Our Senior School is where the challenge of a varied and inspiring curriculum guides our learners to become more independent and prepares them for their next steps in education.
We passionately believe in the importance of a broad range of subjects, taught by talented and enthusiastic teachers. Senior School is where the children’s joy of learning and pride in their many achievements really comes to the fore, as we support, encourage, and thoroughly prepare them for the rigour of senior school entrance exams, including our own selective senior school King Edward VI.
Children in Senior School benefit from the constant support of a form tutor, who is responsible for all their pastoral needs. We understand that a child’s happiness and security are fundamental to their learning, and we offer the nurture and care needed to ensure every child thrives. Small form groups allow tutors to establish close relationships with their tutees, providing constant support to both children and parents, who are welcomed as part of the Stroud family with our open door policy.
At Stroud, every subject is valued, and brings its own range of skills, challenges and excitement. In Stroud’s Senior School, we ensure that we provide the academic excellence and extension required to inspire our students to become curious, self-motivated, life long learners. Specialist teachers across the curriculum mean students are taught by passionate, knowledgeable staff who ensure every child is challenged at their own level within a bespoke curriculum.
Our grounds and resources not only look stunning, but they also provide a wealth of learning opportunities. From our extensive playing fields, including off-site at King Edward's Wellington Sports Ground, where children are taught by experienced games staff, to our woodland, pond and forest school sites where children learn to collaborate, lead, communicate and enjoy the benefits of nature. With well-equipped Art and Design and Technology rooms, a designated science lab and purpose +built ICT suite, children have specialist resources at their fingertips.
Our extra-curricular activities are a real strength, and children in Senior School are offered a wealth of opportunities. Clubs run every evening, and vary from our own Stroud Civic Award, a perfect introduction for those considering undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award, to sports clubs, performing arts, STEAM Club and our own Outdoor Adventure Club. Children can sign up for clubs each day, or are welcome to stay for Prep, which is a chance to complete homework in a quiet environment with a teacher to support them. Peripatetic music and Speech and Drama lessons are also available for those children who play an instrument or enjoy taking to the stage.
Residentials are offered as part of our school Residential Week in the summer, providing a range of opportunities to children across Senior School, and the chance to enjoy an adventure with their friends before the year ends. Trips to France, Spain and our very own rural studies centre in Dartmoor National Park help to broaden children’s knowledge of the world around them and help them to become ‘'Forever Undaunted’.
Our English curriculum is taught through a clear and systemic approach which is brought to life through exciting and engaging literature and immersive experience days. All English teaching staff are experts, through training, in the ability to provide precise instruction in writing, including grammar and spelling, whilst keeping lessons engaging and creative. During their lessons, children are prepared for the 11+ Common Entrance and other senior school entrance examinations through a challenging but thorough curriculum.
In Senior School our curriculum continues to foster self-expression, to feed children’s imaginations and instil in them confidence. A natural motive for writing and a lasting love of reading, through whole school frameworks that are based on strong evidence based research and through studied texts.
Through our Public Speaking programme at Stroud all our children are gently stretched outside of their comfort zones in a safe and supportive environment which is scaffolded appropriately so that by the time they reach Senior School our children are able to carefully prepare a persuasive speech or take on a debate which is presented within their year groups, with the potential to reach our Public Speaking final which is presented in front of a larger more formal audience. At Stroud we teach the children the power of informative and persuasive speaking to help raise bold, and expressive young leaders, entrepreneurs, and human beings who can speak out about their interests and views with confidence.
Science at Stroud is about developing enquiring minds and fostering a deep understanding of the importance of scientific disciplines. Throughout the year, Stroud scientists will enrich their learning through trips, visiting speakers and themed days aimed at broadening their scientific view and to inspire a love of the sciences. Our rich, practical curriculum utilises our fully equipped laboratory and the diverse outdoor environment stimulates and inspires.
