In Junior House, phonics is taught from Nursery to Form II following the Read Write Inc. synthetic phonics scheme. This enables pupils to read the 44 sounds of the English language fluently and quickly. They are taught these sounds and gradually begin to read colour coded books to ensure steady progression and also develop their comprehension and writing skills in differentiated groups. Apart from the Read Write Inc scheme for language and literacy, pupils also read books from other reading schemes including the Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat series. Spellings are taught and tested weekly, and pupils’ writing is enriched by the ideas of Ros Wilson, amongst others. Pupils are set termly writing targets based on a criterion scale linked to the National Curriculum Writing Levels. Pupils read daily in a group, to a teacher or Learning Support Assistant until they have achieved fluency. They also choose books weekly from the Junior House Library. The annual Junior House Production and professional drama workshops develop pupils’ skills in this area.
In Senior House, pupils continue to read regularly, both with their teacher in a weekly class reading lesson or independently. They are also furnished with Reading Lists from which they choose texts from the Class and Senior House Libraries. Pupils follow the Read Write Inc. spelling scheme for the new curriculum until Year VI when they concentrate on spellings involving similar prefixes or suffixes. Weekly “Big Writing” lessons are preceded by fast-paced oracy lessons, involving improving pupils’ vocabulary, their use of connectives, varying sentence openers and using a wide range of punctuation. The English curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for English, where writing genre are explored, but is enhanced with regular grammar and comprehension skills lessons, backed up with homework activities. Pupils all take part in the annual Senior House Drama Production, write poems for regular displays and the Banstead Poetry Festival, visit the Polka Theatre every year and take part in a workshop production of a Shakespeare play performed by a professional “Theatre In Education” company. Form VI pupils prepare a poem of their choice and perform in the annual Poetry Speaking competition. Pupils at Seaton House are prepared for 11+ entrance examinations in English and entry to a wide variety of Independent Schools from September to January in Form VI and for the S.A.Ts in May.
At Seaton House School our aim is to make mathematics fun, interactive, and practical. We make the most of weekly maths challenges to encourage participation and ensure our pupils are enthusiastic about achieving great results.
At Seaton House our aim is to give the girls an appreciation of the nature of mathematics. In addition to being a subject in its own right, mathematics underpins all other subjects. The girls learn the language and skills of mathematics in a focused and entertaining environment.
Mathematics is taught across Key Stage 1 and 2 and the school, has its own programme of study based on the National Strategy for Mathematics. Work within lessons is differentiated according to the girls’ ability, with specialist Mathematics teachers providing lessons from Forms III to VI, with some lessons benefiting from two specialist Mathematics teachers per class.
Times Tables badges are awarded to girls from Form III upwards as they progress through their tables to mentally recall all the tables up to x12.
Girls begin preparing for the eleven plus exams towards the end of Form IV, with practice eleven plus papers given throughout Form V, as well as an eleven plus summer revision course in the holidays before the exam.
Seaton House participates in and achieves great success in the Primary Maths Challenge with many candidates receiving Gold, Silver, or Bronze certificates. World Maths day is also celebrated in school, whereby the younger girls work with the older girls carrying out problem solving and investigations. External companies are invited to provide mathematical workshops that help to further develop the girls’ enthusiasm for the subject.
Seaton House engages in community links with other local schools. In the past, Seaton House has hosted a Gifted and Talented Problem Solving workshop with four other schools in the Borough.
Seaton House subscribes to websites such as ‘mymaths’ which provides online games and activities for all girls from Reception to Form VI, to use both at school and at home
Overall Mathematics at Seaton House School aims to encourage the girls to question, develop investigative thinking, and apply their knowledge to real life problems.
At Seaton House, we have several aims in teaching Science. We want to prepare our girls for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world. We strive to teach Science in ways that are imaginative, purposeful, well managed and enjoyable. A priority is to foster concern about and actively care for our environment, helping our girls acquire a growing understanding of scientific ideas whilst developing and extending their scientific concept of their world.
In teaching Science, we hope to develop positive attitudes by building our girls’ natural curiosity and developing a scientific approach to problems by encouraging open-mindedness, self-assessment, perseverance and responsibility. By working independently, we hope to raise their self-confidence as well as developing their social skills to work cooperatively with others. We hope these experiences will inspire them to want to study Science further.
In teaching Science, we aim to develop skills by giving an understanding of scientific processes through acquiring practical scientific skills. Scientific skills we strive to extend are: observing, measuring, predicting, hypothesising, experimenting, communicating, interpreting, explaining and evaluating. Along with these, we also aim to develop the use of scientific language and recording, using ICT to do this wherever possible.
