Championing Our Diversity: A School Development Plan Update

Elmhurst School for Boys

8th November 2019 | Headmaster's Blog

I believe that we are extremely lucky at Elmhurst to have such a richly diverse community, which we can #ElmhurstCelebrate together by sharing our different cultures, religions and backgrounds through assemblies, our Elmhurst All Rounder project and now through our curriculum. 

There is no doubt that the Inspire Maths programme and its multi sensory approach to learning has had a major impact on the boys’ knowledge, skill development and ultimately enjoyment of mathematics. This is borne out in the successes at regional, national and international level of our ‘Maths Challenge’ teams as well as in our data with 81% of our boys working above the National average in mathematics, in relation to 11% in most schools nationally. The Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach applied to the teaching and learning of mathematics through the Singapore inspired mathematics programme, leads to mastery of understanding and an ability to apply knowledge and skills to a breadth of mathematical challenges and problems. 

The challenge for us at Elmhurst has been to understand how we can apply the principle of the CPA approach to other areas of the curriculum, whilst giving some intrinsic value to the learning by reflecting the diversity of our community, within each lesson. This led us towards the development of the ‘Thematic Curriculum’. 

By carefully selecting a ‘Class Text’ which reflects the diversity of the group and which also provides a ‘theme’ to be reflected in the lessons across the curriculum, we are valuing the individuality of the pupils across the school as well as inspiring the teachers to deliver thematic lessons, linking the theme to other areas of the curriculum, thus inspiring the learners to be self motivated in their approach to their own learning.

It is important to me that in this traditional preparatory school celebrating 150 years of educating the young gentlemen of Croydon, that we are still taking an innovative approach to our teaching and learning, so that every boy achieves his full potential and that their experience is the best it can be in each and every lesson.


A. J. Padfield


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