Promoting Challenge at Sherborne House

Posted: 21st March 2024

By Lucy Carswell, Head of Upper School

You might be curious about how we ensure learning experiences at Sherborne House are not only enriching but also challenging. We strive to ensure every child is happy and fulfilling their potential, encouraging pupils to develop an appreciation and understanding of how to learn, as  well as widening knowledge and fostering a love for learning. This blog will explore strategies used to ensure your child is engaged, challenged and continually growing academically.

       1. A theme-based approach to learning

  • According to our termly themes and concepts, our curriculum is constantly evolving, moving far beyond rote memorisation to a holistic approach. We integrate various subjects and encourage interdisciplinary connections, helping children see the interconnectedness of knowledge. By exploring topics from multiple perspectives, students develop critical thinking skills that extend beyond the boundaries of a single subject. This is supported through ‘Our Story,’ providing a framework and lens through which children can reflect upon their learning. By applying theoretical knowledge to real-world situations, children not only deepen their understanding of the subject matter, but also develop essential life skills that extend beyond the classroom. 
  1. A skills-based approach
  • Ensuring our teaching is varied and adapted according to children’s interests is a cornerstone of our teaching methodology, but we access this consistently through the teaching of key skills. These skills are progressive throughout children’s time at Sherborne House, ensuring continuity between year groups and an understanding of where children have come from. Whilst skills are subject-dependent, all teachers build upon creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, understanding that fostering a child’s natural curiosity is key to deepening their love for learning. By creating an environment where curiosity is valued, we aim to instil a lifelong love of exploration and discovery.
  1. Differentiated instruction:
  • Every child is unique, and we celebrate and support these differences through differentiated instruction. Teachers tailor their teaching methods to accommodate various learning styles, ensuring that each child has the opportunity to grasp and master concepts at their own pace. Whilst some children may require further support in a certain area, others will consistently need challenge and extension. Again, our progressive learning journey supports this as teachers are always aware of previous learning, as well as what they will move on to. Our goal is to cater to their individual needs, ensuring scaffolding and challenge for all, where appropriate.
  1. Assessment for learning:
  • Assessments are not just about grading; they are tools for understanding a child’s progress and adapting teaching methods accordingly. We use a variety of assessment strategies, including formative assessments, peer assessments, and self-assessment, to provide a comprehensive understanding of each child’s learning journey. Progress can look different depending on the child and we understand that assessment scores are a signpost of progress, but not the only element to consider.

5. Celebrating achievements and ensuring a Growth Mindset

  • We celebrate both small and large efforts and achievements, fostering a positive learning environment. Teachers get to know children as individuals, which ensures we are able to recognise and support all kinds of achievements.  Simultaneously, we instil a growth mindset in our students, teaching them that progress can always be made through hard work. Challenges are viewed as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles.

As parents, your involvement is crucial in reinforcing the love for learning at home. Engage in conversations about what your child is learning, encourage them to pursue their interests, and provide a supportive environment for homework and projects. Together, we can ensure that your child’s educational journey is not only challenging but also deeply enriching, preparing for their next educational step into secondary school and beyond.






Categories: School Blog