From the moment the girls arrive at Eaton House The Manor Girls' School to the day they conclude Year 6, we want a love of learning to be stimulated by all we do.
We provide a broad and varied curriculum from the very outset, with equal emphasis given to the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. Thus, even at age 4, the girls will experience computing, TPR (theology, philosophy and religion), science, topic, PE, swimming, art, music, drama, dance and French in addition to their literacy and numeracy lessons.
Subject specialists work with all our girls in PE, Music, French and Dance. Once in Form 3 (age 7-8), the girls also then receive specialist teaching in Science, Art and Reasoning.
With the 11+ exams being a constantly evolving assessment process – in terms of both the structure and the content of the tests – we are continually reviewing our curriculum in order to provide the best possible preparation. As a result, we are hugely proud not only of the range of outstanding London day and boarding senior schools that our girls join after leaving Eaton House but also of the wealth of scholarships and awards they win in the process.
Core literacy and numeracy skills
Developing the core literacy and numeracy skills forms the backbone of our academic curriculum. All our form teachers deliver English and maths to their classes with a natural emphasis being placed on these subjects in terms of the amount of time given over to them. In the early years, we want the girls' learning to be as multisensory as possible, so we ensure a broad variety of different resources are employed both in and out of the classroom. Engaging each girl's imagination through language and literature enables us to achieve rapid progress in the reading and writing process, and by making our maths syllabus both practical and formal we demonstrate how such areas as time, measurement, shape and money are connected to the real world.
Technology is a powerful educational, social and creative tool and we want the girls to understand how to use it safely and effectively. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard that is frequently used in the teaching and learning process, we have an ICT suite providing access to 20 PCs, and a bank of tablets which can be used as required. And as we teach the girls how to develop their IT skills so we also take them through a comprehensive e-safety programme to raise their awareness of potentially harmful online behaviours and how to avoid them.
Presentational and interpersonal skills also permeate the curriculum. For the girls to be leaders, collaborators and confident public speakers by the time they leave us, it is tremendously important we nurture and encourage a number of skills needed when connecting with an audience. Thus, whether it be through 'show and tell', class assemblies, productions, speech and drama, lessons or a multitude of in-class activities, all the girls are offered a host of opportunities to practise the art of effective communication.
Throughout the year, we conduct a series of formative and summative assessments to measure each girl's attainment and ability. The results of these assessments are shared and discussed with parents through our termly reporting system, our twice-yearly parents' evenings, and, most crucially, through the ongoing, more informal discourse which takes place through face-to-face contact or via email.
We are currently enhancing our exam preparation with some exciting educational techniques to promote independent thinking. Adventure books have been introduced to all the girls from KG (Kindergarten) to Year 6 because we want to challenge the girls with open-ended questions that do not have a right or wrong answer. Instead, they are designed to develop the creative, evaluative and analytical thinking skills that are being increasingly assessed at 11+. For these tasks we use exercise books with pages that are part blank and part lined so that the girls can express their ideas both visually and verbally. Questions can be fun and challenging such as:
- "What’s more important, time or money?"
- "What would happen if the world were ruled by elephants?"
- "Do you see yourself as more of a square or a circle?"
These books help all our girls to handle open-ended examination questions with confidence and flair.
The Art department allows all our girls at Eaton House The Manor to explore different artistic styles and techniques, creating a well-balanced appreciation for the visual arts.
We encourage self-expression through a wide range of creative experiences both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, often making links between the girls' own work and that of famous artists.
Our art projects immerse the girls in their exciting class themes, encouraging each of them to creatively explore the different topics. We introduce many different techniques which include drawing, painting, sculpting and mixed media. We look at various famous artists and familiarise the girls with many of their styles – learning to draw inspiration from artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Monet and Cézanne.
We aim to work in a cross-curricular approach, and link our artworks to the themes or activities being studied in other subjects. The techniques explored include drawing, painting, printing, sculpting and mixed media. We are passionate about art history and often refer back to the timeline, drawing inspiration from some of the greats – Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky, Cézanne and Warhol to name a few. We are privileged to be surrounded by museums and galleries in London and have enjoyed trips to the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.
We run an art scholarship programme for Year 5 and Year 6 girls who show great potential in art. The girls who are selected attend three sessions a week where we help to further develop their passion and skill for art, putting together a diverse portfolio of work to submit to potential senior schools for an art scholarship. The girls are encouraged to keep a sketch book and work on art compositions in their own time.
