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School curriculum

The school has high academic standards and aims to provide a challenging, exciting and secure environment for pupils, with staff placing great emphasis on encouragement, praise and reward.

Pupils in the Lower School (Years 3 and 4) will spend the majority of their time with their Form Tutor who is thus able to gain a clear insight and understanding of each pupil's strengths and weaknesses. They will be taught by specialists in French, Computing, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, Music, Games, Performing Arts and PE.

As pupils progress into the Upper School (Years 5 and 6) they will be taught by subject specialists.


The Curriculum

The educational programme offered allows for a thorough grounding in English, Maths and Science and gives access to a wide and challenging curriculum encompassing Computing, French, Geography, History, Art, Design and Technology, Music, Performing Arts, Religious Education and Personal, Social Health and Economic Education.

The Junior School benefits from excellent facilities and resources including the Library, Art Studio, Design and Technology Workshop, Upper School Science Laboratory, two ICT suites with networked PCs, as well as class sets of iPads, laptops and virtual reality headsets.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is delivered formally through two weekly lessons and informally through daily contact with the children. Religious Education is taught via assemblies and a weekly lesson. There is a wide programme of visits to enhance learning and inspire the pupils.


The Junior School Diploma

The aim of the Diploma is to encourage the pupils to participate in all aspects of school life. On entry to the Junior School, pupils receive a hardback individual diploma record that remains with them throughout their Junior School journey.

There are four awards: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The pupils all start at Bronze, irrespective of whether they enter at Year 3 or Year 6 and continuing working towards each award until it is achieved and they begin the next.

In order to achieve an award, pupils are asked to provide evidence of achievement or participation in four main areas of school life: Aiming for Higher Things (Academic), Exploring the Arts, Getting Active and Serving our Community. To achieve bronze, pupils are required to achieve two credits in each area. This increases as the pupils move through the award system. As an approximate guide, we hope that most pupils will complete an award within a year.

The award recognises commitment and achievement both in school and out of school. Pupils are required to present evidence to show that a credit has been achieved; this may be a certificate, photograph or a teacher signing to confirm participation in an event. A list of possible activities / achievements is suggested in the Diploma book.

Once a pupil has been awarded the required number of credits in each area, they make an appointment to see an ‘Assessor’ where they are required to talk through their achievements, explaining what they have done. If the assessor is happy that the criteria have all been met, the diploma badge will be awarded.



Close to the Junior School is the Music Department. Children are encouraged to play a musical instrument. Children wishing to take up an instrument for individual lessons are asked to contact the Junior School’s Director of Music. Music charges for September 2022 are £270.00 for a block of 10 lessons, charged for termly in advance. There are many groups including two school choirs, orchestra, windband, brass and strings groups. There is also a jazz band, handbells group, guitar ensemble and three rock groups. Children taking music lessons are encouraged to join when at an appropriate level.

In Year 3, as part of their normal class music lessons, the pupils take part in the Strings Project, which is an opportunity to learn either the violin, viola, cello or double bass. The pupils take part in several informal concerts throughout the year. The project is designed to stimulate a lasting interest and enjoyment of stringed instruments for beginners and is great fun!

  • Music lesson charges for September 2022 are £270.00 for a block of 10 lessons, charged for termly in advance.
  • Instrument hire for September 2022 start from £42.50 per term (larger instruments such as harps may be more).
Important - Terms and Conditions for music lessons - please read 

Terms and Conditions

1. To reap the full and extraordinary rewards of learning an instrument, it should be understood that this is a long term project for both pupil and parent; when registering for instrumental lessons it is our expectation that there is a commitment to at least one whole year’s tuition and regular practice.

2. Lessons are 30 minutes in duration and charged termly in advance. Fees for the academic year 2022-2023 are £27.00 per lesson and are reviewed annually.

