We provide a happy and caring environment in which the girls are encouraged to develop and flourish – each year gaining further knowledge and skills, so they are well equipped for senior school and life beyond school. Girls join us in our Little Lyons Pre-Reception class at age 3+ and progress through to Year 6. Each year group has one class of circa 22 girls. Our curriculum is essentially divided into three phases:
The Early Years Foundation Stage
(Little Lyons Pre-Reception 3+ and Reception 4+),
Little Lyons Pre-Reception
All girls attend each morning session, with the option of adding afternoon sessions. Our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum leads to the acquisition of the Early Learning Goals. In addition, during the morning sessions, girls benefit from three specialist lessons each week. These are led by some of Lyonsdown’s specialist teaching staff. They are: Modern Foreign Languages (French or Spanish), Music and PE. The Little Lyons Pre-Reception team consists of an Early Years Practitioner and two Little Lyons Pre-Reception Assistants, resulting in an adult to child ratio of at least 1 to 8 at all times.
Reception: Our Reception teacher is supported by two full-time Teaching Assistants. Girls benefit from specialist teaching in PE, Music, Science and Languages.
Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2):
Girls begin to enjoy an enriched National Curriculum, which is enhanced to suit their learning styles and interests, with a specific focus on the development of their literacy and mathematical skills. Girls are taught by their class teachers with support of TAs, and also benefit from specialist teaching in PE, Music, Art and Modern Foreign Languages. In addition to Science being taught within their topic in class, some specialist science teaching in the Science Lab is introduced in Year 2.
Alongside their academic studies, Years 1 and 2 work together to put on two productions a year which enable all pupils to develop the confidence to perform in front of others. In addition, pupils experience a wealth of educational visits linked to their learning and workshops within the school, led by experts in their field, in order to broaden their knowledge and to enhance their life skills.
Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to Year 6):
When girls reach Year 3, the next stage of the learning journey begins at Lyonsdown. Instead of having class teachers, each year group has a Form Teacher (who may also be one of our specialist subject teachers), and a form room where time is spent together at the beginning and end of each day. Whilst Form Teachers have overall responsibility for the progress and pastoral support of the pupils in their care, the girls begin to have more lessons with Lyondown’s specialist teachers. In Year 3, the pupils still have a substantial proportion of their lessons with their Form Teacher, but as girls progress through Years 4, 5 and 6 they are taught by subject leaders for an increasing number of lessons, including English and Maths. This is an excellent way of preparing girls to thrive at senior school as they learn to become more independent at they move between various subject rooms and teachers.
From Year 4, girls begin to lay the foundations for senior school entrance examinations – with exam skills layered into everyday teaching and learning. In Year 5 formal exam practice and preparations begin with support from our knowledgeable teachers who understand the 11+ exam requirements in both selective state and independent schools. We also offer after school clubs for additional Verbal Reasoning and Non Verbal Reasoning, and the use of online exam practice tools to use at home.
The academic year is filled with many events, but two of the highlights for the girls in Years 3-6 are the Christmas Carol Service and the End of Year Summer Production. In the past, productions have included Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Lewis Carol’s, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the musical “Annie”, as well as productions which the girls themselves have scripted.