Art & Design accordion-plus

The Art Department consists of five specialist teachers and a dedicated ‘Drawing School’ with facilities for photography, computer aided design, print-making, textile design and construction, welding and ceramics as well as most two dimensional media.

Art at North London has a proud pedigree: R.W. Buss (our founder’s father) illustrated for Dickens, Lucien Pissarro painted sets for plays and Peggy Angus, whose tiles adorn Terminal One at Heathrow, was Head of Art in the 1950s. More recently, Old North Londoner, Paloma Strelitz, was part of the 2015 Turner Prize-winning group, ‘Assemble’. Recent graduates continue this tradition of excellence and have attend leading Art Colleges in the UK and the USA.

All Middle School students have a double lesson of Art a week and these groups carousel between the specialist areas to receive a challenging and broad experience.

GCSE students follow the Edexcel exam syllabus, while, at 6th form, students may choose between the Cambridge Pre U Art and Design course or to study the International Baccalaureate Visual Arts qualification. Both of these courses enable students either to pursue either a general Fine Art enquiry or to specialise in a recognised field of Art and Design such as Architecture, Graphic Design or Screen-based media. All exam courses end with an exciting and ambitious exhibition and post16 students are supported in creating a high quality portfolio to support university application.

The Department offers a broad range of extracurricular opportunities for students to develop their passion and extend their skills, including life-drawing, photography and top-up sessions for students wishing to take their class-based projects further

As well as an impressive range of resources and media to draw upon, the Sixth Form Art Society organises the annual charity Fantasy Fashion show, lunchtime activities and a program of visiting speakers. Last summer, as part of our Arts festival, we enjoyed listening to acclaimed art historian, Andrew Graham Dixon talking about his lifelong love of painting. We have also welcomed historian Simon Schama speaking about Rembrandt and Sandy Nairne of The National Portrait Gallery presenting his Desert Island choice from the collection.

Art & Design

Alongside our UK gallery visit program, we runs yearly trips to major European cities including Paris and Berlin plus and an exciting new dimension to the department are the increased dialogues with our overseas sister schools – in particular, our students now share their creative journeys with those of their peers at in South Korea.

Biology accordion-plus

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

– Sir David Attenborough.

The Biology Department aims to develop students’ natural curiosity in the living world and to initiate a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of this wonderful subject. We teach Biology in a discursive, mutually explorative way, and our students greatly enjoy the opportunities we facilitate to explore the subject in considerable depth. At all stages throughout the School, students learn to enjoy finding out more about the Biology in any given topic, including not only the current nature of our understanding in the field but also the wide range of applications which stem from it.

The Biology Department consists of six highly qualified teachers, all with their own subject interests and specialisms in areas ranging from Oncology, Neurobiology, Epidemiology, Psychopharmacology, Genetics, Medical Microbiology to Phylogenetics & Ecology.

Students begin their studies of Biology as part of our integrated Year 7 Science course, then from Year 8 onwards they are taught separate sciences by subject specialists, beginning with our own, bespoke Year 8 Biology course.

All students in Year 9 begin their studies of the Edexcel International GCSE in Biology. We consider this course to be an excellent preparation for post-16 study, as it allows us great scope to explore topics in depth, often well beyond the scope of the syllabus requirements and which our students greatly enjoy.

In the Sixth Form we offer Biology either as part of the IB Diploma programme or as the Cambridge International A-Level in Biology. Both pathways afford students an excellent opportunity to stretch themselves in exploring the natural world, with multiple opportunities for independent work to support their studies. Around 50 sixth form students in total take Biology each year and many of our students go on to study Medicine, Natural Sciences and Biological Sciences at University.

The extra-curricular life of the Biology Department is vibrant and exciting, with students in the Science Society putting on numerous Biology-focused clubs and activities. Middle School students can attend the ever popular Dissection Society, while Upper School and Sixth Form students engage with a variety of challenging topics in the Medical Ethics Discussion Group.

The Biology Department also regularly invites guest speakers to School (or, more recently, also via Teams!) to speak to the students across a range of relevant topics.

Chemistry accordion-plus

The Chemistry department aims to foster a love for, and understanding of, the subject in all our students. We do this by promoting scholarly work and involvement with the practical aspects of Chemistry. It is our belief that everyone should be excited by the journey of discovery that is the study of Science.
The Chemistry department is staffed by 7 full-time Chemistry teachers and 2 excellent dedicated technicians. This means that we have demanding, engaging and exciting Chemistry lessons with all age groups.

Chemistry is integrated in the Year 7 course and is taught as Science. In Year 8, students are taught separate sciences by specialist teachers.

