While we emphasise reading, writing and mathematics, our children enjoy a wide and creative curriculum.
Links between subjects are made when appropriate, and are supported by visits to exciting places or by workshops held in school. In years 5 and 6, children have the opportunity to spend a week away on a residential trip.
We have particular strengths in music, drama, dance and art, with many children choosing to learn a musical instrument, and going on to achieve Royal School of Music grades. Several participate in LAMDA classes and are regularly entered for examinations. Every Summer, year 6 children are entered for the English Speaking Board exams.
I want to thank you personally for everything you have done for my daughter. You have not only enabled her to develop educationally to an exceptional standard, but she has become an assertive, confident and self-assured girl at your school. We can’t praise you and your staff enough.
Of course, reading and writing are the foundation on which all other subjects are built, so we think it’s crucial to start early. In Kindergarten, storytelling based on picture books transitions over time into knowledge of sounds and letters, and then gradually into proper reading. We celebrate English with high-quality work displays, Book Week activities and annual handwriting competitions.
We follow the National Curriculum, and will also cover further work typically required for entrance exams. It’s important to us that maths is relevant and engaging, so we make sure that it’s covered in, for example, handling data in science, weighing for cooking or measuring long jump. We feel that the early learning of times tables is extremely valuable, as knowing these will tend to speed up children’s progress on more advanced work; we reward performance on tables challenges with certificates and medals.
Science is taught from Kindergarten through to year 6. Children are taught physics, chemistry, biology and geology such that they leave as confident and competent scientists. A wide range of topics are explored and investigated through practical experiments. Special science days, clubs and visits to museum and places of interest enhance the classroom curriculum.
French is an ideal language to study at primary level, given its reasonable similarity to English. We introduce French in Kindergarten, with children learning high frequency vocabulary through constant repetition. By year 4, children are ready to study the structure of the language and to learn traditional vocabulary lists. Biannually, years 5 and 6 spend five days immersed in French culture; they practice speaking to French people, and learn about French history and customs firsthand.
We ensure children understand how they fit in to the world, first by identifying their own cultural identity, and then how they are linked to the identities of others. We also emphasise general geographical knowledge and map skills, as we feel it is imperative that children have a good knowledge of key locations. We also investigate human anthropology, as well as animal life.
We teach history chronologically, from the prehistoric era through to the 20th century. We organise school excursions to sites of historical interest, as well as visits from experts. Children gain an understanding of cause and affect, and are taught how to interpret different sources and to identify bias. We feel it is fundamental that children understand how British history affects the world in which they live.