The children’s final years at St James are a wonderful time – they flourish as leaders in the school and grow in maturity both socially and academically.
They have specialist teachers for English, Maths, ICT, French, Music, Drama, Sanskrit and Sport, and as the oldest pupils, there are many opportunities to represent the school in sports matches, as well as perform at school concerts and music assemblies, at The Sanskrit Speech Competition or Spelling Bee Championship or at the Y6 Play as part of the Shakespeare Festival.
Y5 spend a week in Somerset in June, as well as, a weekend at Minstead Study Centre, Hampshire. Here they learn about caring for the land and tending to sheep, hens and the importance of biodiversity, while Y6 enjoy their last few weeks camping and learning bushcraft skills at “Bushcraft Camp” in Oxfordshire.
A key focus for these years is preparing the children for the 11+ entrance exams and transition to Senior School. They have weekly verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning lessons and increasing input and smaller teaching groups with our Head of English, Head of Maths and the Class Teachers. Although we are entirely committed to supporting the children in preparing for the tests, this is not at the expense of a wide and varied curriculum, with a range of stimulating trips, holidays and workshops and an outstanding arts programme.
At a time which can be emotionally challenging for the children, our underlying practice of pausing or having moments of stillness throughout the day, alongside our virtues of truthfulness, generosity, kindness and being your best, provides a solid and calm base from which the children can draw strength.
The resilience and self-reliance that the children have developed over their time at school, in addition to the creative ideas and thoughtful discussions they have contributed to at their weekly Philosophy classes, school assemblies and workshops, allows them to approach with confidence and success the next stage of their education journey.