At 13, students join the Shell year in which they take a standard course with a range of academic subjects.
From September 2014, these are: English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Spanish, Physical Education, Information Technology, Art, Religious Studies, Music, Drama and Design Technology. All students also study Latin (or follow a literacy course) and most study French. A small number take Ancient Greek.
Advice on options and suitable subjects for study at GCSE is given during the Shell year.