All students in Years 9-11 study separate Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry. The students are also taught Biology and Physics as separate courses by specialist teachers at part of Triple Award Science. We consider this course to be an excellent preparation for post-16 Chemistry, allowing us much greater scope to explore topics in depth during the Sixth Form.
Whether the pupils are pursuing A Level or IB diploma, Chemistry is a very popular Sixth Form choice. Students leave North London to study at degree level in a variety of disciplines such as Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Engineering and of course the Medical Sciences. Our aim is to ensure all students leave the school with the ability to make sense of the physical world around them and able to deal with problems through returning to first principles.

Sixth Form students are involved in a popular after school Organic Synthesis club where they can undertake first year undergraduate practical work. They are also involved with lectures and debates in collaboration with other schools. Younger students are involved in the Science Club and we also do the CREST award for young scientists to take on more involved projects.
Students of all ages are encouraged to explore Chemistry outside of school, be it the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge C3L6 (in 2022 all sixth form students who entered earned an award), or through their contributions to the school’s scientific magazine and via lectures given by a variety of subject specialists.

Classics accordion-plus

We are a thriving department at the heart of the academic life of the School. We have a team of dedicated and passionate members of staff whose expertise covers an extensive range of subject specialisms. We teach three subjects: Latin, Classical Greek and Classical Civilisation.

Classics gives students a sense of the inherent interest of the Roman and Greek worlds, and their great influence over later eras. By studying Classics, pupils are also supported in their study of many other academic disciplines. For example, study of Latin grammar equips students superbly for study of English and modern foreign languages, promotes logical thought and problem-solving and requires precision. Furthermore, the opportunity to study Greek and Roman civilisations from a distance stimulates vital consideration of social, political and cultural values, encouraging healthy comparison with modern life and opening a wealth of avenues for exploration.

Latin is studied by all students in Years 7-9, and is then offered at GCSE, where Classical Greek is also available as a two year ‘ab initio’ course from Year 10. In the Sixth Form both languages are offered via International Baccalaureate and A Level routes, alongside A Level Classical Civilisation, a non-language based course focusing on Classical literature and history.

Each year a number of students apply to read Classics at university, either as a straight Classics course or as part of dual honours e.g. Classics and English, Classics and Modern Foreign Languages, or Ancient and Modern History.

A full programme of extra-curricular events is organised for students to complement their academic studies and encourage further exploration of the ancient world. Trips to sites and museums in the UK, plus an annual trip overseas, for example, to Greece, Rome and the Bay of Naples or Sicily, augment the pupils’ experiences beyond the classroom. The Upper School and Sixth Form are particularly rich in opportunities, including lecture days, trips to see productions of Classical plays, visits and talks by academics, involvement in symposia with students from Eton and Queen Elizabeth’s School, and visits to nearby university events in Cambridge, London and Oxford.

Our Classics Society, run by Sixth Form students, invites outside speakers to the school. The Classics Society committee also runs the Middle School Classics Club and organises Classics Week, which features a series of events to promote the subjects within the school community. Year 11 students produce a Classical journal for other students, entitled Achilles’ Reel.

In recent years, NLCS students have enjoyed considerable success in national competitions such as the national Latin reading competition for school pupils, the Jowett Sendelar Essay Competition (Years 7-9), Year 12 essay competitions run by Oxbridge colleges, and the International CICERO Latin translation competition.

Members of the department and Sixth Form students are also involved in outreach programmes within the wider community, including a very successful and popular Minimus Club at a local primary school.

Computer Science accordion-plus

“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.”
– Albert Einstein

We have five computer suites, three specialist suites (including two digital language labs) and a Sixth Form study suite.

All students in the Years 7-9 have lessons in Computing taught by specialist staff. In Year 7 pupils cover a variety of topics including computer systems, application types, programming, operating systems, spreadsheets, computer graphics and databases. In Year 8 the theme is the internet and web design, and the programming languages taught are HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Year 9 students study the twin topics of computer modelling and programming. Computing is also offered as a GCSE option following the AQA Computer Science course. For those students who choose not to continue with Computing, we offer the European Computer Driving License (ECDL), an internationally recognised skills-based qualification.

Sixth Form students can continue to develop their computing skills, either as part of the Computing Senior Society or during the Wednesday afternoon option scheme which is currently a code club. Other extra-curricular activities organised by the Department include a Digital Photography Club, touch-typing (students can study for the British Computer Society’s E-Type qualification), video-editing and an IT Club.

Drama accordion-plus

The NLCS Drama Department aims to inspire students’ creativity, curiosity and confidence by fostering a passion for dramatic literature from a variety of world cultures and traditions. Through academic and co-curricular Drama, students are nurtured and supported in developing a range of outstanding personal qualities, including perseverance, initiative, originality and teamwork.

We set out to instil in pupils a sense of pride and self-belief that they can excell at the highest level in all areas of artistic and performance work. Through a diverse and original programme of activities, our goal is to empower students to develop as globally minded thinkers, equipped to step into the world as independent, resilient and ambitious young women with a profoud and lifelong love of the performing arts.


