The aim of the Art Department is to develop in every student an enthusiasm for Art and the creative process and to teach a range of skills, both practical and analytical, that will provide not just a basis for success in senior school examinations, but also a foundation for an understanding of Art, Craft and Design which will stay with them for life. The Art Department sets high standards and provides a visually stimulating environment, encouraging hard working, imagination and exposure to a wide range of artists and designers. The Department is staffed by an experienced Art teacher, who brings extensive knowledge, professional experience and enthusiasm for the subject to the school.
Through the broad and balanced syllabus, the student experience includes drawing, painting, printing, textiles and three-dimensional work, photography, ICT and ceramics. Art is taught to the highest standard and those pupils who wish to pursue an Art scholarship are invited to join an Extended Art group, which meets at lunchtime and on one evening a week. These students extend their Art studies and it is from this group that potential Art scholarship candidates are chosen.
The Head of the Art Department is experienced in preparing students for Art scholarship and for guiding them in producing sufficient work from which to select the highest quality portfolio work consistent with the requirements of their chosen senior school.
Classics is a thriving subject at Junior King’s. The staff of the Department come from different parts of the Roman Empire, which gives us all a sense of its impact on Europe. We believe that Classics is not simply about the language and so throughout their time at Junior King’s, pupils will encounter the full range of Classics; as a result, we look at Greek and Roman mythology, ancient history and daily life.
We start Latin in Year 6 and there are beginners’ groups for pupils who join the school later. Ancient Greek is taught as an optional after-school activity in Year 8.
Computing & IT
Computing & IT prepares pupils to participate in our rapidly changing world. Pupils use IT to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. It is increasingly important that all children learn how to design and create software as well as simply consume it. Computational thinking is a key part of the Computing curriculum and includes decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithms. To this end, we use the Scratch programming environment to teach basic programming concepts in a fun and engaging manner.
At Junior King’s, we continue to develop essential IT and Digital Literacy skills including, but not limited to, high levels of competence in office software, touch typing, learning how to use the Internet as a research tool, how to stay safe online and communicating with others using e-mail. Highlights include learning how to design and program phone apps, coding websites in HTML and introducing game theory.
The Junior King’s Design and Technology department prepares pupils to be creative problem solvers, to work as individuals and as members of a team, to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies and to enjoy expressing their ideas using a wide range of media. Students are engaged in using computer aided design and manufacture, wood, metal, plastic and electronics to communicate their unique ideas.
During their Design and Technology experience, students combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects.
At Junior King’s, students are given the opportunity to develop a variety of practical techniques as they explore their imaginative thinking. Working in stimulating contexts, they engage in a continuous course of personal development, learning to use today’s technologies so that they can participate in developing tomorrow’s.
Drama is taught to all pupils from Years 3 to 8 through regular lessons, with aspects of the curriculum being taught in the Pre-Prep. The focus of the curriculum is twofold:
- Developing Drama skills
- Developing creativity
Through all Drama activity, pupils learn how to work together, gain self-confidence and express themselves freely.
The curriculum is progressive, allowing pupils to develop new skills, strategies and techniques with each new scheme of work, as well as honing those they have already learnt.
At all stages of the curriculum, pupils are encouraged to self-direct, develop constructive criticism and think about the visual and aural aspects of the work they are creating, incorporating music, sound and expressive movement into their pieces. The development of personal acting skills is catered for at each stage, and clear progression is seen in their ability to communicate character, emotion and atmosphere. The starting points for Drama are varied and challenging, allowing pupils to explore issues and form opinions, as well as discover classic texts and plays. Visiting companies and professionals help to encourage pupils to perform at their best. Storytelling through voice and movement forms a central part of the Drama experience for each year group.
In Year 7, pupils with aptitude and talent in the subject may be invited to join the Advanced Drama group, and in Year 8, selected pupils from this group are put forward for Drama scholarship auditions at The King’s School. We have strong links with the King’s Drama department and perform as part of King’s Week.
