Junior Schools

Introduction to our Junior Schools

At Highclare Junior Schools, we have high expectations of our children in all aspects of their education and development. Enthusiastic, well-qualified staff provide the right environment for our children to grow in confidence and to learn effectively. The happy, family atmosphere on both sites complement the varied and well-balanced curriculum and extra-curriculum provided for each child.

We encourage all of our children to become involved in the wider life of Highclare Junior Schools, according to their own interests and potential. Music and sports are popular activities with peripatetic music lessons available in a wide range of instruments.

Physical Education at Highclare Junior Schools provides an introduction to the major sports of football, netball, tag rugby, rugby, rounders, athletics and cricket plus dance and regular swimming.

We believe that small classes at this level benefit our children, allowing individual attention to be given according to need while offering the opportunity for detailed assessment of each child’s development to be pursued.

We aim to help our children develop into individuals who have the confidence, self-reliance and abilities to achieve success in all that they do and according to their talents.

We place emphasis, of course, upon English and Mathematics while seeking to broaden educational horizons through the study of art, design, technology, the humanities and languages. All requirements of the National Curriculum are met and we ensure that we go beyond these requirements and add valuable extra requirements of our own. We follow such aims through inspirational teaching and the provision of many clubs and other extra-curricular activities.

By the end of their time in Highclare Junior Schools, our children have grown in confidence, have the skills for learning and will feel secure in their knowledge of past success and their place in a happy, positive and energetic community of learning.

We hope that parents too will share in this developing journey and we encourage all to become involved in their child’s progress. Communication between home and school is seen as a major strength in our work and you will always be welcome to join us.

We regularly have Parents’ Evenings, parent workshops and assemblies so that each parent can join in the family atmosphere of the school. We also have an open door policy to ensure that parents forge strong links with the school.

Curriculum

The Key Stage 2 curriculum at Highclare offers a broad, challenging and varied curriculum which seeks to build on the foundations laid in our Pre-School and Key Stage 1 settings.

At Highclare Junior Schools, we ensure continuity in our children’s education and development. With greater maturity our curriculum and range of activities adapt to meet each child’s needs at his or her pace with emphasis given to English, Mathematics, Science and Computing as core subjects enhanced by as wide a range of subjects as possible.

We cover all requirements of the national curriculum at Key Stage 2 but are in no way constrained by its provisions. We lay great emphasis upon the need to provide a breadth of study to all children.

Each year group within the Department spends most of each day with their class teacher who provides a thorough grounding in English, Mathematics and Science. A wider range of subjects is also pursued each week and includes History, Geography, Religious Studies, Art, Technology, Music, Computing, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) and Personal, Social and Health Education. In our Year 6 classes we also provide opportunities to broaden the pupils’ experiences and to prepare the pupils for senior school life.

We encourage strong links with the Senior School and our children benefit not only from the excellent facilities available but also from specialist teaching in sport, languages and Computing.

Extra-Curriculum

The Junior Schools enjoy an enviable reputation for the diversity of, and participation in, extra-curricular activities both at lunch times and after school. These include technology, swimming, football, netball, hockey, cricket, athletics, music, gymnastics, tennis, craft, speech and drama, dance, French and LAMDA, etc. and it should be emphasised that this is not an exhaustive list! School teams and musicians take part in events and competitions locally, regionally and nationally and at each assembly time is taken to celebrate and praise the many achievements of our children.

Assessment

Assessment is an important part of Highclare’s ethos of education. Pupils are tracked from when they enter the school through testing using the Curriculum, Evaluation and Management (CEM) system from Durham University.

During Pre-School, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two pupils are tested and analysed on an annual basis with regular assessment, both formal and informal, taking place throughout the year (Key Stage One and Two)

From Year 6 our tracking information is transferred to the senior school.

The CEM system of assessment also provides Value Added data both for each individual and the cohort as a whole.