The school day will begin with a working breakfast session with tutor groups of around 20 pupils from all year-groups (once the school has different year-groups). Delivered in an informal way, this session provides a valuable opportunity for tutors and pupils to bond, a great way to get to know others outside their age group and foster the kind of caring family ethos so important to life at Harperbury. This is an important session with topics including personal, social and health education (PSHE), citizenship and personal organisation.
Your child’s tutor will be a significant person and they will meet privately every three weeks to discuss progress in each academic subject, their other activities, and anything your child may feel concerned about. This will be an excellent way of giving each child the individual attention they need to help them flourish.
Next in the day come three intensive sessions of 30 minutes each – maths, English language and a foreign language. Some of this learning will be in class groups, other parts will be individualised (everyone working on their own privately, with teachers and learning mentors offering help) and some small groups will convene for specific work.
After a short break students will have three long lessons of 80 minutes each which will contain the rest of the subjects. Generally these lessons will be taught in classes of 30, but sometimes the classes and teachers will be combined to form double or triple-sized groups for special projects. See the curriculum section for a list of subjects taught in these periods.
Later in the day is enrichment where students select from a range of activities – sport, arts and hobbies. We encourage them to try new things, while becoming expert in a small number.
Finally, they will complete their prep (homework) at school. While this means the school day finishes later than in some other schools, it means that they will not have to do the work at home. These homework sessions will be phased in gradually over months to ensure that no child is overwhelmed or overly fatigued by their new routine. While these sessions are compulsory, where a pupil has a commitment outside school, such as playing in a team or an orchestra, this takes priority and parents can agree to supervise the work at home later.
Enrichment and prep sessions run Monday to Thursday, so the school finishes earlier on Friday.