Free from the constraints of teaching for Common Entrance or National Curriculum assessment, we are able to offer an exceptional and distinctive curriculum in the Lower School (also known as Jerwoods), based on our core educational philosophy, Learning Habits at Oakham. Our aim is to nurture great learning in all of our Lower School pupils, and to equip them with long-lasting knowledge, skills and Learning Habits that will serve them well as they move into the Middle School and beyond.
Benefiting greatly from the resources and teaching expertise of the wider School, pupils are taught in small teaching groups, allowing scope for plenty of one-to-one attention and pupil-teacher interaction. As part of their day-to-day learning, pupils follow our core curriculum and focus on specific Habits. Our innovative approach encourages links between different subjects, showing our pupils how to see beyond the narrow requirements of a particular exam and transfer their learning skills to new situations.
The journey begins with the Learning Camp, where Form 1 (11+) pupils head out of Oakham for a couple of days of camping, solving problems and facing challenges individually and in teams. In a series of projects, they learn how to ask and answer intellectually ambitious questions and produce formal pieces of academic research.
Throughout Forms 1 and 2 pupils reflect on their progress, curating work along the way that shows how far they have come, and draws links between the various aspects of their time in the Lower School. At the end of Form 2, pupils assemble a portfolio that they proudly display at the annual Jerwoods Prize Giving in June.
Typically pupils join Oakham in Form 1 but some choose to join Oakham in Lower One (10+). This is the equivalent of the final year of primary school and particularly suits pupils who would benefit from an early introduction to Oakham School life. They follow a timetable that is grounded in primary teaching – with a primary specialist class teacher and a classroom base where they are taught their lessons – but they also benefit from being taught by subject specialists for the Creative and Performing Arts subjects, in PE and Science.