At The Elms, we don’t do SATs. Walk around our school campus during SATs week and you will see pupils enjoying learning – measuring a tree’s circumference, looking for patterns on leaves, sketching the landscape or launching a water-powered rocket. A stark contrast to the rows of anxious faces sitting in exam halls in primary schools across the country.
Pupil wellbeing is a top priority at The Elms and we believe that happy children are the best learners. We aim to nurture a lasting love of learning in every pupil through engaging experiences inside and outside the classroom and promoting a ‘have-a-go’ attitude.
Why do we choose not to do SATs?
We see SATs as a barrier to high quality, relevant education. Our curriculum is broad, varied and fun. It develops pupils’ deeper thinking and their ability to problem solve and reason; it nourishes creativity and helps to develop a growth mindset through opportunities to try, fail and then try again. We encourage enquiring minds by allowing children to ask questions and find the answers for themselves.
The skills our children acquire through the curriculum are more beneficial in preparing them for life and further education than learning how to memorise facts to pass a test.
Quality education with specialist teaching
Our children receive the very best teaching from a dedicated staff team. Teachers work collaboratively to plan and deliver high quality, interactive lessons. Monitoring pupil progress is a continuous process. By observing each child’s performance as an individual throughout the school journey, we can identify opportunities to support or challenge them as they learn.
When children return to school in September after a full term of remote learning, some pupils may be further ahead than others and some may need a little time to catch up. Our teaching approach is tailored to support different learning paces and ensure that every child achieves their personal best.
Opportunity outside the school day
The Elms’ varied co-curricular programme offers experiences beyond the classroom and encourages the development of many skills:
- Science and engineering in the Goblin Electric Car Club
- Strategic thinking and problem solving in the Strategy and Maths Games Club
- Sportsmanship and challenge through the varied sports clubs
A well rounded child
Achievement and success should not be limited to the classroom. Whilst academic accomplishment is important, the school week is balanced with opportunities for children to achieve in other ways. All junior pupils have the chance to play an orchestral instrument and receive 1:1 specialist teaching. Infant pupils learn to play the recorder and most children can read music by the time they finish The Elms. Each year every pupil takes part in performances with their peers, developing singing, dancing and acting abilities. Additional support for creative children is also accessible through LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) sessions.
Developing skills for the future
At The Elms strong staff and pupil relationships give children confidence to take managed risks and try new things. Children learn the importance of responsibility from a young age through many opportunities:
- Prefects lead assemblies, welcome tour visitors and help younger pupils.
- Play leaders support collaborative play in the playground.
- Anti-bullying ambassadors advise other pupils in times of need.
- The Year 6 ‘Endeavour Award’ programme encourages pupils to organise community projects and support local charities.
In these unprecedented times, it can be hard to imagine exactly what the future will look like but building strong relationships and working well with others will always be essential to succeeding in an ever changing society. A school’s job is to equip a child with the skills to lead a successful, happy life, and success can mean anything they want it to. Standards and excellence are much more than a mark in a test.
Trent College and The Elms welcome admissions throughout the year. Book your place on our upcoming Whole School Open Day, 6th March 2021. Can’t make that date? You can also book a private virtual tour of our school. Find out more about Nursery & Pre-School, Reception and Juniors.