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Altrincham Preparatory School
3.(b) The contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision
(including community links of benefit to pupils)
The school offers a broad curriculum that supports its aims in having a positive
impact on achievement and pupils’ personal development. The curriculum is
enhanced by the addition of French from the Nursery onwards. Pupils’ education as
a whole contributes effectively to their linguistic, mathematical, scientific,
technological, human, social, physical, aesthetic and creative development. It is
suited to all ages, abilities and needs, and it covers well all the required subjects,
including effective personal, social and health education (PSHE). French and
religious education (RE) are also part of the curriculum. Music is a particular
strength of the school and all pupils benefit from strong teaching and enthusiasm in
this subject. Whilst the curriculum is currently timetabled as effectively as possible
to allow all pupils to benefit from this wide range of subjects, the school is aware that
the relatively short time of the day puts undue pressure on curricular time for some
The curriculum is planned throughout the school to ensure continuity of education
and progress across the years. Each class teacher produces long-, medium- and
short-term plans. The short-term plans include how the needs of different abilities
are to be met and how to assess pupils’ progress. Pupils with LDD or EAL receive
very strong support that enables them to benefit from the curriculum. They are given
individual education plans which are well know to the staff, who include suitable
provision for these pupils within their regular planning. Gifted and talented pupils are
catered for through extension activities often involving open-ended tasks, a result of
the development of the role of the co-ordinator since the last inspection.
The school provides a good range of extra-curricular activities for all pupils, which
are appreciated and enjoyed by all. A good range of visits is organised by each year
group, both local day trips and visits overseas, including a residential visit to France
for Year 6. Pupils also visit local places of historical and artistic interest that further
broaden their aesthetic development. Good community links have also been
3.(c) The contribution of teaching
Stimulating and effective teaching, some of which is excellent, enables most pupils
to make excellent progress and give of their best, in line with the aims of the school.
Teachers are well aware of those pupils with LDD and suit work to their needs. A
great deal of time is given to boys who need help both in a one-to-one situation and
in small groups. Teachers’ subject knowledge is invariably strong, and they make
good use of resources. In the best lessons, lively and enthusiastic teaching that
includes effective questioning techniques enables all pupils to achieve well. For
example, in a Year 2 RE lesson, boys were able to articulate their understanding
from previous lessons and use skilful questioning techniques to demonstrate their
understanding of the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. Praise and
encouragement are used to good effect, and this adds to pupils’ enjoyment of the
topics studied.
The classrooms are well resourced and all have inter-active whiteboards. These
resources are generally used effectively to help produce stimulating lessons that
maintain pupils’ interests and enthuse them. Staff are also adept at using a range of
teaching methods to ensure that lessons are fresh and exciting.
© Independent Schools Inspectorate 2010