From Years 7-9 students follow an intellectually and creatively stimulating course, carefully designed to ensure progression in the key components of performance and critical analysis. These foundational years concentrate on developing students’ imagination, teamwork, and ability to articulate their ideas with confidence and clarity. Students are introduced to a number of classical and modern texts as well as theatre practitioners from around the world.

The GCSE course gives pupils the opportunity to develop practically as performers and designers. They investigate a range of theatrical practitioners and genres, working collaboratively to develop inventive ideas and communicate meaning to an audience. They experiment with dramatic conventions, forms and techniques to produce and realise original theatre pieces. They also have the opportunity to participate in performances of extracts from play texts, honing their powers of analysis. They attend live theatre regularly and review performances.

In the Sixth Form, students have the opportunity to develop their performance skills both in devised work and scripted performances in the light of more detailed exploration of the ideas of practitioners and theatrical styles. They study a number of key texts and will develop their own

directorial approaches. They continue to attend live theatre regularly and review performances. Sixth Form students also have the opportunity to attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performing both published and original material.


Each year we offer a programme of more than 10 productions and performance opportunities allowing our students to develop their many talents, performance skills and confidence to assist them on their pathway to becoming assured, well-rounded young adults.


Performing Arts

The programme is reviewed every year to provide depth and breadth for our creative and capable students. Regular productions include an annual Year 7 & 8 production; a Year 8 & 9 production; a Senior School play or musical for Years 10-13; a Year 12 pantomime and a student-directed play.

We also have a weekly Drama Club for Year 7 students and there are many regular trips to see professional theatre productions.

The department is renowned for its range of exciting and innovative productions. In 2022 we were selected to be the worldwide premiere of the musical SIX:TEEN EDITION by Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, the school’s edition of smash hit musical SIX about the lives of Henry VIII’s wives. The composers and West End production team joined us for opening night to celebrate this unique event. In 2020 the school was also amongst the first granted permission to perform Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s Emilia after it enjoyed a successful run in London’s West End and The Globe. Featuring authentic period costumes provided by the Royal Shakespeare Company, this production was a resounding success.

We constantly challenge ourselves and our students to aspire to professional standards, and to give students innovative and exciting performance experiences as actors, designers, technicians and directors.  We are lucky to have a wonderful Performing Arts Centre, a proscenium arch auditorium with a hydraulic orchestra pit. This inspirational venue provides flexibility for a range of performance styles. Past school productions such as Earthquakes in London have seen the auditorium completely transformed with a new false floor and a traverse stage.

Recent productions for Years 7-9 have included George and the Dragon, The Wardrobe,  The Trojan WomenEmil & The Detectives and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. The original musical Juniper Dreams was written for the students by members of the Drama and Music departments.

Recent Senior School (Years 10-13) productions have included Legally Blonde, Treasure Island, The Revengers’ ComediesWest Side Story and Sister Act.

Emil and the Detectives

Economics accordion-plus

All individuals, firms and governments face resource constraints whether it is a finite supply of time, money or clean air. Economics is the study of how to make the most of the resources we have. As John Maynard Keynes wrote, “Economics is a science of thinking.” A knowledge of this social science can help in many ways, from making better decisions in daily life to critiquing those made by firms and governments.

An understanding of economics can inform students’ understanding of current affairs, business, finance, history, politics and international relations. Economics also lends itself to the development of a wide range of highly transferable skills and is a gateway to a number of varied and fascinating careers which are both rewarding and influential.

Economics can be studied through either the IB or A-level pathway in the Sixth Form. Regardless of curriculum choice, the essentials of the subject are covered including microeconomics, macroeconomics, international trade and development. Economics is a popular subject at NLCS with many of our students taking it at university and going to on work in the field. Students move on to study Economics at universities such as Cambridge, LSE and UCL or study one of the many joint courses such as PPE, Economics & Management, Economics and History and Economics & Spanish. Students are supported through the university application process and prepared for independent study including wider reading, enrichment lessons, support with entrance examinations, and mock interviews.

The department offers many enrichment and extracurricular activities. Weekly enrichment sessions are run by the department, taking students well beyond the confines of the syllabus and teaching them to critique traditional economic models, to discuss economics in the news and to extend their subject knowledge deeper into areas such as Game Theory, the causes of financial crises and the work of different economists. The NLCS Economics Society runs regular discussion groups and student debates as well as hosting a number of high-profile speakers each year from institutions such as the World Bank, the Bank of England, the Financial Times, Merril Lynch, Oxford University, the IEA and the IPPR. Students also produce an outstanding online economics magazine ‘Capital’, which explores current economic issues and is written and edited entirely by students in years 11-13. Recent issues have included “Covid Economics”, “The Beauty Industry” and “Big Data”.

