Academic excellence is achieved through a rigorous, inspiring and broad curriculum which engenders a love of learning in our pupils.
All teachers at Orchard House School share one firm belief: nurturing individuality is the most empathetic and effective way of teaching children to fly. To ensure personal attention, the ratio of staff to pupils is high. Without exception our teachers are highly qualified and ably supported by our carefully chosen team of teaching assistants. Intellectual curiosity and in-depth learning are encouraged through research, general knowledge homework, open-ended investigations and collaborative learning activities. The curriculum is rich, stimulating, varied and challenging, enabling Orchard House pupils to develop their skills and passions. Our teachers are the lifeblood of the school. We only employ extraordinary educators and our industry leading professional development provision with Dukes Education ensures we have the best trained staff to provide a world class education for the students.
STEAM lessons for the older pupils in the prep school involve projects that link Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Computing lessons include coding skills from Year 1 upwards in the new dedicated Science and Technology Centre. English lessons incorporate engaging and imaginative novels, poetry and non-fiction texts to enable pupils to develop their reading and writing skills and to inspire a life-long love of reading. All pupils have weekly library lessons in our extensively stocked libraries. Termly assessments in English, Maths, Science and Reasoning from Year 1 upwards feed into target setting and enable staff to tailor the curriculum to individual pupils to enhance pupil progress and ensure all pupils are challenged. Assessment results and targets are shared with parents. Challenge tasks are incorporated across the curriculum to stretch pupils.
Our school is equipped with specialist teaching facilities for Science & Computing, Art, Design Technology and Music alongside dedicated multi-purpose halls and rooms used for assemblies, Drama and performance. Musical and Dramatic Art play a key role at Orchard House School, with pupils of all ages participating in drama and musical productions, clubs, concerts and assemblies. Musical performance groups include Orchestra, String Group and School Choir.
We are proud of our unique Thinking Skills programme that is being pioneered to develop and enhance our pupils’ ability to be logical, critical and creative thinkers. Weekly Thinking Skills lessons will focus on a wide range of skills such as decision making, lateral thinking, mind-mapping and the use of Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats tool. These skills are also integrated across the curriculum. Orchard House pupils are encouraged to gain a deeper understanding of their own preferred approaches to learning and to gain familiarity with a range of study and revision strategies. The programme also develops pupils’ ability to think philosophically through Philosophy for Children sessions. Habits of mind which are linked to Thinking Skills, such as curiosity, resilience, resourcefulness, persistence and tenacity are encouraged across the curriculum. These habits of mind can play a significant role in a child’s academic success and personal happiness.