Science at Seaton House is a wonderful opportunity to create girls who are confident, self-motivated and with a curiosity to learn more about the world around them.
Form VI begin a short Latin course, ‘Minimus’, in the Spring Term. The course introduces pupils to a real family that lived at Vindolanda, near Hadrian’s Wall, at the beginning of the second century AD. Through the family’s various adventures , pupils learn something of what it meant to be invaded by the Romans, to serve in the Roman army, and to be the wife or child of someone serving in the army. Pupils begin to speak and read Latin and are introduced to nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. This course also helps pupils to understand English grammar and to extend their English vocabulary.
The aim of the course is to give pupils a taste of the language of Latin, and for the girls to have fun and to enjoy learning about Roman Britain. Many of the girls enjoy the course so much that they choose Latin as one of their language options when they transfer to secondary school.
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils think, feel and act. It is a subject where children of all abilities can participate and enjoy the success of their work. At Seaton House we aim to provide opportunities for all our pupils to build their self esteem and confidence through regular musical performances throughout the year. We develop pupils’ abilities to make informed critical responses to their own work and that of others, using an appropriate musical vocabulary. Pupils learn to read conventional musical notation as they play the ocarina (in Junior House) and the recorder (in Senior House). They also learn about the musical elements and are encouraged to value the contribution made to the world by musicians and composers from other cultures and times.
Music is a foundation subject and appears in the “Creative Development” aspect of the Early Years Foundation Stage. From Year 1, Seaton House bases its Music curriculum on the QCA scheme of work to ensure balance and maintain progression. Singing features in musical performances involving pupils of all ages throughout the school including the Christmas Production showcasing Nursery and Reception classes. Other musical events throughout the year include; Harvest Celebrations, Form Assemblies, the annual Junior House production, Speech Day performances, individual and group performances at the annual Spring Concert and an exciting end of year Senior House Production. Most importantly of all, music is very enjoyable at Seaton House!
At Seaton House, every girl from Reception to Form VI is taught French because we believe that it gives our girls a good opportunity to acquire language learning skills from the earliest schooling age.
During the introductory stage in Junior House, the language is taught orally through songs and games, with the emphasis being very much on fun-based activities.
The Reception children learn simple topics such as numbers, colours, greetings, animals and food and drinks. In Form I the topics are revised and simple phrases are also introduced.
A French scheme is introduced in Form II which carries on through Forms III and IV and in Form V, the work is based around French grammar and vocabulary and more complex phrases. The girls also produce some small role-plays and scenes acted in French.
All the girls are encouraged to communicate in French during the lessons and the assessment of their oral performance is on-going.
Physical Education is unique in that it supports and enhances the rest of the school curriculum. At Seaton House we provide high quality PE and through encouragement and support we develop our pupils’ skills and talents, leading them gradually into the major invasion games of netball and hockey, striking and fielding games and also tennis, swimming, athletics, gymnastics and dance where they learn to perform with increasing competence and also learn how to apply their skills and creative, compositional ideas.
We try to inspire and enrich our pupils by arranging trips to sporting events and through inviting dance companies into our school for workshops. We also provide opportunities to take part in challenging and exciting activities including a full programme of inter-school matches and tournaments, swimming championships and inter-house competitions. Our 5 day outdoor activity week, for Years 5 &6, on the Isle of Wight is considered by the pupils to be one of the highlights of their time at Seaton House.
Through these opportunities our pupils learn to develop positive attitudes such as perseverance, self confidence, co-operation, respect for each other, rules and conventions and the ability to compete fairly. They learn to make informed choices about a healthy and active lifestyle and develop a love of physical activity so that it continues into adult life.
History lessons at Seaton House develop children’s sense of identity through learning about the evolution of Britain, Europe and the world. Children also become acquainted with what is involved in understanding and interpreting the past.
Pupils at Seaton House first encounter historical concepts in the Foundation Stage, where history is not taught as a discrete subject, but is integrated across the Early Learning Goals. Children are encouraged to differentiate between past and present by finding out about their own lives and the lives of those around them.
In Key Stage 1, history is about the lives and lifestyles of famous people in the recent and more distant past, including those from British history. Being able to place events in chronological order, use common phrases relating to the passing of time, identify differences between ways of life at different times and find out about the past from a range of sources are just some of the skills that pupils learn during their time in Key Stage 1 at Seaton House.
