Academic Structure

Years 3 -6 consist of two parallel classes, expanding to three parallel classes for Years 7 -8. There is a maximum class size of 18 in all year groups. The form structure, with its streaming and setting, is carefully designed to maximise each child’s individual potential. For all year groups, the curriculum is enriched by a variety of educational trips throughout the year. Cognitive Ability Tests (CATS) are completed annually for children in Year 4 -7, which provide good indicators of future potential and are useful diagnostic tools.

In Year 3, the majority of the teaching takes place in the Form Room. Pupils are taught English, Maths, Science, French, History, Geography and RS by their form teacher whilst specialists teach art, music, carpentry, drama/dance and IT and sport. The innovative ‘learning journey’ curriculum begins in Year 3, teaching a variety of curriculum subjects through a central theme, thus stimulating enquiring young minds.

Once children reach Year 4, they are taught by specialist teachers but still largely based in their own form room. Wherever possible, the last lesson of the day will be taught by a child’s form teacher. The forms are of mixed ability with setting for maths. Greek Mythology is introduced into the curriculum for Year 4.

In Years 5 -6, teaching takes place in subject specific classrooms throughout the school and Latin is introduced.

Years 7 and 8 consist of a scholarship form and two further mixed ability Common Entrance forms with setting for maths. Critical thinking is incorporated into the curriculum.

Both English and Maths are allocated 4 hours 40mins curriculum time per week each throughout the Prep School whilst Science builds from 2 hours 20mins in Year 3 to 3hours 30mins in Years 7 and 8.


Years 3 & 4 – no formal homework but there are regular spelling tests (and tables for Year 4) and reading books are taken home every evening Year 5 – homework is set in English, Maths, History, French and Latin. No more than 30 minutes homework per evening is expected
Year 6 – as for Year 5 with homework time increasing to 40 minutes per evening Years 7 & 8 – homework is set in all subjects with approximately 1 hour per evening expected.

Assessment Cards, Exams, Reports and Parents’ Evenings

Assessment cards These are issued every 5 weeks and are for effort only, providing parents with a useful snapshot of how hard their child is working.

Exams Years 3 and 4 have tests at the end of each major topic (approximately once a term). English and Maths are tested in the summer term. Years 5 – 7 have exams in January and June whilst Year 8 are examined each term in preparation for scholarship or Common Entrance.

Reports Year 8 have three full reports per year. All other year groups have full reports at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer terms and a short report i.e. from the form tutor, for the Lent Term.

Parents’ Evenings There is one per year for all year groups apart from Year 3, who have two, one in the Michaelmas Term and one in the Summer Term.