Independent Schools Inspectorate
Appleford offers the full range of national curriculum subjects delivered by an experienced and highly qualified body of Teachers. Lessons are undertaken in well-equipped classrooms with high levels of LSA support making use of the latest multisensory resources and with our 2 fully resourced IT suites offering an unrivalled ratio of computers per child.
Class based lessons are also developed through a range of off-site experiences including visits to art galleries, museums, theatre trips and historical sites.
Our Lower School comprises of classes for Years 3 to 7. Each class is taught by a highly qualified SpLD teacher with LSA support with average class sizes of 8 pupils. The Lower School has dedicated ICT and Art rooms together with access to whole school facilities such as Food Tec rooms, Drama studio, Music room and Sports Hall. Throughout the Lower School, children are regularly assessed with appropriate educational targets forming part of their IEPs.
Upon entry into the Upper School, pupils in Year 8 follow a broad and balanced curriculum based on the National Curriculum, including English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology, ICT, Science, PE, PSHE, Music and Drama and Food Technology. All pupils are assigned a Group Tutor who manages aspects of pastoral care and supports the pupils in their accessing school life. Extra-curricular activities for all pupils run between 4.15pm and 5pm Monday to Thursday.
In the Summer Term, Year 8 pupils make their subject choices for Year 9. These include a core of English, Maths, Science and ICT with either History and Art or Geography and Food Technology forming the options. All pupils opt also for Vocational Studies which, in Year 9, leads to qualification in the National Vocational Certificate and leads on to selection of two BTEC qualifications in Year 10 and 11 (at either Level 1 or 2). PSHE, Citizenship and careers guidance is provided for through the group tutor system.
In terms of achievement and access, depending upon the ability of the pupils, study will focus on GCSE and/or Entry Level qualification by Year 11. By beginning these courses in Year 9, we provide pupils with three rather than two years to progress through the programmes of study – a necessity for Appleford children to maximise their opportunities for success. All Year 10s will additionally receive additional careers guidance and work experience placements.
Our recent ISI report has borne out our commitment to providing the very best levels of provision and teaching for our pupils. In all areas we were judged as Excellent – the highest possible grade.
All pupils as part of their year 9 options have the opportunity to engage in a range of vocational courses leading to GCSE equivalent qualifications at 16. These include BTEC courses and the National Vocational Certificate. Additionally, pupils learn vital life and functional skills which help them access a successful adult life. Careers advice and off site visits to different employment settings help with this development and all Year 10s have the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement. From a whole school perspective all children take part in our annual Citizenship Day which welcomes visitors from a range of professions to the school and calls for all pupils to engage in an afternoon of voluntary service.
The development of responsibility, good manners and well-honed social skills are fundamental to life at Appleford. We still adhere to ‘old fashioned’ principals of politeness and respect for others and we reinforce this through well-developed PSHEE&C lessons and fair systems of reward and sanctions. Children are encouraged to take on extra responsibility around the school and our Prefect system provides support for younger pupils and the acknowledgement by the school of those pupils who ‘go the extra mile’.
Our School Council meets with the Headmaster and Head of Boarding on a termly basis and gives a voice to pupils’ ideas and concerns. Our well-developed ‘Buddy’ system ensures new pupils are made to feel welcome and soon settle into Appleford life. The class and group tutors provide a compassionate and understanding point of contact for their children and, at Appleford, no concern goes unheard or unacted upon.
We are a happy and considerate school where children thrive and become confident young adults.
Appleford places much emphasis on a healthy and active lifestyle. Our PE department boasts a range of lessons that would be the envy of much larger schools. Expert and enthusiastic staff develop both physical fitness and enjoyment in such traditional sports as rugby, cricket, athletics, gymnastics, netball, football and rounders together with dance, trampolining, tennis and badminton.
Our superb sports hall boasts facilities for all sports together with a new indoor climbing wall. All children have access to regular swimming lessons with an end of year gala giving the opportunity for inter-house competition. The highlight of our sporting year is the annual inter-house Sports Day.
A cornerstone to Appleford life is that children are taught in their classes, alongside their peers. Sometimes, however, individual pupils require additional input or small group support from specialist therapeutic professionals. At Appleford, we provide this through our in-house, highly qualified Occupational and Speech and Language Therapists. Working within the Learning Support Department, they provide clearly targeted interventions which are reviewed on a termly basis to ensure pupils receive the support they need, when they need it. In addition, Appleford is able to offer the services of our own fully qualified counsellor/psychotherapist.