In Key Stage 2 pupils study a number of significant periods in British history, starting with the Roman conquest of Britain and finishing with the Second World War. They also have the opportunity to investigate another world civilisation through individual guided projects. As well as building on the skills acquired in Key Stage 1, pupils learn to recognise that the past is represented in different ways, to give reasons for and results of historical events and changes in the periods studied, and to make links within and across different periods and societies studied.
Wherever possible links are made between the pupils’ studies in history and other subjects. For example English, music and art may all link with the periods being studied at various times and all subject teachers take care to draw pupils’ attention to these links, fostering their interest in historical concepts. Pupils’ gain further insight into the lives of those who used to live in Britain through visits to museums and homes of significant historical figures.
Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them and the people who live in them.
Pupils at Seaton House first encounter geographical concepts in the Foundation Stage, where geography is not taught as a discrete subject, but is integrated across the Early Learning Goals. Children have access to a wide range of resources and activities, including play mats and maps, stories and observation of their environment. These help them to develop the geographical skills that they will need in Key Stage 1.
Geography in Key Stage 1 is taught by form teachers through topics such as Weather, Our Local Area, the Seaside and so on. In Key Stage 2 it is taught by the geography teacher as a discrete subject. Many aspects of geography are covered including how landscapes are shaped, the features of desert, polar and tropical climates, a study of a less economically developed country and the problems of global pollution. Throughout both key stages, pupils develop the skills needed for geographical inquiry, such as map-reading, alongside their learning about geographical concepts.
In geography teaching at Seaton House there is a strong emphasis on the environment and our responsibility to minimise our impact on it. Environmental problems are discussed, but pupils are always encouraged to think positively about how they as individuals can make a difference to the world around them. The WOW scheme is an example of something which pupils can participate in and feel that they are playing a small part in reducing pollution as well as improving their health. Their interest in that world is fostered through a variety of means including day trips to places of environmental significance and residential trips such as the annual Form V and VI trip to the Isle of Wight.
The core of computing is Computer Science and at the heart of this lies computational thinking. The girls are taught how computer systems work as well as how they are designed and programmed. it is a practical subject, encouraging creativity and resourcefulness.
Throughout the school, an emphasis is put on using technology safely, ensuring all our pupils know where to go should they have any concerns.
ART & DESIGN TECHNOLOGY
Whilst we broadly follow the National Curriculum for these subject, we like to go beyond what is recommended and give our girls and much more varied and interesting experience of these subjects. The girls will work within many difference media experiencing both 3D as well as 2D. Work is offered up for competitions and exhibitions as they arise and both subjects are highly regarded as part of a rounded educational experience. Both the girls and their parents enjoy seeing their work on display around the school and visitors are always impressed with the high standard of imaginative and creative craftsmanship.
Religious Education at Seaton House follows Government advice that it should “reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.” Girls at Seaton House come from a variety of religious backgrounds or none. In teaching girls about both Christianity and all the other major world religions which they are are likely to come into contact with, we aim to promote religious understanding, tolerance and community cohesion.
In Key Stage 2 girls learn basic facts about each religion studied such as how and when it was founded, terminology relating to beliefs and practices, traditions of the religion and so on. We also discuss in as much depth as is appropriate for the age of the pupils, the beliefs of each religion. They have many opportunities to ask questions and expressing their own opinions is encouraged, although always in a way that respects the varied beliefs of those around them. Religious Studies is followed for half of each school year during Key Stage 2 and one or two religions at most are studied per year group.
Discussion is a large part of the teaching of Religious Studies at Seaton House, but girls also frequently complete written work ranging from simply answering questions about religions studied to sometimes completing independent research on an aspect of the religion in question such as celebrating festivals or places of worship. From time to time girls may visit places of worship or a Form Group may have a visit from a follower of the religion they are studying.
Personal, Social and Health Education is studied by every year group from Reception to Form VI and covers many aspects of ‘life’ and is appropriately age related to each Form. Topics include friendships to bullying, diet, healthy eating to drugs and alcohol, protection against the sun, road safety awareness and personal safety when out and about. School examinations and moving on to senior school are topics which produce lively conversation and a sharing of information and ‘tips’ on how best to cope. Discussion and debate are encouraged with the girls learning both the art of speaking, forming constructive arguments as well as cultivating patience and the skill of listening to others with equally valid and often opposite points of view.
Our School Forum is made up of representatives from each Form and they meet regularly to discuss ways of implementing new initiatives and improving facilities in school. The Minutes of their meetings are written by our Headmistress and are circulated to all girls and members of staff. Similarly the running of our country is discussed with opinions aired on the Government of the day and how they are implementing changes and making decisions on our behalf.