Grittleton House School is a small, family-run independent co-educational school for children who range in age from 2-16. The house itself is set in 20 acres of glorious Wiltshire countryside, and has a staff of highly qualified and dedicated teachers. We firmly believe in traditional family values, courtesy, consideration for others, responsibility for oneself, and these attributes are nurtured in small classes.
Our aim is to help each child achieve its fullest potential, be that purely academic or in other fields, and our motto ‘To strive is to Accomplish’ is, we hope, a daily fact of life. Every child has the potential to succeed, and at Grittleton House, it is our aim that all pupils will do just that, whatever their abilities. As a non-selective school, we will always have a large range of abilities – the brightest children will be encouraged to accept more challenges: those who need it will be given extra help until they overcome their particular difficulties. By the time the children leave Grittleton House, we hope that not only will they have achieved excellent academic results, but that they will have a feeling of self-worth and the confidence and values to equip them for a happy and successful life in society.
We hope, when you have examined this website, you will want to come and see the school. Do, please, telephone for an appointment. We shall be delighted to show you round.
Mrs Catherine Whitney
Mrs Joanna Shipp
Mr Julian Shipp
The Nursery & Infant School
The Nursery and Infant Department occupies what was once the servants hall of Grittleton House. Children can join the school from the age of two and the Nursery provides a happy and stimulating environment. Learning through play promotes personal and social development and as it is sometimes a small child’s first experience of life away from home we are ever mindful that to be happy is of prime importance, not only to the child, but also to the parents. As the children progress through the Nursery, language and literacy skills are fostered through story telling and conversation, and sound and letter recognition begins as children become aware of and talk about their surroundings. Numeracy skills are introduced and encouraged by the use of mathematical language, pattern recognition and sequencing and a multitude of practical activities.
In the Infant Classes – Reception, years 1 & 2 – the children begin to explore a wider curriculum. The core subjects of English, Maths and Science form a large part of every day’s lessons, and Drama, PE, French and Music become important items in the weekly routine.
The Junior School
The Junior School builds on these foundations and in the small classes the children continue to absorb knowledge. Again, we strongly believe in the traditional values in teaching. The old, tried and tested methods have stood the test of time and been proved to work, and these we thoroughly endorse. All children in the junior school learn to spell and say their tables! Where new ideas complement these methods, they are happily adopted, but ‘trends’ are never taken up merely to be fashionable.
History and Geography are added to their timetable at this stage. Music and Drama also become very important aspects of school life. The children have the opportunity to learn to play woodwind instruments and they all take part in choral activities.
Games and athletics are always popular. The children are encouraged to develop individual skills and to participate in team games and in matches against other schools.
From Year 3 homework is set daily, chiefly to encourage confidence and the ability to work alone. It is important, in both Junior and Senior Schools, that homework is done regularly and Home Message Books are provided for daily recording of homework. Parents are asked to check, and confirm by signature, that homework has been completed. Form Teachers will countersign the books each morning.
The Junior children may join the School Ski-Trip (alternating each year with the Senior ski trip) and in Year 6 they are invited to participate in a Venture Week. As with the ski-ing trip this gives the children the opportunity to be away from home but live together with people they know.
The Senior School
At 11+ most of the Junior School pupils move up to the Senior School. Children from other schools enter Grittleton House at this stage. A broad based curriculum offers pupils a wide choice of GCSE subjects. There is a personal development and social education course which from Year 9 also embraces careers advice. The monthly assessment of pupils’ progress monitors their endeavours and highlights, at an early stage, any areas of concern.
In the Senior School we expect pupils to begin to assume more responsibility for their own work and behaviour. By the time they reach their final year, most will be playing an active role in the running of the School, be it as prefects, games captains, or library assistants. They will be taking active parts in debating groups, leading roles in dramatic productions, and leading their teams to victory on the playing fields. All this and GCSEs too!
In the Senior School pupils usually have the same form tutor for at least four years. This member of staff is responsible for their pastoral care and the supervision of each individual’s progress. Time is allocated each day for form business, advice and guidance.
The breadth of the curriculum is one of the strengths of the school. It is constantly scrutinised and adjustments and additions are made where we feel they are required to meet the particular needs of the pupils and the demands of the national curriculum.
The curriculum for Years 7, 8 and 9
From the ages of 11–13 all the pupils follow a common curriculum. We build on the excellent work achieved in the primary schools and aim to ensure that pupils will;
• Acquire excellent numeracy and scientific skills and become familiar with all the IT skills.
• Become fluent and articulate in their own language, able to write creatively, speak coherently and read accurately with enjoyment.
• To study foreign languages, and develop spoken fluency and an understanding of other cultures.
• To develop an understanding of world affairs through the study of History and Geography.
• To develop creative skills, in Drama and Music, and build self-confidence through team work and performance.
• To build on practical skills through the Art, Design and Home Economics programmes.
• To understand the history of Christian Religion, to understand other religions and different ways of life.
• To experience as wide as possible a programme of PE, Sport and personal fitness.
From the age of 14 pupils choose, in consultation with parents, Staff and careers advisors, the subjects they will study for GCSE.
Out of the Classroom
Extra curricular activities in the Senior School are numerous. Pupils can participate in exchange trips to France and Germany when they are able to hone their language skills. Ski-ing trips are arranged in the Spring term. Many other outside visits are arranged to support particular elements of the curriculum, to museums, galleries, theatre performances, science lectures and field trips. Outwardbound and adventure challenges are also offered.
There is a wide, and ever-changing, number of activities offered after school each day. These vary with the seasons and with what pupils want to pursue. They include Rugby and Football coaching, Tennis, Hockey, Badminton, Swimming, Judo, Computer studies, Art, Golf, Chess and participation in the ever-growing rock band!
We encourage the pupils to consider their future. Careers guidance is given from Year 9 onwards, and pupils in Year 11 are encouraged to participate in work experience – organised through school and with local employers – in order to discover what ‘real life’ is like.
Scholarships are held in February for entry into the Senior School the following September. Scholarships and bursaries, with a reduction in the fees for the child’s entire career at the school, are awarded each year. The scholarship assessment includes a report from the present school and written papers on scholarship day.
Bursaries are offered in Art, Music, Drama and Sport, and children are invited to bring in work and perform in the appropriate department on Bursary Day. Details may be obtained from the School Secretary on request. The Scholarship Day is planned to be as creative and friendly as possible, giving candidates the chance to experience a working day at Grittleton House School.