Classroom

Our curriculum is balanced to develop the important core subjects, whilst encouraging curiosity, knowledge and development across other areas and topics.

ACADEMIC PRIORITIES

  • To ensure that pupils believe there is no ceiling to what they can achieve by the time they leave Year 6. To meet this aim, we adapt our curriculum planning and teaching accordingly;
  • To ensure that all pupils, rather than just some, have the opportunity to engage fully with everything we offer, and develop their confidence, as well as their skills. We achieve this by tracking and monitoring pupil involvement in high-quality and varied co-curricular activities, aiming to ensure they develop self-confidence and know themselves to be equally valued for their contributions and achievements; and
  • To develop character skills including resilience and effort, cooperation, creativity, organisation and focus, reflectiveness, good judgement, empathy and perseverance. These are discussed across our School, with a termly focus on one skills, through marking and feedback, assemblies and form time/Our Weekly Learning discussions.

An increase in the number of our teaching staff and teaching assistants means we are better able to support and challenge our pupils across all year groups. In most cases, pupils are taught by subject specialists. We use differentiated activities, review curricula, and deploy teaching and support staff, to ensure that our pupils are well supported, and challenged, within lessons.

OUR JUNIOR SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Subjects taught include:

  • Art
  • Design Technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Humanities (History, Geography and Religious Education)
  • Information Technology and Computing
  • Mathematics
  • Modern foreign languages (this can include Japanese, Russian, Italian, Gujarati, Spanish, German and French)
  • Music
  • Science
  • Sports and Exercise (swimming and team games)
  • Personal, Social and Health Education

HIGHGATE INITIATIVES

Recently we have undertaken the following initiatives to further develop and stretch our pupils:

  • To assist gifted mathematicians in Years 4 and 5, we offer extension workshops in partnership with a local primary school
  • To encourage all pupils to leave Year 6 with a positive view of their ability in mathematics, we have moved to a new broader setting model from Year 5, which has proved positive with pupils and parents alike
  • For pupils with a particular aptitude in literacy, we offer writing workshops in partnership with other leading London schools
  • For pupils with an existing special educational need or a pupil who, however temporarily, requires additional learning support, we provide individual specialist support, both within and outside the classroom
  • To stretch pupils working at the top of the ability range, we offer an exciting enrichment programme

In 2017-18, based on standardised tests (INCAS), pupils in all year groups across our Junior School continued to perform very well in both mathematics
and reading.

METHODS OF ASSESSMENT

We use a variety of methods to assess progress. A primary assessment tool is, of course, the everyday marking of work and giving of feedback. This indicates how well pupils have understood the learning objective during the lesson, as well as providing guidance about what has been done well and how things could be improved. Alongside this, our pupils undertake some formal assessments during the year.

We aim to balance the need to obtain formal data, to assess the effectiveness of pupil learning, alongside our reluctance to interrupt the flow of teaching and learning with too many formal tests.

Our child came here from a state school and he has fitted in perfectly, he loves it. —Junior School parent, 2019
It doesn't feel like there's a huge academic pressure on the pupils, and they thrive. —Junior School parent, 2019

HOMEWORK

We see homework as an important aspect of learning and development. Through homework, we give pupils opportunities to work and think independently of their teacher. This may be to extend the skills and knowledge gained during a lesson or to investigate something in preparation for a future lesson. Homework also helps parents/carers have direct knowledge of, and input, into their child’s learning.

However, we do not seek to overburden our pupils with homework at the expense of quality family time.

Pastoral
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