Chinthurst School Logo

The Curriculum

  • English
  • Mathmematics
  • Science
  • Languages
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious Studies
  • Design Technology
  • Information Communication Technology
  • Music
  • Art
  • Physical Education and Games

The key aim of the English Department is to sustain a lively interest in the subject and to build firm foundations and then develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Learning to communicate effectively

Pupils get the opportunity to talk for a range of purposes, from reading stories and poems aloud to explaining and sharing ideas and opinions. The aim is to give pupils the skills to express themselves confidently and clearly, whilst also to be able to listen carefully and respectfully, seeking clarification if necessary, and dealing politely with opposing viewpoints.

Developing reading and comprehension skills through a variety of methods

Pupils are encouraged to develop as enthusiastic, independent and effective readers. They are introduced to a wide range of literature through independent and shared reading, and given opportunities to read extensively for their own interest and pleasure as well as for information. In the Junior Department, the range of literature to which pupils are exposed embraces fiction by significant childrens' authors, including some classic fiction, quality classic and modern poetry, myths, legends and traditional stories, and texts drawn from a variety of cultures and traditions. In the later years this expands to a variety of plays (including Shakespeare), novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction texts. Pupils learn various reading strategies, such as skimming, and are taught to evaluate and analyse texts.

Writing for a variety of reasons

Pupils are taught to develop, organise and communicate their ideas in writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, including diaries, letters, reports, essays, scripts, stories, reviews and articles. Emphasis is placed on developing the pupils' ability to organise and structure writing, using punctuation correctly, linking sentences coherently, using paragraphs to demarcate topics, development of correct spelling and legible, joined up handwriting. Pupils are also given opportunities to plan, draft, revise and proof read written work.

At Chinthurst, we believe that Mathematics is a natural way of thinking for each individual. It is a powerful means of communication through its language, symbols, visual representations and logic and develops pupils' abilities to calculate; to reason logically, algebraically, and geometrically; to solve problems and to handle data. Mathematics is important for pupils in many other areas of study, particularly Science and Technology.  

Solving Problems in Everyday Life

Mathematics is also important in everyday living, in many forms of employment, and in public decision-making. We feel that Mathematics enables us all to solve problems, to interpret and appreciate the world around us. It enables pupils to build a secure framework of mathematical reasoning, which they can use and apply with confidence. Mathematics is also an essential tool for use in many aspects of everyday life, both in terms of its content and also the process it involves. These include working systematically, generalising, justifying, interpreting and questioning.

Specific Aims in teaching Mathematics

  • Pupils should be able to apply their mathematical skills in real life contexts both now and in the future.
  • To consider the needs of every child and make mathematics relevant to each individual.
  • To have a varied and stimulating approach towards the teaching of Mathematics, that allows for imagination, initiative and flexibility of thought.

The Sciences form a key part of the pupils' overall development at Chinthurst. Physics, Chemistry and Biology are studied throughout the different Year groups in a well-equipped laboratory.

From a young age, the pupils are exposed to the benefits of practical investigations. They are guided and taught to establish basic hypotheses for their experiments and to draw conclusions from their results and discoveries.

A 'hands-on' approach to learning ensures that the theoretical knowledge is applied and reinforced practically affording each pupil an experiential understanding of each topic covered. Lessons are supplemented by various outside educational visits to the Planetarium and Science Museum.

For Years 3 - 6 The National Curriculum is followed with extension beyond allowing for high level entry to many academic Senior Schools.  For Year 7 lessons follow the structure of the ISEB curriculum, preparing pupils for Common Entrance.


The French Language Department at Chinthurst aims to ensure, in every pupil, the highest degree of confidence, fluency and enjoyment of foreign languages and cultures.

French is introduced in Reception and is taught throughout all ages, with a strong emphasis on the use of the target language where appropriate. Enthusiasm is achieved in the lower years through the use of songs and games and is maintained beyond these years via a wide range of resources, communicative activities and positive learning experiences.


Pupils begin studying Spanish in Year 1. During this foundation year, the aim is to introduce the basic linguistic skills and vocabulary, necessary to cope with travelling in a Spanish speaking country. The syllabus is structured into 6 key topic areas: Personal Information, Finding the Way, Travel, At the Restaurant, Shopping, and Free-Time Activities. The teaching is largely oral- based and delivered in the target language. The four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are used, and the course is designed to encourage the pupils' confidence and understanding as well as to introduce them to the culture of the Spanish speaking world.

The core of the syllabus is covered in Years 5 and 6, allowing time in Year 6 for reinforcement practice and extension work. The syllabus allows scope for considerable differentiation, and flexibility of teaching styles and tasks. The Department has established a series of end-of-unit tasks, which pupils complete during each year. In addition, every child is expected to produce a termly cultural assignment (project) at the end of each term, using ICT skills. This may take the form of producing a poster, an information Leaflet, an advertisement or a film review.


