The Preparatory Curriculum is central to the life and work of our school. It encompasses formal learning, intellectual skills, as well as the ‘hidden’ curriculum…
Formal learning is the content of the curriculum in terms of knowledge to be acquired. This will vary according to the abilities of the pupil.
Intellectual skills include listening, observing, reflecting, making deductions, formulating and solving problems and testing hypotheses. All important is the presentation of the content being matched to the individual needs of the pupils. This statement is uppermost in the teacher’s mind when considering teaching strategies, curriculum match and timing plus classroom organisation.
The ‘hidden curriculum’ encompasses the ethos of the school. Attributes such as sympathy, sensitivity, self-discipline, humour and tolerance are all unspoken but powerful elements which we nurture, together with an active encouragement for the development of physical, social and communication skills. We believe these areas to be inter-related and the foundations on which learning is based.
“The quality and breadth of the curriculum is excellent.”
We believe that pupils learn best when they are happy, interested and motivated, when they achieve success and gain approval. Tasks are given that match their ability, that they clearly understand and feel challenged and stimulated by.
Quality teaching occurs when carefully structured activities are matched sensitively to pupils’ needs. Pupils are given some responsibility for their work and independence. What develops is well planned, prepared and paced lessons that maintain high levels of interaction with the class. Ample challenging work stems from expert knowledge of the curriculum. A positive atmosphere is created in the classroom through excellent relationships. High levels of praise and encouragement are the norm. Quality teaching uses a variety of approaches; strategies and techniques are well selected. Homework is considered a valuable element of the process and is used to good effect particularly to reinforce and extend what is learned in school.
Quality learning occurs when pupils are captivated and enthused by what they are learning. It is an active process, a product of doing rather than receiving. Learning is linked to prior knowledge and takes the form of interaction, collaboration and teacher intervention. Pupils are able to exercise choice, develop goals, plan their approach and work independently. Excellence is celebrated and an opportunity is given to have work of a high standard displayed at some time during the school year.