Why do many children join HCJS at Years 3, 4, 5 and 6?

So far this year, 14 children have joined us in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Why do so many parents choose for their children to move schools and to join us at HCJS?
At the risk of starting this article in a negative way, I am nonetheless going to start this article off in a negative way!

It is the case that some parents of children who are already at school elsewhere visit the Junior School because they have grown uneasy with the provision for their child at the existing school. Thus they visit the Junior School interested to see what we may offer that might make the difference for their child and transform their child’s education.
So, onto the positives...

Why are things different at HCJS?

At HCJS, we are able to operate to different goals and ideals.
Our children do not sit Key Stage 2 tests, and our funding and raison d'être do not revolve around every child achieving the same specific learning goals at the same specific points in their journey through school and childhood.

So what do we aim to do at HCJS? What is our raison d'être?

At HCJS we want every child to leave us:

-    Loving school
-    Loving learning, and knowing how to learn
-    Having learnt about their responsibility for self and for others, in the class, in their school, in their city and beyond
-    Able to relate to each other, appreciate each other’s differences and points of view, able to work together
-    Able to relate well to adults, to look them in the eye, to talk and to listen and to think
-    Happy in their own skin, confident in their own abilities, and happy to address their failings positively and happily, rather than to dwell upon them.
-    Ready for the next stage of their education
Above all, we want every child to achieve his or her potential, and to do so happily.
How do we do this?
Our emphasis is on each individual child. We focus on where each child is with their learning, and on seeing them to the next stage, through a mix of challenge and support which we tailor for each child. (You can read more about our philosophy and process of testing the children here).
Our provision is incredibly broad. Children have dedicated lessons in English, Maths and Science, of course, but also in Humanities, RE, French, Art, ICT, Drama, Music, Singing, PE, PSHE, Games and Swimming. We fit all of these lessons into the school’s working week.
(*In Years 5&6, the children no longer have Swimming lessons but instead have a second afternoon of Games.)
We provide subject specialist teaching – and some subject specialist teaching even from Nursery. By Year 4, the children have specialist teachers across the board. Subject specialist teachers are able to provide a very different experience for their pupils.
Our class sizes are ideal – our classes range in size from around 12 to 19. In classes of this size, the teachers and teaching assistants are able to spend lots of time working alongside each child. They are able to get to know each child well as an individual, and of course, the children respond really well to this. At the same time, the children are able to work together with others of similar ability and find like-minded friends within the group.

netball tour

Our children take part in a whole host of co-curricular activities. They sing in choirs, play in sports teams, swim in swimming galas, act, sing and dance in school productions, play in concerts, run in cross country events, go on sports tours and school trips. These things aside, through our programme of school clubs, they build Lego, learn Scrabble, public speaking, photography, first aid and robotics, play chess, debate, sketch… (and this is just this term’s after school club offering!).

We teach the children that they are responsible for themselves and for others, through PSHE, assemblies and also of course in the way in which we interact every day. We have a lot of adults amongst the children and we all work hard to model this behaviour (and of course we are on hand to guide and moderate as necessary). We throw ourselves into whole school endeavours such as December’s HCJS Nine Days of Giving and Lent’s 40 Acts of Kindness. (You can read what the children have to say about embedding kindness here).
Children and adults love being at school taking part in everything and doing their best…and of course, such love and enthusiasm is contagious.
How lucky we are to be part of our community…and of course, we will continue to work hard to maintain and develop it.
choir royal festival hall

If you would like to find out more about the Junior School, please do come and visit us.

To arrange this, contact Mrs Lucy Debenham, our Registrar (01432 363511 or via l.debenham@herefordcs.com) or alternatively come to one of our Open Mornings. (Click here for details and to register).
In the meantime, you may like to have a look at our Junior School Facebook page or browse through our weekly newsletters to see what we have all been up to recently. 
Thank you for reading, and do please feel free to comment below. 
Chris Wright, Head of the Junior School (last updated: November 2019)

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