Academic Life

Junior School Life: Reception, Year 1 -2 and Year 3 - 6


The Reception class at SHHS provides girls with an easy transition from nursery to school life.

They benefit from a play based approach with plenty of opportunities for free play as well as activities that help them develop reasoning, numeracy, communication, language and literacy skills.  They learn to listen, co-operate and make friends and are soon completely at home in their learning environment. They love the chance to use paints, scissors and glue and are proud of their work which is displayed on the walls for everyone to enjoy.  Reception is always a hub of activity and girls also benefit from the use of an outside classroom where they can be found painting, playing in the playhouse or just digging in the soil.

Specialist teachers in Music, Art and PE work alongside their form teacher and teaching assistant, making sure the girls are soon taking real delight in participating in these subjects.

Year 1 - 2

No longer the youngest in the school, girls are now very settled and enjoying lots of new experiences and challenges. 

Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum begins formally in Year 1 and continues until the end of Year 2. There is a strong emphasis on securing basic skills in literacy and numeracy.   However, the curriculum is a broad one with class teachers being responsible for teaching English, Maths, Science, ICT, History, Geography, RE and PHSE. 

Subject specialists teach Art, Design Technology, Drama, Music, French and PE.  

In Music lessons, as well as plenty of singing, girls benefit from the opportunity of learning either the violin or cello in Year 1 and the recorder in Year 2. 

We organise class trips and visits to local museums and places of interest, taking full advantage of the riches London has to offer.   Whether it’s a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral to look at architecture or a trip to Waitrose to understand food sourcing and packaging, the curriculum is enriched and girls are helped to discover the fun of learning. 

Year 3 - 6

Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum begins formally in Year 3.  

The curriculum continues to be very varied and girls are taught English, Maths, Science, ICT, History, Geography, RE and PHSE by their class teacher. In addition, they benefit from specialist teaching in Art, Design and Technology, Drama, Music, French and PE. Mandarin is also introduced as a second Modern Foreign Language from Year 5.

Learning to think independently and imaginatively are the hallmarks of a South Hampstead education and we encourage creativity as well as an enquiring attitude in girls of all ages and in all subjects. Living in London, girls benefit from a wide range of visits including museums, art galleries, theatres, and performing arts venues. In addition, girls in Years 4, 5 and 6 go further afield taking part in residential trips, not only to extend their curriculum experience but also to help them develop their independence and resilience.  

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