How many children and classes are in the school?
We typically have between 330-340 children in the school. The School is divided into the Lower School (Reception/Year 1), Middle School (Year 2/3) and Upper School (Years 4-6), with a 50/50 split between boys and girls. There are 3 classes in each year group in the Lower School and Middle School, and the Upper School can vary between 2 or 3 classes. From Reception to Year 6 there are approximately 18-20 children in each class.
Do you mix up classes at the end of each year?
Classes are mixed up at the end of each school year, which helps the children enjoy a wide group of friends and helps prevent any cliques forming. We have also found that parents appreciate the annual change and introduction to others over the years.
Do you have a twin policy?
Twins are usually placed in separate classes unless there is a specific reason that they need to remain together. We normally put twins in the same House to avoid any rivalry in the home environment!
Do you have a House system?
We have 4 houses named after our founding families. There are inter-house competitions throughout the year, house points are awarded for good work and behaviour and each house hosts a whole-school fundraising event for a chosen charity – these are tremendous fun! Every Friday afternoon the winning House Captains proudly raise their House flag in the playground. There is a Big House Afternoon, which is a highlight of the school year.
The School Day
When does the school day start and finish?
The school day starts when the gate opens at 8:30am with registration taking place at 8.45am. The teaching day finishes at 4:00pm Monday to Thursday and 3.30pm on Fridays.
Is the school open before and after school?
Larks (Early Room) runs from 8.00-8.35am on a pre-book basis and Owls (Late Room) during the week from 4.00-5.30pm and on Friday from 3.30-5.30pm. The children can complete homework, have a snack and take part in quiet activities such as reading, construction toys and board games.
What clubs do you offer?
We have a wide range of after school clubs on offer from Drama, Chess, Climbing, Cooking, Fencing, Jewellery, French, M-Tech, and Nature Club to Tennis, Strictly Dancing, Gymnastics and lots more. Clubs run in the morning before school and afterschool from 4pm to 5/5.30pm. They include a range of activities to keep children entertained, with snacks included.
What is the curriculum in Reception?
The curriculum is delivered by class teacher and specialist teachers (Art, Music, Computing, French, and PE). We follow parts of EYFS but have elected to opt out of some areas. There is high staff to pupil ratio for each class, with teaching assistants providing support within the classroom and with small groups. Reception children are taught phonics using the Animaphonics programme and most lessons are carousel activities. Pupils throughout the school are encouraged to read every night.
Do Reception have swimming lessons?
Swimming is part of the PE curriculum and an important part of Sporting Life at Finton. Reception has regular weekly swimming lessons at Tooting Leisure Centre. The school has a successful swimming team which competes against many top schools in London.
What learning support do you provide?
We cater for children of all abilities. We have an extensive learning support team that works closely with all class teachers. The team includes a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), Learning Support Teachers, a Behaviour Specialist Teacher, Counsellors, a Speech and Language Therapist and an Occupational Therapist.
Do you set/stream?
All classes are mixed ability in the Lower and Middle School, but we do have ability groups in Maths, Spellings and Reasoning in the Upper School. These ability groups challenge the children at the appropriate level.
What provision do you have for a more able child?
High quality, inclusive teaching for all pupils in a class is planned to ensure differentiated learning, strategies to challenge, high order questioning and extension material to support at the higher end of the attainment spectrum. There are opportunities for teaching in small groups to give teachers more opportunity to work with individuals and target their needs/extend learners. We have extra ‘invitation only’ clubs e.g. languages, quiz, writing club and reading groups. Children are invited to maths competitions against other schools, national writing competitions, or music events at senior schools.
What about Pastoral Care?
Pastoral care is central to the ethos of Finton House. We are a welcoming and friendly school with a happy working environment for both children and staff alike because of the excellent relationships we build with one another. We believe that happy children are more resilient and therefore do well academically, socially and emotionally. From Reception pupils are introduced to the ‘Zones of Regulation’, and Years 1-6 have a timetabled ‘Opening Minds’ session. Mindfulness is part of the PSHEE curriculum and is included in the weekly Upper School assembly. We also run Mentoring sessions for Year 5 and 6. To read more, visit our Pastoral Care page.
What trips do you offer?
Children have their first residential trip in Year 3 during the summer term to a PGL centre. In Year 4 pupils go to Bushcraft in Kent, experiencing sleeping under canvas, Year 5 children go to an outdoor centre in North Wales and Year 6 normally go to France.
What music provision do you have?
Music is taught from Reception upwards; offering two weekly sessions for every year group. The children perform in class assemblies and year group plays/musicals and concerts. There is a school choir as well as ensembles (band, violin and recorder) who perform at Prize Day, the Carol Concert and other school events. A high percentage of the children learn musical instruments. Individual lessons from Year 2 upwards are available in brass, woodwind, percussion, piano, singing and violin. In addition to that, whole class instrumental learning is taking place in Y3,4 and 5 including recorder, ukulele and keyboard instruments. Composition, improvisation and music technology are a focus in the Upper School and after school music technology clubs are offered on site by M:Tech.
What ICT provision do you have?
We have weekly computing lessons covering: programming, coding, HTML, e-safety, presentation and research skills. There are banks of laptops and iPads and other IT devices e.g. Spheros for use in the classroom and there are interactive whiteboards/ActivPanels in all classrooms.
What languages do the children study?
French is the main language and is taught from Reception upwards, but Year 6 also do Spanish and Latin. Language clubs are offered to our enthusiastic linguists.
Do you have any DT provision?
All children from Year 1 up are taught by a DT specialist each week. They develop a range of skills such as woodwork, electronics, sewing, cookery and computer aided design. Great emphasis is placed on creativity, independence and understanding the design cycle.
What science provision do you have?
The science lab is used from Year 2 upwards and taught by class teachers. There is a focus on children developing investigative skills alongside their scientific knowledge. There are opportunities to attend science workshops held outside of school, and our own staff are involved in putting on a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) day each year at Finton.
What sports do the children play?
There are a range of opportunities including swimming, gym, playground games, dance and games (football, netball, hockey, cricket, rugby and badminton). Fixtures are organised from Year 2 (teams play around 4-5 fixtures per term) with all pupils having the opportunity to represent the school. We have fantastic sports facilities at Trinity Fields (secured for the school and local community for the next 50 years), Tooting Bec Common, Tooting Hard Courts and Tooting Leisure Centre.
Do you have a Pupil Council?
All classes are represented at regular meetings. Initiatives have included the school vegetable garden at Trinity Fields, the wormery, recycling, toys in the playground, friendship days, House lunches and fundraising.
How much homework should children expect?
From Reception to Year 2, parents are encouraged to read to their children every night. Weekly spellings are introduced in Year 1. At the start of Upper School, more independence is encouraged with the introduction of homework in Year 3. Year 3 pupils have 20-30mins of homework per night, Year 4 30-40 mins, Y5 and Y6 40-60min.
11+ and Future Schools
Where do children go after Year 6?
Children leave Finton House to a wide range of London day schools and a few to boarding schools. Our Year 6 11+ results can be viewed here. Parents are offered an introduction to the Future Schools process when their child is in Year 4 with an informal drinks evening held at Finton. Meetings are offered with the Head and senior staff, and in addition we hold a biannual Future Schools Evening which gives parents the opportunity to meet representatives from senior schools.
How do you prepare the children for 11+?
Children are prepared for entry to a wide variety of senior schools. On average a third of leavers win scholarships and exhibitions. After 11+ exams children follow a specially adapted programme to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them to prepare them for senior school.