Mathematics in our Senior School builds upon the strong foundations secured in Middle School, where our pupils become increasingly independent and efficient in their calculations across all four operations, and with fractions, able to apply these methods readily to new and more complex problems, in a wide range of contexts. Pupils explore and develop a solid understanding and appreciation of algebraic representations and techniques, and learn the value and power of algebra and how it can be used to solve endless mathematical problems. They learn about the order of operations, the rules of directed number, and consolidate their understanding of fractions, decimals and percentages and the relationships between these. Pupils continue to discover and secure new and more advanced concepts and skills within all aspects of mathematics, continually building upon previous knowledge and being extended further, through a curriculum that encourages deeper leaning and understanding and 'mastery' of Mathematics. Discussion, enquiry, reasoning and problem solving are fostered and developed, encouraging all pupils to become independent and capable solvers, instilling curiosity, creativity and resilience. Our subject specialists help to fully prepare our pupils for senior school entrance examinations, through thorough and focused 11+ Common Entrance study and practice, providing academic rigor and challenge for our pupils, to think, perform and grow to a higher level of achievement. Pupils have access to a range of quality materials and resources, including virtual learning environments for independent study and revision. Enrichment is provided through a range of opportunities to take part in Mathematical competitions and challenges, stretching our young minds even further.
Pupils engage in a variety of themed units including Weather and Climate, Earthquakes and Volcanoes and Rivers and Coasts. They study recent geographical events within their lifetime and are encouraged to ask questions, evaluate ideas and solve problems. There are opportunities for pupils to work in groups and to independently develop their geographical enquiry skills. Learning activities such as design creation, ICT filming projects and joint group presentations are planned to engage and challenge pupils. Field trips are planned to Hengistbury Head and the New Forest, allowing children to study geographical themes within their local area.
Music is part of everyone's life and so we aim to give pupils a love of music that they will carry with them beyond their schooling. With that in mind, all are encouraged to participate and gain confidence in musical activities. Weekly class lessons feature composition, singing, playing percussion and keyboards, listening to a vast variety of music and creating music as individuals and in ensembles. The Senior School curriculum allows for more intense studies of music and musicians including pop singers, classical composers, the formation of chords and melodies and the development of keyboard skills. There is also the opportunity for pupils to learn instruments or singing with visiting music staff, on a one-to-one basis. The Senior Choir and orchestra provide further practical opportunities, working towards various concerts throughout the year, In the summer term, all pupils in the Senior School stage a musical show in the Dobson Theatre at King Edward's, which showcases their acting, singing and dancing.
Modern Foreign Languages
In Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), we aim to empower our pupils to contribute to a better world through the implementation and promotion of social and academic skills through second language acquisition, namely French and Spanish. Our language learning experience will lead to the development of the skills and confidence needed for our pupils to perceive themselves as ‘Global Citizens’ where multilingualism and multiculturalism are the norm. Therefore, in our lessons, we celebrate other cultures, focusing on specific festivals, such as Christmas and ‘El dia de los Muertos.’
Every other year we also hold a whole school event to raise the profile of MFL, highlighting the importance of language learning in the diverse world that we live in today. Our curriculum supports one and a half hours of French and one hour of Spanish on a weekly basis in Year 6. Our department is fully committed to providing extra opportunities for language learning and enhancing the status of languages within the school, with the Year 6 children traveling to France on a yearly basis.
Art and DT
Pupils can engage in a wealth of materials and experiences across the Art Studio and Design and Technology Workshop. We begin by developing foundation drawing principles that will aid pupils in all avenues of design and then digress into a variety of projects. In Art, pupils will experience skills and materials such as drawing techniques, photography, 3D sculpting, water colours, acrylic on canvas paintings, ink painting, mixed media collage, etching, printing etc. In Design and Technology pupils explore wood working, metal working, electronics, product design, graphic design, gourmet cooking, computer aided design, textiles, sewing, tie-dye, batik, screen printing and many more. Pupils can also learn outside the classroom, partaking in after school clubs and extracurricular trips.
Children have many outlets for dramatic fulfilment at Stroud. Drama is offered within the curriculum and all children take part in musical productions throughout the year. Children relish the opportunity of performing on stage during our busy events calendar. These include a charity concert and our annual Senior School Production. Within the curriculum, children are involved in writing and performing history role plays, language plays and taking part in form assemblies. Drama is taught as a separate subject in Senior School.