A range of exciting extracurricular activities is offered all year round. These include Junior and Senior art clubs and craft club as well as the art scholarship programme.
The use of technology within Eaton House Girls' School is currently developing, and the curriculum has been written to ensure that varied and appropriate technology use is a day-to-day feature of learning and teaching within the school.
The computing curriculum is taught during focused lessons in the computer room alongside cross-curricular work in the classroom, making use of the range of technology which is available within school. Each pupil has an individual account with the award-winning Purple Mash website, which provides a safe environment in which the girls can apply and enhance their computing knowledge.
In the younger half of the Girls' School, we focus on helping the girls to notice all the technology used in the world around them and the importance of these, such as telephones, computers and traffic lights. The girls are taught the basics of how to use a computer, including typing and mouse control. They enjoy using the school tablets to take photos and videos for a given audience or purpose. Amongst other skills, we also introduce the concept of coding and the idea that devices respond to commands.
In the senior half of the School we build on the girls' growing knowledge of computing. Amongst a range of other skills, we help the girls to develop an understanding of a variety of coding languages used within the Purple Mash website. The girls are also introduced to email accounts and practice writing both formal and informal emails. This specifically links with our work on e-safety, encouraging safe online behaviour.
Critical thinking is taught to all girls in Years 3 to 6. It is a subject in which higher-order thinking skills are nurtured through discussion, problem-solving and a range of different individual and collaborative activities.
Philosophical concepts are explored through the medium of art, music or politics; ideas such as fate, goodness and happiness are questioned; and new ideas are generated and presented for anything from board games to litter-picking devices.
These lessons are a wonderful opportunity for the girls to be creative, analytical and evaluative, and very much help prepare the girls for the rapidly-growing interview component of the 11+ assessment process.
Welcome to the Design Technology department. This is an innovative and exciting subject area where pupils will cover various projects that will inspire and develop a variety of skills, and hopefully encourage budding technologists of the future.
The Design Technology department benefits from a new, purpose-built workshop – a well-resourced facility with equipment that you might not expect to be available to prep school children such as 3D printers, a laser cutter, a vacuum former and more.
The aim of the department is to develop the creative thinking and problem solving skills of pupils, drawing on the various disciplines such as mathematics, science and art. During their time in the DT department, pupils will gradually build and extend their knowledge through a variety of multi-skilled projects that will provide them with a taste of the many areas of the subject. Pupils will be expected to work through the 'design process' to produce creative outcomes to an initial problem. Within this process there is as much importance placed on designing as there is on making. However, pupils will spend proportionally more time on the practical side of projects.
As an integral part of the design technology curriculum, pupils will be introduced to various designers, current and past innovations, and important historical events that have shaped our everyday lives.
Pupils will cover various areas of resistant materials, graphics, creating circuits, computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM) through project work.
As with all the arts, drama is about being able to take yourself away, taking your learning to a new dimension and exploring everything around you. By building on unique skills, children are given adaptable opportunities to help overcome inhibition.
Drama starts as early as Year 1 as a timetabled lesson including the use of expression to create movement, and circle games to enforce communication and confidence to speak within a small group. We build on the term "expression" and use this term during drama exercises. It may involve expression in movement, using expressive language, or expression to physically portray a character type. Children will continually develop their skills in the Junior School and are encouraged to think about how they move and enter stage.
They will begin to work on their miming, improvisation and observational skills. They will have an opportunity to talk about what they enjoy about performing as well as looking at other practitioners. Children will begin to understand concepts and techniques such as freeze frames and creating improvisations with use of props or a piece of music. They will work on their storytelling using expression and selecting scenes to re-enact.
As the children build on their repertoire, they will soon develop the confidence to devise their own theatre, taking into consideration certain practitioners to sculpt their work. The seniors are given opportunities to reflect on other productions as well as rehearse their own plays to perform in front of an audience.
As well as the creative drama-based class assemblies, all children throughout their time at school are involved in a production.
We run a production each term:
- Christmas: Years 1 and 2, Nativity play
- Spring term: Years 3 and 4
- Summer term: Years 5 and 6
"Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
In addition to our full-scale shows, drama clubs are available to both our junior and senior girls as part of our after-school programme. Whether rehearsing a Shakespearean scene or a comic mime, these opportunities further enable the girls to pursue their passion for performance but in a more relaxed context.
