Curriculum

Claremont life centres on a broad and balanced curriculum designed and developed by a large, very well qualified teaching staff.  The aim is not only to equip pupils for the Common Entrance or Scholarship Examinations, but to teach a breadth of skills which will serve them well in their future lives.

The Claremont curriculum is tailored to the needs of pupils and their future aspirations.  While the National Curriculum is a useful starting point, departments will adapt and enhance their programmes of study to ensure that every pupil is motivated, inspired and challenged.  In addition to the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, the Claremont syllabus includes French, History, Religious Studies, Geography, IT, Art and Design, Music, Drama and PE.  The Common Entrance syllabus is taught in Years 7 and 8.

Boys and girls leave Claremont Prep School, usually at thirteen, predominantly to join Claremont Senior School, and also other Senior Schools of their choice. It is a testament to the excellent preparation that pupils receive at Claremont Prep School that a great many of our leavers gain scholarships and awards across the range of academic, cultural and sporting achievement.

Art & Design

Art for Claremont students develops aptitudes for lifelong learning. We encourage their self-expression, imaginative thinking, skill and dexterity, inspiration and appreciation of their own and other cultures.

Our students have fun creating Art and learn to be confident communicating their ideas visually.  All artwork is informed with reference to art history and the work of contemporary artists. 

Students make props and scenery in collaboration with the Drama department. They contribute artwork to local galleries and participate in local community events learning to work alongside others in a friendly and professional manner.

Geography

Geography at Claremont Prep School aims to enhance the curiosity of the world in which we live in.

Geography is taught by a subject specialist from Year 4 upwards. Children are encouraged to consider how people interact with their environment at a range of levels, from local to global. There is an equal balance between the three main areas of geography – human, physical and environmental.

The children are taught a range of geographical skills in preparation for their senior school entrance exams, such as map skills, photograph interpretation, field sketching, data collection and ICT skills. The syllabus covers topics such as rivers and coasts, volcanoes and earthquakes, weather and climate, sustainable transport, globalisation, population and settlements. The geography department has a cross-curricular approach providing lessons which integrate the knowledge and skills learnt in Science, English, Mathematics and ICT.   The school grounds and trips to nearby towns and villages as well as the coast, provide the opportunity for fieldwork activities.

Assessment includes topic tests, end of term exams and ultimately the 13+ Common Entrance exams.   Pupil progress is also observed within the classroom setting and pupils are taught to self-evaluate and to assess their peers.   The feedback from all forms of assessment is provided regularly in a positive and constructive manner. 

Music

Music is at the very heart of Claremont and consequently the school is alive with music making, which supports the school ethos of positive attitude and endeavour.

We encourage performance in a warm, nurturing environment, offering all kinds of opportunities suited to every child and their level. There are two dedicated performance spaces – the Chapel and the O’Byrne Theatre. There are numerous extra-curricular groups available – four Choirs, an Orchestra, Flute Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Drumming Group, String Ensemble and a Brass Ensemble. These groups perform regularly within the school, in the local community and at performance venues locally and across the country, including London. We also encourage our groups and individuals to compete and have enjoyed much success at the Hastings Festival.

Music is taught by a specialist teacher to all year groups from Reception up to Year 8. In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 the aim is to lay down firm foundations with the focus on singing using the Kodaly method, playing hand held percussion, music and movement and responding to different styles of music. Pupils at Claremont Prep School have 80 minutes of music per week. The Music Curriculum provides the children with the necessary historical and technical knowledge, but above all, the aim is to foster a lifelong passion for music and open the pupils’ eyes to all kinds of genres and opportunities.

Individual instrumental tuition is offered via a fine team of professional musicians in piano, organ, guitar, singing, flute, recorder, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, brass and drums.  Pupils are prepared for ABRSM music examinations each term and in the last year over 65% of our entrants achieved either Merit or Distinction. We also prepare children for Music Scholarships and awards at senior schools.

Science

Pupils at Claremont learn Science by ‘doing’ Science.  Our practical led lessons are interactive and fun.  From these principles our pupils become independent learners with a passion for the subject. Pupils are encouraged to enquire and use their investigative and observational skills. 

Science engages the pupils in the amazing workings of our universe and our own world. A well-equipped laboratory allows practical and experimental activities in support of a full range of topics taught in the three subject areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The pupils are trained in investigative and observational skills whilst gaining a broad and thorough understanding of the factual elements and encouraged to develop an inquiring approach. Questioning everything is vital to our approach. Pupils are placed in sets according to their ability from Year 6.

Maths

At Claremont, we aim to give all children an experience of maths based on three core principles: understanding, enjoyment and challenge. At every level, the most important question for a child to ask is, quite simply, “Why?”. If a child understands why a technique works they have a much better chance of being able to apply that method in a different context.

We aim to develop skills, allowing children to use them with confidence and to apply them to a wide range of situations. Pupils may work individually or collaboratively to investigate and solve problems. We want them to experience Mathematics as a lively, exciting and enjoyable subject.

