Curriculum


Introduction

At Quainton Hall School we believe that our curriculum should be balanced, broad, relevant, engaging, stimulating and meet the needs of all our children. The curriculum comprises all the activities we organise in order to promote thinking and learning as well as our children’s personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The content of our curriculum is two-fold. It includes the formal requirements of the syllabuses for entrance to senior schools at 11+ (girls) and 13+ (boys) based on the 11+ syllabuses, the entry requirements for various Independent schools, the Common Entrance syllabus and the National Curriculum. This is complimented by a variety of extra-curricular activities which the school offers to enrich the children’s experiences. The curriculum also includes the ‘Hidden Curriculum’. This is what the children learn from the way they are treated and the expectations placed on them. We want all our pupils to grow into positive, responsible and confident people who can work and co-operate with others, while developing their knowledge and skills in order to achieve their full potential.  

The curriculum aims to give pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical, aesthetic and creative education.

We seek the highest standards of attainment for all our pupils and value the breadth of the curriculum which we provide. We aim to foster creativity in our children and help them to become independent learners. Above all, we believe in making learning an enjoyable experience.

Values

The curriculum is underpinned by the values we hold at Quainton Hall, which recognises and values equality of opportunity and diversity while giving priority to Christian attitudes and values. The curriculum is the means by which we achieve our objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding they need in order to lead fulfilling lives. The curriculum is based upon the following values:

•    We listen to the views of individual children and promote respect for diverse cultures and religions.
•    We value the spiritual and moral development and intellectual and physical growth of each person.
•    We value the importance of each member of our community and we organise the curriculum to promote inclusion, co-operation and understanding among them.
•    We respect each pupil in the school for who and what s/he is, treating them with fairness and honesty; we want to enable each child to be successful and provide him/her with equal opportunities.
•    We strive to meet the needs of all our children and to ensure that we meet all statutory requirements regarding inclusion.
•    We value the environment and wish to teach our pupils, through the curriculum, how we should care for the world, both for ourselves and for future generations.

Aims and Objectives

The aims of the curriculum are to:

•    Enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of all their abilities.
•    Promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning.
•    Teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT.
•    Enable pupils to be creative and to develop independent thinking.
•    Teach children about the developing world, including the ways in which the environment and society have changed over time.
•    Help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage.
•    Appreciate and value the contribution made to society by all groups.
•    Enable children to be positive citizens.
•    Fulfil all the requirements of the syllabuses set by those senior schools to which we send girls at 11+ and boys at 13+.
•    Teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development and to distinguish right from wrong.
•    Help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all.
•    Enable children to develop self-respect and high self-esteem and to live and work co-operatively with others.
•    To help children develop an awareness of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Organisation and Planning

The curriculum is planned in three phases:
•    Long-term plans for each subject: these indicate which topics are to be taught each term and are reviewed annually.
•    Medium-term plans which include weekly planning: these set out the learning objectives for each lesson and identify resources and activities. They are based on the syllabuses set by senior schools for entry at 11+ (girls) and 13+ (boys) and the National Curriculum: they include areas for differentiation.
•    Short-term plans may be written by individual teachers, in their Teacher Planners.

From the Early Years Foundation Stage to the end of Pre-Prep 2 an inter-disciplinary topic-based approach is used; this is planned carefully, so that there is coherent and full coverage of all aspects of early learning goals and there is planned progression in all curriculum areas.

In Prep 3 and 4, the three Foundation subjects (at least) are normally taught by the Form Teacher, with some subjects taught by subject specialists; in Prep 5 and above all subjects are taught by subject specialists.

Inclusion

The Quainton Hall curriculum is designed to be accessible to all children who attend the school. If we deem it necessary to modify or further support some children’s access to some areas of the curriculum, in order to meet their needs, then we do this after consultation with the children’s parents and keep this decision under regular review (please refer to Special Educational Needs Policy & SEND Information Report).  

We value the talents and abilities of all our children. Those identified as more able and most able are provided with suitable extension work in their subjects and older boys who aspire to senior school scholarship are invited to attend Extension sessions. Thinking Skills is studied as part of the school’s PHSCE lessons in Pre-Prep 2 and Prep 7. The school also holds a membership to NAGC (National Association For Gifted Children) to access advice and information. There are clubs to extend the more able children e.g. Maths Challenge. Pupils are also invited to attend workshops to improve their skills e.g. Able Writers’ Workshops. They are encouraged to take part in competitions to develop their talents e.g. the Haileybury Art Competition, Story Writing Competitions and the Townsend-Warner History Prize.

