Pinewood provides a broad and balanced curriculum that engages, excites and challenges pupils from 3 to 13. It provides knowledge, skills and understanding appropriate to age and aptitude, enabling pupils to develop, progress and achieve, and then gain entry into their chosen senior schools.

A carefully planned and monitored curriculum ensures that learning is continuous and that pupils make good progress.  It enriches the learning experience for pupils beyond the usual confines of the National Curriculum, 11+ and Common Entrance.

Underpinning the curriculum are principles such as challenge, breadth, initiative, confidence and a sense of community. These work to provide an academically challenging environment which is vibrant, stimulating and most importantly, personalised to suit individual pupil potential.  Pupils are encouraged to take ownership of their work, fostering independence and instilling a lifelong love of learning.

The curriculum at Pinewood is designed to be accessed by all pupils who attend the school. If it is necessary to modify some pupils’ access to the curriculum, in order to meet their individual needs, then this is done with parental consultation.  Please see our Learning Skills page for more details.

Facilities include general classrooms with Smart boards throughout the school.  The school has a well equipped ICT suite and classrooms are equipped with a mixture of PCs and tablets.  The Music department uses macbooks and Maths has an interactive pupil response system.  There are two purpose built Science labs equipped with further PCs and specialist equipment such as data-loggers. A dedicated Music school, an Art studio and DT workshop, a performing arts theatre and sports hall, a dedicated Pre-Prep and EYFS  library, a dedicated Prep School library and a Learning Skills unit all combine to provide first class facilities for our pupils.

“The quality of the pupils’ achievements and learning is excellent. Self-assessment and clear target setting at the beginning of lessons encourage pupils to take ownership of and responsibility for their learning. Excellent questioning by teachers is used to confirm that pupils understand and extend their knowledge.  Resources throughout the school are of excellent quality and they are used effectively to support learning.”

ISI Inspection Report



Setting and Assessment

Pupils have varied lessons with their form tutor or class teacher and also benefit greatly from a range of specialist teaching to include Science, ICT, French, Latin, Music and Art.  Classes are small, work is differentiated and streaming and setting are used. Children are carefully set within their year group according to ability (although Year 3 and 4 are rarely set).  This allows children to achieve at the speed that suits them best and offers an individual, personalised learning approach.

A range of assessment both formal and informal is carried out during a pupil’s time at Pinewood.  Parents receive regular progress and termly reports, which detail achievement and effort. The strong tutorial system, academic and pastoral, ensures that every child’s success is celebrated and rewarded, whilst those pupils whose reports identify areas that are challenging, are helped and supported. There are formal Academic evenings and Parents’ Meetings during the year and regular and open communication is encouraged between home and school.

Extra-Curricular Preparation

Pupils from Year 1 onwards receive weekly prep.  In Year 1 and 2 this takes the form of a range of Maths activities and English activities such as reading and spelling.  This continues in Years 3 and 4 with the addition of some French vocabulary. In the summer of Year 3 and continuing through Year 4 some more formal written Preps particularly in Maths and English may be set.

Prep is intended to be set for children from Year 5 to Year 8 as work continuing on from recent lessons or as practice for skills and knowledge recently acquired. Prep time is from 4.35pm until 5.25pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Wednesday after games is available for children to catch up or read if they are not going home.

Scholarship and Academic performance 2015/16

It has been another good year with a commendable scholarship haul. We set ourselves a target of 3 academic scholarships out of a total of 16. In the event we achieved our 3 academic awards and a further 19 scholarships – 5 music, 2 art, 6 sport, 3 drama and 3 all-rounder.

CE was successfully negotiated with the average mark at 66% and with 77% of the grades attained as As or Bs. We won the CE Geography prize (Alex Taylor) at Cheltenham for the second Year, running as well as the French prize (Ed Hartley) and the Physics prize to Sherborne (Max Fraser).

Pinewood children left us to go to 20 schools: 8 to Cheltenham, 6 to Marlborough, 5 to Abingdon, 3 to Dean Close and Cokethorpe, 2 to each of Dauntsey’s, St Edward’s Oxford, Sherborne Boys, Millfield and St Helen and St Katharine and 1 to each of Malvern, Radley, Winchester, Sherborne Girls, Bradfield, Shrewsbury, Strathallan, Stowe, Old Swinford Hospital and Milton Abbey.

Our target for 2016/17 is 18 scholarships, of which 4 should be academic.

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