Upper School (10-13 Years)

The Wider Curriculum

The wider curriculum offers wonderful diversity to the opportunities on offer to children at Pennthorpe. The weekly timetable is littered with a wealth of subjects enabling every child to genuinely discover and explore their strengths and passions. Music, Drama, Humanities, Sports, PE, Computer Science, Art & Design and Design Technology feature every week, delivered by specialist, passionate teachers in purpose built classrooms.


 The Humanities department has a rigorous, cross-curricular and holistic approach to the learning and teaching of History, Religious Studies and Geography.

We develop enquiring learners who offer insightful opinions achieve high academic standards and have an excellent awareness of the heritage, culture and human influences on the world in which we live. We ensure that pupils are equipped to draw conclusions from their knowledge and understanding of the world so that they become global thinkers and socially responsible citizens.

Our department includes the best cross-curricular and thematic based learning and teaching, whilst seeking the highest academic standards for all our pupils to help prepare them for their senior schools. Innovation in Geography inspires curiosity for our incredible yet fragile earth. In History it harnesses skills as well as knowledge and in RS it touches the visible and invisible whilst shaping critical thought.

Computer Science:

 Over the last decade, there has been an ICT revolution and computers are now an essential part of our society.  Computers are built into everyday objects such as mobile telephones, domestic appliances and Smart TVs.  Computers are used as tools to handle information and communicate.  It is vital that all our pupils gain confidence and capability in using ICT to prepare them for later life.  The use of ICT can also enhance and extend a child’s learning across the whole curriculum.  Therefore, at Pennthorpe ICT is an integral part of the curriculum. It is not taught simply so that pupils can obtain a future qualification required by senior schools or employers.  When pupils use ICT they are obtaining a set of skills that will, undoubtedly, be required for the routines of life, for pleasure and for creativity in the future.  The use of computers can be stimulating, motivating and enrich the teaching in all areas of the curriculum.

By its very nature, the Computer Science curriculum is liable to change frequently.  Schemes of Work are reviewed annually and in recent months adjustments have been made to reflect the greater emphasis the DfE has suggested schools place on programming/Computer Science.

Art and Design:

 Art & Design nurtures creativity, imagination and confidence, all transferable skills and useful as part of the toolkit for lifelong learning. The pursuit of Art and Design is hugely enjoyable and complements science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects). It encourages innovation, analysis, evaluation and opportunities for problem solving. The UK’s creative industries contribute almost £90 billion net to GDP and are amongst the jobs least likely to be lost to automation.

Children enjoy the opportunity to explore their creativity through many media from screen printing to textiles, clay to photography; studying multiple artists, visiting galleries and making use of the Art Studio with its own kiln, 3-D printer and graphics element.

Design and Technology:

 Design and Technology combines the fusion of arts, sciences and technology.  At Pennthorpe the subject has traditionally focused upon resistant materials, however the department has broadened and developed the curriculum to explore links to new technologies and engineering as well as including textiles and food.

Through designing and making functional products, pupils apply and enhance their knowledge of core subjects such as Maths and Science.

Games/Physical Education:

Games and PE provides opportunities for pupils to be creative in their thinking and performing, to be competitive and to embrace challenges both individually and as part of a team.  Pupils are encouraged to problem solve, to take risks within their own and team performance and to set themselves targets for improvement.  Through all activity there is an emphasis on promoting a positive attitude towards being active and living a long term healthy lifestyle.

The Games programme enables all pupils to participate in traditional team sports: netball, hockey, rounders and athletics for girls, football, rugby, hockey, cricket and athletics for boys. All children enjoy high quality coaching applied weekly to competitive matches with all boys and girls participating at the appropriate level.

The PE curriculum aims to offer a more diverse range of sports, assisting children in finding a sport they enjoy. Children regularly use the climbing wall, play badminton, basketball, volleyball, tennis amongst a host of other physical activities. There is something for everyone at Pennthorpe.

Music and Drama:

The opportunities for children in the performing arts at Pennthorpe, are immense. Children enjoy weekly lessons in Music and Drama and all are encouraged to learn musical instruments within the curriculum, with in excess of 60% learning additional instruments. All children participate in concerts, performances and the Christmas events.

Children are encouraged to relax and enjoy discovering themselves, their hidden talents and best of all, confidence.

Extreme speed on the athletics field

Challenging performances

Musical groups galore

Creating portfolios