If children require Learning Support, we aim to do all we can to meet individual needs and we actively seek to comply with and have regard for the requirements, set out in the SEN Code of Practice 2015. If a child displays signs of requiring special attention, then his/her teacher assesses this and will either provide the resources necessary within the normal class environment or, in cases where the level of need is more significant, refer the child, via the school’s SEND Referral Form, to the SENCO, who will arrange for further professional advice, possibly from outside the school, should this be deemed necessary. Learning Support can be provided on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. Children receiving Learning Support are identified to all teaching staff who are kept fully informed of the nature of the support given and the targets set for each child. These targets are notified to parents each term and are reviewed with the parents at least termly. The provision of extra time for examinations for pupils deemed to benefit from this is in place.

A three year SENDA Action Plan is in place and is made available to parents on request. The school’s SEND Information Report is updated annually and is published on the School Website.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

We acknowledge the variety of other cultures, languages and numbers and work to support our EAL pupils to enable them to become familiar with English in all its forms. Our EAL coordinator will liaise with teachers to provide appropriate resources within the classroom environment. Support is provided in small groups setting.

Key Skills

The following are deemed key skills:

•    Communication
•    Application of number
•    Information technology
•    Working with others, e.g. being a team player
•    Improving one’s own performance and learning
•    Problem-solving

These skills are emphasised in curriculum planning, so that children’s progress in all these areas can be monitored. Teachers in all subjects seek to contribute to a child’s progress in these skills, because all children need to make good progress in these areas if they are to develop their true potential.

The Role of the Subject Leader

•    To keep up-to-date with developments in his/her own subjects, review the way in which the subject is taught throughout the school and plan for improvement.
•    To ensure there is full coverage of the syllabus content and that progression is built into schemes of work.
•    To support and advise colleagues on issues related to the subject.
•    To monitor pupils’ progress in the subject.
•    To conduct a yearly cycle of lesson observations to include constructive feedback
•    To conduct regular scrutiny of work and books
•    To monitor classroom environments in relation to their subject ensuring these fulfil the requirements of the school’s Classroom Environment Policy
•    To ensure that pupils across all year groups are taking part in relevant trips and activities in their subject
•    To provide efficient resource management by agreeing an annual budget with the Bursar.
•    To lead a subject meeting once each term, as organised in the Staff Calendar, and to supply Minutes thereof to the Headmaster within forty-eight hours.

Outcomes at 7+, 11+  and 13+

The curriculum also takes account of the fact that some pupils at the school may have to be prepared for transfer to their next school at the age of 7+, 11+ (girls) or 13+ (boys); a suitable choice of school for each child is made after discussion between the Head and the child’s parents.

Marking

All marking is completed in line with the School’s Marking Policy.

Visits and Expeditions

These form an integral part of the curriculum, with appropriate visits arranged regularly for all year groups. From Prep 3 upwards, all children undertake residential visits.

Homework

All pupils from Prep 3 onwards are set homework, the length and variety being determined by the age of the children. Younger pupils learn weekly spellings and have reading each evening. A weekly written prep may also be set in Pre-Prep 1 and Pre-Prep 2. (See school Homework Policy).

Assessment

We use a variety of methods for assessment, including written evidence, oral, verbal and observational. Examinations are taken twice per year from Prep 3 onwards; all pupils from 6+ upwards sit standardised tests annually. Details of these are to be found in the school’s Assessment policy.

Worship

The Christian ethos of the school, which is registered with the DfE as being a school of a specifically religious nature, underpins the whole life of the community. Appropriate positive participation in the school’s religious life from pupils and staff alike is encouraged through regular assemblies and a School Mass each half term.

Extra-Curricular Activities

All children from Prep 3 onwards are expected to participate in at least one of the many extra-curricular activities offered; many children choose to join in several. Among the activities offered are: Ballet, Football, Cricket, Badminton, Tennis, Swimming, Taekwondo, Yoga, Reasoning, Drama, Cookery, Chess, Musical Ensembles, Choirs, Art, Computing, Lego and Gardening.

Monitoring and Review

The Governing Body of the school has a Curriculum Sub-Committee which is responsible for monitoring the way in which the Quainton Hall Curriculum is implemented; each subject area is regularly reviewed during the termly cycle of meetings of the Curriculum Sub-Committee.

The Assistant Head (Academic) is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the curriculum and works with SMT colleagues to ensure that the aims and objectives of the school are being met.

This policy is monitored by the Governing Body and is reviewed every two years.

Revisited: September 2015.
Review date: September 2017    
Member of Staff Responsible: Assistant Head (Academic)