Speech and drama lessons
All the girls in Year 4 to Year 6 now also have the option of having a weekly speech and drama lesson during the school day. Taught by a drama specialist to the girls, either in pairs or as individuals, these sessions not only refine the vocal and physical techniques required to bring poetry, prose and scripts to life but also nurture the girls as they explore many different forms of expression. Twice a year, the girls work towards practical exams which are marked by visiting examiners from NEA (the New Era Academy).
All the girls at Eaton House the Manor Girls' School are encouraged to read widely from a range of genres to supplement their reading in class and their studies of class texts. They are welcome to borrow texts from the school library.
The English department is committed to developing the girls' love of reading and their interest in relating the ideas presented in texts to the wider world.
Juniors (KG to Year 2)
English lessons are taught around a wide range of different texts and stimuli, helping the girls to understand the various aspects and functions of writing from an early age. This method helps the girls' understanding of comprehension, grammar and spelling, which is developed through phonics.
Building upon previous learning, the girls start their journey with the English department by following the early years foundation stage. With a focus on the acquisition of literacy skills, the class teachers and their teaching assistants work with the girls as a class, as a small group or as individuals. As they move up through the juniors, the girls are taught basic grammar, punctuation, comprehension and composition skills.
Seniors (Years 3 to 6)
In the senior years, the girls will be challenged to develop their critical literacy skills through a range of comprehension and composition tasks. Offering a creative approach to meeting the needs of the curriculum, English lessons are based on a range of texts, including poetry and non-fiction writing. Each week, the girls will have lessons that focus discretely on grammar, spelling, comprehension and composition, preparing them for the 11+ exams in Year 6. The girls are also tested on a weekly basis on spelling words that they have learned by heart.
Girls in the senior years will be encouraged to enter a range of creative writing competitions each term as part of their extension work. These competitions will be updated as they become available. There are also house competitions linked to the English learning area, for example the Spelling Bee and the Poetry Competition.
The girls in Years 2 to 6 will complete autumn and summer exams. Year 1 has a summer term exam only. Their class teachers will aid them in the revision process in lessons and will send home revision guides where necessary.
French in the Girls' School is taught to all the girls from KG to Year 6. Our aim is that the girls are exposed to a new language, that they enjoy learning it, and that they are fully prepared for the levels expected of them in senior school.
- Learning to communicate, understand, respond and ask questions in French in the classroom using correct pronunciation and intonation.
- Learning and understanding basic conversations, and instructions given in French.
- Learning to read and understand signs, signposts, leaflets, menus and instructions written in French.
- Gaining an insight into, and tolerance and sympathy of France, the language, the culture and the civilisation.
We use many visual, audio and kinaesthetic resources. In order for the girls to gain confidence when speaking the language they will be encouraged to both read aloud and speak in pairs in front of the class. The girls are taught using textbooks together with activities on the interactive whiteboard. We also use PowerPoint slides and software packages called Task Magic and Linguascope to enhance their learning. We practise listening activities using the CD, which complements the various course textbooks we use.
In the KG it is very much a gentle introduction to the language, teaching topics such as names, greetings, age, birthdays, colours, family, animals and food.
The girls will have one half-hour lesson each week which will involve an introduction to the topic, an activity to consolidate the topic being taught and a song or game on the interactive whiteboard as a plenary.
Years 1,2 and 3
In Years 1, 2 and 3 we use La Jolie Ronde programme, which includes a pupil book the girls will fill in in class, a children's and teachers' audio and resource CD, and a set of accompanying flashcards. Topics covered include house and family, transport, days of the week, clothes, parts of the body and numbers 1 to 40.
- The programme in Year 1 contains simple stories, action chants, games and songs. These are activities the girls enjoy and will repeat over and over again absorbing language as they play.
- The programme in Year 2 introduces new games to practise vocabulary and phrases; short conversations are introduced for listening and speaking together with the introduction of the written word.
- The programme in Year 3 is a progression from that in Year 2 whereby the vocabulary and language structures are reinforced and extended. Role plays are introduced and pupils start to use the language creatively for themselves.
The girls will have a half-hour lesson each week.
Years 4 and 5
In Years 4 and 5 we use the Expo1 textbook and cover one module per term. Topics include names, greetings, age, birthdays, colours, family, everyday routines, directions, school subjects, sports and games.
The girls will gain an insight into basic understanding of some grammar rules such as the use of masculine, feminine and plural, the definite and indefinite article and adjective agreement, and an introduction to basic verbs in the first person and the verbs avoir and être.
