Pupils 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.

The school day starts with doors opened to welcome the pupils at 8.30am and ends at 3.15pm. From Year 3 students may travel to and from school using the extensive coach service run jointly with the Boys’ School. An after-school care service is available for pupils from Year 1 upwards who need to stay until 4.15pm.

Parents are welcomed into the School to support the curriculum and to help on outings. The school’s twitter account delivers regular information to parents about what their daughters are doing in school and there are curriculum sessions for parents to learn about our approach to particular subject areas and how they can best support their daughters at home; we firmly believe that pupils do best when parents and school are working in true partnership.

The Curriculum

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 pupils to develop their understanding in the deepest sense. Fun is a vital ingredient, as is the stimulus for discussion and debate. Across all areas of the curriculum, pupils are encouraged to take risks, investigate and explore so that they become independent, resilient and lifelong learners.

Our curriculum is rigorous, broad and balanced and offers opportunities for students to excel in all subject areas. We expect our pupils to be linguists, scientists, mathematicians, athletes, musicians, performers, technologists, historians and artists, throwing themselves into all areas of the curriculum equally. Pupils are introduced to subject specialist teaching in PE, performing arts, forest school and MFL in Rainbow, Art and DT in Year 2, and Computing in Year 3. All pupils are issued with their own iPad.

The educational experience here at Habs is holistic, and embraces the diverse backgrounds from which our cohort is drawn. Throughout the curriculum pupils are taught the skills of empathy and understanding, through actively celebrating difference and developing a deep knowledge of different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs.

In addition to the day to day timetable, pupils are exposed to a plethora of valuable enrichment opportunities, which enhance and expand on classroom learning. In Rainbow and Key Stage 1, our pupils have forest school sessions at our wonderful on-site forest school. Author visits are a regular fixture of our library programme, inspiring a love of literature right from the beginning. Trips, residentials for Years 3-6 and experience days bring learning to life for our pupils. Leadership opportunities are provided for older pupils, providing them with the opportunity to develop important life skills as they prepare to move on to the next stage in their education.

In addition to this, we have an extensive extra-curricular programme which reflects and extends our broad curriculum base. Our extra-curricular provision is founded very much on the needs and interests of the pupils across all age ranges and the variety changes termly to allow pupils to explore a wide range of activities. A few examples of activities currently on offer include: chess, water polo, karate, science, quiz club, debating, performing arts.

Pastoral Care

We pride ourselves on our pastoral care that is offered to all pupils.

Pastoral care provision permeates the school from many angles, not just through our thorough policies and procedures.  All staff play an important part in our pastoral care system.  Class Teachers provide the day to day contact to pupils, but equally as important is the access for the pupils to also speak with any member of staff in the school regarding any pastoral matter.  A combination of daily, weekly and termly pastoral monitoring ensures that every child is able to reach their full potential.  Parental involvement is very important to us and we commit to including parents at any stage where we feel that this is required.

Teaching children about how to keep themselves safe is at the heart of what we do.  PSHE lessons are taught in an age appropriate manner and cover a range of topics which are continually reviewed as different challenges present themselves in our world.

Promoting good behaviour and taking measures against bullying, harassment and discrimination teaches children our desirable values and pre-empts undesirable behaviour.

We offer pupils the opportunity to be part of a House system, collecting house points which places emphasis on school community, reinforcing positive behaviour. Also on offer are specific roles of Prefects, House Captains, Sports Captains and a variety of other important roles that promote leadership and responsibility which we believe are important values and skills in life. Mentors and buddy opportunities also exist to promote lifelong skills.

Regular wellbeing activities are also on offer throughout the school, ranging from mindfulness to extra-curricular activities to support mental wellbeing as well as physical wellbeing.

Assemblies

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.

Information Technology

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, 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.

Forest School

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.

Sport

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.

Performing Arts

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.

Leadership Opportunities

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.

Community Service

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.

Come to Our Next Open Morning

We encourage anyone interested in joining Habs to visit during one of our School in Action mornings, which take place throughout the year.

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