At Hillcrest Prep we follow the British Curriculum — also known as the National Curriculum for England — as well as the Common Entrance syllabus for pupils in Years 7 – 8. Within this framework, we contextualise our learning to make the most of the rich opportunities offered by the environment in which we live — both in Kenya and more widely across Africa.
Our curriculum is broad and all pupils study the academic subjects: English, Mathematics, Science (from Year 7 as separate subjects Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Geography, History (also knows as Topic for Years 2 – 6), Modern Foreign Languages as well as Computing and Personal Social Health Education (PSHE). All pupils also enjoy weekly curriculum time in Art, Design Technology, Drama, Music, Games and Physical Education.
By running a wide variety of enquiry based projects throughout the year we encourage independent learning as well as the opportunity for pupils to explore areas of personal interest to a greater depth. Pupils further benefit from hands-on and stimulating learning environments in some remarkable locations through our frequent school trips.
The approach to language learning in the younger years focuses on pupils enjoying and gaining confidence in communicating in languages other than their own. All pupils at Hillcrest Prep learn French and Kiswahili from Year 2.
This balanced curriculum, together with the extensive activities programme, allows pupils to pursue their interests and develop new strengths and enthusiasms at a relatively young age.
By setting pupils by ability in many subjects, we are able to cater for the needs of each child and ensure that all pupils learn at a rate consistent with their abilities. Our small class sizes enable teachers to give pupils the individual attention needed to maximise every child’s potential as we strive to help all pupils develop good study habits and a real love of learning.
Heads of Junior School (Years 2 – 4) and Senior School (Years 5 – 8) oversee all teaching. Each department is run by a subject-specialist head and departments are well resourced with subject-oriented material. Our well-stocked and vibrant library, modern Information Technology Centre and well-equipped Design Technology and Art Departments and a Music Centre ensure pupils are fully supported in all areas.
Pupil’s academic progress is monitored closely against baseline assessments taken at the start of each academic year. Continuous assessments are made by class and subject teachers, allowing for any gaps or difficulties to be identified and dealt with at an early stage. All pupils sit formative and summative assessments three times a year to monitor progress and identify any areas of difficulty. To inform teacher planning, these assessments are analysed and specific targets set for each child. Parents are a vital part of each child’s development and we work closely with you, giving termly written feedback and meeting formally twice a year, as well as having an open door policy where you are invited to discuss your child’s progress at any time.
Twice a term, parents are invited to take part in lessons such as Computer, Science and Modern Foreign Languages. These one hour sessions give parents the opportunity to get involved in school life.