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Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Albert Einstein, possibly the greatest physicist of all time

Our multifaceted approach

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Skills based

We teach children the skills they need to put themselves in the driving seat of their own destiny

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Our children experience an incredibly wide range of subjects, which expands their horizons (and ours)!

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Innovation is our bread and butter, modelled by our staff, reflected in our curriculum and harnessed by our children

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Our small class sizes means every child receives a tailored experience.

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to learn

We think carefully about how children learn rather than being obsessed by what they learn. Of course, subject specific content knowledge is imperative for passing compulsory exams, and we achieve excellence year on year in all external and senior school entry exams. However, it is more important that we instil in our children the capacity to own, and be in charge of, their own learning.

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Pennthorpe Purpose

Underpinning all teaching and learning, the Pennthorpe Purpose focuses all children on the key learning dispositions, designed to enable every child to experience success and work beyond their capabilities, in the classroom and beyond. We want to develop children as confident and capable learners – ready, willing and able to choose, design, research, pursue, troubleshoot, and evaluate learning for themselves, alone and with others.

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“93% of employers cite critical thinking, communication, team empathy and problem solving skills as more important than a candidates’ academic profile.” Hart Research Associates, leading US public opinion research firm

Academic results


of Pennthorpe pupils score above the national average in reading, spelling, maths and comprehension


of pupils in Years 3 - 8 have a champion, a staff member who challenges, supports, monitors and guides the progress of each and every individual pupil


of pupils gained entry to their first choice of senior school in 2022


of Year 8 pupils over the last 5 years have gained Senior School Scholarships.

Our Common Entrance Results

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Specialist Teaching

and Facilities

Our pupils benefit from specialist teaching from 2 years old, within facilities designed to enhance the experience of our children.

Our littlest children, in our Honey Pot and Beehive nurseries, visit the MUGA, Sports Hall and Performing Arts studios for specialist Sport and Performing Arts lessons. From Reception, the children also visit the Art Studio and Computing Suite for their Art and Computing lessons. MFL Staff visit the classrooms in Pre-Prep for language lessons, and then from Year 3, all Science lessons take place in our specialist Science Labs.

Full specialist teaching begins from the age of 9, in Year 5.

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“I’m taught by subject specialists so I’m always stretched and challenged. My teachers are passionate, knowledgeable and inspiring.“ Year 4 pupil and future world leader
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Technology compliments rather than dominates our education and enables children to experience a range of Apple and Android devices. The classrooms are equipped with iPads, desktops and a hybrid classroom set up, enabling all children to access the curriculum, whether they are in school or not. A fully equipped Computing Suite, a recording studio and an abundance of laptops gives access to all, with every pupil in Year 5 upwards owning their own laptop, supported by the school.

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“Class sizes are small so I get a lot of individual support from teachers.” Year 8 pupil and future thespian

Small class sizes

Pennthorpe pupils enjoy the many benefits of small classes: in the Prep School no class is larger than 20 pupils with the average class being 15 pupils. Small class sizes ensure:

  • Each Pupil enjoys a high level of Time and Attention: In a smaller class, it’s more difficult for children to hide and get left behind. Fewer children mean that each one gets attention from the teacher, and they are encouraged to progress as an individual and participate more actively.
  • Better Results: Research has shown that children in smaller classes have higher grades and perform better in their entrance exams.
  • Pupil Learning is Enhanced: Not only do children learn more in small classes, they also learn faster, and this means the class progresses through the course material more quickly. Their learning is enhanced by the confidence children develop to share their opinions and ask and answer questions, which also benefits their peers.
  • Teachers can Teach: Teachers working with small classes have more opportunities to observe and assess the class as a whole and the children as individuals. Learning is further enhanced when teachers and children can interact spontaneously in the classroom.
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“Somehow the teachers have the class under such voice control while instilling a great sense of enjoyment and fun, which keeps pupils all leaning forward, answering each question on their own and up on their toes.” Mr D, parent