During their final two years at The Junior School, students are encouraged to embrace their growing independence while still enjoying the freedoms of childhood. The physical move to Somerleaze House affords a sense of ‘moving up’ and is an important milestone for students, gradually preparing them for the next stage of their education with the move to The Abbey Senior School at the end of Year 6.

The academic pace increases as the students move through to the final stage of the Junior School experience. In addition to the core curriculum, which is taught by form teachers, specialist teachers ensure that as well as the depth of learning there is also breadth. Two double Science lessons per week are on the timetable, both of which are taught in the Science Lab.  Other specialist teachers include French, PE, Music and Computing. Maths and English lessons are enhanced by weekly ‘extra’ lessons, where girls are split into much smaller groups of around 5 or 6 to work on aspects of the curriculum that they may need support with or where they would benefit from further academic stretch and challenge.

Girls are encouraged to explore and discuss issues that impact them and that are part of wider social discourse. They are supported in these discussions in order to ensure that their voices are heard and valued. Developing resilience is extremely important as they face challenges in terms of curriculum and socially as their friendships develop. Acknowledgement and understanding that these challenges are normal to underpins all that we do in preparing the girls for the next stage of their educational journey.

Upper II

Girls in Upper II play an important role in our wider school community and part of this is in their role as ‘Playground Buddies’. This is a position available exclusively to our Year 5 students and involves them helping younger students, suggesting and playing inclusive games and ensuring equipment is treated with respect. The educational visits programme continues with a five day trip to Dartmoor in October and an overnight camping trip in June as well as a variety of day visits and workshops. Personal expression is encouraged; the UII Production is the first evening performance many girls will have had the experience of taking part in. Adding to that the make-up, stage lights and live musical accompaniment makes for an unforgettable experience. Sporting fixtures are a regular part of the school year and girls are encouraged to take part in these.

Lower III

As well as preparing our students academically for their move to our Senior School, there is a focus on personal preparations. Independence, organisation and responsibility all play a large part in the life of a Lower III student. A team-building trip to Oakwood starts the Autumn term and allows girls to explore their relationships with each other and work together collaboratively outside the classroom environment. Every student is given the opportunity to be a Prefect for a term as well as running as a House Captain in a range of positions including Music, Sport, Science, Outdoor, Charity, Kindness & Wellbeing and Curiosity. As the girls move confidently towards the end of their Junior School experience the Summer term allows them all a period of reflection and celebration. An Exhibition of Learning takes place during the Summer term, along with a week-long residential by the sea, a Lower III year group performance, a musical recital and a Leavers’ Ceremony. These events allow us to celebrate all that our students have achieved, whether they have been with us since Nursery or joined us more recently.