Our students also compete in a number of national competitions. In 2016-17, one of our Investor Challenge teams finished 13th out of over 10,000 teams nationally. In 2019 our team came second nationally in the finals of the Institute of Economics Affairs Budget Challenge. NLCS were also overall winners of the BASE competition in 2017. We frequently have student essays highly commended in the Royal Economics Society Young Economist of the Year competition and in 2019 one of our IB students won £200 for writing the ‘Best Essay’ in her category in this highly prestigious competition.

Engineering accordion-plus

At its heart, engineering is about finding creative, practical solutions to problems. The Engineering, Design and Technology (EDT) department reflects this in its approach to support students in developing; core practical skills, higher order thinking skills and of course an outlet to creatively solve design problems.

In 2020, our design facility underwent a full refurbishment to provide students with access to a state-of-the-art Computer-Aided Design Suite. The new studio has open access to 3D printing and laser cutting facilities as well as a fresh-faced and well-equipped workshop suitable for a wide range of resistant materials projects. In 2022 A second subject workshop was facilitated and will continued to grow with the move to the Ideas Hub in 2024.

Engineering, Design and Technology at NLCS offers students an opportunity to develop skills and solve problems in a creative, practical way. Alongside this theory, content covered aims to support students understanding of their own use of materials and technology in day to day lives. The name of the subject itself reflects the STEM-based approach to the Design and Technology curriculum which it follows.

Across all Year 7 and 8 groups, students engage in a curriculum based on a two-project approach. One project to teach core manufacturing skills, independent project management and what makes a quality outcome. One project to promote problem-solving, iterative design thinking and teamwork. In Year 9 we still students for an hour a week all year. Allowing for a diverse and full curriculum for those looking to take GCSE or not.

The projects themselves range from a NASA themed payload delivery device and focused practical desk organiser in Year 7, to Red Bull Gravity Racers and a high-end jewellery holder with CAD design and 3D printing tasks in Year 8. In Year 9, projects link more with core GCSE topics such as levers during a mechanical grab project, sustainable energies and user centred design for disability through the IKEA Thisables challenge.

We offer GCSE Design and Technology (AQA). This course is made up of a 50% Theory examination and 50% NEA. As well as continuing to promote the areas of learning started in KS3, Design and Technology is an excellent supporting subject for Arkwright Engineering Scholarship applicants and leads onto the Product Design course at A-Level which is a gateway subject for students going on to study across a range of Engineering and Design Engineering courses at university.

The department plays host to the Engineering Society run by Year 13 students with interest in the field. Students benefit from weekly open workshops, which are regularly full while the CAD/CAM Club and VEX Robotics are also highly popular options for KS3 students.

English accordion-plus

At all levels, the English curriculum at NLCS is centred around the study of literature, with work on the mechanics of the language integrated into this. The study of English at NLCS is a way of engaging with fundamental ideas regarding what it means to be human and much less about acquiring a discrete skill.

We study literature as a means of questioning our deepest held beliefs, whilst also allowing us to empathise with situations and states of mind we are yet to encounter, so that when we do face them we are all the better prepared. The study of English leads us into diverse areas; philosophy, history, languages, art, drama, religion, social sciences, all have a part to play in the study of English.

The curriculum is therefore centred around the study of literature at all levels, with Shakespeare, poetry and nineteenth-century prose being studied from Year 7 onwards. All students take IGCSE Language and Literature in Year 11 and, for those who go on to study English Literature in the Sixth Form, both the International Baccalaureate courses and the Pre-U Literature in English offer a rich, exciting and rigorous range of texts for study.

What really defines the English Department is what happens beyond the classroom: the Literary Society holds a weekly book group and runs theatre trips; the Film & Media Society has its weekly Film Club; the Creative Writing Society publishes a termly journal called Weasel Words; and Archipelago Society hosts lectures and performances, and publishes an annual journal. We also run a study trip to Dublin, exploring its rich literary heritage, day trips to places including Heaney Country near Belfast and there are a wide array of literary partnerships with other schools.


Geography accordion-plus

“The future is bright for geography and geographers – with great opportunities to make a unique contribution in established and new fields, contributing to solving globally significant challenges.”
– Nigel Clifford, President of the Royal Geographical Society

The NLCS Geography Department, using an enquiring approach to teaching and learning, aims to develop a ‘sense of place’ and an awareness and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development to prepare our students for confronting 21st century challenges. Our specific aims include:

• To actively engage students in the process of geography, developing them as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
• To develop a knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and an appreciation of the relevance of these concepts to our changing world
• To develop an appreciation of the differences and similarities between people’s views, environments, societies and cultures
• To further students’ understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens and of the ways in which they can contribute to a future that is sustainable
• To enable students to develop and apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork and other out-of-classroom learning

In the Middle School, we use a dynamic approach to introduce students to all three aspects of geography (physical, human and environmental). For students continuing to study geography in the Upper School, we look at a range of topics in the three aspects of geography, with an emphasis on the interrelationships between human activity and the environment. All pupils take part in a field work. In the Sixth Form, students have the choice of either A Levels or IB. Pursuing either course leaves the student well prepared for further study of geography or allied courses in university.