The girls will have a one-hour lesson each week and a homework sheet to complete, reinforcing vocabulary and grammar concepts learned in the lesson.
The girls will now be confident with the sounds, written form and grammar of the language, and more able to use this knowledge with increasing competence to express themselves in role plays, conversation and writing.
The curriculum in Year 6 is taught using So You Really Want to Learn French?, a textbook by Nigel Pearce, and involves more complex written exercises in all grammatical areas with a particular emphasis on introducing the girls to common verbs and their declensions.
The girls will have a one-hour lesson each week and a homework sheet to complete reinforcing vocabulary and grammar concepts learnt in the lesson.
"Learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else."
–Leonardo Da Vinci
Geography is far more than the study of maps and locations. It is the understanding of interactions between people and the environment, the effects of the environment on people, and people’s interactions with each other. As the world becomes increasingly globalised, the understanding of the intricate way different systems are reliant upon each other is critical.
The curriculum is generally split between human geography, which covers settlements, population studies, and economic activity; and physical geography, which focuses on processes that change and shape our planet. Both junior and senior girls will cover a variety of topics that enhance their knowledge and skills in geographical enquiry. Practical fieldwork experience and knowledge-based units are used to prepare the girls for their continued study of geography at their senior schools.
The junior girls begin geography in KG with an introduction to seasons and weather along with another, teacher-selected area of interest.
The study of physical geography continues in Year 1 with the topic of rainforests, adding on the human geography side with the seaside.
Year 2 will begin learning about the location of major world features and will use a London case study as the foundation for new map skills and understanding how geography applies to their daily lives.
Year 3 will cover a wider range of topics throughout the year as they reinforce knowledge gained in the previous years and expand into a more complex understanding of both human and physical geography.
The senior girls will complete a rotation of all the previous topics, while adding more complexity and depth to each. For example, coastal landforms will be enhanced with the study of river processes, weather and climate will continue with an understanding of the cause and effect of natural disasters, and the London case study will be the foundation for comparing another UK locality and an international location.
It is our hope that the girls will become passionate geographers, with a keen interest in understanding the world in which they live, and that they will choose to carry on studying geography well into their university years.
History is, quite simply, the past – people, cultures and events. Teaching history is not so simple.
It is no longer a lesson in which children learn facts and dates of important people and events and little else. History today is designed to encourage pupils to develop a curiosity in the events of the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations.
Pupils soon learn that the past can help us better understand the present. They develop knowledge of chronology, helping them to organise their understanding of past events and people. They carry out their own research and begin to understand the nature of evidence in all its diverse forms.
They try to interpret primary and secondary sources and weigh them up and reach their own conclusions about the perspective and motivation of people in the past. It has been said that history is often written by the winners. By equipping pupils with questioning, analytical and research skills they learn to appreciate and understand there is more than one side to every story.
Through the teaching of history we aim to:
- Provide pupils with a general knowledge and understanding of the process and periods of the historical evolution of mankind
- Arouse pupils' interest in and enthusiasm for the past
- Help pupils understand the present, and to make decisions based on their investigations of what has happened in the past
- Help pupils achieve an understanding of Britain's development, both at home and in relation to the wider world
- Help pupils develop a keen sense of chronology and skills of questioning, research, and analysing evidence in a logical manner
- Develop inquiring and disciplined minds
- Introduce pupils to what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past
- Help pupils understand the nature of evidence by emphasising history as a process of enquiry and develop the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source materials
- Enrich other areas of the curriculum
The history syllabus covers foundation stage (KG) to Form 6.
History is taught through the area of learning understanding the world.
Pupils are introduced to the idea of chronology through themselves and their own families:
- When they were born and understanding that their older siblings, parents and grandparents were born before them
- Family trees
- Looking at photographs
Pupils are introduced to the concept of things from the past, to understand that objects have changed and to be able to compare them:
- My family
- Houses – past and present
- Blast to the past
In Year 1, history is taught in topic lessons and in Year 2 it is taught as a discrete subject, both for one hour every week.
