Delving deeper. Exploring further. Enriching learning.

Beyond students’ core academic studies, at Berkhamsted we pride ourselves on offering super-curricular opportunities – the chance for students to take the subjects they study further, beyond the scope of a normal school week.

The Horizons programme offers Berkhamstedians a chance to build on their enthusiasm and curiosity for a subject while also developing the capacity for independent study – key skills for their futures at School and beyond.


What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant. 

Jacques Lucien Monod  (9 February 1910 – 31 May 1976), a French biologist, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965, sharing it with François Jacob and Andre Lwoff “for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis”.

DrIkemoto repeatedly told me that we should not perform research that simply reproduced somebody else’s results. Rather, we should do something unique. 

Shinya Yamanaka (4 September 1962 – Present), a Stem Cell Biologist who The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly with Sir John B. Gurdon “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent” 

The Nancy Rothwell Award (Age Category 12-14 and 15-18) 

If you are a talented artist this award is for you. It celebrates specimen drawings in schools and highlights the benefits of combining art and science. 

Nancy Rothwell Award 

Y10 Biology Challenge 

Biology Challenge is open to all Year 10 biologists and aims to nurture your interest in biology beyond the school curriculum as well as stimulate an interest in the natural world. Biology Challenge is an online competition which takes place in school. Questions will be set on the school curriculum but the Biology Challenge will also reward your knowledge of the subject that has been increased by reading books and magazines, watching natural history programmes, taking notice of the news media for items of biological interest, and by being generally aware of your natural flora and fauna. The Challenge consists of two 30 minute papers. Bronze, Silver or Gold certificate are awarded. 

Biology Challenge 

Wildlife surveys 

There are many opportunities to get involved with wildlife surveys at home and students get involved in national surveys of birds and insects.  


Bumblebee survey 

Big butterfly count

Joining courses and learning online 

Students are actively encouraged to pursue areas of Science and Biology in their own time at various sites online 

Stem resources 

Virtual Museum


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs

Senior School Opportunities 

There will be plenty of opportunity for you to find out about a wide range of potential careers as well as the chance to develop your employability skills and learn more about yourself – your strengths, weaknesses and values through our Careers programme. This includes off-curriculum days, PSHE, via academic subjects etc.

Higher Education, Careers & Gap Year Fair

All students are invited to attend this annual event hosted at school. It offers a “one-stop shop” to introduce you to as wide a range of higher education and careers opportunities as possible in a single evening. Advice and guidance will be available from around 50 universities / higher education establishments as well as employers and gap year providers. There will be a series of speakers talking about Oxbridge entry, apprenticeships and taking a gap year.

“The evening definitely inspired us to think seriously about our futures and enhanced our understanding of the various pathways available to us after school. The helpful contacts from the extensive range of institutions ensured that any of our questions were answered and myself and fellow students were certainly left feeling more prepared to consider the choices ahead of us.” Year 12 Student

Careers Enrichment Newsletters

Termly newsletter highlighting external careers insight events, courses, competitions, online offerings and work experience schemes, which allow you to develop valuable experience and explore your interests in more depth.

InvestIN Education

Berkhamsted School has entered a partnership with InvestIN Education. The company offer a wide range of immersive careers experiences in the fields of engineering, journalism, law, politics, medicine, computer science and psychology. Due to our partnership arrangement, you are entitled to a 10% discount by applying code Berkhamsted19.

Sixth Opportunities

In addition to a comprehensive programme aimed at all students, we run a series of optional events and signpost students towards external activities tailored to their individual interests:

Careers Lunches

On Fridays during the Michaelmas and Lent terms, a series of different external guests are invited to give an insight into their careers and their individual journeys leading to those careers. You are free to sign up for as many of these as you wish, giving you the chance to hear first-hand about careers as diverse as Art, Marketing, Finance and Politics within a working lunch format.

Higher Education, Careers & Gap Year Fair

See entry in Senior School entry above.

