Most of the Junior Department lessons are conducted in the childrenâ€™s form rooms, but the children also have access to dedicated facilities such as The Computer Room, The Music Room, The Sports Hall, Learning Resources Centre and the Art Room. Games take place on the playing fields on site. Boys in the Second and Third Year swim on a rotational basis at Cheam Leisure Centre.
The Junior Department has an excellent pupil teacher ratio with a maximum class size of 21.
Teaching and learning styles
The children receive a good balance of whole class, small group and individual teaching. Children are taught in mixed ability classes.
Our aim is to provide quality reading tuition. Boys will be heard read two or three times a week on average, although those in need of more support may be heard more often than boys who find it easier. Reading books will be sent home as is felt appropriate but not necessarily every day. A reading record will suggest how many pages are to be read.
It is not a race to get through a reading scheme. It is important to encourage reading with understanding. Boys should be able to talk about the passage and predict what might happen. Staff are keen to encourage reading from a wide variety of sources - books at home, use of a public library, computers and signs around us. The Learning Resources Centre helps to promote the pleasure of reading.
Boys spend a great deal of the day reading in all sorts of contexts - it is a skill that is a vital key to all learning.
Subject Specialist Teaching
French, ICT, Sport, Music and Art (in the 3rd year) are taught by subject specialists.
In the 3rd Year, the boys are introduced to specialists in a greater variety of subjects of the curriculum, and they take part in some Senior Department activities. Their form teacher oversees their pastoral needs and daily care.
Boys who work hard at school are usually quite tired by the end of the day. Therefore homework is not encouraged in midweek for the boys in the First Year although boys have reading on some nights and a little school-relevant material will be sent home during holidays. After the October Half Term, boys are given a small number of weekly spellings to learn and occasional handwriting practice can be given.
In the Second Year boys are given reading homework every night together with spellings and tables practice every week. From the Spring Term they may receive a little subject-based homework.
In the Third Year the boys all receive a small amount of subject based homework each night, along with reading, spelling and tables, which should take about half an hour.
Boys in the Second Year of the Junior Department are teacher assessed in line with the National Curriculum Standard Attainments and tests.
Assessment in the Third Year is on-going. This is done primarily as a means of appraisal of strengths and weaknesses before entry into the Senior Department. In very rare instances it may be suggested that a boy would be better able to cope at another school, but advice will have been given at an early stage and every effort will always be made to support and keep a child on board.
Form staff see parents for individual appointments twice a year. There is an Open Afternoon and, additionally, each boy receives a full written report at the end of each year. There are also many informal opportunities for form teacher contact and review.
Common Entrance and Scholarship
The usual route for entry to Senior School at 13 is Common Entrance. Where appropriate, boys may be entered, at the school's recommendation, for entry via the Scholarship Examination. In the past several years the boys have achieved a very strong record of success at Common Entrance, and an average of 15 Scholarships and Exhibitions, for Academic work, Music, Art, Sport and All Round ability have been won.
Boys move on to a wide range of senior schools and it is a large part of the Headmaster's brief to advise parents as to the appropriateness of next schools. Early discussion with the Headmaster is advised once the boys join the Senior Department.
Extra Curricular Activities
Various clubs are organised for the Junior Department boys, both at lunch time and after school.
Current clubs run by members of staff include Sewing, Story, Chill out, Puzzle, Board Games and Drawing. Outside teachers come in to run Judo, Karate, Chess, Speech and Drama, and Cycling.
The Third Year boys also have access to some of the Senior Department clubs which take place until 5pm.