The curriculum is developed in relation to the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals, the National Curriculum and the demands of Common Entrance and the Common Academic Scholarship. We ensure that the range of subject matter is appropriate and that the learning opportunities challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning for all.
The curriculum is planned effectively, promoting continuity and progression. It encourages a love of learning and a commitment to lifelong achievement.
Through the provision of rich and varied activities, planned and unplanned, we aim to:
- Allow all pupils every opportunity to learn and to make progress, whilst acquiring skills in speaking, listening, literacy and numeracy.
- Encourage the best possible progress and highest attainment.
- Enable pupils to make connections across different areas of learning.
- Help pupils to think creatively and independently to solve problems and to show initiative.
- Develop pupil’s capacity to learn and work independently and collaboratively.
- Develop pupil’s self-knowledge, esteem and confidence to enable them to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities.
- Enable pupils to acquire a broad range of knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding.
- Facilitate the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.
- Recognise the role of parents in their child’s education.
2. The principles of developing the curriculum
- Breadth: A range of experiences across all areas of study, extending more than intellect alone. These are experiences through language and communication, mathematics, science, technology, human and social environments, fitness and health, as well as through creativity.
- Balance: The nature of activities and curriculum content are balanced over a period of time, not necessarily over a week or a half term. Concentrated thematic work, special events, visits or lengthy project work may change the balance temporarily but is redressed over the year as a whole. Balance is also about the quality of teaching a subject which is of a consistently high standard, regardless of the amount of time allocated to it.
- Depth: There are opportunities for extended, independent and sustained work. Cross-curricular links are encouraged.
- Relevance: The curriculum starts with children’s experiences, building on previous knowledge and understanding. It is relevant to the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals, the National Curriculum and to the ISEB, whilst preparing pupils for the opportunities and responsibilities of senior school and adult life.
- Continuity: The curriculum is planned within the context of previous experience and future expectations, paying due regard to the whole school context.
- Progression: Each child progresses at an acceptable level appropriate to him/her.
- Differentiation: Within a teacher’s short term planning, work is matched to the abilities of groups, and where possible, an individual’s learning needs.
3. Evaluation and monitoring
Evaluation is measured against a range of indicators which include whole school and individual pupil indicators.
Whole school indicators:
- Examination results
- Admissions information
- Destination of School leavers
- Departmental reviews
- Individual meetings between HODs
Individual pupil indicators:
- Development of positive self-image
- Progression in the skills of numeracy, literacy, self expression and ICT.
- Development of positive links within the community
- An appreciation of the natural and man-made world
- Increasing independence, self-motivation and self-discipline
- An appreciation of human aspirations and achievements
- An ability to work together in cooperative groups
- An acquisition of the appropriate life skills
4. The content of the taught curriculum
The taught curriculum starts in Pre-Prep, which includes the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2. In these year groups, pupils are largely taught by their class teachers and study Numeracy and Literacy, whilst Science, History and Geography are taught through topic work. Religious Studies, French, PSHE, Art, Physical Education, ICT and Music are taught as separate subjects, although they are often also included in cross-curricular topic work. Learning at the Foundation Stage is encouraged through practical and creative activities.
Year 3 is the start of the Prep school. Here pupils study all the subjects from Pre-Prep and are also introduced to Design Technology and French. Science, History, Geography and Religious Studies are now taught as separate subjects and a small element of specialist teaching is introduced. Drama is taught as part of the English curriculum and performance drama is part of our extra curricular activity programme. Pupils also begin to take part in sports fixtures against other schools on Tuesday afternoons and Saturdays.
Year 4 and 5 continue with the same curriculum as Year 3. Year 5 join Year 6 for Games and have matches on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday.
In Year 6 pupils begin Latin. Many subjects will begin their preparation for the 13+ Common Entrance and Scholarship exams in Year 6. Some pupils sit the 11+ exams for the Grammar schools in November of Year 6; our schemes of work are not specifically designed to prepare children to sit these tests, although in general, our curriculum covers the necessary material. There is extra help available for those children preparing for the 11+.
In Years 7 and 8, there are necessary changes to the curriculum. No new subjects are offered but the academic demands become somewhat greater. Where appropriate, pupils are actively pushed to reach the standards at 13+ Common Entrance, including those required for extension level in Maths and Latin. Many pupils take scholarships in academic subjects, sport and especially Music.
Where the requirements of Common Entrance present particular challenges for a pupil, there will be extra support provided in class by the subject teacher. For some pupils, Common Entrance may not be suitable and in such cases there is careful consultation between teaching staff, the Director of Studies, the Headmaster, the parents and any proposed destination senior school, in order that the needs of the pupil may best be served.