Senior Prep Learning & Curriculum

The Newman Programme

The Newman Programme continues to be central to each child’s academic and personal development as they move from Junior Prep into Senior Prep.

St. John Henry Newman was convinced that education should be formative in the fullest sense, both in terms of providing the skills and discipline to flourish as a thinker and in providing students with the moral framework and informed conscience with which to face challenges and obstacles in the world.

Our curriculum and education is built around Newman’s three key beliefs:

  • That school should equip pupils with strong reasoning skills and an ability to think clearly for themselves so as to be ready for the world in which they will live.
  • That school should allow pupils to grow and develop, build their range of experiences and provide them with the challenges and opportunities to prosper and flourish as individuals.
  • That education has a moral purpose – school should foster virtue in the students, develop their conscience and inspire them to make a difference in the world.

Skills-based, interconnected curriculum

Senior Prep pupils become ambitious and independent learners, immersed in a skills-based, interconnected curriculum, meaningful and highly relevant to their everyday experiences and life beyond school.

We enable our children to make connections across subjects and think more deeply about their significance, applying their learning across different contexts and developing core, transferable skills, such as critical thinking and strong reasoning skills, where they judge the value of ideas and knowledge presented to them.

For example, in Year 5, the abolition of slavery is explored at the same time as Migration is studied in Geography. In Year 6, pupils learn more about Shakespeare and about Tudor England in History. The themes in a ‘Boy in Striped Pyjamas’ analysed in English lessons link with learning about Judaism in Religious Education (RE) and the Holocaust in History. Studying Islam in RE occurs simultaneously with learning about Crusades in History lessons in Year 8.

Our founder wanted to create a school that helped children develop the moral, intellectual and social skills to help them prosper in the world and stand up for truth.

We create an environment as well as a curriculum that develops the moral virtues, responsibility and social conscience of each pupil, motivating and inspiring them to become global citizens, helping to lead and support effective change in the world.

The Newman Award

The Year 8 Newman Award is the fullest expression of our most senior pupils’ ability to work collaboratively and demonstrate these values.

Throughout this year and led by the Head Boy, Head Girl and their Deputies, Year 8 pupils examine the following themes:

Environmental Justice

How humans have a responsibility to look after the planet, share the earth’s resources and support victims of environmental damage.

Invisible Challenges

Exploring the challenges faced by children in schools, including learning difficulties, mental health problems and prejudice.

Wealth and Poverty

Exploring inequalities in the world around wealth distribution, including education, job opportunities and unemployment and also access to food, medicine and security.

Overseas Aid and Development

Looking at the challenges faced by developing countries in meeting the basic needs of their populations and coping with social, political and environmental changes.

Their presentations in the Summer term will educate other year groups across Senior Prep about the challenges and opportunities that exist within the central themes of their topic.

All-round Education

Instilling Newman’s vision of an all-round education that develops children’s minds, bodies and spirits is key to shaping the moral awareness and convictions of our pupils particularly as they mature and are more reflective in their senior years at the school.

The virtues of moral integrity, honesty, compassion and kindness are developed more deeply through Senior Prep. Our School Council, Anti-Bullying Ambassador Programme and Prefect System enable senior pupils to use their positions of responsibility to be role models to younger children.

Newman left a legacy that influenced art, music and literature. We want our children to develop a similar range of interests and, through their own growth and development, become agents for positive change in the world.

Our pupils develop their potential in as broad a range of areas of school life as possible, through art, music, drama and sport as well as an action-packed After School Activity Programme. In addition there is an optional Saturday Enrichment Programme to broaden the horizons of our children beyond school.

These Programmes are diverse in their offering and activities can range from public speaking and debating to Beekeeping, Gymnastics, Woodwork and Science Clubs.

Such Programmes also incorporate additional preparation for Scholarships and Exhibitions, for example academic subjects such as Maths and French as well as Music and Art. Pupils with outstanding ability in Maths can prepare for UKMT Bronze, Silver and Gold Challenges and those with exceptional ability in Art join our Art Scholars Club. Instrumental ensembles such as Clarinet Choir or Percussion Ensemble also form part of our Activity Programme.

All subjects follow the national curriculum and our emphasis on a skills-based curriculum combined with acquiring high level knowledge allows our education to be as deep and as forward thinking as possible. Our pupils develop with a mature and open-minded understanding of the world and their place within it. Children are prepared for Common Entrance 13+ examinations in Maths, English and Science.

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