Curriculum

We provide a broad and balanced curriculum in the Senior School; we teach skills, knowledge, concepts and attitudes in all curriculum areas using carefully designed guidelines.
The curriculum offered at St. Paul’s is intended to:

  • facilitate the successful transition to the Senior School
  • develop academic independence and good study habits through a wide range of subjects
  • prepare pupils for the demands of the international examination courses (IGCSE and IB).

Pupils study the following subjects in Forms 1 and 2:

English, Portuguese, mathematics, science, geography, history, história, geografia, computer studies (building on the ICT taught in Prep School), art, drama, music and physical education (PE). There is an emphasis on English, Portuguese, mathematics and science which receive more time allocation in the timetable, but all subjects are seen as being of equal importance in the provision of a balanced curriculum.

In Form 3 pupils study the following subjects:

The list is the same as above, however, instead of science they study the separate sciences: biology, chemistry, and physics. In addition they all study French.
In Forms 4 and 5 pupils study the following IGCSE subjects:

  • English language
  • English literature
  • Portuguese
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Coordinated science

They can also opt to study the following subjects:

  • Global perspectives
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Computer studies
  • Geography
  • History

They must also choose one subject from the following list:

  • IGCSE music
  • BTEC music technology
  • IGCSE art
  • IGCSE drama
  • BTEC creative media production

They will continue to study história, geografia and physical education.

Pupils also have one tutorial period per fortnight in which they follow a programme related to personal, social and health education (PSHE). They also have one tutorial period per fortnight dedicated to enrichment activities, where pupils can choose from a broad selection of co-curricular activities ranging from robotics to rugby, and from knitting to astronomy.

Homework

Homework is an integral part of the educational programme at the school.  It complements, supports and reinforces the work that is done in the classroom. Parents are expected to support this policy.

Regular and properly completed homework helps pupils to acquire the valuable habits of independent study, meeting deadlines and presenting effective and well-ordered assignments. These habits are all an important part of their academic development.

It is of great value if a pupil can be encouraged to sit down to do his or her homework in a quiet place at a regular time each day.  Ideally pupils should complete their homework as soon as possible after they have arrived home.

Pupils in Forms 1, 2 and 3 have homework in all the academic subjects that they study. In any week, this amounts to two or three 30-minute pieces of homework each evening. Pupils in these years may sometimes also be expected to complete music/art/drama assignments during the week.

Pupils in Forms 4 and 5 are set two to four 40-minute pieces of homework each evening.

Sixth Form pupils are expected to do homework for 2½ – 3 hours per evening. A homework guide is given to the Lower Sixth.

Pupils who fail to complete an assigned homework task can be given a homework detention, and pupils are expected to complete any unfinished work during that time.