Boys' Curriculum

Read full details of what the boys’ school curriculum includes across all the different age groups.

Boys' Curriculum

Read full details of what the boys’ school curriculum includes across all the different age groups.

We provide a wide-ranging education within and outside the classroom, and prepare boys thoroughly for the entrance requirements of their senior schools.

Our boys leave with an enthusiasm for participation, an appetite for learning and achievement and a confidence without arrogance that are all hallmarks of a good preparatory schooling, and provide the best possible foundation for the future.

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. Together with annual academic examinations and day-to-day assessments, these provide useful performance indicators to determine a possible future school path.

Parents’ Evenings take place twice a year and teachers are always available by appointment outside these “formal” occasions. Effort grades are provided twice a year while a full written report is provided at the end of each academic year.

Your son can begin at Cumnor House in the September following his 4th birthday.  Our Pre-prep department is all about providing him with a stable, happy and productive start to his school days. Each boy is encouraged to develop the habit of achieving to the best of his abilities and enjoying enquiry and acquiring knowledge.

Our Boys’ Reception setting is located on the same premises as Cumnor House Nursery, Purley. This wonderful Early Years environment provides the boys with the benefit of a bespoke transitional year and the best possible start to their formal education before they move across to the main site at Pampisford Road when they are five (Year 1).  The boys are taken by minibus to the main site weekly for their swimming lesson and any special assemblies.

Throughout Pre-Prep, teachers focus on the core subjects of reading, writing and mathematics, but also encourage wider learning about the world and the development of individual creative talents. There are Specialist teachers for French, Music, Games and Swimming.  We use Harvest, Christmas and Easter as opportunities to participate in services and concerts.  There are regular visits to the theatre, museums and other places of educational interest.

The Lower School introduces a wider programme of learning and opportunities to discover where natural talents and abilities lie. In Year 3 the boys will experience specialist teachers for different curriculum subjects. It is important in the first year of the Prep School that they are taught by their form tutor for Mathematics and English but they will also have specialists for Science, Art and Humanities as well as the subject specialists they have enjoyed in Pre-Prep for PE, Games, Music, French and Swimming.

As they progress into Year 4 they will enjoy more subject specialists for Mathematics and English too. PSHE is taught from Year 3 and DT is introduced in Year 5.

Through our Year 3 Music Scheme we encourage boys to take up an instrument and sing in a choir. We also view sport as integral to a good education, and teams of all ages and many levels take part in inter-school fixtures in soccer, rugby, cricket, swimming and athletics.

The Form Tutor will have responsibility for setting high aspirations and expectations and providing a nurturing environment where the boys are supported to achieve their very best. The Lower school prepares boys for the more demanding Upper school timetable. It also enables them to develop confidence, independence and maturity.

Boys enter the Upper School in Year 6. Those who stay to age 13 and can work at a more advanced pace have the opportunity to sit scholarship examinations. Scholarship practice sessions will take place in Year 8 outside of lesson time. Others are prepared for 11+ or 13+ senior school examinations and Common Entrance examinations.

At many selective senior schools, 13+ is less competitive than 11+ with fewer applicants. In addition, some children are simply not ready for a large senior school aged 11 and benefit from another two years at the top of a Prep School where they gain from having smaller classes and an opportunity to hold official positions such as Head of House or Prefect with duties and responsibilities around the school.  We are confident that the Upper School will enable your son to reach his full potential and give him the very best preparation for entrance into the senior school of his choice.

If boys leave at 11+, they generally transfer to the two Whitgift Foundation schools, Trinity or Whitgift, or as day pupils to Caterham or Royal Russell but also to the local Grammar schools. At 13+ many other senior school options become available including Westminster, Charterhouse, Harrow, Tonbridge, King’s College London, Dulwich and Epsom.

The Form Tutor fulfils a pastoral role and provides an important link between home and school, supporting the boys in their growing and learning. All Year Groups follow the broad and balanced curriculum established in the Lower School of Maths, English, Science, History, Geography, French, RE, ICT, Music, Art and Design, DT, PE, Swimming and Games.

As well as all the sporting and musical opportunities, your son can also choose from a number of other after-school options in Upper School such as Electronics, Current Affairs, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Drama, Table Tennis, Golf and Chess.

The Cumnor 13+ Award

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