“Inspired rather than under pressure”
The academic curriculum is designed to prepare boys for all the subjects they will face in their major examinations at 10+, 11+, 12+ and Common Entrance. These are English, Mathematics, Science, French, History, Geography and Religious Education. Latin is introduced at the age of ten.
The school uses a range of tests such as CAT4, PiRa and MidYis to acclimatise pupils to the kind of exercises they increasingly encounter at senior school interview days. In addition, pupils have good interview practice and scenarios to increase their confidence. The extra-curricular clubs, we hope, build up our boys’ articulacy, individuality and sense of joyful independent learning.
In addition to the main academic subjects, Design and Technology is taught by a subject specialist to all the pupils from Year 4 upwards in a specially equipped room in the Senior House. Art, Music and Drama form an important part of the curriculum. Every class in the Senior House has a weekly drama lesson with a specialist teacher. Plays are performed annually and there are many opportunities for performance in designated school assemblies when the boys’ talents are celebrated. Two or three times a year the boys organise and run their own ‘performance assemblies.’
The Arts are valued as an important part of the curriculum at St. Anthony’s. In addition to timetabled lessons, boys have the opportunity to participate in a range of extra activities including choir, learning a musical instrument, orchestra, play productions, and art ‘hobbies’.
Visits to museums, theatres and galleries are arranged regularly. Once a week from Year 3, there is an after-school hobby activity when the boys share a variety of interests with their teachers. These may include, for example, computing, cookery, chess, model-making and artistic or sporting activities. What is on offer varies from term to term.
Boys selected for school teams play fixtures against other schools. Each boy has a Physical Education class twice a week – usually at Brondesbury Cricket Club, a short coach ride away. All classes are also timetabled to use our covered swimming pool. The main sports offered are football, rugby, hockey and cross-country running during the winter and cricket and athletics during the summer: a careful balance is struck between provision of high quality physical education for all and provision for school teams.
The boys in the school are taught by a team of teachers who aim to give as much individual attention as possible. Each boy has a form tutor who fulfils an important pastoral role, taking a special interest in his overall development. The school aims to help each boy to develop confidence, self-esteem and a positive approach to learning. Close liaison between the form tutor and the home is a characteristic feature of St. Anthony’s.