Our Teaching

Quakers believe every contribution is worthwhile and that truth is not confined to a single point of view. These principles are at the heart of our approach to teaching.

We appreciate the talents of each student and our small classes allow us to nurture potential from an early age.

Our teachers have the freedom to teach. They are encouraged to be as creative as possible. Similarly, our students are confident enough to ask questions and to contribute ideas of their own. This produces a mature and mutually respectful learning relationship between teachers and students.

We pursue an unashamedly academic programme of study which nonetheless prizes the performing and creative arts, for example, equally with the more supposedly ‘traditional’ subjects.

Students study a broad programme in Schoolrooms (Years 7-9), and then choose ten GCSE subjects in Seniors (Years 10-11) at present, although this can be tailored for those who need it to be, such as boarders getting to grips with the English Language.

The College (Years 12-13) programme permits those students who can cope with it to pursue 4 A levels (at least to start with) but expects all to take three and add a fourth choice from a suite of options, including the EPQ, AS Politics and Languages for Business.


Our aim is to provide challenging, rewarding and useful courses to prepare students for A levels and Higher Education, as well as the demands of the working world in the twenty-first century.

The Bootham Curriculum goes significantly further than the requirements for each National Curriculum group.

Lower Schoolroom (Year 7)

All students take English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Classics (becoming Latin in Year 8), French, Religious Education, Music, Design and Technology, Information Technology (including 3–D in Photoshop), Physical Education, Art, Drama, Health and the Environment and Thinking Skills.

Middle Schoolroom (Year 8)

All students take English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Latin, French, Religious Education, Music, Design and Technology, Information Technology, Physical Education, Drama and Art.

Upper Schoolroom (Year 9)

All students take English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, French, German or Spanish, Latin or Classics, Geography, History, Religious Education, Art, Drama, Music, Design and Technology, Careers and Physical Education.

GCSE (Years 10 and 11)

The Bootham Curriculum in Lower and Upper Senior (Years 10 and 11) provides a broad programme of study which gives students understanding and flexibility of mind. These qualities provide a sound basis for a full and stimulating education.


Despite the fact that we are only mildly selective by ability, the school contains many very able students. Results bear comparison with any school.

In 2017, 44% of A Level grades were at A*-A and 73% at A*-B. More tellingly,70% of those applying to university gained a place on their first choice course, with a further 13% securing their insurance offer. These included a wide range of courses and venues including Cambridge, LSE, Central St Martin’s, Imperial,Durham, Bath, Royal Vet College, Bristol, Warwick, Queen’s Belfast, Leeds College of Art, Royal Academy of Music, UCL, Nottingham, Newcastle,Manchester and Hong Kong.

At GCSE students secured 54% A*-A and 80% A*-B grades.
Retention into College is strong and a good number of students join the school at that stage, meaning that College year groups are often bigger than they were the previous year.

Students starting in September each year can choose from a wide range of courses:

Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Design and Technology, Drama and Theatre Studies, Economics, English Literature, French, General Studies, Geography, German, History, Maths/Further Maths, Music, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies (Philosophy of Religion and Ethics), Spanish, Sports and Physical Education.

News and stories

Pi Day

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. It has been...

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Sports News

International selection for two Bootham students. Congratulations to Angus McMillan (College 2) who has been selected to represent England at the World Schools’ Cross Country championships in Paris and also to Toby Price (College 2) who has been selected...

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Congratulations, Charlotte!

Charlotte Ellery, former Bootham student who left College 2 in 2016 and is now studying Classics at King's College London, has just won first prize in a prestigious competition open to students and staff at King's College and The Courtauld Institute of...

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