Learning in the Lower School
As the girls move up to Year 3 in the Lower School, teaching is more subject based, although they are still mainly taught by their form teacher who combines close pastoral care with academic support. Girls continue to follow a broad curriculum including Mathematics, English and Science together with History, Geography, PE, ICT, Design Technology, Music, Drama and Art. Learning is supported by our two libraries in the First and Lower School.
When girls move up to Year 3 there are two classes in each year with about 24 girls in each class. Each class is made up of girls who have come up from our First School and new girls who join at 7+. At the end of Year 4 the girls are mixed up before they go into Year 5.
In Year 3, all the girls learn to play chess. They can also select from a wide range of other activities after school. Many external visits and visitors help to broaden and inspire the girls' learning.
As the girls move to the top of the Junior School more specialist teaching is introduced. Senior School staff teach some Year 6 lessons to prepare the girls for life in the Senior School.
During their Junior School career, the girls are introduced to four languages. In Year 3, they learn Spanish, in Year 4 German and in Year 5 Mandarin. After-school clubs in the subsequent years enable the girls to sustain their interest and develop their learning. In Year 6, in preparation for the Senior School, the girls start to learn French. Knowledge of a number of languages helps girls to make informed choices in Senior School.
Languages are an important part of the curriculum in the school. All girls in Year 7 take Latin and French and in Year 8 they add either German or Spanish. At GCSE there is the opportunity to choose Russian or Greek and in the sixth-form Italian and Mandarin are also available.
We keep parents closely informed about learning objectives and their daughters' progress. We foster close links between home and school and parents often pop in for a chat when they deliver or collect their daughter.
Individual Music Lessons - Girls can request lessons on any instrument from Year 3. In Year 2 some girls choose to learn the recorder or violin after school. Instrumental lessons take place during a class music lesson, or a PE lesson, though not swimming. There is a waiting list for some instruments but girls are usually accommodated within the year.
Transfer to North London Collegiate Senior School - Our expectation is that all girls will naturally progress on to the Senior School. Occasionally the school, in conjunction with the parents, will decide that our Senior School is not the best option for a girl. This, however, is unusual.
Lower School Day
Lower School pupils (Years 3-6) arrive from about 8.15am for registration at 8.40am which is followed by school assembly three days a week.
Girls have the freedom of the grounds during breaktime. They eat lunch in the school dining room, where they can choose from a wide selection of hot and cold food catering for every dietary requirement. Lessons finish at 3.25pm.
Girls may choose to join one of the many after-school clubs which run from 3.25 to 4.00pm.
There is a 3.40 coach, but the girls may wait in the late room if their coach doesn't leave until 4.15.
Lower School Library
The Lower School Library is a wonderful resource, with a huge selection of fiction and non-fiction books and plenty of space to sit and read. There are also audio books and a range of magazines. Girls are encouraged to make suggestions for new books that they would like to read and we are constantly updating our resources.
The girls can visit the library in long break to read and take out books. In Year 5, girls have the opportunity to be trained as librarians and to work in the library during long break, alongside the Junior School Librarian and a team of volunteer parents.
All of the Lower School classes have a library lesson each week. The popular ‘Love Your Library’ scheme allows the girls to gain points and win rewards for reading and reviewing books. Book Week consists of a range of exciting book-related activities, including author visits and competitions. In 2012 the girls voted in the Book Oscars and the awards were given out at a glitzy ceremony at the end of the week.