Science, Music, Drama & Debating Centre be completed?
The new centre is expected to open in 2021 providing state-of-the-art teaching, learning and performance spaces including Science labs, acoustically engineered music rooms, a debating forum and ‘fringe feel’ drama studio. Once the building is complete, the temporary Science accommodation will be removed and the area returned to use as astro turf. To find out more, click here.
Do you accept applications from international students?
Whilst we welcome applications from pupils that are overseas at the time of applying, they must have a permanent status in the UK when they join Putney High School. Putney High School is a day school, therefore we are unable to offer boarding arrangements and applicants must have a parent, education guardian or legal guardian living within a reasonable distance of the school with whom they can reside.
In order to cope with the high academic and social demands of the school, applicants must be fluent English speakers (we have a programme to support bilingual students who are speakers of French, German, Spanish or Mandarin). It would help if the applicant is already following the British curriculum, however, this is not a prerequisite.
What does the motto 'fortiter et recte' mean?
It means ‘boldly and rightly’. In the early days of Putney High School, our logo included a violet. However, reluctant to be perceived as ‘shrinking violets’, it was changed to the strong oak tree – encapsulated by this motto.
Is there a school bus service?
A school bus service for Junior and Senior pupils operates to and from school. From September 2020 there will be three bus routes in operation: Isleworth via Barnes / Mortlake to Putney, Raynes Park / Wimbledon to Putney and Sloane Square via Chelsea / Fulham to Putney (subject to demand). We are also well-served by public transport.