Lower School (6-9 Years)

Academic Curriculum

The teaching and learning process in the Lower School is at the centre of all we do. We aim to offer our children a rich and varied learning experience which teaches new skills and knowledge, while allowing children to achieve those light bulb moments which we are so well known for. We prepare children for future learning in the fullest sense, ensuring that children become well rounded, independent and confident learners.

As educators, we want our children to leave Pennthorpe ready to step into a rapidly growing and innovative world. The ability to think creativity and explore new ideas will be vital to our children’s futures. So, where better to start this than Pennthorpe Lower School?

You will find our classrooms full of creative thinking. Our approach to education encourages children to think for themselves, explore their world and surroundings and question what they find. Buzz and vibrancy flows through our school and children are enveloped in curriculum learning and engaged with a creative spark. One day you might be walking through a forest, the next learning what it was like to be in the Court of King Henry VIII.

For our youngest children, at the centre of this is play. This vital vehicle for development helps children to grow many skills and thought processes. Play is the work of the child, during which so many life skills are practised and rehearsed. Children will experiment, imitate, negotiate, test and prepare for life. It is more than ‘just play’ at Pennthorpe!

Growth Mindset:

Pennthorpe children are wonderful individuals with their own interests, needs, talents and passions. Motivation is the key to pupil achievement at any age. Here at Pennthorpe creativity flows though our teaching methods which allows us to ignite interests, inspire passions and appeal to all learners. Pupils are still discovering for themselves which learning methods work best for them, therefore we recognise and take account of this through careful, creative planning so that children have a rich learning experience and can discover what works best for them.

We celebrate what a child excels in, but also encourage and motivate children to take risks and find ways of finding solutions for themselves to conquer fears and challenges in their voyages of discovery. It is always important to remember that it is through making mistakes and taking on new challenges and risks that we ultimately learn and succeed.

What is it like to be in Years 1 and 2?

Once in Year 1, more structured learning takes place, although a play based approach to learning is never far away! We build on and extend those keys skills taught through the 7 Areas of Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Our topic based approach to learning will inspire and excite! It allows us to deliver all areas of the Curriculum in an interactive way while teaching those key skills and concepts that go beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum. We are able to envelope your child in an exciting time, event or take them to another world or geographical location! Imagination, creativity and enquiry are part of the everyday in Years 1-2!

At the centre of all that we do in Years 1-2 are our timetabled dedicated core subject lessons. We champion the acquisition of key academic skills and dedicate an hour a day to English and Maths teaching. Our challenging Maths curriculum builds upon prior learning experiences while taking the children to the next level, testing their thinking and encouraging independent learning. Areas such as phonics, letter formation and number skills will be taught in the form of a ‘lesson’ with a specific focus or learning objective. Children are then given plenty of opportunities to practice, develop, extend and revise their emerging skills.

By following a well-structured timetable, the children in Year 1 and 2 experience specialist teaching in Music, PE, Games and French, alongside class-based learning to explore exciting and varied topics.

What is it like to be in Years 3-4?

As our children move beyond Key Stage One, the learning route takes a slightly more formal approach again. Our children partake in a structured Maths and English lesson daily, following and exceeding the National Curriculum Objectives. They are encouraged to test and challenge, as well as practise and extend their own learning. Other class based lessons included guided reading, spelling and mental Maths.

Topic based work forms the centre of all that we do and our Year 3 and 4 children will take part in many exciting studies and projects. Classrooms will buzz as children learn about the past and the future. Key enquiry skills and investigation techniques will be discovered, ready for their future learning.

Specialist teaching will take place in Music, Drama, Games, PE, Computer Science, Art and DT. This provides children with expert knowledge and a great transition beyond the Lower School. All Pennthorpe’s amazing facilities are used and explored by Years 3 and 4. With this in mind, the SkyLab is used for Science, taught by the class teacher.

However, the children have their own class base and their Form Teacher supports all pastoral needs. It is the perfect balance between that first step to moving around the school from classroom to classroom and having a real class ‘home’ where they belong and are valued.

Sharing our thoughts with one another

Working together to maximise our learning

Everyone progresses at their own rate