The focus this year is on preparation for the entrance examinations for the local Grammar Schools and for Independent Schools, which take place very early in Prep 4. (Year 6)
The boys are thoroughly prepared in Maths, Verbal Reasoning, Non Verbal Reasoning and English, all of which form part of the secondary selection process. Extra support is offered to the boys during regular lunch time group sessions and also a weekly booster club held after school during the Summer Term. A three day Revision Class is held during the last week of the Summer Holidays, to help build confidence and focus in preparation for the fast approaching assessments.
Alongside this thorough and intense examination preparation, the pupils experience a broad and balanced curriculum.
The curriculum for Music, French, Computing, P.E. and Games is delivered by specialist teachers, giving the boys great opportunity to excel and develop their particular interests to a very high level. There are various extracurricular Music, Computing and Sporting activities held throughout the year at which the boys have an opportunity to perform and display their talents. Christmas time also provides an opportunity for an enjoyable trip to the theatre.
Religion is an important part of the curriculum, teaching the boys how to live their lives with Christ at the centre of all they do. We follow the scheme of work ‘The Way, The Truth and The Life’ which helps the boys to understand further topics such as creation, the commandments, reconciliation and other faiths. As well as weekly assemblies, the boys also take part in a class assembly during the year and school Masses.
The English curriculum further develops the boys’ knowledge and skills in creative writing, reading and comprehension, grammar and spellings.
In Maths the curriculum further develops their knowledge and understanding of number, shape and space, data handling and mental arithmetic. This knowledge and understanding is then applied to different mathematical investigations and challenges presented to the boys during the course of the year. One enjoyable event is our Maths Investigation Day, held in the Autumn Term. In addition, Prep 3 boys also have an opportunity to put their ‘Maths brains’ to the test against other Year 5 children, when they take part in local Maths Challenges organised by neighbouring secondary schools, events that are always looked forward to by the boys.
The Science curriculum helps the boys to understand how to ‘Keep Healthy’, focusing on healthy diets, the effects of drugs, the need for exercise, and the functions of the heart and lungs. A particular favourite activity for the boys is the practical session when they explore the structure of a pig’s heart! They also enjoy researching and creating 3D models of The Solar System whilst studying the topic ‘Earth, Sun and Moon.’
Art and Design
During Art the boys study work by a variety of artists, including Picasso, whilst developing their sketching and portrait skills. In Textiles they practise sewing skills. Cross curricular links are made whilst studying the Ancient Egyptians in History, as boys create intricate Egyptian patterns and produce 3-D sculptures of canopic jars. This work is enhanced by a visit to Manchester Museum where there is an opportunity to explore the exhibits in the Ancient Egyptian gallery, and also take part in a hands-on classroom session.
A most enjoyable experience for all boys is our residential Geography field trip to Grasmere in the Lake District. This trip sees the boys developing their Geographical skills, working in the hills carrying out a river study. It provides first- hand experiences of a contrasting locality which is then compared to our local village, Hale. Cross curricular links are also made with English as we visit the home of William Wordsworth, taking part in a Narrative Poetry Workshop. But most importantly it is the opportunity for the boys to develop friendships, work as a team and become a little more independent and confident in themselves.
Reports to parents
Reports are sent to parents in the Spring and Summer Terms. The report gives details of work covered, achievements and offers advice for improvement/continued progress. When reporting to parents, we aim to be factual, specific and refer to past learning. We try to be positive about achievement and may indicate future learning objectives. We reflect the importance of the child in the process so the report can be understood by the pupil at an appropriate stage.
Parent Consultations take place twice during the school year and three times in Prep 3. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss general progress and agreed targets or areas for development. Teachers are also available for informal consultation throughout the year. At the parents evening all books are available for parents. Other information is also given to parents including teacher assessments, test results, comments on classwork and homework. Advice for improvement/continued progress is given when appropriate.
YEAR 2 -5 (Infant 2 – Prep 3)
The pupils are continually assessed throughout the year using formative types of assessment, giving the pupil and the teacher information on how they are progressing and developing.
Each week the boys will have summative assessments from spelling/tables tests, to on occasions, more formal assessments in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning.
In the Spring and Summer Terms the pupils will have formal summative tests in English and Maths comprising of:- Rising Stars Progress in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, Rising Stars Progress in Reading and Rising Stars Progress in Maths
In the Spring and Summer Terms pupils in Preps 1 and 2 will have formal summative tests in Mathematics comprising of the following elements:- Times Tables
In the Summer Term the pupils will have formal summative assessments in English comprising of the following elements:- Verbal Reasoning NFER test
Teachers assess the boys in Preps 1 – 4 twice a year, in all Foundation subjects, giving grades from A – C which are included in Spring and Summer reports. In the Summer report, a comment is added alongside the grade. In Years 1 and 2, Foundation subjects are given a comment on the Summer reports, with pupils in Year 2 being given a grade. Each subject coordinator has set out assessment criteria in line with the scheme of work identifying what is needed in each year group to gain a: A, B, or C grade