Mathematical activity offers scope for reasoning and the use of imagination. Children learn that problems may be solved in more than one way and that sometimes there is more than one solution thus fostering a culture of perseverance. It also provides opportunities for speaking and listening using a precise language. Thus, skills learnt can be transferred to other disciplines.

In years 7 and 8 children are set according to ability and follow the Common Entrance course. Years 5 and 6 participate in the Primary Maths Challenge, organised by the Maths Association and Year 7 and 8 Pupils participate in the UKMT Maths Challenges.

All pupils have a MyMaths account so that they can enhance their maths skills both at school and at
home.

Drama

Drama at Claremont seeks to provide the freedom of expression and the space for ourpupils to view drama as an integral part of school life. Our pupils take initiatives in producing drama for lessons, productions, competitions and impromptu presentations. They enter local festivals, attend acting and technical workshops. Drama is offered to all pupils in Years 3 -8 in the form of a double lesson (1 hour 20 minutes) once a week.

Claremont School is passionate about encouraging a holistic approach to Drama. As well as benefitting from a fully equipped theatre and drama studio, pupils also have the opportunity to get hands on with the technical aspects of the subject including: stage management, set design, costume, lighting and sound; workshops are very often run by professionals from the industry.

West End productions and excursions to theatres in Kent and East Sussex are high on our agenda; we aim to see at least two professional productions per year. Touring theatre companies regularly tread the boards at Claremont School.

Speech and Drama is also offered in the form of private tuition with a peripatetic teacher, often leading to LAMDA examination. Lessons are arranged by the parents but take place within the school day on the premises and are offered to pupils from reception to year 8.

Expert teachers provide a stimulating and lively learning environment that enables pupils to continue to question, explore and tease out new ideas on ways of living and thinking, developing strengths and enjoyment in what truly inspires them.

Recent productions/events:

The Lion King - whole school musical June 2015
Year 8 page to stage June 2015
Springtime Soiree April 2015
Romeo & Juliet March 2015
Claremont Winter Warmer December 2014
Year 8 page to stage ‘Grease’ June 2014
Springtime Soiree April 2014
The Twits March 2014

IT

As we delve deeper into the 21st century, Information and Communication Technology is increasingly being woven into the fabric of everyday life. As such, understanding computers, how they work and how we can use them to our benefit is a necessity for future generations.

All pupils from Year 3 have one 80 minute lesson per week in the ICT suite.  The focus is on re-enforcing skills and teaching new, core skills on productivity software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.  These skills are then built upon through the curriculum during Years 6-8. Pupils in Years 5 to 8 have the opportunity to learn a bit more about how computers operate and are taught how to make computer programs and websites using  Scratch, Python, HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

In order to ensure that pupils can access ICT in other parts of the curriculum, we have interactive whiteboards located in every classroom within the school.  Each of these whiteboards is fully networked, thus ensuring that pupils experience continuity in the type of software they are exposed to.

French

At Claremont we prepare learners with the language skills to thrive within the 21st century multi-national world. We aim to develop a love for communicating in a new language from an early age. In the Nursery and Pre-prep, French is introduced gradually through fun and interactive activities.

In the Prep school, we inspire and support every student to get best marks in Common Entrance and Scholarship exams by liaising with MFL teachers from Claremont Senior School. By the end of Year 8 students are familiar with strategies for learning vocabulary, listening, reading, understanding and applying grammar rules. These skills help them to pick up a new language at Senior School level, if they wish to do so. Reference to languages around the world are part of lessons, as and when appropriate, or during events such as the European Day of Languages or Chinese New Year. Open Days are opportunities for students to prepare a project in French showing how languages are linked to everyday life.  

Learning Environment:
Our French classrooms are equipped with data projectors for using a wide range of online resources. The department has access to the school ICT suite and one room has its ownFrench Satellite TV for exposure to a variety of French speakers and an immersion into the French news and child friendly programs. Beginners who join Claremont have opportunities to join the French Club and catch up with French basic vocabulary at their own pace.

In Pre-prep school children enjoy learning French by listening to stories and participating in action songs and rhymes. In the prep school we use Expo, Studio, Encore Tricolore and La Jolie Ronde series of textbooks in addition to a wide variety of our own designed materials to ensure progress, make learning fun and engage different types of learners.

We are fortunate to own a house in Saint Omer where we take our forms on day trips or 3 day residential trips. It is a unique opportunity for students to hear and use the Frenchlanguage in real life situations. We are happy to have an on-going link with Collège Saint Bertin, a school in Saint Omer. More details about trips to La Maison Claremont are in Claremont in France section of our website

Home Learning and Independent Study:
We believe that independent learning is the key to success in gaining confidence in communicating in a new language. We subscribe to the educational award-winning website www.linguascope.com offering interactive resources in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and English. The content ranges from elementary to intermediate level (6 to 16 years old). Organised in topic areas, the materials are presented via a host of immersive multimedia activities. All Claremont students can access in school and at home.

Motto: Languages for Life, Languages for All.
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