Law & Healthcare Taster Days, Medicine Interview Day

Aimed at those of you interested in finding out in more detail about careers and entry routes into law and healthcare (medicine, dentistry, physio, veterinary). These full-day events are run at the school by specialist external facilitators.

Student Consultancy & Young Enterprise

Students are also encouraged to join programmes such as Student Consultancy and Young Enterprise, which build up valuable skills.

Careers Newsletters

We send out regular newsletters highlighting a wide range of external careers events and resources. We also encourage you to apply for Headstart and Smallpeice Trust courses during the Michaelmas / Lent Term of Year 12 if you are considering studying STEM subjects at university or applying for apprenticeships. See also entry in Senior School entry above regarding our partnership with InvestIN education, who run a wide range of careers events.

School Awards

Each year, the Old Berkhamstedians kindly offer the opportunity for Year 12 students to apply for a Travel Award towards the cost of trips, which will develop individual skills and broaden minds. There is also the chance to apply for a fully funded 7-10 Day Tall Ships trip in the summer holidays through the Knox-Johnston Award.


‘Chemistry is a central science that permeates all of our lives. Without Chemistry our lives would be dull, dark, boring and short.’

Chemistry homework might be hard but a world without Chemistry would be a real pain. Without Chemistry we wouldn’t have more of the medicines that keep us from getting sick or stop us from feeling the pain of a headache, broken bone or tooth extraction.

Year 7 and 8

Chemistry is all around us and so taking advantage of the lockdown was achieved by making slime, volcanoes from bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and infusion of bath bombs with essential oils.

Students in 8 are invited to take part in the annual Chemistry Salters Challenge, which is hosted by UCL. Berkhamsted pupils take the opportunity to investigate the source of a chemical using flame tests and precipitation tests.

KS3/4 Co-curricular Science Club

If you want to explore science and ignite your curiosity, then this would be for you! We made ‘Ferro Liquid’, an amazing liquid that when subjected to a magnet behaves like a solid in that it has a defined shape. You can have the fun of science without the recording and writing. We use exploration as a way of thinking and discussion so that you can ask the questions that you always wanted to. Delving deeper into science in a logical way will enhance your thinking beyond any curriculum.


Sixth Form Chemistry in Action day at UCL are attended by Year 12 and are a highlight of the academic programme for students as they highlight many different areas where Chemistry can be used in industry including pharmacy and food.

Chemistry Olympiad

For students ‘The Chemistry Olympiad ’ is a great way to increase your problem-solving skills and will challenge you to think about Chemistry in a synoptic way using all of the knowledge that you have gleaned in your Year 12 and 13 course.  Written tests comprise of questions based on real-world chemistry problems that often stimulate much debate, raising awareness of what chemistry is all about and provide an opportunity to develop and showcase some of the skills required for studying Chemistry at university and beyond.  Our students took part in this in January 2020.  We achieved a great set of results right at the start of lock down

Year 12 Challenge

A similar challenge for Year 12 is the C3L6.  This comprises questions related to the Year 12 specification and is an excellent way to challenge those honed facts from previous examinations.

KS5 Co-Curricular Chemistry Club

Students in Year 11 attending this club are taught by Year 13 students some A level practicals which stretch and challenge as well as allowing Year 11 students interested in Chemistry to become familiar with equipment for the future.

Further Activities Online

Chemistry Review – a range of articles to ignite your interest

Royal Society of Chemistry – a range of resources including career and university advice

UCL Outreach Lectures – a range of resources from UCL and online lectures aimed at Year 12 students.

Glaxo Smithkline resources and ideas for students who are looking for careers in Chemistry

RSC provide a range of activities to complete.

Headstart programmes have been used extensively by students on work placements to further their knowledge of an experience in industry or at a top University. These need to be applied for well in advance. 

Beyond Berkhamsted

The Chemistry Department have been delighted at the end of the 2019 academic year to send Henry Kergon to UCL and Freya Butler to Oxford University to study Chemistry.

Henry Kergon

Henry completed A Level Chemistry in Summer 2019 and has just completed his first year studying Chemistry at University College London.  Here area his reflections on the year.

