Our emphasis in the Lower School is to make sure that each child enjoys the care, support and attention they need to learn, develop and flourish. Small classes sizes allow our teachers to develop a close bond with every child, getting to know their individual needs and ensuring they have the right level of support and stretch to achieve their full potential.
For our most able pupils, this includes providing support both inside the classroom and in extra-curricular Aspire Higher and 11 plus ‘boost’ preparation classes which will help to prepare them to sit the entrance exams into local Essex Grammar Schools and the Assessments for our own Scholarship applications into our Senior School.
Inside the Classroom
The majority of our children from the Early Years onwards, study ‘a year ahead curriculum’. For example, the huge majority of our pupils are one year ahead of their chronological reading age by the end of Reception. When the children enter the Junior School, in Year 3, they are already reading and are well-grounded in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, Writing and Mathematics. And by the time they reach the end of Year 5 they have covered all of the Year 6 learning objectives.
A considerable focus is also placed on reading which has been proven to help expand the mind and enhance and broaden vocabulary. We also offer activities to encourage thinking skills, debate and a broader appreciation of the world.
In Mathematics, we offer a solid number foundation which includes a progressive development of problem solving and using & applying.
Regular assessment is in place as part of a rigorous pupil progress tracking system, which enables us to focus on deepening children’s understanding and planning teaching and learning that enables us to ensure that our children are well-prepared to sit the 11 plus Examination and/or Scholarship Assessments in the Autumn Term.
Additional 11+ Preparation
Colchester High School offers the following groups for support with the 11 plus preparation:
Aspire Higher Club
Open to pupils in Years 5 and 6, this club covers a wide range of topics and activities to extend and challenge the learning of our more able pupils. In the club, children complete English and Mathematics activities, which include studying challenging texts and covering higher level Mathematics objectives. They also spend time exploring interview technique, critical thinking skills and public speaking opportunities; all designed to develop the whole child. The Aspire Higher Club is offered as part of our Aspire Higher Programme
11+ Booster Sessions
These sessions are offered to Year 5 pupils commencing in the Spring Term. These provide focussed exam technique specifically tailored to the requirements of the CSSE 11 plus examinations.
Mock 11 plus Examination
The pupils in Year 5 have the opportunity to sit a mock 11 plus examination in the Summer Term. This allows for some tailored feedback individualised to each child and the steps they would need to take in order to be successful in the following term.