Pupils are developing further their sense of chronology and begin to extend it beyond their families. Pupils will be encouraged to question why events happened as they did and how lives were affected with as much research of their own as is practicable. They will study:
- Castles – looking at how and when castles were first built
- Myths and Legends – to understand that these are stories written a long time ago and are sometimes based on characters from hundreds of years ago
- Clothes and fashion through the ages – to understand how and why clothes and fashion have changed throughout the ages
Pupils are extending their skills of chronology by looking at events and people from 500,000BC to present day and what a century is. They begin to understand that we know about the past through evidence and that evidence could be a variety of sources and artefacts; all of which gives us information about the past. They will study:
- Ancient Egyptians 5000BC to 100AD
- Pyramids and other buildings
- Contents of tombs
- The Rosetta Stone
- Important historical people
- Written sources
- Eyewitness accounts
- History of London 500,000BC to present day
- Objects found in or around London area
- Written sources
- Eyewitness accounts
Years 3 to 6 have a one-hour history lesson each week.
At key stage 2, pupils will continue to expand on the basic skills they have developed in foundation stage and key stage 1, namely:
- The use and importance of evidence
- The comparison of past and present
In addition they will begin to learn:
- To ask why events happened as they did
- What were the effects on different people
- What can be learned from these events
- To name and place periods of time in chronological order
- To develop a 'historical' vocabulary
In each form the pupils look at and compare the following cultures, events and peoples.
- Ancient Greece – 2000BC to 146BC
- Explorers – 15th and 16th centuries mainly
- Aztecs – 16th century
- Romans in Britain – 43AD to 410AD
- Saxons – 450AD to 800AD
- Vikings – 800AD to 1043AD
- Tudors – 1485 to 1603
- Stuarts – 1603 to 1714
- Victorians – 1837 to 1901
- Victorians (looking particularly at applying historical knowledge from the previous term through writing essays and studying sources and developing historical reasoning)
- 1930s and 1940s (from February half term to end of summer term)
The Music department offers individual tuition in musical instruments, an orchestra that the girls can join, and singing lessons and a choir.
- Tutors are available to the girls in a range of instruments: piano, violin, wind instruments, drums, guitar and many more.
- We have an orchestra, and all girls who are interested in music are welcome to join.
- Singing is also taught and there is a chamber choir. We hold house singing competitions and here is plenty of opportunity for spontaneous musical expression in class.
One-to-one instrumental and vocal lessons are available from Year 1 upwards. We have 13 specialist tutors, who give individual tuition in piano, voice, brass, woodwind, percussion, violin, viola, cello and music theory. The School's structured, integrated approach, liaising closely with the tutors on a child-by-child basis, prepares the girls for concerts, formal examinations and, where appropriate, musical scholarships.
We ensure that a pupil's individual lessons are rotated each week so that she does not repeatedly miss out on another subject.
In the autumn term each year, the KG girls put on a Nativity play for their parents and the rest of the school, so that immediately, performing on stage becomes second nature to them. Meanwhile, the Year 1 and Year 2 girls take part in a Junior Christmas play which never fails to get everyone in the festive spirit. Needless to say, singing plays a significant part in the production and the rows of beaming faces whilst singing from our youngest girls is such a sight to behold!
Extracurricular activities for juniors
Extracurricular musical activities for our junior girls include visits to the Royal Festival Hall where they take in a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, watching our head of music’s professional string quartet perform in assemblies, and hearing the magnificent sound of Oompah Brass as they take to the stage and introduce the brass family of instruments. The girls from Year 2 are welcome to join the joint choir with the pre-prep boys as part of the The Manor Voices after school choir club as well as joining the Music and Song club which is open to girls of all ages.
The violin scheme
As part of the curriculum, all the Year 2 girls learn to play the violin in class and can take a school violin home to practise the skills they are learning. The violin scheme takes place over the course of the whole academic year and is an exciting opportunity for the girls to be exposed to learning an orchestral instrument. It is also an excellent way to put into practice what they have already learned about rhythm, pitch and tone as well as giving them the joy of playing together in an ensemble.
Several Junior concerts take place over the course of the year, where the girls are encouraged to present the pieces they are learning on their instruments or in their vocal lessons. The uptake for the concerts is always extremely popular and a real sense of achievement is apparent from all those who take part. The Junior Choir also perform in these recitals which includes every girl in Year 2 so every child has their moment to shine on stage.
By the time the girls reach the Senior part of the school, music and singing is deeply rooted within them and there are opportunities a plenty for performance and tuition.
From Year 3, any child in the Girls' School is invited to join the Senior Choir, which currently boasts over 70 members and performs throughout the school year at important events such as the carol service and Senior music concerts.