3. Pupils receive up to 30 lessons (Year 3 – Year 10), 28 lessons (Year 12) or 24 lessons (Year 11 & 13) in a year. Your child's teacher will contact you if they expect to exceed this number of lessons.
    a The schedule for charging lessons to pupils receiving 30 in a year will be Michaelmas 10, Lent 10, Summer 10.
    b The schedule for charging lessons to pupils receiving 28 in a year will be Michaelmas 10, Lent 10, Summer 8.
    c The schedule for charging lessons to pupils receiving 24 in a year will be Michaelmas 10, Lent 10, Summer 4.
    d The timings of charges outlined in clauses 3a to 3c may not reflect the timing of actual lessons.

4. Lessons take place throughout the School day and are rotated to avoid the same class being missed on a regular basis. Pupils must request permission to leave an academic lesson at least 24 hours prior to their music lesson from the class teacher concerned; this may be done by email. There is a music card in the back of your child's Homework Diary specifically for this purpose.

5. Fees for Associated Board, Trinity and Rockschool examinations will be charged to your child's school account at the end of each term. If your child is withdrawn from the exam after being entered full payment of this fee is still due. Part refund can be applied for in extenuating circumstances or by presenting a doctor’s note in line with the examination board’s terms and conditions. Any additional lessons will be billed accordingly.

6. To avoid a charge, Visiting Instrumental Teachers must be given seven days notice of a pupil's absence (doctor’s appointment etc.). In the case of long term absence, please contact the Director of Music.

7. Pupils in Years 11, 12 or 13 who wish to continue with lessons during exam leave may do so. These will be charged at the normal rate and are by special arrangement with their teacher.

8. In agreement with parents, sheet music and some accessories may be ordered by the Music Secretary and billed to your child's school account by completing a Music Order form. You will be responsible for purchasing other accessories as requested, e.g. mouthpieces, reeds, and valve oil.

9. To discontinue instrumental lessons, notice must be given in writing to the Head of Section (e.g. Head of Strings) a full term in advance (as stated in clause 9.14 from WISF Parent Contract - terms and conditions) e.g. To discontinue lessons at the end of the Michaelmas term, notice must be received before the first day of Michaelmas term. Notice received after that time will result in payment until the end of the Lent term. It is assumed that pupils moving from Junior to Senior School will continue lessons unless notice is given.

10. A wide variety of ensembles is provided by the school free of charge. To maximise your child's learning and enjoyment we strongly urge them to participate in these excellent groups. Commitment is essential to the success of any ensemble. Please note rehearsals and concerts take priority over non-school activities.

Pupil Assessment at Warwick Junior School

On-going teacher assessment

We assess pupils so that we can understand what they can do and where they have gaps in their knowledge. Teachers record this information so that they can use it to inform their lesson planning and to keep track of the progress all pupils are making in relation to our expectations. We involve pupils in the assessment process which increases their engagement and helps them take greater ownership of their learning. During the course of their normal class work, pupils undertake regular end of topic tests and other independent tasks; in addition, pupils sit internal exams for academic subjects in the summer term. We track pupils’ progress and attainment using the Warwick Junior School Learning Ladders system.


Nationally standardised assessments

Teachers’ on-going assessments are complemented by the use of nationally standardised, age-related assessments at the beginning of the year to establish a baseline and reveal an individual’s particular strengths and weaknesses, and at the end of the year to reveal progress made. These cover English and Maths, as well as Reading and Spelling more specifically. Our aim is to have the fullest and most reliable picture of how a pupil is doing and what their next steps should be, to help them make the best progress of which they are capable.


Screening for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

At the start of the year all pupils receive baseline assessments in English and Maths. Should results suggest that a pupil may have some difficulties in spelling, further diagnostic tests are conducted to indicate whether traits of dyslexia may be present. Where appropriate, individual pupils may also be screened for dyscalculia. Parents will be notified of the outcome of an assessment, but should understand that 100% accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Our Head of Learning Support is responsible for ensuring that assessments are conducted, responding to teachers’ concerns about an individual pupil and ensuring that target groups or individuals receive the appropriate support both in the classroom or/and in individual support lessons.

If long-term support is needed then the school generally requires a report from an Educational Psychologist, detailing the level of need. If the support required is on a more short-term basis, the level of support will be assessed in collaboration with the Form Tutor or teachers of English / Maths. Parents will, of course, be notified of our recommendations.


