There is a very broad curriculum on offer to all year groups. The main exit examination is the Common Entrance exam to Public Schools and is sat by pupils in Year 8. It is anticipated that all candidates will sit papers in the following subjects: English (comprehension and essay papers), Mathematics ( Papers 1 and 3 basic level or 2 and 4 higher level), Science( separate papers in Biology, Chemistry and Physics), French ( Basic and higher tier available), History, Geography, Religious Education and Latin. A certificate of achievement in Information Technology is also sat by most candidates.
The scholarship entrance is taken by particularly academically able candidates, who attempt scholarship papers (based on C.E. but at a greater depth) set by the senior Independent Schools. We try to identify potential scholars as early as possible. Senior Independent Schools usually make funds available to encourage the more gifted candidates by offering a remission of fees of various amounts.
As a modern School in a modern world, we feel that it is essential for children to undertake this challenge with maximum enjoyment and involvement. We specialise in French with the emphasis placed firmly upon communication, each child being encouraged to take a full and active part in all language learning activities.
Modern trends in history emphasise the perusal of historical texts and other evidence in order to make conclusions about events. Although we see the value in this approach, we are also very aware that a basic knowledge of the subject is vital to inform such conclusions. Thus children are also taught to write essays based on a backbone of learned historical fact.
Geography, in its broadest definition, is the study of the world, and how systems in the world change and interact. These include diverse areas, from climatology, to vulcanism and glaciation, map work, agriculture, transport, human demography and the environment.
The aim is to give children a basic understanding of the bible and the Christian religion. We encourage an understanding of other faiths and religions. The children learn an awareness of the concepts of ‘faith’ and ‘religion’, that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and we learn to discuss and accept other peoples’ views whatever our own may be.
Latin with its logical sentence structure, is of special value in training the young person’s reasoning powers. The analytical discipline required enables children to gain a significant advantage in the use of good English both in speech and on paper. Their spelling will benefit from the study of word roots, and they will become more confident readers.
We aim to ensure that all children are computer literate. This means that, not only can they use common application software, but that they can also understand what they are doing when they use it, and have a good idea of what the computer is doing, too. Computers and their associated systems change fast and so it is vitally important that theory, programming, history of computing, current trends and other associated topics are taught.