The Academics

A love of learning

Academic excellence and rigour are at the very heart of a Handcross Park education. We strongly believe that all pupils have their own gifts, and we focus on enriching their individual talents as well as providing an innovative education that extends our pupils in many ways. Our dedication to ensuring that each pupil is given every opportunity to succeed is shown by our impressive results at Common Entrance and Scholarship at end of Year 8.   

We challenge our pupils to adopt a ‘growth mindset’, to strive to achieve their best and opt into all the challenges presented to them. In return, we will inspire, excite, enthuse, nurture and show the children how to be successful learners, both academically, and in the key competencies towards lifelong learning.

We offer a wide range of academic subjects, all of which are taught by promoting individual pupil engagement in the learning process. We have a clear understanding of each pupil’s needs and strive to ensure that they reach their potential.  

Each subject takes a metacognitive approach to learning, where the pupils are directly involved in reflecting on their own learning process and making targets to allow consistent improvement.

Teachers contribute excellent subject knowledge, as well as enthusiasm and humour to their lessons

Independent Schools Inspectorate

The Lower School (Years 3 and 4)

Children are taught the core subjects of English, Maths and Science by their class teacher, who also oversees their overall development and well-being. History, Geography, Spanish, Drama, Mandarin, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Art, Design Technology, Sport and ICT are all taught by specialist teachers.

The Middle School (Years 5 and 6)

Pupils continue to be supported closely by their Form Tutors, developing independence, responsibility and leadership skills. Pupils have specialist teachers for all subjects and are taught Maths, English, Science (Biology/Chemistry/Physics), ICT, Spanish, History, Geography, Religious Studies, PE, Games, (PLTS) Personal Learning and Thinking skills, (PSHE) Personal Social, Health and Economic education. French and Latin are introduced into the curriculum.

Specific lessons in verbal and non-verbal reasoning are introduced into the curriculum in the Middle School to ensure that pupils are well prepared for pre-testing for senior school, which usually takes place in Year 6.

The Upper School (Year 7 and 8)

The children continue to experience a rich and rigorous curriculum as they prepare for Common Entrance and Scholarship examinations at the end of Year 8. An additional Scholarship Set is introduced in Year 7 and Year 8 to cater for those working towards Academic Scholarships.

Academic highlights in the Prep school:

  • The Year 7 cross-curricular trip to Andalusia to study Spanish and Geography
  • Battlefield Tours to the Somme/Ypres
  • Expert Guest Speakers
  • Workshops focusing on study skills in preparation for exams
  • Multiple trips in every year group to enhance classroom learning
  • Themed days where children are immersed in an interactive experience
  • A wide variety of educational trips, including Herstmonceux Science Centre, Battle Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral
  • Poetry Recitation Competition
  • The UKMT Junior Maths Challenge
  • Kidtropolis - in which pupils get to design their own city of the future
  • Young Enterprise Club to promote entrepreneurial skills

If you would like further information or a copy of our latest curriculum booklet, please contact our Registrar, Lisa Taylor, on 01444 400526 or [email protected]

Able, Gifted & Talented and Enrichment

We have the highest aspirations for all the children at Handcross Park and we work as a team to help them achieve their potential in all areas of school life. For children identified as Able, Gifted and Talented (AGT), we provide a range of measures to ensure that they are stretched and challenged to achieve their full potential.  All lessons contain extension activities that promote progression through learning objectives to higher-ability thinking techniques.

In Years 7 and 8, pupils are placed into a Scholarship Set, which allows deep focus into the academic subjects at a high level. This prepares the group for Academic scholarships to many of the top senior schools in the country.

In addition to this, all pupils take part in a vast array of enrichment activities to give our pupils that extra edge which comes from thinking outside the box and having new learning experiences.

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