Academic Excellence

Click here to read our review on the Good Schools Guide.

We challenge and nurture our children to develop their skills in listening, literacy and numeracy, but more specifically we provide a curriculum that has a strong focus on teaching core subjects: English, mathematics and science.

With our small classes and personalised learning approach, we also embrace a balance of the foundation subjects and others such as PHSE (Personal, Health and Social Education), cooking and drama that are in keeping with the school’s culture.

Our ultimate aim academically is to prepare our Year 8 pupils for entry into the senior school of their choice.

We do not shy away from tests and examinations where we feel they benefit the children and inform teaching and learning. Whilst the children in the Pre-Prep will undertake informal classroom based testing intermittently throughout the year, they will begin to experience more formal summer assessments in Years 3 and 4.

These become gradually more formal through Years 5 and 6, and then in Year 7 examinations will take place at the end of all three terms. This is in preparation for Year 8 where mock scholarship and Common Entrance examinations will take place in November and February, before senior school entrance examinations later in the year (at various times depending on the requirements of the individual senior schools).


As well as our own tests and examinations, we also make use of nationally standardised assessments provided by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University as follows:

Year GroupAssessments
ReceptionPIPS (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools) in September
Year 1PIPS in June
Year 2PIPS in January
Years 3 - 6INCAS (Interactive Computer Assessment System) in November
Year 7MIDYIS (Mid-years Information System) in November

These assessments are computer-based and adaptive to the individual child’s ability. The results help to track each child as they progress through the school and also help to ensure that they are progressing according to their potential. They also enable the school to compare itself nationally with state and other independent schools.

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