At Quainton Hall we concur with educational theorists who emphasise the importance of the creative mind and ‘emotional intelligence’ and ‘wellbeing’ – the need to develop the whole personality and children’s imaginations especially. Drama has the power to liberate the mind.
Drama has been used over the course of history from the time of Aristotle, who believed that theatre provided people a way to release emotions, right to the beginning of the progressive movement in education, where emphasis was placed upon ‘doing’ rather than memorising. Integrating drama helps children in various ways.
At KS1, Drama is an ideal subject for young children to experience. It is invaluable as a means for developing communication skills, encouraging positive social interaction, increasing physical control and teaching children how to listen and respond appropriately. It is essential, for example, that children at this stage of their development learn to listen and respond to instructions and many drama games contain this element as an implicit part of the activities.
At KS2, Drama can help pupils to be more confident and assertive when faced with situations which cause them distress, through peer pressure and social inclusion issues.
Further development of language and communication skills are also an essential element of drama work, as are encouraging independent work, positive group interaction, negotiation skills, maintaining appropriate responses, further developing speaking and listening skills and facilitating creative expression.
We encourage all Quainton Hall pupils to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society.
We place great importance on ensuring pupils develop an understanding of not only themselves and their relationships with others, but the wider world around them.
PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) is taught through discreet and cross-curricular lessons. It promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepares them for all opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in life. Our aim is to develop pupils’ self-esteem as well as their appreciation of the views, opinions and cultures of others.
In Key Stage 2 pupils will learn about themselves in more depth as they become more mature and self-confident. As they begin to develop into young adults, they will receive full support and encouragement to face the changes of puberty and transfer to secondary school. They learn how to make more informed choices about their own health and environment; to take more responsibility, individually and as a part of a group.
Music is a great strength of Quainton Hall.
From Pre-Prep there are weekly music lessons in which the children can sing and learn to use musical instruments. Children in Year 2 learn to play the recorder and from that year onwards children can opt to have instrumental lessons. The school offers tuition on all orchestral and band instruments, as well as drums, guitar and piano.
Visiting Music Teachers are highly qualified, with several playing in leading London orchestras and shows. ABRSM examinations are held at school once a year and several children have reached Grade 6, 7 and 8 by the time they leave the School. A number of children have gained scholarships and awards to senior schools, including John Lyon and Harrow.
Extra-curricular opportunities for music making include:
In recent years the school has put on a large scale musical every year, with children from the prep school singing, dancing and acting to a high standard.
Art is an integral part of Quainton Hall’s curriculum, providing our pupils with a unique means of expressing their ideas by allowing them to explore new thoughts and give life to their creative minds.
Children are taught techniques to develop skills, sketch and paint based on observation, understand and appreciate art, learn about world-renowned artists and develop independent artwork. This is planned and covered as part of a core curriculum across the early, primary and middle years.
We end the year with an annual inter-house Art competition; a festive event that showcases the talent and learning of the pupils across all years.
The early years are introduced to the basic concepts of drawing and colouring. They learn to recognise the primary and secondary colours of the colour wheel while being encouraged to draw independently. Theme-based crafts are part of the curriculum.
Each term, pupils are introduced to the elements of art and explore their application. Learning about art timelines, art movements and artists are part of the curriculum. From designing book covers to posters, lots of team work, exploring the techniques of world renowned artists, lessons are busy and full of creative fun and learning.
After School activities
The after School Art Clubs are among the most popular choices of the pupils. Here they combine various techniques and add an element of fun to them. They work towards an exhibition at the end of their six-week term, which boosts their creativity and encourages them to go further.
History is taught throughout the School and pupils are encouraged to find out about events and peoples.
EYFS and Pre-Prep
The youngest children cover historical stories and information through ‘topics’, such as ‘London’.
In Prep years we cover different eras from history, such as the Romans, the Tudors, Medieval times and World War II.
Children write, make posters and models, and enjoy role play. There are regular visits to galleries and museums in central London, St Albans and Oxford. Our oldest children have had great success with history for senior school entrance examinations and as part of the humanities papers favoured by some senior schools.
Older children are given the chance to enter the prestigious Townsend-Warner history award – a prize that is over 100-years-old and that has previously been attempted by famous names such as Winston Churchill and George Orwell. Quainton Hall pupils have regularly featured in the top 50 prize winners and a few years ago a pupil won the first prize, coming ahead of pupils from some of the leading preparatory schools in the country.
Planet Earth is our only home. It is an mind-blowing, diverse and constantly changing place of awesome beauty and power.
In studying geography, pupils investigate the links between people and their environment on both local and international scales. The subject encompasses the natural processes that shape the planet, the cultural diversity of its inhabitants, and issues that our environments face.
As geographers at Quainton Hall, we are passionate about discovering how our world works and what impact humans are having on its fragile existence.
Teachers in the department are committed to cultivating the knowledge and understanding of the pupils and also developing the thinking skills which are so vital in the study of Geography. In doing this, we are able to explore values and issues, and to challenge stereotypes, whilst still encouraging the children to think for themselves.
French is the language of our nearest neighbours, probably the easiest foreign language for English speakers to learn and, after English, one of the most widely-learned languages worldwide.
We believe in giving pupils a solid grounding in French as well as in teaching them lots about the joy of travelling in France, experiencing French culture and about the huge number of other countries which are part of the French-speaking world.
EYFS and Pre-Prep
In the early stages the emphasis is on enjoyment and communication, with lots of the learning being done through songs and mime.
As the pupils progress into Prep, the focus begins to include the acquisition of a wide vocabulary. Pupils practise role plays and short drama sketches in make-believe cafés and shops. It is hoped that they will be able to make use of this if they go to France on holiday.
