Because Stormont is a non-selective prep school, every ability is catered for. Each subject has a detailed syllabus designed to provide realistic and enjoyable challenges and support for each girl. There is no setting in classes, but girls will often work in smaller, flexible groups, from their arrival in Reception, to help them access the learning and be given appropriate challenges. This differentiated approach means that, in the same lesson, whilst some girls will be asked to recall and explain what they have been taught others can be asked to apply that knowledge to a new problem or scenario.
In every form there are girls who need to be given extra challenges in at least one area of their learning. These challenges are provided in academic subject areas as well as in the creative and expressive arts and in sport. Every girl, whatever her ability, is challenged to improve her own performance. Girls are encouraged to work independently and, as they become more confident, to show their initiative in seeking out new challenges. We celebrate their successes all the time, sometimes quietly in a conversation, sometimes in class and sometimes with the rest of the school in our weekly Good Work Assembly.
In every form there will also be girls who need some extra help to achieve their potential. We have a well-established and well-equipped Learning Support department which works closely with form teachers and subject teachers throughout the school. The help provided can range from advice on strategies for teachers, assistants and parents, through extra explanation and practice to help master new material, to providing specialist teaching for children with a specific learning difficulty. Interventions like these may be for a short time, or for a longer period, depending on each girl’s needs; the aim is to make it both discrete and enjoyable. Sometimes it is useful for school and home to seek the expert guidance of specialists, and the staff are happy to help in arranging educational assessments.