During the child’s time in the Lower School, they are encouraged to be active learners and good listeners. All children have special gifts and talents and our role is to encourage and develop their independence, curiosity and creativity.
Our teaching is tailored to meet the needs of each child and we treat every child as an individual. The children are encouraged to discuss and investigate, always moving towards independent thought. Our topic-based approach which includes many hands on experiences, visitors and day trips, enriches the learning of our children. We aim to extend their knowledge as well as their understanding of others and the future world of which they will be a part. The happy and secure environment enables the children to flourish, as they move through the Lower School, knowing they have support and their achievements are valued. We endeavour to develop strong links with parents and children alike and positively encourage parents to play a major part in their child’s education and school life. All staff and children are encouraged to reach for the stars.
Years 1 & 2
Children in Years 1 and 2 are at school between 8.45am and 3pm and spend most of their time in their classroom, with their own form teacher and assistant, with subject specialist teachers for French, ICT, Music and PE, in other dedicated areas of the school. Learning is based around topics such as; homes and houses, under the ground, waters and rivers, the Victorians and trees and conservation, which allow for a rich programme of literacy, numeracy and science and an Integrated Studies programme which combines History and Geography. The breadth of our curriculum means that children are given further opportunities to grow through Art, CDT, Drama and Dance. Day trips are integrated into the curriculum and include visits to Bekonscot Model Village, the Chiltern Open Air Museum, the Oxford Natural History Museum, Mapledurham Watermill, Rushall Farm, Windsor Castle, Milestones Museum, Henley River and Rowing Museum, the Living Rainforest and Reading Museum.
Year 3 sees a transition, where children gain greater independence, as they begin a full working day (8am to 3.30pm) and their timetable takes them to subject classrooms around the school. The timetable is further enriched with Classics , Drama, History and Geography, all taught by subject specialist teachers. For the first time, Year 3 children take part in competitive matches, with Under 8 fixtures regularly arranged against other local schools. Day trips continue in abundance, with visits to Brooklands, Compton Verney, Avebury and Kew Gardens. In the summer term, Year 3 embark on our unique Residential Trip programme, with a 3 day visit to East Sussex.
Each year all children in the Lower School perform short dramas or presentations during our Lower School assemblies and take part in our Lower School Play and Summer Celebration.
Alison Alderson, Head of Lower School