Upper School (10-13 Years)

Academic Curriculum

The academic curriculum at Pennthorpe is rigorous and extensive with pupils enjoying a significant degree of English, Maths, Science and Languages each week. Pupils are set for these subjects and taught by specialist teachers: this offers the pupils the very best knowledgeable and passionate education possible. Homework is set for children in each of these academic subjects on a weekly basis. Children are also offered a range of drop in clinics and catch up clubs where they can seek additional support or revisit elements of the curriculum if they choose.

All academic work is heavily differentiated to suit the needs of the children: this is even the case within the sets. Work is structured to encourage independence, develop resilience and curiosity as well as enabling the children to experience and relish success. Children enjoy being pushed out of their comfort zones and taking risks as Pennthorpe.


English is a vital way of communicating in school, at home, socially and in public life.  Increasingly English is the language of business and international communication.  English literature is rich and influential, reflecting the experience of people from many countries and times.  The study of English opens the imagination and provides the freedom to develop the use of a powerful communication tool.

In studying English pupils develop their reading, writing and speaking & listening skills.  By doing this, we would like them to become confident, active and committed to language and literacy. English enables them to express themselves creatively, imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively in a variety of ways.


Mathematics lies at the core of scientific thinking and rational reasoning. It enables us to understand and change the world we live in. At Pennthorpe we believe the learning of mathematics should be magical, fun and engaging so that every child builds the confidence to reach their full potential.

The mathematics curriculum is innovative and exciting, led wherever possible by real life examples. Children are encouraged to be hands on and creative with their mathematics to develop the core skills in number, shape, data and later on algebra.

Problem solving is the key to our children’s future and the mathematics curriculum is based heavily around giving children the skills to become outstanding problem solvers. Our schemes of work provide a wide range of opportunity for students to discover the mathematics in the world around them.


Pennthorpe Science is committed to equipping the students in our care with scientific habits of mind and scientific skill sets. Our goal is for every student of Pennthorpe to leave our department with increased subject knowledge and as happy confident individuals prepared for life outside of the classroom. We aspire to have science make sense to every student, and for each of them to think critically and skeptically about the world they live in and to ultimately question “why”? To be able to achieve this we ensure each individual’s needs are met in each of their lessons, through varied resources and competent identification of pupil abilities, by teaching staff. Beyond this central goal, our general intent is to prepare our students for their future school and beyond, whilst at the same time developing that life-long interest and curiosity for the Sciences.

Science is a field of human endeavour that seeks the truth about how the natural world functions through what is known as “the scientific method.”  Although there is not one single scientific method, the heart of science centers on reasoning and making claims based upon evidence. To reflect these central scientific values, the question that guides Pennthorpe Science Department is: “How can we investigate this claim and know for certain what is true, based on facts?”  As we plan curriculum, lessons, and activities our focus is on presenting relevant and exciting material, placing emphasis on students analyzing data and solving problems, and ensuring wherever possible that pupils experience hands-on practical Science.

Modern Foreign Languages:

Languages at Pennthorpe aims to introduce every child to French at the earliest opportunity: every child, regardless of ability, should be given the opportunity to learn at least one Modern Foreign Language. We aim to introduce the majority of pupils to a second Modern Foreign Language in their final two years at Pennthorpe which is usually Spanish with some children also enjoying German. For those children who struggle with English, a second language offers an opportunity to undertake some additional tutoring in English.

Technology enhances pupil learning

Independent learning in the classroom

Extensive STEM programme

Focus and engagement in learning