In History, we strive to promote enjoyment and knowledge of the subject. We stress the importance of chronology and of causation and effect. We learn of the past in Britain and the greater world, and how that past influences the present. The children discover the diversity of human experience, relating this to their own experience as a member of society.

In the Pre-Prep, history tends to be project-based, covering the lives and lifestyles of people in past times, famous people and important events; noticing similarities and differences between life today and in the past.

In Main School, the subject is taught in study units:

Year 3: Vikings and Normans; the Aztecs
Year 4: The Ancient World - Egypt and Greece
Year 5: The Modern World - Victorians and Britain since 1930
Year 6: The Tudors
Years 7(2016) & 8: The Medieval World (C.E. and Scholarship)

Curricular enrichment is brought about by an extensive programme of visits which include: Newhaven Fort, The British Museum, Bodiam Castle, Hampton Court and the Tower of London. In addition, there are regular school-based workshops on The Romans, The Vikings, The Victorians and Ancient Egypt. Each of these visits/workshops are important and valuable components of the area of study and are greeted enthusiastically by every pupil.


Geography is a fascinating, lively and practical subject which makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum by stimulating curiosity about the natural and human world and introducing pupils to people, places and environments at a range of scales. It provides a link between the sciences and the arts and is a key contributor to environmental education, education for citizenship and for sustainable development.

Combining Theory with Practice

Pupils develop the skills necessary to carry out geographical investigation, including the observation, collection and recording of data, the analysis of evidence, decision making and critical evaluation. Theoretical knowledge is explored in the classroom and experienced through various practical exercises. These take place either in the local school environment, along the River Tillingbourne, at Box Hill or as far afield as Twr-y-Felin in Wales.

Linking Place with People

By developing knowledge and understanding of place and people, and how they interconnect and interrelate, pupils come to appreciate the significance of the human and physical environment and the causes and consequences of changes in environmental conditions. World issues and topics covering a broader field are brought to life through interactive studies using a wide range of media, from ICT research, local news and video articles and current events publications, such as National Geographic. These serve to stimulate an interest in issues linked to environment, development and society and to develop an informed concern for the world around us.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies has a unique role to reflect Chinthurst's ethos and has a special contribution to make to the social, moral, cultural and spiritual development of pupils.

This uniqueness is exemplified by Assemblies (conducted by Senior Staff based on our half-termly themes e.g. Friendship, Tolerance, Truth & Commitment) and a Church Service, each Friday at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Tadworth, led by teaching staff, visiting speakers and, termly, by the vicar.  All services are fully pupil orientated and class groups regularly lead the theme.

General Aims

Pupils should:

  • Learn about religions (traditional belief systems) in the light of questions about human experience (shared human experience)
  • Gain further insights into human experience by applying their knowledge and understanding of religion to that experience.
  • Learn from this exercise by being encouraged to develop their own beliefs and values (individual patterns of belief)
Religious Studies provides opportunities for children to:
  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity and the other principal religions;
  • Explore issues within and between faiths to help them understand and respect different religions and beliefs, and understand the influence of these on individuals and cultures;
  • Consider questions of meaning and purpose in life;
  • Learn about religious and ethical teaching;
  • Develop their sense of identity and belonging;
  • Develop enquiry and response skills through the use of distinctive language, listening and empathy;
  • Reflect on, analyse and evaluate their beliefs, values and practices and communicate their responses.
Religious Studies does not seek to urge religious beliefs on children nor to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs by promoting one religion over another. It is not the same as collective worship, which has its own place within school life.

Language and communication

Children develop language skills through:

  • Talking about their work and presenting their own ideas;
  • Studying sacred texts and stories;
  • Extracting information from a range of sources.
Values and attitudes

In Religious Studies, children have the opportunity to:

  • Work with others, listening to each other's ideas, and treat others with respect;
  • Have opportunities to consider their own experiences, attitudes and values, and those of other people;
  • Develop respect for evidence and critically evaluate ideas that may or may not fit the evidence available;
  • Identify puzzling questions and suggest answers;
  • Develop their understanding of why certain things are held to be right or wrong;
  • Relate to moral and religious issues.
Building on children's earlier experiences

In Reception and Nursery classes, children will have had opportunities to find out and learn about the world they live in. These experiences are likely to have included:

  • Learning about the beliefs and cultures of others;
  • Sharing the celebration of different festivals;
  • Hearing stories from a variety of cultural and religious traditions.
In Years 3 and 4, pupils study stories from the Bible both Old and New Testament. The process of questioning authenticity and their relevance to shared human experience is gradually developed.

In Year 5 the pupils continue to explore biblical stories and in particular their relevance to Contemporary Issues.

In Year 6 pupils study world religions other than Christianity to further their understanding of other belief systems and cultures, to develop their tolerance of other religions and in particular to recognise the similarities in different belief systems.

