Our girls enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum. The school prides itself on its high academic standards and expectation of the girls whilst ensuring teaching and learning is exciting and challenging. French is taught from Year 3, with the addition of Spanish and Latin from Year 5. All girls enjoy specialist teaching in music, games and gymnastics, and from Year 2, also in Design Technology. The ICT curriculum gradually builds up the skills of the girls, and by the end of the Junior School they are confidently using computers as a tool for learning in other subjects. iPad technology is used throughout the school, but in particular with Years 5 and 6 in preparation for Senior School life.
Girls are taught by subject specialists for some subjects from Year 1; this increases as they move towards Year 6 when they are taught by different staff, from both Junior and Senior sections of the school. This provides them with the opportunity to get to know some of their Year 7 teachers before they move ‘across the road’, and also exposes them to expert tuition in all subject areas.
From Year 1 onwards, girls are taught ‘Thinking and Learning’. This title covers a broad range of topics encompassing Philosophy, Independence, Critical Thinking and, for older girls, Study Skills and Time Management. Healthy debate on a wide variety of subjects is encouraged, with recent topics including ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (Year 3) and ‘How Do We Measure Success?’ (Year 6).
The curriculum of the Junior School achieves a dichotomy of aims; it ensures that the teachers have high expectations of the girls and that academic standards are high, whilst teaching in a way that – quite simply put – is ‘fun’. By ensuring that the teaching and learning in the Junior School is interesting and motivating, the girls are fully focused on their work and keen to learn more.
In addition to their activities in the classroom, the girls enjoy numerous opportunities to be involved in extra-curricular activities. The aim of the school is to offer a comprehensive range of activities to allow each girl to find something during the week that she would like to participate in and so develop her talents in this area. Extra-curricular activities (in addition to sports) include: Art, Archery, Fencing, LAMDA, Jazz Band, instrumental Ensembles, two orchestras, several choirs, Photography, Gardening, computers, cookery and board games.
All sport – except swimming , where we use the excellent facilities at Surrey Sports Park – are catered for by facilities on the Junior or Senior School sites and includes the use of the sprung floor gymnasium. The girls have regular fixtures with neighbouring schools in numerous sports throughout the year.
The ethos of the school means that all girls have an opportunity to be involved in all extra-curricular or sporting activities, regardless of their ability. Girls with a particular talent in their chosen activity are provided with additional practice.
Personal, Social and Health Education is not just an academic subject for girls in Tormead Junior School but also a way of life. There are high expectations of how the girls will behave. During lessons, once a week, the girls will consider topics such as friendship, setting targets and goals, how we should treat the environment and how to live a healthy life. In addition, moral and social issues are regularly the subject of assemblies. In their final year in the Junior School, prior to their transfer to the Senior School, the girls follow a course on growth and development. Pastoral Care of the girls was described by our last Independent Schools Inspection as ‘outstanding’; this is achieved by dealing with any concerns the girls may have, whether over a friendship or an activity in school, quickly and conscientiously.