Doing Chemistry at UCL is a wonderful experience and a privilege. In my first year I have covered a multitude of different subject areas from quantum mechanics and thermodynamics in physical chemistry, to complex mechanisms and reaction pathways in organic chemistry, as well as crystal structures and metals in inorganic chemistry, all accompanied by a high level of teaching.

The lab sessions are exciting and engaging, due to the research quality equipment, and additionally the work that we do often links into what we are learning in lectures. UCL has also done a great job at arranging first year group projects to get to know others whilst introducing you to the nature of university and academic work. These have included an air pollution project, which involved as a year group collecting data on pollution levels for the majority of central London. Another group activity was a poster project which involved getting to know a member of the research team and speaking to them on some of their work and presenting this information as a group to other members of staff in the department.


The study of Classics at Berkhamsted divides into two routes for GCSE and A Level: the study of the Latin language and the study of Classical Civilisation. Both are wonderful opportunities to connect with the rich and inspiring civilisations of the Greeks and Romans. We put emphasis on first rate teaching and learning, but we also want you to widen your enjoyment by involvement in wider opportunities outside the classroom.  

Year 7 Italy Trip  

Each year we organise a trip to Rome and the Bay of Naples. This trip is offered to pupils who study Latin and it is organised to widen understanding of the ancient Roman world. “Must see” places include the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in the city of Rome as well as the House of Caecilius in Pompeii. It is a great trip and the educational value of it is enormous. Be warned that we limit numbers to forty pupils maximum. 

An Informal Evening of Classical Entertainment

We hold this event in Old Hall every few years and we invite participation from classes which are learning Latin or Classical Civilisation. Everyone is welcomed to attend and to show in an informal setting one aspect of their work. It could be a short presentation or PowerPoint on a topic of interest or perhaps a chance to dress up in a toga and present a short play in English or indeed in Latin. A great occasion for younger pupils to see what is going on in the lessons of older groups. Parents love it too. 

JACT Latin Summer Camp

This is a residential summer school held each year at Wells Cathedral School and students from Berkhamsted are invited to attend. Not only is there excellent preparation and revision for GCSE and A Level Latin students, but there is also a wealth of fun activities to join. The focus is Latin language, literature and culture, but after that there are organised excursions to Bath and Wales, followed by an informal Classical drama production and workshops on Roman cookery. It could be helpful to know that the school offers bursaries to support students with the costs of residential trips like this one. 

Trip to Greece   

Older pupils in Year 10 and above are able to participate in the Classics Trip to Greece held every two years in the October half-term. The next trip will be organised by Mr Wille and it takes place in Michaelmas Term 2022. The group flies to Athens and then tours the main archaeological sites of Greece. You will have a chance to visit amazing sites, such as Delphi, Olympia and Mycenae. The trip lasts for a week and is a fantastic way to extend your knowledge of the ancient Greek world. 

British Museum and the National Gallery 

In Year 8 we take our Classical Civilisation students on a lightning trip to London to visit the British Museum and the National Gallery. The theme is Classical mythology and we look at a small selection of art to see how ancient myths are depicted through the ages. A central theme for us is the Trojan War. This fits perfectly with the Year 8 course in Classical Civilisation.   

Essay Competition for Latin and Classical Civilisation 

The Golden Sponge Stick Competition is open to Latin pupils in Year 7. This is a creative writing competition with a very special prize for the winner. If you have read anything by Caroline Lawrence, you will know what a great writing she is. Her Roman mysteries series is set in the ancient Roman world. Have a look at her website here:  .  You will not be disappointed. The task is to write in English a mystery story or an exciting thriller set in ancient Pompeii. The more you include references to topics you have studied in class, the better. Why not try to put in short Latin phrases like “salvete!” 

The London Latin Reading Competition 

If you are studying Latin, reading competitions like this can be great fun. Younger years are asked to prepare short plays from the Cambridge Latin Course and students perform them in front of judges with prizes given to those who bring the stories to life. Last year we entered several categories and won gold, silver and bronze medals. Students also have great fun.  

