The best teaching, observed in subjects across the whole curriculum, set high expectations, aroused intellectual curiosity, challenged pupils and encouraged them to discover things for themselves.
Our curriculum reflects our belief in the importance of the individual: it is designed to offer unusual breadth, choice and flexibility. Lessons are delivered by highly qualified, enthusiastic specialists with a love for their subjects and a real commitment to their pupils and the process of teaching and learning. From the beginning, teaching takes place in optimum-sized groups in attractive, purpose-built, modern classrooms grouped in dedicated department areas. Lessons are well-equipped with ICT and other resources.
Students start in Year 7 with a broad base of 17 subjects including Latin, French and Design Technology. Unusually, Science is delivered separately as Biology, Chemistry and Physics from the first year. In Year 8 students add Creative Textiles and a second Modern Foreign Language (either German or Spanish) to their programmes and can opt to take Design Technology or Latin. In Year 9 students continue with their second language and can also opt to take Creative Textiles, Design Technology, Latin or PE Theory. Study and Research Skills and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE), feature as discrete subjects from Year 7.
At the end of Year 9, GCSE and IGCSE options are chosen, with most students continuing with ten subjects to GCSE. ‘Twilight’ and ‘fast-track’ courses offered to GCSE are one example of how our curriculum is shaped to achieve maximum choice, tailored to the individual. Most students sit GCSE Religious Studies at the end of Year 10.
Whatever her ability, each student receives personal guidance in choosing the best possible programme to suit her particular profile and career aims. At both GCSE/IGCSE and A level/Pre-U in the Sixth Form, Walthamstow Hall students are able to choose option combinations freely rather than from predetermined blocks.
Whatever her ability, each girl receives personal guidance in choosing the best possible programme to suit her particular profile and career aims. At both GCSE and A level/Cambridge Pre-U, Walthamstow Hall students are able to choose option combinations freely rather than from pre-determined blocks. There is plenty of advice in selecting subjects for Sixth Form study from the 26 A level and Cambridge Pre-U subjects on offer, including the opportunity to study the EPQ. Girls may either specialise in one area of study or mix Arts and Sciences. Students welcome the unrivalled freedom and choice this gives. At every stage the aim is to prepare students for the next stage and ensure that they obtain the qualifications they needs as a passport to the Higher Education and careers options of their choice.
Whilst being neither ‘super selective’ or an academic ‘hot house’ Walthamstow Hall’s magic formula of optimum class size, fantastic facilities and outstanding, specialist teaching staff delivers high levels of added value for every student. Walthamstow Hall consistently ranks highly amongst independent schools for ‘added value’ scores and is equally well placed within national league tables measuring GCSE, A level and university destination successes.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
At Walthamstow Hall learning is not confined to the classroom and the many clubs and activities offered are designed to engage a wide range of interests. Opportunity for all is a reality here. Students are encouraged to leave any preconceptions they have of themselves at the door and everyone is encouraged to ‘have a go’. The extended lunch break is designed specifically to allow time for practices, rehearsals and clubs throughout the week, in addition to those activities offered before school and after normal lesson times.
Supervised Late Study and tea from 4.15pm until 6.00pm is a popular option. Tea is also available for girls staying after 4.15pm for matches and other activities.
Pupils are eager and committed learners. Teachers know and understand them extremely well and so are able to support them with approaches that are well matched to the needs of the individuals.