The Geography Department has a vital and exciting programme of trips and extracurricular activities. We organise trips across in the UK and overseas. Recent trips have been to Nepal, Morocco, Croatia and Iceland. We also run exciting events closer to home: Brazil Day, Fair Trade Day, Geography Quizzes; conferences and lectures at the Royal Geographical Society. The Geography Society run weekly sessions, events have included a mock COP27 conference and discussions on current geographical issues.


History & Politics accordion-plus

We are committed to developing in our students a critical understanding of the past and the present. Through a study of History and Politics, we aim to touch on the full range of human experience. Considerations of diversity, especially in terms of race, religion, gender, sexuality, but also in terms of the types of history – political, economic, social, and cultural; and medieval, early modern and modern – students cover is important to us as a department. As teachers we recognise that our subject, both in terms of the content covered and the skills developed, plays an important role in shaping our community and wider world too.

Development of the skills of critical analysis, coherent explanation and confident argument are at the heart of the department’s teaching and we are passionate about facilitating academic discussion in our lessons, right from Year 7. Our Key Stage 3 courses broadly follow the national curriculum but with important amendments; for instance, all classes complete a project in the summer term touching on a global aspect of history: Mughal India in Y7, Native Americans in Y8, and Human Rights and Protest in Y9. For those opting for History later in the school, for AQA GCSE Y10-11 students study a range of exciting options including Weimar and Nazi Germany, the Cold War, Elizabeth I, and Migration through time. In the Sixth Form, students are offered a choice of History courses – AQA A Level or the IB Diploma. The former is wide-ranging with options on Modern British History, the Crusades, and the early modern Witchcraze. Our IB course enables students to immerse themselves in 20th century European History. Those who opt for Higher Level also cover the French Revolution and Napoleon as well as the Russians Tsars Alexander II and III. We also offer Government and Politics in the Sixth Form at A Level with options on UK Politics, the Constitution, Ideologies, and Global Politics. For IB, there is a popular Global Politics courses with units on Power, Human Rights, Development, and Peace and Conflict.

The department has a vibrant extra-curricular life, with four academic societies, two journals and a wide range of trips on offer. We firmly believe that academic excellence comes from vibrancy and passion and are committed to inspiring this in our students beyond the classroom. Our History Society is one of the most successful societies in the school. It holds weekly after-school seminar sessions on Tuesdays and student-led debates, as well as inviting in illustrious academic speakers. The Young Historians group also meets weekly and is a forum for students from Years 7 to 9 to present research on historical topics of their own interest. Our Politics society also invites speakers to Thursday ‘Senior Societies’ sessions and has weekly discussion groups to enable students to grapple with key political issues beyond the classroom. All of these societies broaden our students’ horizons, encourage their passions and allow them to take responsibility for the organisation of the academic life of the school. Our programme of trips includes a Year 9 battlefields tour of the Western Front and a Year 10 trip to Berlin as part of Nazi Germany and Cold war studies. On top of our formal programme of visits, Sixth Form students attend study days in London and teachers regularly organise evening theatre, museum and lecture visits.

History, Politics, and related degree programmes such as PPE at Oxford and HSPS at Cambridge are very popular university options with our students and the department has considerable expertise in this area with an extensive programme of support.

Mathematics accordion-plus

The Maths Department is keen to ensure that all students leave the School with confidence in their mathematical abilities and a facility to think creatively, flexibly and logically.

This is achieved through a wide range of teaching methods and resources, from students working in groups at whiteboards, to explorations into the history of mathematics, to the use of cutting-edge technology, as well as formal and clear teacher-led learning.

We are delighted that in 2018 our department was a finalist in the TES Maths Team of the Year Awards for its progressive teaching ethos and ability to motivate young women to pursue STEM careers.

Students are taught in their form groups in Year 7 and, normally, in three bands in Year 8 and in sets from Year 9. Students in Years 10 and 11 currently study the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus, sitting the examination in the summer of Year 11. The focus is on developing a deep understanding of the underlying concepts, stretching and challenging the students so that they become used to thinking forensically and rigorously about mathematics whichever set they are in. This approach has the benefit of supporting pupils who are interested in external mathematics competitions, where problem-solving ability rather than a knowledge of rules or techniques is key (see below).

