Welcome to the Lower Juniors. Our Lower Junior Department embraces Years Three and Four. Within each year group there are three, mixed ability classes of approximately twenty-two pupils, housed in the original school building of Langlands. Class sizes are maintained around this level, to ensure that all pupils have their individual needs carefully assessed and catered for. Our aim, in the Lower Juniors, is to continue to provide all of our pupils with every opportunity to grow in as many ways as possible. Whilst striving for the highest possible academic standards, we encourage our pupils to develop new interests and discover new talents.
Individuality & independence
We want our pupils to become well balanced, rounded individuals, who are skilled communicators, confident and ambitious. Amid a warm and supportive environment, we aim to foster a burgeoning independence, intellectually, socially and emotionally. Therefore, all pupils, as they progress through the department, are given the confidence to take increasing responsibility for their own learning, actions and choices.
Dedicated, experienced & enthusiastic teachers
Each form, in the Lower Juniors, is taught Maths and English by an experienced and committed professional, who takes lead responsibility for the continuing welfare and education of each pupil. Our pupils enjoy lively, dynamic teaching and learning, amid a warm and disciplined atmosphere. In addition to this, teachers are supported by a team of skilled classroom assistants, who listen to pupils read, monitor progress and liaise with the class teacher in developing each child’s reading potential. We continually assess the suitability of our curricula, in order to maintain a balance of the best traditional methods with the most effective contemporary approaches. Specialist teachers deliver all other subjects, some of which are taught in dedicated and well equipped rooms, such as Science, Art, Music and Languages.
A motivating & lively daily routine
Our pupils begin their day with their form teacher. Before assembly or P.S.H.E., pupils have an opportunity to ‘warm up’ their minds, consolidate new skills or hone their critical thinking dexterity on a range of puzzles. This sets the tone for the day, before more formal teaching of Maths and English. A varied and invigorating mix of subjects such as: History, Geography, R.E., Science, Art, Languages, Music, P.E., Games and ICT are spread throughout the week, in the remaining lessons and pupils are expected to move around school to different lessons and teachers.
Supported & structured transition
At the beginning of Year Three, our pupils are in transition fromInfants to Lower Juniors. Similarly, at the end of Year Four, the pupils are preparing to move on to the Upper Juniors. For most of our pupils, these phases dovetail seamlessly and our pupils look forward to the prospect of new challenges and responsibilities. Nonetheless, we are acutely aware, that for some children this time can become an anxious one, as they come to terms with new teachers, timetables, routines and friends. Therefore, we provide a system of structured support designed to ease the worries of pupils and parents. All Year Three teachers visit the Year Two classes during the Summer Term, before holding a relaxed question and answer session with all the pupils who will be moving up. Year Two pupils also visit the Year Three classrooms and are encouraged to ask any questions they may have about their new class and department. Our Year Two pupils are also invited to join in a Junior School assembly before the end of the year. Our Year Four pupils meet the Year Five teachers in the summer term and are invited to sample the activities on offer in the Upper Junior Department on Open Day. Parents are also invited to our Welcome Evenings at the start of the Autumn Term, during which they are given an overview of the year ahead, by the Head of Department. They also meet their child’s teacher, visit the classroom and meet other parents.
Trips, camp, fieldwork & inspirational visitors
Pupils in the Lower Juniors continue to enjoy a wide variety of trips and visits, from the Grosvenor Museum in Chester, where they learn about the Romans, to the Canal Boat Museum in Ellesmere Port and a visit to Warwick Castle. In addition to this, our pupils take some lessons in the ‘field’, such as the Year Four Geography Trip to the River Bollin in Wilmslow. Year Three pupils also enjoy a visit from a ‘Viking’ and a yearly visit from a contemporary, children’s author. Our yearly, residential summer camp continues to be a very popular event, during which teachers and pupils enjoy a range of activities from rock climbing, canoeing and abseiling to gorge scrambling and mountain walking.
As part of our enrichment programme in the Summer Term, our Year Three and Four pupils come off their usual timetable for one week. As professional educators we recognise the need to provide a broad range of learning experiences which go beyond the core and foundations subjects. So, during this special week, our normal lessons are replaced by a range of fully timetabled cross-curricular activities, to help our children learn about and enjoy a specific theme. To date, we have learnt about, ‘The values underpinning the Olympic Games’ and ‘What life was like for Victorian children.’ We are extremely mindful of the need to address a variety of learning styles and abilities and this, together with a keen desire to immerse ourselves fully in the learning experience, has resulted in the extensive use of drama and role play. Furthermore, a fundamental aspect of the week has been a shared learning experience between pupils and teachers alike and as our photographs show, we are always willing to dress up and enjoy the fun alongside our pupils.
Sport, music & drama
There really is something for everyone in our range of extra-curricular opportunities. As well as the chance to learn a musical instrument, children are actively encouraged to join in any of the range of clubs and sports from Junior Choir, Construction Club, Book Art, Chess Club, Mathletics Club, After School Open Games, Drama Club, Art Club, Spanish Club, Latin Club and various musical ensembles. This list is by no means exhaustive but intended to give you a flavour of the breadth of opportunity in the Lower Juniors. There is even a staff choir, who meet regularly and have performed alongside the children at the Christmas Concert! Furthermore, if our pupils prefer to broaden their talents in a more academic sense, they can work towards Reading Awards and ‘Mathletics’ Certificates. Through the medium of a club or activity, pupils enjoy a wider social experience and teachers relish the opportunity to build their relationships with pupils in a less formal atmosphere.
We value greatly the contribution our parents make to their children’s continued success. There is no doubt that those children who flourish the most-academically, socially and emotionally, do so with interested and supportive parents. With this in mind, we conduct twice yearly parents’ evenings as well as recording each child’s progress through a mid-year, ‘short’ report and a detailed, comprehensive end of year report. However, parents may find that they need to contact their child’s form teacher at other times during the year and we encourage all parents to communicate with their child’s teacher through a note in the homework diary or via an arranged appointment, which can be made through the office. We very much look forward to welcoming both you and your child.
Mrs E Beer – Head of Lower Juniors