Homework is regarded as an essential component of the learning process from the earliest stages, as it helps to develop good study habits and also involves parents in supporting the work of their sons. In keeping with the strong partnership that is encouraged between home and School, a homework diary provides one important channel of communication.
Regular assessment, recording and reporting help to ensure that individual progress is closely monitored. Standardised testing in Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Numeracy, Reading and Spelling takes place annually in most year groups. With bi-annual academic examinations and day-to-day assessment, these provide useful performance indicators to determine a possible future school path. Year Group Evenings take place at the beginning of each academic year in September, when key curriculum issues are discussed, and subject teachers and form tutors introduce themselves to parents. Thereafter, Parents' Evenings take place twice a year, but teachers are always available by appointment outside these "formal" occasions. A Mark Sheet or a full written Report is provided at the end of each term, whilst effort grades and certificates are awarded at the end of each half term block.
The essential philosophy that underpins the curriculum throughout the School is to provide breadth, depth and rigour within an environment that sees traditional methodology combining with more recent proven educational practice. In doing so the requirements of the National Curriculum are acknowledged, but we aim to exceed them. Whole-class teaching, by specialists, sees all boys following the same programme of study but, with class sizes kept as small as practicable, some differentiation is also possible. The average class size in the Pre-Prep and Lower School is 18 and as low as 10 in the Upper School.
The subjects studied are: English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, Latin, History, Geography, Religious Education, Music, Art, ICT, Physical Education, Games and PSHE/Citizenship. Great emphasis is placed on the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic, particularly in the early years, where the standards reached are excellent.