Useful links: 

Great for testing your Latin vocabulary 

Another great site for testing yourself 

The most important website for Latin students at Berkhamsted. Here you can use the online tester, see the webbooks for all stages of the Cambridge Latin Course and access e-learning resources. It is also great for GCSE Classical Civilisation students, as there is much on the OCR Rome City Life topic as well.  

Here is a picture from the website If you study Latin, you will find that this is a really interesting site. See if you can work out what the proverb is!   

Quotations from students: 

The Latin trip to Italy in Year 7 was the best school trip ever! Really! 

Our Classics teacher gives us incredible tips about how to learn. Mind-mapping and flashcards are his favourites, but I like playing Kahoot with my friends. 

Now I see Latin words and derivations everywhere. If you give me a very technical or scientific word, I bet that I can work out what it means!  


Both libraries subscribe to the Classics’ sixth form magazine “Omnibus”. The latest magazine is the seventy-sixth issue, so it has been going for some considerable time. It contains articles on the Classical world, including an update of competitions to enter. Interesting articles in recent editions include “Did the Romans love their children?” and “The role of the gods in the Odyssey”. The magazine is very much to be recommended to you. Here is a link to follow: 


There are hundreds of amazing academics out there who have dedicated their lives to themes like the Greek Theatre, Homeric Epic, Rome under Augustus and much more, whose knowledge and expertise would be very useful for school students. Previously, these academics have been limited to visiting the school one-by-one, but they can now share their knowledge with us online  usinMassolit.  The school has access to a vast range  of short lectures, recorded for viewing on your Surface-Pro. They cover the most important areas of our courses and are in bit sized chunks for easy understanding. Great for independent research at school and at home.  

The British Museum  

The British Museum is an important London location for all A Level students of Latin and Classical Civilisation. The department encourages you to visit it regularly to ensure that you can widen your exposure to the ancient world. The website here can be used to see whether there are relevant or imminent exhibitions to interest you. Getting to the British Museum could not be easier: a train journey for 35 minutes, followed by a ten minute walk. All very easy and a very useful place indeed! 

A Level Study Days  

Sovereign Education offers a series of A Level study days on parts of your Classical Civilisation or Latin syllabus. These tend to take place in a venue that is very close to Euston Station, so access from Berkhamsted is very easy. In recent years we have attended courses on Greek tragedy and Homer’s Odyssey, but there are also other courses which could well interest us on Latin set texts. Here is the link: 

The Greek Trip  

The Greek Trip is a great way to widen your knowledge of the ancient world especially as it allows you to give depth of understanding to your studies, so instead of just talking about the oracle at Delphi, you can actually see for yourselves where the Pythia sat and gained her inspiration in the sanctuary of Apollo. Once seen, never forgotten 

Classical Essay Competitions 

Each year there are a number of essay competitions for Latin and Classical Civilisation on Classical themes, which we encourage students to enter. Recent competitions have been organised by a variety of universities and colleges, including St Hugh’s College, Oxford. 

Other useful links are: 


Have a look at this virtual tour of the British Museum. See the some of the greatest objects in the world from your sofa!     

Kahoot is a free game based learning platform that makes it fun to learn – try quizzes on Greek art and Greek tragedy. 

Access to the OCR website is very important, as both Latin and Classical Civilisation courses in the sixth form follow OCR specifications:  


The A Level course is fantastic and now I want to study Latin at university. It is such an important part of my life! Thank you, Berkhamsted. 

I took my parents to the British Museum in London during the holidays and amazed them (or I think I did) with my knowledge. They want to study the ancient world too! 

Delphi is the most amazing place in Greece and in the world. The more I travel, the more I want to go back there!” The home of the ancient oracle has a magical aura about it. Wow! 

Computer Science

Come and explore the exciting new opportunities in the newly formed Computer Science department where creativity, logic and problem solving collide. Join the digital revolution and learn to code. We will be running monthly coding challenges, delivering workshops and taking part in various events throughout the year.