Design Technology

Design Technology is an exciting practical subject that allows pupils to make sense of appliances and processes, mainly through first hand experience and exploration. At Chinthurst we aim to harness children's innate curiosity as to how and why things work. We can supplement this by providing pupils with opportunities to apply and develop further the skills they already have. Our Design and Technology Department offers, to all pupils, courses in which they study resistant materials (wood, metal, plastics, card), graphic communication, control systems (electrical, electronic and mechanical) and structures. The workshop is superbly equipped with hand and power tools and cutting facilities.

Becoming 'Young Designers'

By fostering a lifelong enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject, pupils can evaluate designs past and present, and encourage them to think critically. With the massive technological advances that have been made even in the last twenty years, it is apparent that people need to adapt quickly to such changes. By developing an awareness and flexibility, all pupils can be 'young designers'. Perhaps our world will be a better, more sustainable one if more of us considered how technology can advance without spoiling the planet?

Information Communication Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives, and many of us depend on computers and associated technology not only in our working day but also in our leisure time. At Chinthurst, children are introduced to ICT at an early stage. All classrooms have an Interactive Whiteboard, thus encouraging a multimedia approach to teaching and learning. In the Early Years especially, the computer significantly enhances our multi-sensory approach towards a rewarding level of achievement in reading, writing and numeracy.

ICT as a Subject

Information Communication Technology, or ICT, is an important part of school life. Pupils throughout the School have structured ICT lessons, our ICT suite which is equipped with fully networked PCs, whilst the whole School is connected using server technology, enabling pupils to access their work files from anywhere on the campus. In addition, ICT is increasingly used to support the teaching in other curriculum areas, from Maths to Music.  This is enhanced by our School Library equipped with eight touch screen computers with the primary focus of pupil research.

Cross-Curricular ICT

Whilst children are taught discrete ICT lessons from Year 1 to Year 8, we promote a cross-curricular approach to ICT in order to develop, maintain and stimulate pupils' curiosity, interest and enjoyment in ICT. Although we ensure that National Curriculum standards are being met, schemes of work are prepared which go beyond its guidelines providing continuity and developing progression in the acquisition of transferable ICT skills, concepts, principles, methods and vocabulary.

Learning for Life

Pupils are encouraged to develop personal qualities such as perseverance, initiative, empathy, self-confidence, independence and support for each other through their work in ICT. By the time pupils leave Chinthurst, it is expected that they will have a good working knowledge of the software applications most commonly used for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and database management. They will also have encountered modelling software and have a good understanding of how to use the Internet for effective research and communication. Ultimately, all pupils are expected to take away from their ICT lessons the skills necessary to implement the use of ICT in all areas of the School curriculum.


In the Art Room, we aim to provide pupils with a wide range of artistic and creative experiences. We hope to open their eyes and views to different artists and art movements, and encourage them to learn a wide variety of different techniques using a range of materials.

Identifying Artistic Talent

We offer specific Art Classes as an extra activity from Year 3; this is very popular and is regarded as an excellent experience for those wishing to enhance their appreciation of the subject. We have super facilities for Art, which includes a specific area for 3D work, used for wire modelling, clay firing and printing.

Cultural Visits in Art

We aim to explore the work of different cultures and artists throughout our work and we find it vital that we expose the pupils to a range of art galleries and workshops outside the classroom environment.

In recent years, year we have visited the Cezanne exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Watts Gallery and Henry Moore's sculptures at Kew Gardens. We always take advantage of the workshops available at the galleries so that the pupils have hands on experience of the artists' work.


Sport forms a key 'pillar' in our broad curricular and extra-curricular provision. All pupils participate in a wide range of physical activities specifically designed to improve their levels of confidence and skill. Attention is paid during all sessions to developing pupils' technical skills, speed, stamina, and agility.

Major Games

Underpinning the entire programme is the rich tradition of team sports at Chinthurst. Rugby and Football (boys) and Netball and Hockey (girls) are played during the Autumn and Spring Terms, whilst Cricket (boys) and Rounders (girls) are played in the Summer Term. A regular fixture list affords all pupils to represent their school, with many going on to club and representative honours.

PE & Extra-Curricular Programmes

In addition to these three major sports for boys and girls, Chinthurst also offers comprehensive and competitive programs in swimming, tennis, athletics. Swimming, health related fitness, gymnastics and basketball are also fully covered within the P.E. curriculum. Whilst the school has achieved a high level of national success in a number of these sports, it remains our core philosophy that all skill levels are catered for, so that pupils are afforded the opportunity to develop at their own pace and within an environment that engenders confidence and enjoyment whilst educating into a healthy lifestyle.

The school is justly proud of its history of significant sporting achievements, home and abroad, in offering sporting tours to every pupil. These range from domestic trips to PGL in Hindhead, St David's, Wales, whilst recent overseas experiences have included Jerseyand South Africa.