The Gayhurst Academic Curriculum is broad and balanced. Our aim is for our children to leave school confident, resilient, and independent thinkers and have therefore designed a cognitively challenging curriculum that enables children to problem solve and think for themselves. From Nursery through to Year 6, our staff respond to the needs and interests of our children to plan learning opportunities that prompt and stimulate whilst ensuring challenge and extension for all. Throughout the year, we utilise our extensive grounds, classroom facilities (such as the Science Lab) and staff expertise to enrich our curriculum with whole school #ELDRIC events.
At Gayhurst School, we pride ourselves on knowing our children as individuals, recognising each child’s learning journey is unique to them. Our class sizes allow for greater teacher interaction and feedback during every lesson, thus accelerating the learning process throughout the school.
In the Junior School, children are predominately taught by their class teacher. From Nursery, however, children are taught Music and Physical Education by subject specialist teachers. From Reception this is extended to Spanish and later, in Year 2, Art in our Art Room.
In the Senior School, the children are introduced to subject specialist teaching for Drama, Design Technology, Computing, French and History. This allows the children to experience a range of teachers, whilst spending the majority of their time in their Form Room. By the time children enter Year 4, children are exclusively taught by subject specialists, and will be set in English and Maths. The weekly schedule is enhanced with further musical opportunities, timetabled sports lessons and inter-school fixtures.
Boys and girls are prepared for a wide range of secondary schools both boarding and day, state and independent. The Headmaster is always happy to discuss the range of secondary schools that might be best for your son or daughter and for your family. Where it is appropriate the school might recommend that a child sits for a scholarship which may be academic, musical, artistic or sporting. Gayhurst has a long record of success in these extremely rigorous examinations.
Our Prep policy is one of a family school, where we encourage rich, fulfilling family time in the evenings and at weekends, allowing pupils to relax and be children.
In the Junior School and Year 3, English & Maths reinforcement tasks are set to be completed at home: the development of spellings, times tables and reading is a main focus of this work. These continue throughout the school, however more formal, written work is attended to during a Prep period at the end of the day for children in Years 4 to 6.
Homework (Prep) in Years 4 to 6 is structured so that the bulk of it can be completed at school with staff supervision in Form groups. Extended project based tasks will also be set in some subjects, to be completed over the duration of a half-term or longer. Such opportunities enable pupils to develop greater independence alongside key skills including research, collation and presentation.
This initiative arose out of consideration for the welfare of young children and a desire for them to partake and enjoy various activities and quality family time. Following a full and varied day, children will of course be feeling tired. This is not conducive to them completing homework and independent study effectively. It has been well publicised that stresses over homework and the lack of a balanced lifestyle with limited opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment are major contributory factors to the rise in teenage disillusionment and mental health problems.
To aid the transition of pupils at the end of Year 6, we gradually introduce additional homework tasks during the second half of the year, allowing them to be fully prepared for their new schools though the establishment of good work habits, organisation and completing required tasks at home.