Children in Years 3-8 need the opportunity to experience a wide variety of academic, practical and physical activities so that they can develop an extensive range of skills and discover where their talents lie. In the Prep Department, generous amounts of time are given over to physical and practical activities, whilst also ensuring that high standards are maintained in academic subjects.
Our Year 3 pupils continue to receive much of their education from their form teacher, as this provides an important supportive environment, but they benefit from the expertise of specialist subject teachers in French, DT, ICT, Music, PE and Games. From Year 5, pupils receive all of their education from specialist subject teachers.
In order to continue to provide an appropriate level of pastoral care, pupils are assigned to small Tutor Groups, where they remain with the same tutor for the duration of their time at Town Close.
Many of our subject curriculums are designed around the QCA Schemes of Work and the ISEB syllabus. The QCA schemes of work are published by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency to support the National Curriculum. Town Close School, in common with all independent schools, is not obliged to follow these schemes, but we use them when we feel it is appropriate to do so.
On entering Year 7, pupils start to follow the Common Entrance (CE) Syllabus for most subjects. They are assessed through exams at the end of Year 8, which serve as entrance exams for most of the wide variety of schools that pupils move on once their time at Town Close School is over. In recent years pupils have moved on to boarding schools including Culford, Eton, Framlingham College, Gresham’s, Oundle, Uppingham and Wymondham College. Others move on to day schools such as Norwich School, Norwich High School and Langley. Many of these schools offer academic scholarships and so a small extra stream is included in Years 7 and 8 for subjects, enabling us to provide the high level of focussed teaching needed for pupils to tackle these demanding entrance exams proficiently.
Internal school exams are also set twice a year, helping pupils to gain sufficient experience to cope with the Common Entrance subject exams.
Parents receive a detailed report twice a year and are also invited to a consultation evening. Effort grades are sent twice a term; whilst necessarily subjective, they are important as they give an indication of a child’s attitude to their studies. In the long term, attitude is more important than any other measure of attainment during a pupil’s school career.
Town Close School is characterised by an understanding of this and beyond the details of the organisation of the curriculum, is dedicated to promoting a positive approach to learning along with the associated skills of perseverance, concentration, independent thinking and study skills.