At Junior King’s we believe that, above all, English should be a creative and exciting subject. It is for our teachers to interest and inspire. We aim to show our pupils the rewards of bringing an experience into words, to make the way that language works a source of fascination and to match children to books, encouraging them to read for pleasure and to extend their ranges, reading above themselves and tackling as wide a range of literature as possible.
The school has three excellent libraries. Every child is expected to have a reading book (or an e-reader) with them at every lesson. We also study class texts, which range from poetry anthologies and play scripts (including the works of Shakespeare), through to modern novelists such as David Almond, Michael Morpurgo, R.J. Palacio and Julie Hearn.
Pupils are taught by class teachers up until Year 5 and, thereafter, by subject specialists.
Key areas addressed include speaking and listening, reading (beginning with phonics instruction in the Pre-Prep) and writing. The English Department runs a weekly bookshop and hosts workshops by visiting authors. In recent years these have included Meg Rosoff, Alex Scarrow and Kevin Crossley-Holland.
English has a vital role to play in children’s development and we strive to reach the highest standards for each child in our care.
Geography at Junior King’s is a vibrant and dynamic subject. Every child is encouraged to develop an appreciation of the physical and human diversity of our world and an enquiring approach to the many challenges facing our planet. A lifelong curiosity about the geography of our world is fostered and hopefully all children will leave the school with a desire to travel and discover for themselves the richness and variety of the world and a realisation that it needs to be protected. Our schemes of work are designed to give them a good sense of space and spatial awareness on the local, national and international level.
To do this, pupils are equipped with all of the map reading and atlas skills that they need and are encouraged to develop their logical reasoning and thinking skills through various tasks and problem solving exercises. In every part of the school they are given the opportunity to undertake fieldwork, whether it is going to the East Kent Ploughing Match and Forest Park in the Pre-Prep, finding out about the local area in Year 5, going to Farming World in Year 6, studying coastal processes at Folkestone Warren in Year 7, or visiting Rye and collecting primary data for their coursework in Year 8.
There are very good links with The King’s School, where Geography is a thriving subject. Results in the scholarship papers are very impressive and Common Entrance grades have been very good for many years. The Department is very well resourced, with a dedicated Geography Room and well-qualified and experienced teachers make excellent use of the most up-to-date textbooks and technology.
To understand History, one must understand human nature. At Junior King’s we seek to do just this. We bring the subject alive through a rigorous study of people, society and the forces which drove them.
Our pupils broadly study chronological history from Reception through to Year 8. At all age groups, History is led by subject experts who continuously work to ensure that the deepest, broadest and most interesting aspects of the past are taught. We study local history, national history and history from around the world in our fascinating programme of learning.
In Junior House, we study the Ancient Egyptians, the Greeks and the Tudors. In Year 5, we study a Humanities programme on a Saturday morning which includes aspects of Geography and Religious Studies. In Year 6, we begin with the Norman Conquest and focus largely on English History, ending with the death of Elizabeth I. In the Upper School, our pupils study English, African, Indian and American history, which takes us to great minds such as Toussaint L’Ouverture and John Snow and to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and universal suffrage.
At Junior King’s we also have a thriving History Club and a proud record of achievement in the Townsend-Warner Prize.
One day, in the not so far future, we shall fully understand human nature through the study of the past. When we do, you shall be the first to know.
Modern Foreign Languages
Modern foreign languages are an important element of the education that children receive at Junior King’s. Languages give pupils the chance to make friends in other countries outside their own, broaden their horizons and improve their understanding and acceptance of other cultures.
The first language that children learn is French, starting in the Pre-Prep. Spanish is added to the curriculum in Year 5, so children can study both languages in equal measure from Years 5 to 8. Our setting system allows pupils to enjoy learning languages at their own pace and enables us to welcome those who join the school without previous knowledge of French, Spanish, or both, to a beginners’ set, from which they can progress to other sets when they are ready.
Our specialist teachers work together with native Language Assistants, so we can provide classroom support wherever needed, offer oral practice sessions, produce language plays and meet the needs of our bilingual students. Bilinguals are given the same time allocation for their language as the other pupils, but follow a different syllabus that has been specially designed to help them improve their level of fluency and progress in the four skills.
