We believe a child’s educational progress is a developmental journey. This journey needs a child-centred approach in which the curriculum and the style of learning reflects the natural stage of the growing child.
The Lower School curriculum is carefully planned to meet the developmental needs of the pupils. It is broad and balanced with attention paid to social and emotional development of the pupils alongside their academic achievement.
No Formal Tests
In the current educational landscape of the UK, we believe our young children are over tested and put under too much pressure from an early age. We do not undertake formal testing in the primary years and instead employ a range of assessment procedures to keep track of your child’s progress.
The class teacher develops a deep knowledge of the children’s educational, social and emotional needs and nurtures their strengths. Experiential learning is at the core of this, children are seen as individuals with different learning styles and needs, they learn though creativity and use of the imagination, understanding is reinforced through practical activities. Small class sizes mean that the teacher is able to pay attention to each individual child’s learning.
We place a lot of emphasis on creativity with drawing, painting, music, movement, poetry, modelling and drama used in all subjects; the arts curriculum forms a large part of our subject lessons.
We are committed to educating for the future and with sustainability in mind. Children are encouraged to observe the cycles of nature and the change of seasons during their outdoor play and nature walks. Each class spends time in nature on a weekly basis: nature walks and outdoor learning sessions for the younger classes and allotment sessions for the older children.
Computers and other on-screen learning methods are not used in the primary years, the children learn through direct interaction with the teacher with a wide range of learning methods employed in order to meet the needs of all pupils.
The Main Lesson
Time for learning
Each day begins with the two hour Main Lesson with the Class Teacher. The first part will involve movement, music and poetry as well as regular daily practice of mental arithmetic or spelling.
Then the class will focus for a three or four week period on a Thematic Block. This may be in a specific subject area such as Mathematics or will be an integrated block such as Homes Around the World (in class 3) which combines Geography, Science and English. These block lessons allow the class to become absorbed in a particular subject and study it in great depth before moving on. After 3 – 4 weeks the Main Lesson changes and a new subject is taken up while the previous one is allowed to rest. When the class returns to the first subject after a pause, the learning has been digested and the children are able to use their knowledge in new ways.
Alongside the core curriculum of the Main Lesson blocks, the children participate in regular practice lessons in Maths and English, delivered by the class teacher. Subject teachers enrich the curriculum for the children with Music, French, German, Art, Form Drawing, Handwork, Games and Outdoor Learning.