Lower School

Giving pupils a sound academic start to the senior school

The Lower School offers modern and challenging lessons and enables pupils to explore all aspects of the world and beyond. We are passionate about inspiring pupils to fulfil their individual potential through specialist teaching and careful attention to each pupil’s progress. Science is taught as three separate subjects alongside English, Maths, French or Spanish, Art, DT, Classics, Drama, Geography, History, Philosophy Religion and Ethics, swimming and PE. In Year 8 Latin is introduced and pupils are considered for inclusion into the school’s Academic Excellence programme. Learning can, and should be, fun and the emphasis on support and reward brings pupils together as they each embark on their senior school journey.

Providing pupils with pastoral support

The pastoral system in the Lower School ensures each pupil feels confident and cared for. Key figures – Ben Cliff, the Head of Lower School, Head of Year, Tutor, Matron and the Chaplain – work hard to make sure each pupil settles in and feels secure in a friendly and inclusive community. There is an emphasis on pupil voice and a pupils’ own charter about rights, responsibilities and respect. Lower School Council meets every half term and Sunday Chapel brings the community together. There is regular communication with families driven by passionate tutors who know their tutees well and detailed academic progress reported every six weeks. This effort and attainment information underpins both the Parents’ Evening and two full written reports, tracking progress and success.

“Staff know the children so very well, taking a close interest in their academic and pastoral development” Year 8 parent

Pupils in the Lower School are expected to grasp new opportunities to challenge themselves and are encouraged to celebrate their interests and achievements. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 gain significant honours and the recent success of our Fives team in the Eton tournament is testament to this positive attitude. There have been achievements in diverse sports – swimming, table tennis, badminton and sailing - as well as rugby, hockey and cricket.

“Opportunity is the defining feature of a successful time in the Lower School.  Away from the immediate pressures of GCSE exams, pupils are tempted by so much that is new to them: from different academic subjects including Latin and Classics to co-curricular clubs, adventurous activity, fieldwork, discos, film nights and barbeques.  We are proud that every pupil plays their own part in promoting a friendly and inclusive community; one where talents can flourish, and personalities grow.  And we have fun!" Ben Cliff, Head of Lower School

The Lower School play provides pupils with enduring special memories and recent productions include Twelfth Night and Arabian Nights. The Spring Concert and Music Competition Winners’ Concert showcase the passion that Lower School pupils bring to their learning in its fullest sense.

Lower School pupils benefit from learning outside the classroom enjoying fieldwork trips for Geography, History, Classics and Science. Year 8 pupils every year find the trip to Cumbria a personal challenge and highlight of their school career. They are encouraged to try new activities such as Greek, dancing, Lego robotics, debating and Mini Model UN - a new enterprise this year. They have a busy social calendar of Film Nights and Cake Sales, Discos and weekend workshops, as well as personal fundraising initiatives like Finn’s Fun Run in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Lower School begins the senior school journey; it is the single step and the giant leap for each pupil in our care.