Monthly Coding Challenges:

Watch out for the coding challenges that will be sent out on Firefly, these will help challenge you and develop your coding skills – all I the name of improving your understanding of how to write code. If you have never written in Python don’t worry, we have a group of KS5 computer science students who are on hand to mentor you!

Year 12 trip to The National Museum of Computing:

Home to Colossus (arguably the world’s first programable electronic computer) and situated next to the Home of Code breaking at Bletchley Park, you will attend a day of workshops improving computational thinking and looking into the history of computing and how computers have developed from taking over whole buildings to the modern day powerful miniaturised devices we carry around in our pockets.

British Informatics Olympiad

The British Informatics Olympiad (BIO) is an annual competition in computer programming with the chance to win prizes including an expenses-paid trip to the prestigious International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). Workshops will run in the build up to this to enable you to hone your skills and make you competition ready.

Bebras Challenges:

​Run by Oxford University the Bebras challenges are made of a set of short problems, the tasks are fun, engaging and based on problems that Computer Scientists often meet and enjoy solving. The tasks can be solved without prior knowledge but instead require logical thinking. The top 10% of students taking part will be invited to compete the in prestigious TCS Oxford challenge.

KS3 Trip to Bletchley Park

A joint trip between the computer science department and the History department to Bletchley park. Come join us as we discover one of the most secretive places during WWII and arguably one of the most pivotal places in the history of computing. Here you will take part in a code breaking challenge as well as getting to see the Bombe in action.



There are many exciting opportunities for you get involved in Drama at Berkhamsted. If you love being on stage, supporting backstage, seeing amazing shows or enjoy a chance to be creative with others, we have something for you! You are never starved of chances to get involved” Toby, Year 11. 

School Productions 

We put on multiple productions ever year at Berkhamsted, ranging from musicals to comedies to straight plays. Everyone has the chance to be cast or involved in a production. Whether you are an experienced performer or someone who is considering acting in a school show for the first time, we hope you will come and join in the fun! The shows are always spectacular.  

Beyond the stage 

We offer multiple opportunities to support our shows beyond acting. There are many areas you can get involved; stage management, directing, choreographing, costume design, playing in the live band/orchestra or lighting and sound design. 

Speech and Drama Lessons  

Private extra drama lessons are available to all pupils at Berkhamsted to enable you to explore texts (acting) or songs (musical theatre), to devise drama and/or hone your communication and public speaking skills in very small groups or individually. Participants have the opportunity to take exams validated by LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Drama Art) in all disciplines up to Grade 8. 

Theatre visits and workshops 

Each year we run a number of trips for various year groups to see exciting productions. These range from West End Musicals to smaller productions in fringe venues. We also arrange for theatre companies to perform in our own Centenary theatre and arrange workshops run by top professionals. They are often a highlight of the Drama calendar. 

Residential trips to Edinburgh Festival  

Every two years all sixth formers have the opportunity to perform as a professional company at the largest arts festival in the world; Edinburgh Fringe. In recent years, all productions have received 5-star reviews and the experience of the festival is truly unforgettable.  

Actor of the year competition  

Our annual Actor of the Year competition is a most anticipated event. Students from across the school sign up to perform a short scene, either solo or in a pair. The event is adjudicated by an esteemed judge who presents a number of awards for their favourite performances of the night. 

House Drama and Performing Arts  

This is a hugely exciting biennial event for all pupils in the Senior School houses. Each house presents a short dramatic programme at the end of their first half term of the academic year. The quality of the performances is extremely high and the atmosphere during the competition is electric.  

Script writing 

Introduced last year, we have an annual script writing competition to encourage all you budding writers to have a go.  

But don’t just take our word for it! 

The opportunities that the Berkhamsted drama department offers are endless, from being able to direct and perform I feel I have truly experienced the difference aspects of theatre in such a mature way.” Susie, Year 13. 

I find drama extremely fun and exhilarating.  We do lots of drama activities over the year like plays and actor of the year which are really fun to try out your drama skills.” Hannah, Year 8. 


