The Lower School Curriculum

    We keep up-to-date with curricular developments in the UK and beyond and select those elements we feel represent best primary practice, in line with our child-centred philosophy.   Spontaneity and the chance to really explore children’s interests can be easily thwarted by tightly prescriptive syllabi and over-timetabling, so we encourage teachers to introduce creative new ideas as much as possible, often responding to children’s travel experiences, for example, topical exhibitions or cultural events.

    Our curriculum is topic-based, with a broad spread of content.  Starting in Reception with 'exploring ourselves and our lives', lessons widen in scope as children mature and their awareness and understanding expands.   Lessons are presented in vibrant and innovative ways to enthuse children and enhance their learning experience.  This is a school where children run in through the gates, keen to greet each new day.

    Reading and writing and Maths are daily activities, and topics incorporate Science, History and Geography, beginning from children’s existing knowledge and investigating what the children find curious and thought-provoking.   The wealth of cultural stimuli on our doorstep in London is used to the full and because we are free of SATS and entrance exams, we can organise special days to ‘be’ Romans or Victorian children in a Raggedy School, or our hugely popular SMArt weeks, for example, when the whole week is devoted to Science, Maths and Art activities, across Lower School.

    All classes are taught French by specialist teachers and Year 6 are also introduced to Spanish.  We have specialist teachers for Music, Art, Design Technology, Computing and PE and Games.  These curriculum areas have specific teaching rooms, equipped for the particular subject.   Apart from these areas of the curriculum, children are taught by their class teachers, supported from Reception to Year 3 by teaching assistants and, throughout Lower School, a generous allocation of in-class support teachers.  This enables teachers both to support children and provide extension work for others, within mixed ability classes.

    We value all aspects of children’s learning, believing emotional literacy to be vital to well-being in life.  From Year 4, each class goes on a residential camp in the summer, and in Year 6, there is also a French trip to Le Touquet in the autumn term of that year.  The personal and social benefits of these experiences are as important as the more obvious learning opportunities.