We aim to get pupils into the right-thinking habits from early on in order to lay the best foundations for the many of them who will choose to study Mathematics beyond GCSE. Indeed, about three-quarters of our Sixth Form study A Level or IB Mathematics, with a number of students opting for Further Mathematics or IB Higher Level; every year several pupils go on to study the subject at a top university

Many students take part in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Mathematical Challenges and are highly successful. The School is also a strong player in the Hans Woyda Mathematics Quiz. The teams for the Junior and Senior Mathematical Team Challenges regularly reach the final. There are a number of maths clubs catering for all ages, which provide opportunities for students to engage in problem-solving and discover aspects of mathematics beyond the syllabus. These clubs are run by experienced staff while the junior club is run by the Sixth Form students in the Maths Society. The well-established Super-mentoring scheme pairs older students with younger ones to share expertise in solving challenging problems. The Mathematics Society organises lectures led by students and also a termly magazine.

Students have plenty of opportunities to go on maths trips. In the past students have been able to attend lectures on mathematics in Oxford, at the Institute of Education and at Gresham College, and evening lectures and a day about women in STEM at the Royal Institution. Special events, lectures and workshops at school provide further opportunities to get a taste of mathematical concepts and applications beyond the syllabus.

The department even has its own website ( which aims to encourage independent learning and mathematical curiosity, as well as giving students information about careers in mathematics and other STEM subjects and opportunities to find work experience.

Modern Foreign Languages accordion-plus

Modern Languages at North London Collegiate seeks not just to provide students with linguistic expertise, but also with an understanding of other cultures through exposure to literature, current affairs and media. Creativity and imagination are emphasised, in addition to debating and presentation skills.

Pupils have the opportunity to learn six modern languages during their time at the school: French, Spanish, German, Russian, Mandarin and Italian. Many students go on to study languages at the top universities in the UK, with excellent success at Oxbridge, and a very good number of pupils choose to continue their language study at university alongside another subject, such as History, Classics, Philosophy or English, as well as picking up a new language such as Arabic or Portuguese, to study in higher education.

The Modern Language teaching throughout the school ties together language and culture as far as possible. Students acquire linguistic fluency, but also an appreciation of the cultural context of the languages they are learning. Lessons are fast-paced and interactive, using a variety of state-of-the-art resources, and there is a significant emphasis on teaching in the language itself. We have foreign language assistants, all native speakers, who provide conversation sessions in all six languages to pupils in Year 10 or Year 11 upwards.

Modern Foreign Languages

The extra-curricular life of the department is very rich. We offer language exchanges with schools in France, Spain and Germany, as well as other study visits to Italy, Russian speaking countries and China. We also put on regular London-based cultural excursions to museums, theatres and cinemas. We take part in, and regularly enjoy success in, many national and in-house competitions such as the Oxford University’s Andrea Bell Competition, the UKLO, various foreign language debating competitions and the national MFL translation bee. We host various events that have received much acclaim, such as the Hispanic Theatre Festival and are always looking for more ways to celebrate foreign languages with the wider school community.

We have a very active Polyglot Society run by Sixth Formers to promote Modern Languages throughout the School. In addition to the annual celebration of the Modern Foreign Languages Week, Polyglot Society also runs a foreign languages symposium each year, has a mentor system to help younger pupils who are learning languages, and invites guest speakers to the School. Students in Year 12 write and edit a termly Modern Languages blog, The Linguist, which includes articles in all of the languages that we offer.

Click to view the MFL blog, The Linguist.

Music accordion-plus

At North London Collegiate School, we provide a broad range of musical opportunities for all students and strive for ambitious music making.

Instrumental and vocal lessons are provided each week in all the major disciplines. Students are entered for music exams through ABRSM and Trinity. We have an incredibly vibrant extra-curricular music programme and in offering the IB, A Level and IGCSE music syllabuses, seek to provide an ambitious academic music education for our students.

We follow the Cambridge International Education IGCSE Music and AQA A Level Music syllabuses, promoting an advanced understanding of music through composition, performing and analysis. We have a strong track record of students continuing their musical study at Conservatoire or university level as well as students being awarded Choral Scholarships through Oxford and Cambridge universities, with a recent student being awarded an Organ Scholarship at Robinson College, Cambridge.

Students are provided with numerous performing opportunities, ranging from our end of term concerts to our prestigious Old House Concert Series dedicated to solos and chamber music. Our Drummond Room houses a Steinway Grand Piano on which our students and external musicians can perform. Students also have the chance to perform in external venues in London such as St John’s Smith Square, St George’s Hanover Square, St James’ Sussex Gardens and Kings College London Chapel. The Music Department engages in tours overseas and plans to travel to Italy in July 2024.


All styles of music thrive at North London Collegiate School across classical, popular, Jazz and world music genres. Students are encouraged to participate in a range of auditioned and non-auditioned musical activities. We are keen to encourage student initiative and there are several ensembles which are run by our students themselves, including an a cappella choir and a choir that comes together to sing in care homes.