Trips abroad are fun and very popular. Pupils in Year 6 spend three days in Le Touquet area and enjoy a long list of activities, from sand sailing to visiting a local chocolate factory. Trips to France and Spain are also undertaken in Years 7 and 8.
A major strength of the Mathematics Department at Junior King’s is that pupils are taught in sets according to their ability. This way we can ensure that pupils are working at a pace and level right for their mathematical development. Higher sets tend to work rapidly and time is set aside to allow these pupils to apply their knowledge through a range of problem-solving activities. Lower sets move more slowly with time built in to allow plenty of consolidation of the basic mathematical skills. Setting is flexible and pupils may move up or down at any stage during the academic year. There are more sets than forms, allowing for small groupings and close individual attention.
In Year 8, pupils take either scholarship or Common Entrance. Common Entrance is split into three tiers, Level 3 being the highest. Pupils will be required to take at least Level 2 to be considered for entry into King’s, but Level 1 is an option for those considering some other senior schools.
We enter many competitions during the year, both locally and nationally ,and we host a Year 5 Inter-School Maths Competition. There is also the annual Inter-House Maths Challenge, in which every single member of the school takes part.
The Department has a set of iPads and we aim for all pupils in Year 5 and upwards to use these on a weekly basis. Pupils in the Prep School have their own Manga High account which they can access at school as well as at home or on the boarding floor.
The Junior King’s School prepares outstanding musicians for Music scholarships to The King’s School and other top public schools. But that’s not the whole story! Junior King’s has a real commitment to making music beneficially touch the life of every single pupil.
The curriculum combines listening, composing and performing in imaginative ways. It also works with the Drama Department and other departments in exciting cross-curricular projects.
There is an incredibly busy programme of individual instrumental and vocal tuition. A team of highly qualified visiting music teachers covers the full range of standard orchestral instruments, plus piano, guitar (acoustic and electric), recorder and drum kit.
Every pupil in Years 3-6 is a member of his or her Year Choir. These choirs rehearse weekly and perform publicly every term. Our premium Chapel Choir has 30 members from Years 7 and 8 and gives regular performances in and out of school, including at the annual Carol Service in the magnificent setting of Canterbury Cathedral.
There is a school orchestra and string ensembles, flute and clarinet choirs and guitar groups. Pupils are given encouragement and support in organising their own groups, including rock bands.
Performing opportunities for all individuals and groups range from formal concerts like the annual St Cecilia’s Day Concert in November and the Gala Concert in June, to an annual Music Competition and a whole-school House Song Competition and to two or three Informal Concerts every term.
Physical Education plays an important part in the lives of all pupils, and at its roots we strive to fulfil the following aims:
- to create a positive and enjoyable learning environment in which all children will have the opportunity to develop their full potential, and which will encourage the beginnings of a lifelong involvement in sport and physical activity
- to promote health and general fitness levels in all pupils through active participation in a full and varied PE programme
- to develop a range of skills necessary to participate successfully in more formally recognised games and activities
- to foster an appreciation and understanding of the underlying principles inherent in games activities, e.g. the concepts of fair play, honesty, teamwork, perseverance and encouragement
In order to achieve these aims, all children receive a one hour mixed PE lesson each week, during which a variety of topics such as gymnastics, badminton, swimming and athletics are covered. In the afternoons, the boys and the girls separate for their Games sessions, where the major games are coached and teams prepare for their weekly matches. We have a full and active fixture list, with the majority of inter-school matches taking place on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.
What is PSHE?
PSHE is Personal Social Health and Economic Education. It is taught by form tutors in forms on Tuesday mornings. Our PSHE programme aims to promote the spiritual, physical and social development of pupils and to prepare them for some of the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. This preparation for life involves self-knowledge; an understanding of the needs and motives of human beings; knowledge about their own health and bodies; and the importance of choice. PSHE education is a planned programme of learning though which pupils acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. Pupils also learn about economic well-being through discussions and lessons about business, careers, enterprise and global issues such as climate change and sustainability. As part of a whole-school approach, it develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. The values promoted in our PSHE curriculum are inherently incorporated into the fabric of our school through assemblies, community events, our support of charities and in our day-to-day living.
