Pupils are taught largely by their own form teachers in their form rooms, though Music, French, Latin, Games and PE are taught by subject specialists. In Forms 4 and 5 children are taught in ability sets for Mathematics. In other subjects pupils are taught in mixed ability groups and work is differentiated to cater for individual needs. There is an enrichment and extension programme for those who need an extra challenge and learning support is available for children who need a boost.
The Lower School curriculum is based on the National Curriculum and although a significant emphasis is placed on Mathematics, English and Science, plenty of time is also allocated to other subjects such as History, Geography, Religious Studies, Music, French, Latin, ICT, Games, PE, Art and Technology. Children’s academic progress is carefully monitored throughout the year.
Upper School (Forms 6 – 8)
All lessons are taught by subject specialists in subject-based classrooms. Some subjects are taught by Senior School teachers in specialist facilities in the Senior School, including Technology, Art, Music and the Science subjects. Pupils are taught all subjects in ability-based sets. There is a scholarship programme for those most academically gifted and learning support is available, as is tuition in English as an Additional Language.
The curriculum in Upper School is based on the National Curriculum and, through interaction between Junior and Senior School Heads of Departments, is specifically geared to preparing pupils for academic life in the Senior School. We do not use the Common Entrance Examination and transfer to the Senior School is a natural and expected progression not depending upon a terminal exam at the end of Form 8.
Throughout Junior School, children’s learning and academic development are carefully monitored on a routine and regular basis. In Lower School there are tests in all subjects at the end of the year, while in Upper School pupils sit termly unit tests in all subjects and formal exams at the end of the year. All pupils sit annual screening tests in numeracy and literacy.
Full academic reports are written for parents at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer terms and interim reports known as Academic Review Cards are sent home each term. There are two formal parent-teacher consultations each year, though parents are welcome to make an appointment to discuss their child’s academic progress at any time.