Our major end-of-term concerts provide an opportunity for our students to perform in large ensembles in the purpose-built Performing Arts Centre. Recent repertoire across our orchestras includes performances of Schubert’s Ninth Symphony and Copland Rodeo; with our choirs singing Chilcott Jazz Songs of Innocence, Parry I was Glad and Verdi Va Pensiero. The choirs make vital contributions to the annual Carol Service and Founders Day. Every other year our senior students take part in a musical. Recent productions have included West Side Story, Sister Act and Legally Blonde the Musical.

Chamber music is a particularly strong feature of music at North London Collegiate School: a large number of groups rehearse each week, including quintets, quartets, trios, and other ensembles. Along with Wycombe Abbey School and Harrow School, NLCS is one of the founding members of the South East Schools’ Chamber Music Competiton. Ensembles have competed successfully at local and national festivals, including in 2018, a performance by our Sinfonia at the National Final of the Music for Youth Festival at the Birmingham Town Hall. A number of current students also play for the National Youth Orchestra and the National Children’s Orchestra, as well as attending the Junior Programmes of the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

We believe that maintaining a close relationship with the music profession is invaluable in inspiring the next generation of musicians. The Music Department arranges masterclasses and performances by visiting musicians, composers and conductors.

Our Individual Music Lessons form a significant part of our musical offering. Lessons are taught by our team of specialist Visiting Music Teachers. All of them have vast experience as teachers, educationalists and professional musicians with an unbridled passion for music. Their performing experience, helping inspire the next generation of musicians, covers all genres and includes work with some of the world’s leading ensembles. For further information please view our Music Lessons Leaflet.

Physical Education accordion-plus

Our aims are to promote participation in sport and encourage students to enjoy being active. We ensure that student girl is able to find a sport or activity that they can continue to participate in long into their adult lives. Opportunities for competition and enrichment are offered within the curriculum and beyond, in both team and individual activities.
The 30 acres of beautiful grounds within the school enable all pupils the opportunities to enjoy sport as well as excel in their chosen activity. We have 4 lacrosse pitches, an Astroturf and 5 hard netball courts. In the summer these convert to a 200m athletics track, 6 rounders pitches and 11 tennis courts. There is also a purpose-built sports centre comprising of a sports hall, dance studio, fitness suite and 25m swimming pool.

In Year 7 and 8, the pupils follow a core curriculum of dance, gymnastics, lacrosse, netball, badminton, athletics, tennis, rounders and swimming. One of the highlights of our Autumn term is the Year 7 Dance Display. Involving all students in the year, this creative show included a variety of dances and choreography, and provides the opportunity for students to get to know each other better outside the classroom, build confidence and try out something new.
In Year 9 students continue to develop their skills in the above sports but the curriculum is broadened. It includes a Health-Related Fitness programme, volleyball, football, basketball, water polo and synchronised swimming. In Years 10 and 11 the students rotate between fitness suite, trampolining, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, badminton, football, hockey, touch rugby, netball, swimming and dance. In Year 10, students can opt to follow the Bronze Medallion Swimming course and in Year 11 can complete the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification.

In the Sixth Form students have one timetabled lesson a week where they can choose an activity from the wide range on offer. The Sixth Form students are also able to exercise independently or with specific training advice during these sessions.

North London offers an extensive range of extracurricular activities during lunch break, after school and at weekends. Many of our clubs are non – selective and encourage pupils of all abilities to take part and have fun. It is in these clubs that we foster the love of sport and promote a ‘fitness for life’ ethos.

Annually students from Years 2 to 13 perform in a Gym & Dance display. This innovative and impressive show includes gymnastic, dance cheerleading and trampolining routines. It is a wonderful opportunity for students of all ages to perform together.

The recent installation of a climbing wall within the sports hall has greatly enhanced the opportunities for increased risk-taking and resilience as well as increasing mental and physical toughness.

We also run many squads where students compete in matches and tournaments against other schools both on a local level and nationally. Our netball teams frequently win the Harrow Championships and qualify for the Middlesex Finals. The Lacrosse teams compete in County and National tournaments with many students being selected for the County teams, some even go on to play for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and our ski team have had resounding success at the British School Girls’ Championships in France. These are just a small sample of the successes that the students have achieved in their chosen pursuits and National successes in Gymnastics, Trampolining and Water polo are a regular occurrence.

There is also the exciting opportunity for international competition as teams are taken on tours all over the world. The Lacrosse teams regularly travel to U.S.A. and the Netball teams compete in the Malta Rally.

Physics accordion-plus

In the Physics department, our aim is not only to explain to the students the laws of Physics but also to help students to appreciate the impact that Physics has on us and the world in general.

We promote a genuine enjoyment of the subject turning our lessons into a tour of scientific discovery, allowing our students to relive the excitement of seeing ordinary things and events through the eyes of great physicists of the past and present.

