Year 7 - Year 9
We want to see your child thrive in the Lower Senior School. It is an exciting time as they begin to mature, make their own decisions and become more independent, but there can be challenges and it can be a little daunting.
Our Lower Senior School is a space dedicated to pupils in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. They will have full access to all the resources that a Senior School can offer, but benefit from a secure, nurturing environment where we can focus on issues relevant to pupils aged 11 to 13: adolescence, building friendships and conflict management, social media and online safety.
As your child moves through adolescence, we work hard to create a community where pupils support one another, are kind to themselves and each other. These are essential qualities that we continue to build on as they move up through the school.
Pastoral Care and Wellbeing
These years are an important time for the social and emotional development of your child and we are proactive in the pastoral care we deliver. Our PSHE lessons, tutor time and assembly programme are designed to help your child gain a greater understanding of the world they live in and what part they wish to play.
In addition to the curriculum, your child will take part in regular, bespoke workshops to support them in their friendships and relationships, e.g. Girls on Board and Loving Classrooms. They will have opportunities in the academic subjects as well as outside of the classroom to develop their leadership skills, such as Enterprise Day or on residential trips.
Our restorative pastoral care focuses on helping young people to learn from the mistakes they make and move forward better and stronger. Time is spent helping them to understand the impact of their behaviour and see what they can do next time. We create a listening culture so that young people can be heard and given time to fully understand a situation leading to pupils learning well from any mistakes made.
Small form groups give our tutors time to get to know their tutees and offer excellent pastoral care. Regular one-to-one sessions will help your child to reflect on their progress inside and outside of the classroom and offers them a place to discuss any concerns they might have.
We know just how important friendships are to adolescence and have introduced a new programme called Loving Classrooms. This weekly lesson focuses on helping Year 7 and Year 8 pupils to build positive relationships both here in school, but also at home and use the skills learnt to navigate any bumps in the road. We work to help young people to understand how to listen, understand and repair their relationships so that they can better manage themselves and support each other.
Your child will benefit from the experience and wisdom of our Sixth Form, and our well-developed mentoring programme offers a great way for our Lower Sixth pupils to support our Senior School pupils both pastorally and academically. The weekly sessions offer a space for pupils to learn from older pupils.
The curriculum is as broad as it possibly can be so that when students enter Year 9 they are well equipped to make informed and sensible decisions about GCSE options available. The Year 9 pupils are given a great deal of guidance in choosing their GCSE options and they are well-equipped in the study skills and independence needed to flourish in external exams at the end of Year 10. Our developed careers programme, Future Pathways, helps them to have the softer skills needed to prepare for life after Freemen’s.
Foundation Project Qualification (FPQ)
We devote time in the Year 8 curriculum to develop your child's independence through the Foundation Project Qualification (FPQ). This is an externally accredited programme, which will help your child learn how to research, analyse and evaluate, as well as write, present and review on a topic of their choice. Previous titles include:
The Lower Senior School is based in the Haywood Centre, a modern building incorporating well-equipped classrooms, IT & multimedia rooms and the library. Your child will benefit from the professionally equipped Ferndale Theatre and the Music Recital Hall, including musical rehearsal spaces, and individual tuition rooms. There are modern laboratories and workshops in the Science & Technology Centre and well-equipped studios in the Art & Design Centre. Our magnificent grounds provide ample space for high quality rugby, hockey and cricket pitches. There are two all-weather pitches, tennis courts, cricket nets and athletics facilities. We have a large, multi-purpose Sports Hall which incorporates a multi-activity fitness suite, two squash courts and an award winning swimming pool.
We want your child to participate in physical activity for life and have the space to allow them to explore individual as well as team sports. the main sports played are rugby, hockey, netball, football, cricket and tennis.