Academic life | Senior Prep School | Hurst College

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Academic life

We are ambitious for all pupils and committed to supporting each child to be the absolute best they can be in their academic life. Pupils are known and valued for everything they are as well as for the contribution they make to the school community.

Inspirational teaching lies at the centre of our pupils鈥 academic experience. A broad and balanced curriculum is delivered by excellent, enthusiastic teachers whose priority is to ensure that our children are consistently engaged and stimulated. Lessons are carefully tailored to meet the needs of each class or group, to ensure that every child is appropriately challenged and to encourage a life-long love of learning. The school works hard to deliver exceptional teaching, a first-class curriculum and excellent pastoral care to instil a love of learning and to provide a secure foundation for their academic life.

In Years 7 and 8, pupils follow a set curriculum, designed to lay the foundations for a GCSE course. This ensures that they experience a wide range of subjects before making informed decisions prior to moving into the Shell (Year 9) where they may drop some subjects.

Year 7 pupils will study:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Latin*
  • Geography
  • History
  • Religion, Ethics and Philosophy
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Computer Science
  • Music
  • Art
  • DT
  • Drama
  • PE

*Some pupils may follow an English Literacy course rather than Latin in Years 7 and 8 to develop their core English skills.

Year 8 pupils follow a similar set of subjects, although Science is divided into the specialist areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

To find out more about digital learning at Hurst, please visit our Digital Learning page.

Timetable

Timetables are in line with the Senior School to enable an easier transition for pupils as they progress through to the Senior School. Lessons are usually one hour in duration and the timetable extends over two weeks – known as Week A and Week B.

Homework / Prep

Homework (or prep) is set for most subjects and is designed to consolidate the work pupils do in lessons. In Year 7, pupils have 45 minutes of homework, on average, for each weekend evening. In Year 8, this rises slightly to just under an hour, on average. Prep is set according to a timetable which spreads out the workload. Pupils are also given help and support in managing their time to ensure they work effectively and independently. This prepares them for academic life in the Senior School and future GCSE courses.

Assessment and reports

Hurst has developed a robust and efficient Challenge Grade reporting system. At the start of each academic year a ‘challenge grade’ for each subject is set for each pupil. The grades set are ambitious, but realistic and achievable, and are based initially on MidYIS data. These grades can be adjusted to ensure they are suitable for each child.

All pupils have regular assessments in class which allows teaching to be tailored for individual needs throughout the year. Year 7 and 8 pupils sit examinations at the end of the Michaelmas (Autumn) and Summer terms.

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