In the spring term, Year 3 and Year 4 show off their musical and theatrical skills in their play, closely followed by Year 5 and Year 6 in the summer term. Past performances have included The Wiz, Bugsy Malone, Olivia, Dragon Days and Mystery at Magpie Manor, all of which have demonstrated the girls' maturity and immensely accomplished musical efforts. There are many senior music assemblies in the calendar where all who learn instruments or sing are encouraged to give performing a go whilst being in a nurturing and supportive setting.
Orchestra and music ensemble
Our ensembles include the Senior music ensemble, Form 2 violin ensemble, string quartet, and recorder ensemble.
Playing successfully within an ensemble is a skill which enables a musical child to progress to true musicianship. The benefits of participating and performing in an ensemble, group or orchestra are huge – not least for the sense of exuberance, joy and fun.
We teach general instrumental technique through individual lessons, but ensemble playing gives students the opportunity to reinforce and develop their technique in a different setting. Students are taught how to interpret, to respond to the conductor's gestures and expressions and the importance of strict adherence to beat patterns and tempi.
- We have a Junior and a Senior choir open to every pupil.
- The Bel Canto Choir, drawn from Years 4 to 6 with entry by audition, provides higher challenges for the more gifted vocalists.
- A joint choir with the Eaton House Pre-Prep Boys' School has also been established, further extending the horizons.
- In addition, we can offer specialist individual voice tuition in certain circumstances.
By the time our girls leave Eaton House, they feel inspired and motivated to continue singing, performing and practising their instruments, having had a fully rounded, plentiful and happy musical experience.
Latin is taught to the girls for two terms in Year 6. By following the Cambridge Latin Course, we are able to introduce the girls to the rudimentary vocabulary and grammar whilst exploring what life was like for those living in Ancient Rome.
With a sound grasp of the basics quickly established, the girls soon discover the joy of verb conjugation and the satisfaction that can be derived from translation.
An understanding of Latin not only assists the girls in so many of their other subjects but also enables a much deeper appreciation of Western European culture. Art, literature, law, science, politics and religion are all areas which have been heavily influenced by Latin. Our aim is to enthuse the girls in such a way that makes them keen to develop their awareness of this magnificent language at senior school level and even beyond!
The Maths curriculum taught throughout the Girls' School aims to be interactive and inspiring. We support children in gaining the necessary problem solving skills to confidently tackle an unfamiliar situation, using their knowledge and understanding.
There is a huge amount of repetition as the girls progress up the school, in order to refresh their memory whilst also building on concepts in a more complex manner. Every lesson is differentiated and challenging, tailored to suit the needs of each individual learner. We use the most appropriate teaching style to best suit every child to ultimately bring out their full potential.
We encourage children to take risks and to not be afraid of making a mistake. It is important to recognise that mistakes further learning and develop maturity and understanding. We use a variety of textbooks, accompanied by worksheets made by our experienced teaching staff, to ensure we are using the most effective resources. Homework is set once, twice or three times a week, depending on the year group, from Year 1 upwards.
The fundamental point of maths is that children, and the adults they'll grow to be, can use it in their everyday life. Giving them real-life opportunities to practise their skills will benefit them immensely and it is important that this begins from an early age.
When the children begin in Kindergarten they are equipped with the basic foundations of maths. They focus on number formation, number recognition and understanding a range of terminology. They work using tangible objects to gain an appreciation of what the value of a number actually is. Lessons are generally practical with carousel-type activities taking place, and the majority of work is recorded using photographic evidence.
There is one-to-one support, as and when necessary, but the ability to work with independence is encouraged. As children progress through key stage 1, there is a move towards more book work and formal written methods. There is a huge emphasis on place value, which is incorporated in many areas of the maths curriculum. Although tangible objects are still available to children, we try to encourage mental strategies and the ability to identify different methods to help solve problems. Learning of the times tables is a huge focus for all children in the latter part of the Junior School.
In lower key stage 2 the girls are introduced to a large number of concepts where they put the fundamentals learned in key stage 1 into practice. Formal written methods are used throughout and girls are expected to work with independence, although any further support required is of course available to them. Word problems become more complex and are integrated into all the concepts we cover. The children begin taking responsibility for recognising links between concepts, and using their skills to solve problems.
When the girls move into upper key stage 2 they begin preparing for the 11+ examinations in the spring term of Year 6. They are introduced to exam style questions and the focus shifts from gaining knowledge to applying knowledge and learning exam technique. Most of the curriculum is finished in the summer term of Year 5, with final concepts taught in preparation for 11+ in the first term of Year 6.