More able pupils

It is our policy to support all of our pupils to ensure their continued progress in areas of exceptional ability and to encourage the wider development of their skills, abilities, interests and attitudes. Current good practice is to ensure such pupils are extended during lessons by using differentiated work and by questioning in greater depth. Teachers therefore pitch their questioning according to pupils’ needs. Skilled questioning provides a structured process for developing able pupils. A range of clubs exist providing opportunities for further challenge, including Maths in Motion, Writers’ Club and Code Club.


Reading with your child

Daily reading and discussion is very important in the development of reading, language and spelling skills and as the key to future learning. A pupil who has access to reading has opened up the exciting world of imagination and has access to limitless information.

Parents should be guided by teachers in respect of the suitability of reading materials for their child. Reading should be fun for the child, therefore a balance needs to be struck between the level of the book and the benefit of an “easy read”. At the start of the year all pupils take a short test to determine their reading age. Teachers will then suggest a suitable range from which the pupils can make their selection. Most pupils in the Lower School will be placed on a reading scheme.


Mathematics at home

Confidence plays a huge part in a pupil's success in mathematics. Helpers at home should try to encourage a positive experience and prevent anxiety. It is better to leave work incomplete than have a tearful child on your hands: simply write a note in the Prep Diary or a brief letter to the teacher explaining the circumstances.

A little maths each day will help enormously. Involve your child in the shopping, weighing and measuring, route planning and other similar activities at home. A ‘times tables’ CD playing in the car on the way to school is another useful device. Combining the use of a calculator with mental maths is useful and pupils need to be able to mix the two skills.


Termly Curriculum Overviews

Each term parents will receive the Termly Curriculum Overview for their child's year group, which gives subject by subject details of the curriculum to be covered, together with tips on how you can help your child.


Progression to the Senior School

The Junior School has a wealth of information about each pupil's academic progress. By Easter in Year 5, the majority of the year group will receive by post a letter confirming their place in the Senior School. Provided that the pupils continue to work hard and their behaviour meets expectations, their place is guaranteed, irrespective of their performance in the Entrance Exam.

All pupils will take the entrance exam to the Senior School, including those whose place is assured. The exam consists of English, Maths and a computerised assessment including verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. The entrance exam is important both as a measure when awarding scholarships and as a benchmark for the Senior School. The Senior School also use the scores in the entrance exam to ensure that forms in Year 7 are equally balanced. All pupils also have a short interview with members of the Senior School teaching staff.

If pupils have not have reached the standard required to confirm their place in the Senior School, parents will be notified of the school’s concerns prior to Easter. In most instances, the Headmaster of the Junior School will arrange meetings with parents of pupils below year group standards either at the end of Year 4 or the beginning of Year 5. A letter summarising the meeting and the school’s concerns will also be sent.

A second meeting will follow before Easter to review progress and to state whether progress has been sufficient to guarantee a place. A second opportunity to secure a place will follow after the Summer Exams.

Parents of pupils yet to receive confirmation of their Senior School place will be invited to meet with the Headmaster, to review ongoing assessment results and scores in the Summer Exams. Provided that progress has been made and the required standard reached, a place in the Senior School can then be confirmed. Some pupils may not receive this reassurance and the final opportunity to gain entry to the Senior School will be by passing the Entrance Exam.


Scholarships to the Senior School

Pupils who perform particularly well in the entrance exam are invited to a scholarship day in the Senior School. The pupils work in small groups in lessons devised by Senior School teachers. Scholarships are awarded based upon the entrance exam scores, combined with observations on the day, interviews with key members of the Senior staff and with the Head Master, Mr Barker. Scholarship standards are high and competition from external candidates is strong.


Scholarships in the Junior School

Currently there are no scholarships in the Junior School. Children develop at different rates and a pupil's strong performance at age 7 is often eclipsed by peers as they move through the primary years. The award of scholarships at age 11 allows for greater certainty and fairness.