The PSHE curriculum is taught in a variety of ways that involve discussion, reflection, role play, collaboration and team-work, multi-media and outside speakers.
Please click here to see our overview of topics.
The Religious Studies Department at Junior King’s aims to awaken children’s spiritual understanding and help them to begin the search for answers to life’s great questions. We try to establish an environment in which children learn to be reconciled with people of different opinions. As a Christian foundation school, our primary focus is on Christianity, but we also explore other world faiths, as detailed below.
In Year 3, the children receive an overview of the Old Testament. This includes Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the Exodus, as well as Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah and Daniel. In Year 4, the birth, life and death of Jesus is studied as well as the life of the early church.
In Year 5 we investigate the cultural differences in our society by looking at four of the major world faiths: Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. Where possible, we invite in speakers from those faiths. In Year 6 we study Judaism and some figures of the Old Testament who do not feature in the Common Entrance syllabus.
Years 7 and 8 follow the Common Entrance or scholarship syllabus. We study not only the set passages from the Old and New Testaments, but also look at a variety of contemporary issues. These include: prejudice and discrimination; science and faith; stewardship and the environment; and human rights, laws and rules. There is opportunity for discussion and critical thinking at all levels.
Children at Junior King’s are very passionate about Science and enjoy their lessons, especially the practical aspects of the subject. We are fortunate enough to have specialist teachers and purpose-built laboratories, which all children in Years 5 to 8 access. Science is taught as a discrete subject to Years 3–5 and also forms part of the Pre-Prep curriculum. In Years 7 and 8, pupils have separate Physics, Biology and Chemistry lessons and prepare for Common Entrance or scholarship exams at the end of Year 8.
Children are encouraged to find out about Science through experimenting and we aim to make the curriculum hands-on and practical wherever possible. Aspects of Physics, Biology and Chemistry are taught in a variety of different ways and the school’s wonderful grounds are also utilised as much as possible.
Further to that, we maintain strong links with the Science department at The King’s School and our pupils have the opportunity to take part in various Science events during their time here.
Biology is in many ways the most familiar of all three Sciences and pupils thoroughly enjoy the range of topics covered during the course. Biology is the study of living things and their environment.
Wherever possible, we get outside, whether it is to estimate the population of daisies in the Head’s garden or to measure light intensity or moisture levels in the nearby Forest Park. Our recently developed seasonal Nature Trail is used throughout the year as part of the curriculum and we are often joined by guest speakers. We have planning permission to develop a Wetlands Area beyond Forest Park, which would include three ponds, a wetland “scrape” and a bird hide. Children across the Prep School have carried out extensive surveys of the existing wildlife at the proposed site and look forward to charting the colonisation of new organisms.
The Common Entrance/scholarship syllabus is truly wide-ranging and covers a variety of topics, including: features of living organisms, cell structure and function, variation and classification, habitats and adaptation, plant and human biology, conservation and environmental protection.
Chemistry is the study of the structure and properties of substances.
Fundamental to the understanding of this subject is the appreciation of the periodic table of elements. Pupils are taught to understand that everything in the universe is assembled from a finite number of building blocks. What excites pupils most about Chemistry is, of course, the reactions between these building blocks: the chemical elements. We are able to deliver a very practical curriculum and most experiments are carried out either by pupils or through demonstrations in our purpose-built laboratories. Sometimes the reactions are so vigorous we have to do them outside!
The course is comprehensive and covers the following topics: particle theory of matter, mixtures, separation techniques, chemical reactions, acids and alkalis, elements, compounds, mixtures, reactivity and pollution.
Physics is the study of physical processes all around us.
The pupils are encouraged to ask questions about natural phenomena and Physics can help go some way to explaining why things happen.
Physics is taught as a specialist subject in Years 7 and 8 and builds upon the work covered lower down the school. The curriculum for Common Entrance and scholarship is taught through a variety of discrete units. In Year 7, pupils learn about energy, renewable and non-renewable resources, space, light and sound. Forces, electricity and magnetism are the three major topics that are covered in Year 8.