They then begin to learn verbs and study French grammar in detail – whilst continuing the fun and communication. Older pupils have opportunities to study French poems and songs and even to watch a French TV series.
We follow the Expo course (books 1, 2 and 3) which contains a wealth of lively reading and listening texts as well as clear grammar explanations. This is supplemented with lots of the department’s self-made resources – along with specialist websites and traditional grammar books.
• What is religion?
• How did the universe begin?
• Why do people suffer?
• Why do Christians celebrate Easter?
• How does religion affect society?
• What do Jews believe about life after death?
• Are there different ways of seeing the truth?
The main aim of Religious Studies is to promote the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development of pupils by encouraging them to explore those aspects of human experience which raise fundamental questions about beliefs and values. Children are encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards followers of other faiths and to understand that people express beliefs and ideas in a variety of ways.
We achieve our aims through the use of:
• a wide range of up-to-date, attractive textbooks for all classes
• DVDs and online resources
• interactive whiteboards in every classroom
• an extensive range of high quality artefacts
• photo packs
• drama, art and music
• visiting speakers and visits to places of worship
The syllabus for pupils covers a range of different topics, including:
• Christmas journeys
• Muslim beliefs and practices
• Faith and the arts
• Religions in our neighbourhood
• Worship and community
Learning reflects the fact that the religious traditions of the United Kingdom are, in the main, Christian while taking into account other principal religions that are represented. Pupils study a full issues-based course requiring the ability to read and interpret religious texts and understand religion in its contemporary setting. It also provides the opportunity for all pupils, of any religious persuasion or none, to discuss and express their thoughts and opinions – and to demonstrate their attainment, irrespective of their gender or ethnic or social background.
The core of every science lesson at Quainton Hall is about developing every pupil’s curiosity in the world around them.
They are encouraged to think creatively, observe phenomena, ask questions and to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills. This means they can make progress and become independent learners.
In the Pre-Prep, the Science curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. It is broad, well balanced and allows pupils to experience and observe phenomena. Children are also encouraged to be curious and ask questions about what they notice through their first hand practical experiences, relevant real life examples and current affairs.
In the Prep years, Common Entrance specifications are covered and our pupils achieve impressive results.
Pupils enjoy taking part in our scientific debates: Topics include Should animal testing be banned? and What are the arguments for and against renewable or non-renewable energy?. These debates allow pupils to gain more in depth knowledge of such topics, and they can question the ethical issues related to science.
Exciting practical experiments are carefully designed and incorporated into lessons to enhance pupils’ understanding of scientific concepts. Pupils are regularly assessed throughout every academic year to ensure they are all making progress and reaching their potential.
Science is taught by the Head of Science, who is a subject specialist, in a fully equipped laboratory. Pupils study all three disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics as part of the science curriculum.
Pupils have numerous opportunities to explore science outside the classroom through events and workshops such as Animal Roadshows, National Science Quiz Competitions, attending the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry event at UK’s leading universities such as UCL or Imperial.
We provide a wide range of sporting activities and opportunities for all children.
We offer a full programme of competitive fixtures against other schools, with dates detailed in the termly calendar sent to all parents and via the school website.
We enjoy the benefits of a heated indoor swimming pool and AstroTurf pitch on the school site and have extensive use of John Lyon’s 25-acre sports pitches, a short journey from the school.
At Quainton Hall, Computing covers the use of electronic technology in all its forms, including computers and other communication devices.
From the earliest classes, pupils have computers in their classrooms, allowing staff to integrate computing practice within any lesson they choose. In addition, all pupils from the Reception class upwards have a Computing lesson in their weekly timetable.
Our Computing suite contains Windows based PCs for each member of the class (enabling individual work to be undertaken most of the time). These are networked, and appropriate internet filtering is in place, along with an acceptable use policy which is agreed by staff, parents and pupils. From Year 3, each pupil has their own password-controlled file space on the server, where their work-in-progress is stored.
Computing skills (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases etc.) are all covered through the children’s Computing lessons, along with a continuous strand of computing topics – introducing the basics of sequencing (simple programming) from an early age. As the pupils progress, they are introduced to several programming languages, and start to use simple programmable devices (such as the BBC micro:bit) as an introduction to the IOT (internet of things).
Opportunities for appropriate cross-curricular interaction are actively sought through all years. Computing has obvious links with Maths and Science, but can be used in support of any other written subject. Projects can be supported well, both with research and presentation. In particular, Geography projects required by pupils for future examinations are fully integrated into teaching where needed.
Mathematics is a key subject for children of all ages at Quainton Hall.
From an early age, children:
All pupils have access to the MyMaths and BOFA websites and we encourage the use of these at home and in school.
A regular lunchtime Maths clinic runs every Thursday and Friday. Pupils can receive one to one or small group assistance with any issue they have been encountering.
From Reception through to Prep 3, the children are taught Mathematics by their form teachers. At the end of Prep 3, children are arranged into ability groups and taught by specialist Mathematics teachers. These groups follow the same syllabus, working at a pace which suits each pupil’s needs. The groups are flexible and children are constantly re-assessed. This information is shared with both the pupil and the parents.
English is taught using lively and creative methods through a variety of texts and resources incorporating ICT from Pre-Prep onwards.
Progress is carefully monitored and pupils are supported so they achieve their potential.
The library is stocked with fiction and non-fiction books. Visits by speakers and authors take place regularly. Pupils take part in national competitions, ‘More Able Writers’ Workshops’ and trips to the theatre.
Our primary aim is to develop confidence and achievement in the skills of:
This enables our pupils to leave us with an enthusiasm for English as they enter their secondary school education.