The development of good English skills is the foundation for all learning that takes place in our school; its mastery is essential for independent learning and intellectual development.
Our pupils develop a love for the English language through the spoken and written word and our dedicated team of staff ensure that every pupil learns to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding.
Exciting English lessons provide children with varied stimuli (electronic and traditional) for writing, encouraging pupils to express themselves clearly and creatively in a range of fiction and non-fiction genres. There is a high level of individual attention, ensuring that all children enjoy their work and make good progress.
We take pride in creating a rich environment for the development of reading and writing skills, from early letter and sound recognition in the EYFS, through to the study of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts in Form 6. A range of methods are used to help children learn to read and develop their comprehension skills; every pupil has a reading scheme book which they share with their teacher and take home each evening.
Our curriculum meets and exceeds the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the National Curriculum and all pupils are fully prepared for the 11+ Entrance Examinations for local independent senior schools.
Because mathematics is such an important subject we aim to stretch each child beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum, every year. We believe that the earlier we promote confidence with numbers and calculations, the earlier our children develop independent thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills.
So, we start in the Nursery, teaching about numbers and counting. By the time our children are learning algebraic expressions in Form 6 they have more than covered everything they need to know for 11+, and in many cases, most of what they cover in their first year at senior school.
Of course, we promote mathematical creativity through applied problem solving skills and mathematical games, but we also insist on learning by rote when necessary such as in the learning of number bonds and times tables.
It’s not just the topic coverage. Our mathematics curriculum is designed to challenge and stimulate every child. We have high expectations of all our pupils, encouraging each child to aim high.We draw upon an extensive range of learning best practice, textbooks and practical resources to support our teaching including online and interactive resources. Each pupil benefits from an online ‘Mathletics’ account, allowing them to develop their mathematical learning beyond the classroom.
Our pupils enjoy their mathematics lessons and we ensure that they achieve at least to their potential. In fact, over half of our pupils make “exceptional” progress; progress way beyond their innate mathematical ability. It is our ambition that every one of our pupils has a positive attitude towards this important subject and that they are able to use and apply their mathematical knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in everyday life.
Our aim at Pownall Hall School is to ensure that all children retain and develop their natural sense of curiosity about the world around them. We use the National Curriculum as the basis of our teaching. This is complemented by the availability of excellent facilities, extensive resources and the use of specialist teaching staff. Our children learn beyond the National Curriculum and we seek to develop real enthusiasm for Science.
We are fortunate to have a large laboratory that has been purpose designed for the use of children from Forms 3-6. Here the children learn to challenge their thinking through a variety of practical science experiments and investigations.
Class sizes are small so that all children are engaged in challenging and thought provoking activities. They are encouraged to observe, make and test hypotheses, design fair and controlled experiments and to draw conclusions and evaluate evidence. Technology plays a vital role in science teaching at Pownall Hall School. Children use digital microscopes, data loggers and IPads to help them to collect and analyse evidence during their investigations.
Environmental issues are important to the pupils at Pownall Hall and children are encouraged to think responsibly about their school environment and the world beyond.
We have wonderful grounds that enable the children to develop their interests in the outside world. They can search for mini beasts, collect and identify pond creatures and carry out environmental surveys in the wooded area that is part of our grounds. We have a beautiful wildlife garden that includes a pond and a sensory garden that has been planted to encourage wildlife.
Pupils have an opportunity to develop their interest in gardening and children can regularly be found planting and harvesting produce which they proudly deliver to the school kitchen.
Geography at Pownall Hall School is designed to stimulate the senses and encourage a desire for travel and encounters that enrich the lives of our children. Exciting field-trips are at the heart of the subject and we use the latest technology and teaching practices to discover about people, places & cultures. All of our work is based on investigations that stretch, challenge and bring geography to life. Whether we are assessing the impact of, and working towards solutions to the problems associated with a changing climate, globalisation or fair-trade (to name just 3 topics), at Pownall Hall we unlock the wonders of the world as well as potential of our pupils.
We have a unique approach to our Geography teaching. Project based work allows children to be inspired and build a greater appreciation of what skills they need to cultivate. This gives our pupils a sense of ownership over their learning. It is wonderful to see pupils realising what skills they need to master to help them move forward. Cross-Curricular links develop and reinforce teaching delivered by other specialists.
We have recently carried out a ‘Waste Audit’ around school. To improve their enquiry skills we started the topic with a simple question. Is Pownall Hall School good for the Environment? We use this approach at the school to develop critical thinking skills and plant a seed in the pupils’ minds. It has been fascinating allowing the children to advance ideas, be enquiring, present ideas, question the way they interact with their school and produce a project that answers this question; and creates many more.
The children develop so many real life skills during these lessons that are based around enquiry. Engaging topics such as a Survival Project, Maps, and the Global Effects of football both inspire and challenge the children’s perception of the world and their local environment.