Senior School

The D&T department encourages students to make links with the world beyond the classroom. We want students to see the opportunities for designers and engineers to make a difference to our world and help save the planet. 

Open workshops

The D&T Department runs open workshop sessions on Wednesday’s at Castle Campus and Thursday’s at Kings Campus. These sessions are predominantly for GCSE and A Level students who want to have access to the facilities to extend their learning and making skills. They are also available to students from Years 7 – 9 upon request. Please note that we have to limit numbers for Health and Safety reasons.

“Having access to the workshops after school has really helped improve my making skills”


We enjoy organising trips, such as last year’s visit to the Design Museum. Where students were able to develop their understanding of smart materials in an innovative workshop looking at the various applications this material area has. As well as seeing the main Designer Maker gallery, we also visited the Beazley Designs of the year 2019.

“This exhibition really inspired me to see what is possible in D&T”


There are many competitions for design, engineering and STEM. We believe these are invaluable to students.

This Year our Year 7 students all took part in Race to the Line, a national competition, where they worked in teams to develop their own model rocket car. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the school heats and the competition was cancelled for this year due to Covid-19.

This year we introduced the IET Faraday Challenge where 36 of our students competed in teams of 6 to create and model a solution to the following brief “To design a product to support airbus in the work they do around the world helping people in times of need”

Arkwright Engineering Scholarship

The school is very pleased to be able to offer this prestigious national scholarship opportunity to all Year 11 students. Students who are looking to be engineering leaders of the future will benefit hugely from this 2 year programme that includes industry mentors and access to a range of exclusive alumni experiences. But first they must face a rigorous application process that includes an aptitude exam and a formal interview.

Sixth Form

The D&T Department is always open to D&T students when there is a teacher present. We also support students taking part in Young Enterprise and those who want to use the facilities to build an artefact for their EPQ.

“Great facilities, particularly for CAD”


Our Sixth Form students attended the Product Design in Action Conference and really enjoyed hearing from a range of successful designers and hearing their stories and experiences.

“ I didn’t realise there were so many opportunities for a designer to work across a range of fields” 


We encourage students to look beyond the classroom and get involved in design and engineering, through various organisations. Here is just a selection of our favourites:

The Design Museum

This museum has a thought-provoking permanent display and many interesting exhibitions, workshops and talks. We also recommend the upcoming Beazley Designs of the Year 2019

Tomorrow’s Engineers

This organisation has many interesting student resources on its website as well as a multitude of careers information about the many engineering fields.


Smallpeice promote STEM and engineering. We particularly recommend their Ignition and Momentum courses which you can find out more about through their parent page.

Economics and Business

It is rarely the case that an understanding of Business and Economics is not essential but recent events have made it more so. The effects of the banking crisis 2007-09 and the pandemic 2020-? will last for some time and an educated person may feel that they want to know more about the causes and effects of these and other issues – globalisation, climate change, inequality and poverty, business change, enterprise and innovation –this list is endless.  

Young Enterprise 

The Young Enterprise Company programme is for Year 12 students at the school. Groups of students form companies for an academic year and are insured to trade in public such as on Berkhamsted High Street. They develop their own products, assign roles within the company, and raise share capital in order to buy stock and develop goods and services. Students are given the opportunity to sell in various locations outside Berkhamsted such as the Watford INTU centre and Hemel Hempstead old town. It is competition based and groups have made it to the East of England finals at the University of Cambridge as well as the national finals in London. They learn the importance of teamwork, communication skills, as well as problem solving, and enterprise during the process. And, they get to keep the profits that they make, if any!  

Investment Club  

Students meet each week and, by investing £100,000 in UK listed shares, attempt to earn a profit.  

Economics Club  

Students meet each week and take it in turns to deliver a presentation on an area of economics in which they have an interest. This then forms the basis of a question and answer session with the rest of the students.  

There is also an opportunity to conduct debates about current economic issues such as globalisation, inequality, and government policy.  