Individual class teachers are responsible for their own class organisation and teaching style in relation to PSHEE (personal social health and economic education) while at the same time ensuring that these complement and reflect the overall aims and philosophy of the school.
As a result of their PSHEE lessons, we want the girls to develop an understanding of how to live a healthy, safe lifestyle and to use this knowledge to make informed decisions and choices in the present and in the future. In addition, we strive for each girl to become a responsible citizen who knows she can make a difference to others around her and further afield through fundraising and work within the local community.
We provide opportunities for personal and social development through a variety of strategies:
- Individual, peer group, collaborative group work.
- Discussion and role play.
- Vertical streaming, allowing children of mixed ages to work together (house meetings).
- Involvement in a range of problem solving activities.
- Preparation and presentation of tasks for different audiences.
- Positive self-assessment and peer assessment.
- Through our general routines, in and out of the classroom, and the way in which individuals relate to each other, children are encouraged to form their own attitudes and values.
- By building positive working relationships between children and staff all members of our school family are valued as individuals. They learn to see the need for good manners, self-discipline and appropriate behaviour in whatever situation they find themselves in.
- Year groups are encouraged to have speakers in to discuss relevant topics.
Our approach to PSHEE
PSHEE is central to the educational entitlement of all the children at Eaton House Girls' School, and, as a cross-curricular dimension, permeates all aspects of life in school. It is mainly encompassed within the teaching of cross-curricular topics but is also taught through specified lessons. It is an integral part of the whole curriculum, and is not just a separate subject.
The girls are given opportunities to rehearse the skills and attitudes that they need for life in the safe environment of the classroom. At all times the emphasis is on the development of positive self-esteem.
A range of activities outside the classroom includes:
- Visits to places of interest
- Extracurricular activities
- Outdoor pursuits and team building – residential trips in Years 3 to 6
- School Eco Committee
- Fundraising and charity work
- Interaction with members of the local community, visiting speakers and professionals
Verbal and non-verbal reasoning are taught separately within the Girls' School from Year 4 upwards, following the Bond 11+ schemes of work.
Verbal reasoning requires pupils to recognise patterns and relationships between words and sentences. The main skills required for verbal reasoning are:
- Synonyms (closest meaning and similar words)
- Odd ones out (spot the word that does not fit within the group)
- Combine words (choose two words – one from each group – to create a new word)
- Antonyms (choose two words which have the opposite meaning)
- Letter bridges (find one letter which can be used to complete each pair of words)
- Move letters (remove one letter from the first word and add it to the second word to create two new words)
- Make connections (choose two words which are linked in some way)
- Rotating words (change the third word in the list, following the same pattern as the first two)
- Hidden words (find a four-letter word hidden at the end of one word and the start of another)
- Letter chains (find the pattern in the sequence of letters)
- Number chains (find the pattern in the sequence of numbers)
- Number codes (decipher the code from the letters represented by numbers)
- Letter codes (decipher the code from the letters)
- Number puzzles and missing sums (use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to solve problems)
- Number connections (find the connection between the two sets of three numbers)
Non-verbal reasoning is designed to test how well a pupil can analyse visual information, and solve problems by using visual logic. The main skills required for verbal reasoning are:
- Similar and different shapes (find the odd one out in a line of five shapes)
- Identify shapes and patterns (find the similarity between all sets of shapes)
- Pairing shapes (decipher the link between the given shapes and choose a third linked shape)
- Sequences (find the rule in the sequence of shapes and choose the next shape)
- Parts within a shape (find the shape hidden within one of the five larger shapes)
- Missing shapes from a pattern (choose the shape which fits to complete the pattern)
- Mirror images (how would the shape look if reflected in a mirror?)
- Nets and cubes (which cube will the next make when closed?)
- Codes and shapes (complete the sequence based on the code given to you)
- Shape logic (two shapes are put together to make one of the shapes underneath)
- Spatial reasoning (understanding plans and shapes and the relationship or patterns between them)
We recommend the online Bond 11+ tests for extra practice, as they work in line with the schemes of work followed by the school.
The aim of the Science department is to nurture inquisitive scientists with a thirst to understand the world around them.
We strive to bring science to life through engaging, hands-on activities. Girls are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity through exploration.
We want the girls to see the relevance of science to their own lives, and potentially imagine future science-related careers based upon their school experience.
