The children follow a broad based and stimulating curriculum that is delivered by specialist teachers who bring their own love of their subject into the classroom.
The academic curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum in Years 3 to 6 and the Common Entrance Curriculum in Years 7 and 8. Throughout the school pupils are taught by specialist teachers for French, Art, Music, Drama, PE and Games. As pupils move up the school they see an increasing number of subject specialists.
Years 3 to 5
All pupils in the Junior Forms study the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, French, Humanities (History, Geography, Religious Studies), Art, Design and Technology, ICT, Performing Arts, Music, Physical Education, Games.
There are two classes in each of the Junior Forms year groups. In Year 3, the majority of the academic curriculum is taught by the Form Teacher with a gradual increase in the number of specialist teachers from Year 4. In Years 4 and 5, pupils are also taught in their form classes for all. Largely the same curriculum is followed in by all pupils however work is appropriately differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils, ensuring that more challenging work is set for the more able and the necessary support and reinforcement work is offered for pupils who need it. In Year 5, pupils are also introduced to Spanish and Latin.
Years 6 to 8
In Year 6 the pupils are divided into two form classes and are set for all subjects. This allows for more individualised teaching to target specific pupil strengths. Pupil progress and setting are reviewed regularly to ensure that pupil needs are continuously monitored.
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 are also divided into two form groups and two subsequent sets. All pupils follow the Common Entrance curriculum for: English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, History, Geography, Religious Studies and Spanish.
Throughout the year the children are given the chance to participate in many different activities, both in and out of school, which are designed to further enhance their educational development.
Visits to the theatre, art galleries and museums as well as to places of historical and geographical interest take place for children of all ages each term. Pupils also enjoy regular visits by speakers and performers who bring their enthusiasm, passions, adventures, achievements and experiences into the classroom.
There are also educational competitions held across the curriculum for pupils of all ages, for instance we hold regular House competitions and weekly Maths and French challenges which enable children to earn ePraise points for their Houses. Pupils are also invited to participate in external events across the country including Science and Maths Challenges and we have recently hosted Eurotalk finals.
The school day is busy and full and therefore pupils are not expected to spend hours working after school at home. Prep is set to provide reinforcement or consolidation work for topics covered in lessons and each item of prep should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.
We are increasingly aware of pupils’ busy personal lives and will always endeavour to take account of sporting, music and other out of school commitments. To this end, pupils will often be given more than one night to complete their prep. The expectation is that preps will be completed on time and to the standard of written work undertaken in class.
All pupils may stay to Prep after school each day, from 5:00pm until 6:00pm, where work can be completed in a quiet, constructive learning environment. Prep schedules are issued to all pupils at the beginning of each academic year (a copy of which can be found in the Curriculum Booklet).
All pupils are assessed at regular intervals and parents are informed of progress. If any child is not making the necessary academic progress after an initial settling-in period, a meeting is organised with parents as soon as possible to work out a route to resolving the situation. This may include the creation of an Individual Educational Plan that sets out specific milestones to be achieved in class.
The purpose of assessment is to ensure that all pupils are making the desired progress and meeting their full academic potential. At the beginning of each academic year, every pupil in Years 3 to 8 sits a CAT 4 electronic test of cognitive ability. The results of these tests indicate pupil potential, areas of weakness and appropriate teaching strategies.
Alongside these, Progress Tests in English, Maths and Science are also completed at the end of each school year. This information can then be used alongside CAT4 data to ensure that pupils are achieving their full potential.
Teachers also perform informal, interim assessments in their specific subject areas to monitor pupil progress throughout the year. All teachers track pupil performance using a traffic light system (RED – below expectation, AMBER – meeting expectation, GREEN – above expectation) at the end of each half term. Children also sit standardised reading (NGRT) and spelling age (SWST) tests annually to ensure they are making the expected progress year upon year.
Pupils in Year 7 take formal school examinations in January based upon the work covered during the previous term. Year 8 will also sit mock examinations in all CE subjects which can be used to inform staff, pupils and parents of their progress within the CE curriculum.
Years 3 – 6 will complete End of Term Tests on the work covered during the term within their normal lesson times to ensure minimum disruption to the timetable and anxiety to the pupils. The nature of the assessment is determined by Heads of Departments.
Pupils in Years 3 to 8 will also take the GL Assessments’ PTE, PTM and PTS tests during Trinity term to measure academic achievement in English, Maths and Science. The above tests are marked electronically using GL Assessments’ Complete Digital Solution and provide teachers detailed feedback on pupils’ attainment in these core subjects.
The results of these tests and examinations will be recorded on the database held on the network and will be used to partially inform report grades. Use of the GL Complete Digital Solution is a new initiative this academic year.