Junior School Life
There are over 300 day girls aged 4 to 11 in the Junior School, and we have two parallel classes from Reception to Year 6.
Girls join the Junior School at 4+ (Reception) or 7+ (Year 3) or by taking a chance vacancy in another year group. Whenever they join, there is a broad and challenging curriculum for them to relish. We believe that the provision of opportunities for active and independent learning, with plenty of practical tasks and problem solving, is essential to enable our girls to develop their understanding in the deepest sense. Fun is a vital ingredient, as is the stimulus for discussion and debate. Parents are welcomed into the School to support the curriculum and to help on outings. Subject and class blogs provide regular information to parents about what their daughters are doing in school and there are curriculum evenings for parents to learn about our approach to particular subject areas and how they can best support the girls at home; we firmly believe that girls do best when parents and school are working in true partnership.
The school day starts with doors opened to welcome the girls at 8.30 am. Registration is at 8.45am and the day ends at 3.15pm. From Year 3 girls may travel to and from school using the extensive coach service run jointly with the Boys’ School. There is a later coach service for older girls at the end of after school activities. An after school care service is available for girls from Year 1 upwards who need to stay until 4.15pm.
These are held for the whole Junior School twice a week and, on other days, are separate for KS1 and KS2. Themes, stories and reflections are drawn from a range of cultures, traditions and faiths. Once a year, each class performs an assembly to which their parents are invited. Parents are also very welcome to attend our assemblies on major occasions such as St Catherine’s Day. We also welcome parents to speak to the girls in assemblies on an area of their expertise, or experience relevant to the children. Girls take part in many charitable ventures throughout the year, raising money and enhancing their awareness of lives in the wider world.
There is extensive use of IT throughout the Junior School, with a dedicated IT Suite enabling an exciting Computing curriculum including coding and robotics. In addition, from September 2016, each pupil has an iPad which she can use in class under the supervision of the teacher. The use of mobile technology is not meant to replace traditional learning but to supplement and enhance it and, in some cases, to open up whole new ways of learning for the pupils.
Trips and Visits
We arrange many trips and visits linked to the curriculum for every class, some of which are residential. In addition, there are regular visitors to school such as theatre companies, historical re-creations, authors, illustrators, musicians and scientists. Joint events with the Boys’ School occur at intervals throughout the year for the different age groups.
In Reception and Years 1 and 2, pupils spend time each week or each fortnight (whatever the weather!) at our on-site Forest School. The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire through positive outdoor experiences. The children participate in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment developing emotional and social skills such as self-awareness, self-regulation, intrinsic motivation, empathy, communication skills, independence, a positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence. As well as learning social and technical skills, the unique setting is an outdoor classroom for learning in other parts of the curriculum, such as Mathematics and English. Pupils in older years also have the opportunity to participate in Forest School through the year. Two of our own teachers are qualified to lead Forest School.
We have first class sports facilities, including a sports hall, gymnasia, netball and tennis courts, a swimming pool and ample playing fields. The curriculum provides a core of gymnastics, dance, swimming, netball, tennis, athletics and rounders. Teams in netball, cricket, football, gymnastics, rounders and pop lacrosse compete against other schools.
Concerts and drama productions are a major part of school life, showcasing the wide range of creative talent among the girls. Our Performance Space gives girls many opportunities to explore and extend their interests in the performance arts. The girls' own art and design work is displayed around the school.
There is a wide range of extra curricular clubs on offer, some led by staff and others by coaches and experts. Apart from some sports teams and squads for the older girls, clubs are open to all, regardless of ability or experience, although some clubs are for certain age groups only.
In addition to daily opportunities for responsibility within the classroom, girls can aspire to one of the many leadership roles within the Junior School. Examples include: House Captains; Form Captains; School Councillors; Eco Councillors; Games Captains; Sports Captains.
Most of these posts are filled through peer vote. All Year 6 girls are prefects, with responsibility for different aspects of school life.
As well as many opportunities throughout the year to engage actively in charitable fundraising, girls from various year groups visit local homes and drop-ins for elderly people or a nearby school for children with disabilities. Children from the school come regularly to see our drama productions and to chat to our girls.
- Junior Choir
- Senior Choir
- Wind Band
- Brass Ensemble
- String Group
- Descant Recorder
- Kwik Cricket
- Pop Lacrosse
- Water Polo
- Craft Club
- Friendship Bracelet Club
- Sewing Club
- Italian Club
- Arts Award
- Board Games
- Book Club
- Creative Writing
- Discovery Club
- Eco Council
- Maths puzzles and games
- School Council