The curriculum spans a wide variety of topics encompassing elements of physics, chemistry and biology. Certain key topics and concepts are repeated across year groups, but with increasing difficulty and with a different focus each time, thereby enabling the girls to deepen and extend their understanding. By building up this body of key foundational knowledge, the girls are equipped with the means to predict, analyse and draw conclusions for themselves. We hope this will help them to better understand the world around them.
'Working scientifically' is an important element which permeates all aspects of science lessons. This focuses on the skills the children need to become accurate, careful and confident practical scientists. Children are expected to master certain skills in each year group and there is a very clear progression throughout the years.
We also want to engender a deep respect for the world around us and a sense of shared responsibility in caring for our planet – an ethos which filters across the school.
Juniors (KG to Year 2)
In the Juniors, the girls will be introduced to a variety of topics such as living things and their habitats, animals including humans, plants, everyday materials and their uses, seasonal changes, forces and movement, light and sound. They will develop skills such observing closely, using simple equipment, performing simple tests, identifying and classifying, gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.
Seniors (Years 3 to 6)
In the Seniors, the girls will develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. They will plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions; take measurements using a range of scientific equipment; record data and results of increasing complexity; use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
The topics introduced in the Juniors will be covered in greater depth and new topics introduced such as rocks and soil, forces and magnets, states of matter, properties and changes of materials, Earth and Space, electricity, evolution and inheritance.
A stimulating subject
Science is a stimulating and inspiring subject which helps to develop important lifelong skills such as observation, prediction and critical thinking; skills which facilitate learning across the curriculum. We hope that this might also be the beginning of a lifelong interest; a sense of wonder about the world around us today, in the past and in the future.
Ideas to enhance learning
- Take a trip to the Science Museum, London Zoo or the Natural History Museum to help generate curiosity and engagement with science generally.
- Find out about famous scientists and research unique and exciting inventions up to and including the present day.
- Notice the science in the everyday, for example: cooking is a great opportunity to mix ingredients, add heat and examine changing states; taking a walk in the park is an opportunity to observe seasonal changes, collect leaves and notice patterns, discuss living things in their habitat.
- Subscribe to a monthly magazine such as Science and Nature or Whizz Pop Bang for current news, amazing information, inspiring stories, mind-blowing facts, incredible pictures and fun activities.
TPR (theology, philosophy and religion) is an exciting subject which contributes to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our girls.
The junior girls develop their knowledge of Christianity including learning about the Church as a place of worship, key Christian festivals, and studying a number of Bible stories. Our studies also take place outside the confines of the classroom with a variety of visits and celebrations held in our local church, Holy Trinity.
The senior girls develop their knowledge of Christianity by examining texts from the Old and the New Testament. They also learn about major world faiths including Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. The syllabus evokes discussion and debate, allowing the girls to reflect and evaluate their personal beliefs and show tolerance and respect for people of all faiths. TPR provides a firm platform upon which the girls can formulate their own philosophies and values and inspires them to think about themselves and the world around them.
In Years 5 and 6, TPR aims to develop the girls' ability to form a structured argument using evidence and reasoning when exploring theological, philosophical, religious, ethical and moral issues.
At Eaton House the Manor Girls' school each individual child is valued, and their learning is supported in every way.
This enables the girls to blossom academically, socially and behaviourally. For any individual girl finding her learning a challenge, her needs will be identified and one-to-one or group sessions will be organised with our learning support teacher, who works across the school and promotes inclusion. This means that any child who is experiencing difficulty will always be a valued and equal member of our school.
We like to help our children as soon as a need is identified so that they do not lose confidence or become demotivated. We also recognise that parents may also have some anxieties and we welcome their views as this helps us to form a complete picture of a child's learning. Our learning support teacher, after discussion with staff and parents, may carry out an informal assessment to identify a child's strengths and weaknesses. In some instances, an outside expert such as an educational psychologist, occupational therapist or speech and language therapist may be brought in to further assess some children.
We support girls of all abilities, and this includes advancing girls who are considered gifted and talented. When these girls are identified, teachers consider specific targets for them and lessons are planned to extend and challenge. This means that there is a continued motivation for learning, in a stimulating environment. A weekly gifted and talented maths group is held to help the girls meet with like-minded individuals. They tackle challenges and work on extended problems and projects. In English, talented writers congregate to develop their journalist skills, researching and producing the newspaper The Eaton House Eagle for their peers.
Subject specialist teachers, in art, music and sport, are on hand to provide gifted and talented students with the skills for scholarship. These girls continue to be pushed to reach their full potential.