Lower School

By Lower School we mean the first two years which we call the MIV and the UIV. We are aware that the transfer to secondary school is a very important step in our girls’ - as well as their parents’ lives - and that it brings new challenges and many exciting new opportunities.

After the entrance process, all successful new Paulinas and their parents will be invited to join us for the MIV Tea in June. Here, they will meet their new tutor who will guide them through the next two years. They will also meet important teachers from the management and pastoral teams.

Tutor groups contain 10-11 girls, and two tutor groups are put together into a teaching set of about 20 girls. Many things are new at the start of secondary school: new classmates, a new environment, many different teachers, brand new subjects and languages to learn, a great variety of sport, drama and music and lots of different lunch time and after school clubs.

Form tutors will guide new Paulinas through these changes, and we extend our pastoral care to parents. They are invited into school for official parents’ evenings with feedback from teachers, as well as to different social functions; and we very much welcome communication between school and home on a regular basis.

About three weeks after the start of the school year we take our MIV to a day of outdoor bonding to Stubbers Adventure Centre to help them settle into their form group. They also meet their ‘sisters’; a ‘middle sister’ in the LV and a ‘big sister’ in the VII who explain to them a lot about the daily life of the school.

In the MIV we have a programme of day trips, for example to Rochester for RS/history or to the Wetlands Centre for science. School trips increase in length in the second year; the language exchanges to Bonn for German and to Marseilles for French last one week, and in the Easter holidays the Classics department also run our very successful week-long residential trip to Pompeii.

The emphasis in the Lower School is very much on ‘finding your feet’ in new academic and social environments. We want our young Paulinas to explore many different options of the school curriculum as well as the clubs, music, drama and sporting activities. They have the opportunity to learn new subjects and skills and can be creative and inquisitive in their learning before the focus on exams starts in the Middle School.

Giles Bennett, Head of Transition and Lower School