The Physics department consists of 5 well-qualified teachers all with their own subject specialisms, supported by experienced technicians. In Year 9, 10 and 11 girls study Edexcel IGCSE, Triple Award Science. We consider this course to be an excellent preparation for both IB and A level, allowing us much greater scope to explore topics in depth during the Sixth Form. At A Level, students follow the CAIE Physics Specification; covering a broad range of topics from Mechanics to Astrophysics.

Our students leave us to undertake an impressive range of university studies. Over the last few years they have embarked on courses in Physics, Physics with Philosophy, Natural Sciences, Engineering (Civil and Mechanical), Architecture, Medical Physics, Materials Science, Medicine, Mathematics and Management.

Our Year11, 12 and 13 students take part in the British Physics Challenge and Olympiads. We take our Year 12 Physicist to the Physics in Action lectures. Our Sixth Form students take part in Engineering, Astronomy and Science Societies where they introduce topics in Physics.

Religious Studies & Philosophy accordion-plus

Nurturing passionate and independent study is at the heart of what we do. We want all our students to be well informed about religion and philosophy and we do this through lively discussion and debate coupled with encouraging the girls to take an intellectually rigorous approach to the subject.

Although NLCS is a Christian foundation, we are very lucky to be a multi-faith school in which all of the major world faiths are represented. Therefore we teach objectively and with sensitivity at all times. The subject promotes understanding and respect of all religious and cultural perspectives.

Religious Studies & Philosophy is taught throughout the School and form part of the core curriculum in Years 7-9. For GCSE, there is a thorough investigation of the beliefs, practices and moral views of two major world religions. In the Sixth Form, the department offer two pathways leading to qualifications in either International Baccalaureate Philosophy or A Level Religious Studies and Philosophy. Options studied are wide-ranging and include: Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and a study of philosophical texts, including Plato’s Republic and Sartre’s Existentialism and Humanism.

Study of such a diverse subject is supported by trips to places of religious interest as well as lectures, conferences and events held in School, including a Philosophy Week. There are currently two student-run magazines which aim to promote interest in philosophical ideas.

Wider interest in the subject is encouraged in the Philosophy Society, which regularly attracts high-profile speakers and organises extra-curricular events. In Years 7-9, the Young Philosophers group meet weekly and discussions are led by older students. In addition to the Philosophy Society, there are societies for girls with interest in particular faith perspectives, including: Jewish Society; Christian Society; Hindu, Sikh, Jain Society; Muslim Society; and Secular Society.
Enthusiasm for the value of studying Religion and Philosophy in their widest senses has meant large numbers of students have gone on to read Theology, Philosophy or PPE at the most competitive universities.

Science accordion-plus

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science- Edwin Powell Hubble.

The Science Department is an extremely vibrant, dynamic and exciting area of the school. From Year 7 to Year 13, we work with students to foster and develop their innate curiosity in the world around them; we encourage them to be inquisitive and confident to explore the unknown and push the limits of their understanding.

Students begin their studies of Science with our bespoke, integrated Year 7 science course. This course aims to introduce and enthuse students to the wonders of the scientific world and develop confident young scientists with a real sense of exploration and curiosity.

From Year 8 onwards, students are taught each science subject in separate lessons delivered by a highly qualified subject specialist. All girls then are entered for separate Edexcel IGCSE qualifications in each science subject, with lessons beginning in September of Year 9, and all three subjects offer a programme of post-16 study which includes either the IB Diploma programme (at both Higher and Standard level) or an A-Level pathway.

Science is one of the most popular areas of study in the school. In recent years, almost two-thirds of students in the Sixth Form were studying at least one science subject, and large numbers of our students go on to study science-based courses, including Medicine and Natural Sciences at top institutions including Oxford and Cambridge, when they leave us. Students looking to apply to science-based courses receive extensive support from the Science Department, including weekly subject enrichment sessions, focused preparation for university entrance tests and ongoing, one-on-one mentoring and interview preparation.

The extra-curricular life of the Science Department is extremely exciting and varied. The student-led Science Society organises an extensive range of activities and events, including:

  • Science Café, our in-house program of weekly after-school events, most of which involve invited scientists addressing the students on their work. Recent events have included speakers from Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College and the University of Michigan in the USA, as well as research scientists from the ICR, MRC and Public Health England.
  • The Science Society publishes three regular magazines, which are written entirely by the students, and which cover recent advances in science and medicine.
  • Teaching staff plan and deliver the fortnightly Middle School Science Club, during which students in Years 7-9 have opportunities to further explore the sciences with fun, extending activities such as growing crystals, dissecting owl pellets and making speakers.
  • The Science societies organise various discussion groups throughout the year, including the Pure Sciences Discussion Group and Medical Ethics Discussion Group.
  • Sixth Form students coordinate a program of peer support for students throughout the year.