During their final two years of primary education, the girls enter an exciting stage which sees them beginning to reach towards the opportunities of adolescence whilst still enjoying the enthusiasms and freedom of childhood. Cartwheeling, singing and skipping are still frequent sights in the garden! At the same time, intellectual and physical developments enable the girls to take on greater challenges and explore the wider world.
The move to Somerleaze House at the beginning of Upper II (Year 5) is an important milestone for the girls, gradually preparing them for the next stage of their education with the move to the senior school at the end of Lower III (Year 6).
Upper II (Year 5) begins with the excitement of the girls having their own locker to store all of their belongings in! A small step in them becoming more organised, responsible and independent. The girls are all trained early to be a Playground Buddies who then help to organise games and support the younger girls with their friendships. In the classroom, they are taught and exposed to a variety of different study skills and techniques. Developing resilience is very important as they face challenges both academically through a more in-depth curriculum, and socially, as friendships develop. Highlights of Upper II include a week long residential to Dartmoor to develop co-operation and responsibility and a year group production with two evening performances.
As well as preparing the girls academically, Lower III (Year 6), brings many more opportunities for increased responsibilities. The girls can put themselves forward to be elected as PE, Music, Eco and Charity Captains for their house; every girl is given the opportunity to be a prefect for a term and girls are also given the chance to play with the youngest girls in the Nursery in Knell House – both age groups find this a really rewarding experience. Lessons are delivered with more emphasis on the girls’ development as self-aware learners - preparing them for life at secondary school. The year culminates in a variety of celebratory experiences – a year group production using their musical, dance and narration talents; a residential trip to Bude, where girls learn to surf and abseil down an 80ft cliff; and a Leavers Ceremony.
Then the next stage of the journey beckons….