It is a continual great pleasure for those of us teaching here to help every boy work hard to fulfil his potential; we set high, challenging standards for all. The beauty of learning in an independent school, The Hall included, is that we are free from working within the frameworks prescribed for schools in the state-maintained sector. That said, much of what our boys learn is closely aligned to the schemes of work set out in the National Curriculum; we do our best to shape our programme to suit our needs however, thus ensuring it is fit for our purpose. At The Hall, the school day is busy and full, yet plenty of boys still find the time and energy to enjoy taking part in our extra-curricular activities too.
We also understand that our boys learn best in different ways. We, therefore, take advantage of a number of varied learning environments, through which the broad, balanced and relevant curriculum is delivered; plenty of learning happens in lessons of course, but also when our boys are out at Games, playing in concerts, acting in plays, on school trips here in the UK or abroad, as well as when they are completing tasks on their own at home in the evenings. Schemes of work are designed to provide plenty of scope for boys to tackle a range of tasks and activities that best match the breadth and depth of their abilities and then extend them. These schemes are reviewed annually.
Senior schools to which we send our boys are increasingly making decisions about the entry at 11+ when our boys are still in Year 6 or 7. We, therefore, prepare them for a range of senior schools’ pre-entry assessments so the boys can confidently meet these challenges as well as those of the different school entrance frameworks taken at Year 8.
Our curriculum is effectively planned around specific learning objectives for every subject area within each year group.
The subjects taught across the Middle and Senior Schools encompass
Hall boys begin their exploration of spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning early, whilst still in the Junior School. Articulated in our key values, reflected in our pastoral system and codes of conduct as well as in the curriculum and co-curricular activities, we support and nurture boys by building their character so that they may show initiative, seek meaning and purpose, explore the mysteries of life and be creative and inventive.
Mutual respect and tolerance are at the core of school life; boys learn to treat each other and staff with great respect from the moment they arrive into the Junior School. We cherish being a multi-cultural school, with families from a range of backgrounds and cultures and we encourage and enhance the boys’ understanding of their place in a wider community by giving them opportunities to experience diversity and by rejecting discrimination based on difference. .Assemblies, conference days, discussions and learning in class, all promote and effectively prepare the boys for ‘opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in British society’.
Our house system, the School Council and Eco-School meetings promote student voice and opportunity for boys to share their experiences and opinions in a safe environment. Boys have input with regard to the food they eat, after-school activity options and larger eco issues, such as how the school deals with its waste. Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also frequently conducted to gauge opinion. The active participation of all our boys in these forums helps to sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future and of society’s shared and agreed values.
Boys will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the community or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. This understanding of the importance of rules is consistently reinforced through assemblies and the curriculum, by staff throughout the school. The involvement of boys in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind them and the consequences if they are broken. Through enquiry in our Life Skills curriculum and the wider curriculum, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that boys can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, politicians, religious members, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more, whose clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law.