Children are not things to be moulded but people to be unfolded

Jess Lair

Educational Philosophy

No two children are the same

Every child learns differently. Accordingly we embrace different teaching methods including Montessori (for younger children), kinaesthetic, oral, tactile and visual.

The scope to cherry-pick from these various methods, combined with small class sizes, allows us to tailor our teaching approach to each individual child.

Our children benefit from being in an environment where girls and boys learn from each other. Life is co-ed.

This dynamic is particularly beneficial when we set children challenging tasks, or encourage them to work (and play) in teams.

Importantly they are taught mistakes are not failures, but a positive sign they are trying. And that their efforts will always be encouraged, regardless of the outcome.

A good education can change anyone. A good teacher can change everything

Subjects

More than just the basics

Teaching for the youngest children combines the Montessori method and the requirements of the statutory early years foundation stage (EYFS).

The syllabus is based on the national curriculum, supplemented by elements the school has developed to meet the needs of our pupils.

It gives a thorough grounding in reading, writing, maths, science, humanities, religious education (RE) and personal, social, health, citizenship and economic education (PSHCEE).

Orchard House School provides specialist lessons in maths, English, science, computing, French, music, physical education, art/design, technology, eurhythmics and dance.

SUBJECTS IN DETAIL

Breakdown of Classes

Our year group structure

LOWER SCHOOL
Den (nursery):  age 3 to 4
Lower 1 (reception):  age 4 to 5
Form 1:  age 5 to 6
Form 2:  age 6 to 7

Transfer to the Upper School is automatic.

UPPER SCHOOL
Form 3:  age 7 to 8
Form 4:  age 8 to 9
Form 5:  age 9 to 10
Form 6:  age 10 to 11

Parents are offered in-depth information and advice in choosing a subsequent school that will best suit their individual child.

ResulTS AND FUTURE SCHOOLS

Testing

Tracking individual progress

We monitor progress using teachers’ assessments combined with tests which provide standardised national norms. This allows us to track the individual progress of every child.

Testing is operated unobtrusively to the point that younger children do not even realise they are being tested. Little do they know their results allow us to fine-tune their personalised learning programme.

Whole-school screening is also used at various points to make sure children are reaching their potential.

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child

Maria Montessori

Montessori

Embracing Montessori

Although developed in the early 20th century, Montessori remains a buzz word in education today.

At Orchard House School, selected aspects of the Montessori philosophy are included in our teaching methods for our younger children, simply because they work extremely well. All the more so when incorporated with the early years foundation stage (EYFS) curriculum.

The Montessori method centres on mental and physical freedom and child-initiated learning. This encourages pupils to explore concepts and develop skills through their choices and interaction with specially-designed apparatus and materials.

Montessori offers a journey of active personal discovery rather than passive learning and consistently proves to be an invaluable launch to the start of academic life.

Learning Support

Helping every child to fly

At Orchard House, we want every child to reach their full potential. We recognise that not all children learn in the same way and some can find parts of learning a challenge for a variety of reasons. Support is given to those children who need extra help. We work closely with other educational and health-related professionals such as speech and language therapists and occupational therapists.

We work in partnership with the child’s parents to explore the nature of the challenge and to put in place a programme of tailored support, such as one-to-one sessions, extra support in class and differentiated tasks. Our goal is always to ensure that every child can make good progress and achieve success.

We aim to see the children develop into confident people who understand their areas of difficulty and know how to develop strategies to compensate for and overcome certain weaknesses. All pupils, regardless of their specific needs, benefit from inclusive, quality teaching which enables them to make the best possible progress and feel that they are a valued member of the school community.