Our Art Department is exceptionally well-resourced and from Year 1 children are taught by specialist art teachers.
From Year 1 children are taught by subject specialists. All classes have a double lesson each week in a well-resourced Art Room. Children work with a variety of different media and are inspired by the work of great artists, both past and present. Each pupil keeps a sketchbook to document their progress throughout the year and help to record their personal achievements. Lessons are complemented by regular outings to museums and galleries, while after-school clubs provide further opportunities for enthusiastic and creative pupils to develop their skills further.
Design & Technology
Design & Technology
Design and Technology is a truly cross-curricular subject.
Design and Technology is a truly cross-curricular subject that enables children to combine their artistic skills with their scientific and mathematical understanding. Exciting projects introduce them to a variety of design concepts including pop-ups, 3D packaging, textiles, winding mechanisms and motorised toys that enable them to work confidently with an increasingly sophisticated range of tools. Alongside these practical skills, the children also learn how to research and develop their own ideas, as well as critically evaluate their finished work.
We believe that drama can provide our pupils with skills that they can apply to any subject and which can help them to become good communicators, fostering a creative and positive mentality. We endeavour to build confidence, encourage inquisitive thinking and promote a collaborative mind set.
Every class will have a weekly drama lesson in which they can begin to develop specific dramatic skills. These skills include mime, tableau, voice projection, staging, storytelling and many more. Drama features strongly in our weekly class assemblies and children are regularly given the opportunity for performance with Nativity plays in the Lower School, a full scale production in Year 4 and a musical in the last term of Year 6.
Reading underpins the curriculum and our primary underlying aim is to foster a love of literature that feeds the imagination and gives children the confidence to be creative writers. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are taught as important foundations of all writing.
The timetable includes a weekly lesson for each class in the School Library, which has a full-time librarian, to inspire and encourage all aspects of reading. All children are given the opportunity to speak and perform in front of a larger audience in assemblies, concerts and plays. Throughout the year book days, theatre trips and visits from authors, poets and storytellers are planned to enrich the English curriculum.
Numeracy is an essential skill for life and maths has a strong focus throughout the school. There is a daily mathematics lesson for all children.
Alongside developing a range of mental and written calculation strategies the children are encouraged to be inquisitive, creative and work collaboratively to solve mathematical challenges. Children learn through practical activities, investigations and discussion. Maths lessons are taught in four sets from Year 3 upwards, which ensures that every child’s needs are met.
Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages
Language learning at Hornsby House is designed to create confident and enthusiastic communicators, willing to engage with other cultures and meet the world with an open mind.
Our aim is for children of every age to speak French and Spanish happily at home and abroad and use what they know creatively and effectively to make their meaning understood, as well as make friends and express their feelings. Languages are taught through the use of curriculum-linked topics, traditional stories, songs, games, rhymes, raps and role plays. Bilingual children are supported in class through 1:1 teaching and also through a weekly club.
As well as the weekly class music lesson, every child has a year group singing lesson and there are three co-curricular choirs for enthusiasts and talented singers.
We offer individual lessons in voice, piano, violin, flute, guitar, recorder, ‘cello, trumpet, clarinet and saxophone and there are opportunities for children to play in the orchestra and other ensembles. All children are involved in musical performances each term.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education is taught in a weekly lesson but is also promoted throughout all aspects of school life.
Children are helped to develop the skills to build friendships, recognise and manage their emotions, know how to keep themselves safe, understand change in their lives and, for Year 6 children, the transition to senior school. The co-curricular opportunities, assemblies, charity events, House Days, responsibilities and rewards children experience on a daily basis support and extend this aspect of the curriculum immeasurably.
‘The pupils’ personal development is excellent and a strength of the school.’
Independent Schools Inspectorate.
From Year 4, all classes have a weekly reasoning lesson, in which they exercise their minds with practice in verbal and non-verbal reasoning and problem-solving activities. We find that this lesson has a positive effect on the way children approach problems and reason in other subjects.
In Years 3 and 4 there is greater emphasis on practical problem-solving and children are introduced to formal written problems by looking for patterns and differences. In Years 5 and 6 there is more focus on written problems and this forms part of the preparation for 11+ exams.
Non-verbal reasoning involves looking at patterns to spot differences in colour, shape, quantity, position or direction and identify the missing pattern in a sequence, set or matrix. Verbal reasoning requires pupils to solve word problems, such as making compound words, finding the odd one out in a group, matching words with similar or opposite meanings and solving anagrams. It also involves letter and number patterns and sequences.
Reception and the EYFS
Reception and the EYFS
Our Reception teachers and assistants form a strong, dedicated team to make sure your child receives the best possible start to school life.
Reading and writing are just part of the early school experiences at Hornsby House. This is reflected in our Foundation Stage curriculum which places equal emphasis on academic learning and personal development.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which incorporates seven different areas of learning: Communication and Language Development; Physical Development; Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Literacy Development; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Arts and Design.
We offer specialist PE, French, ICT, music, dance and drama teaching from the very start. Bright classrooms, extensive resources and outdoor space are designed to encourage children to take a hands-on approach to learning. Play is central to the experience and children are given every opportunity to learn through role play and collaboration.
Science is taught as a practical subject throughout the school and there is an emphasis on making the subject fun and accessible.
Children develop investigative skills from an early age and are encouraged to ask questions, work collaboratively and to extend their understanding of scientific concepts. Regular class trips, workshops and visitors broaden and enhance the science curriculum.
At Hornsby House, our primary aim is to help the children enjoy their sport to encourage them to become lifelong participants. In their weekly PE lessons children learn key life skills through termly themes. We recognise the importance of high-quality coaching and all PE and games lessons are taught by our specialist Sports Department.
From Year 2, children also participate in a weekly games session where they learn football, rugby, netball and hockey. Both boys and girls play cricket in the Summer Term. The children are challenged in relation to their level of body control, skill level and understanding of the games. This developmental path will include increasingly challenging training sessions, House matches and external fixtures that are carefully introduced as the children progress through the school. We believe in sport for all and every child will represent the school as part of a team in every sport. Our record in sports matches against other schools and in tournaments, both local and national, is excellent and we are very proud of our reputation.
Children also have the opportunity to participate in a range of co-curricular activities including swimming, table-tennis, tennis, gymnastics and Taekwon-do to name just a few. As well as making use of our playground and hall, Upper School sport is taught off site at local Astroturf pitches and sports fields.