When our Year 7 pupils join us, we make sure that they feel happy, secure and confident in their new environment, so that they settle quickly, form friendships, learn successfully and develop fully their individual talents. Getting to know each girl before she joins us is important; during the summer term, the Lower School tutor team visit the girls in their primary school and we invite them to an Activity Day, where they meet their tutor and form group.
Girls in all year groups are organised into one of four Houses (Benedict, Duffield, Hayward and Paterson) for inter-House competitions and social activities. Named after women who have played a key role in the school’s history, they are led by staff Heads of House and offer leadership roles to girls as House Captains in the Sixth Form and House Leaders in other years. The House system offers opportunities for girls from different years to spend more time together, develop skills such as teamwork and leadership and foster a sense of competition throughout the school. Lastly, and most importantly, they are fun!
The girls participate in a wide range of excursions during their time in Lower School, which help to enrich their learning experience.
In Year 7 the girls visit the Botanical Gardens in Oxford and the synagogue in Reading. In March they go on a personal development course at Kilve Court Residential centre in Somerset which enables them to get to know each other better and to challenge themselves as individuals.
In Year 8 the girls visit the London Design Centre, Bristol Science Centre, the Mandir Temple in London and Fishbourne Roman Temple. They also have a challenge day, to encourage self-reliance and responsibility, which forms part of the Year 8 Personal and Social Development Curriculum.
This year we invited The Young Film Academy into school to run a One Day Film School with the girls.