In addition, films such as The Big Short can be watched and discussed.  

National Essay Competitions  

For the serious academics: 


  • The RES/Tutor2u essay competition 
  • The Marshall Society essay competition 
  • The Institute of Economic Affairs essay competition 
  • Berkhamsted School essay competition

Royal Economic Society Public Lectures  

The RES Annual Public Lectures purpose is to demonstrate to students at 6th Form colleges and schools that the subject of economics is as exciting as ever. The Lecture is aimed principally at sixth form students but is of interest to all.  

Visit the RES website for more details of dates and times of upcoming lectures.  

London School of Economics Public Lectures  

The LSE runs a programme of public lectures that should be of interest to all 6th form students – but particularly to those reading economics, politics, and sociology. People  to deliver these lectures include politicians, business people, economists, and philosophers.  

Visit the LSE website for more details of dates and times of upcoming lectures.>Events  

Institute of Economic Affairs  

  • Internships 
  • Events and conferences 
  • Essay competition 
  • Student resources 
  • IEA budget challenge  

Goldman Sachs   

Find Programs – Pre-University Women’s Event  

Learn more about the financial industry alongside other women A level students.  

University of Cambridge  

At Gonville and Caius College – 100 young female economists were inspired at Women in Economics Day. They explored the most pressing issues facing our economy and society today, and were urged to think critically and to take action in an unsettling economic environment.  


Students have the opportunity to study high quality courses on line with prestigious universities, often at no cost to themselves. This is ideal for students who are confident with and enjoy independent study and would like to engage in deepening their understanding of subject material outside the classroom.  

  • Business; e.g. Critical Perspectives on Management 
  • Social Sciences – Economics; e.g. Game Theory  


Whether you are a voracious reader, an aspiring writer, a debater, a public speaker, a theatre-goer or just someone who loves the subject, the English Department provides many avenues for you to explore.   


This is an annual competition which aims to encourage aspiring poets. Entries in response to a given theme will be welcomed by all Sixth Form students.    


Year 7 and Year 8 students may choose to enter the BBC’s 500 Word short story competition. We have enjoyed success in promoting pupils through the rounds in this prestigious contest for budding wordsmiths!  


There are two major creative writing competitions (Years 7-9 and Years 10-11) where students are encouraged to compose an imaginative response of around 500 words on a given theme.   


A wider reading opportunity for all Year 7 students. Challenge yourself to read a group of texts, from classic novels and prized adventures. Write a review sharing your thoughts about the narrative. Complete a ‘street’ and earn your prize – complete 34 books across the categories and you shall earn your place in Berkhamsted Library’s Hall of Fame.   


A Level students enter this national competition which requires a student to write a critical commentary on an excerpt of prose.   


The English Department hosts a junior reading group in the Monday’s Clubs and Societies programme. For those in Years 10-13, after school sessions are led by students who elect to share thoughts about their favourite writers, movements or aspects of narrative.   


Earn house points in the Senior School Handwriting Competition.   


This panel is formed by Year 10 students who champion one of the Man Booker Prize nominations.   


All students in Years 7 to 11 are encouraged to enter this annual public reading competition. The best reader from each class moves forward to the semi-final. Reading with understanding is essential, as are poise, confidence and clear diction. Simply choose a piece of prose or a favourite poem and practise reading aloud.In the Sixth Form, five students from each A Level class enter this public reading competition. Although you enter as a team, individual prizes are also available for the best male and the best female reader – again with prizes to be presented on Prize Day.   


Run by Peterhouse College, Cambridge, The Thomas Campion Prize is a prestigious annual competition which requires applicants to research and write an extended essay on an aspect of literature. Over the past few years, several of our students have gone on to study at Oxford or Cambridge, having impressed the judges with their submissions for this award. In addition, students enter the Woolf Essay Prize (Newnham, Cambridge) and the Christopher Marlowe Essay Prize (Corpus Christi, Cambridge).   


Often these will be organised to give you the chance to see the production of a text you have been studying or a similar one to enhance your appreciation of a genre.