Heatherton Girls School – Academic Curriculum

A high-quality educational experience to enable pupils to achieve their best

An exceptionally high-quality environment where your daughter will flourish

The first five years are critical years for development and learning, and will make a considerable impact on your daughter’s future. They are crucial for opening her mind to learning, setting the standard for the years to come. 


At Heatherton we make sure that your daughter is given the individual attention she needs and deserves. In this exceptionally high-quality educational environment your daughter will be able to flourish.

This child-centred approach to education at Heatherton ensures that your daughter will have the confidence to develop a natural curiosity, sense of adventure and a motivation for learning.

At Heatherton we are focused on nurturing our pupils to become remarkable people in the future.

Academic Results


We accurately predict a girl’s suitability for a wide range of senior schools


Transfer Test pass rate for the last 10 years


Transfer Test pass rate for 2023

Heatherton nurtures well-rounded individuals who are prepared for success in all aspects of life. Whilst developing girls holistically, Heatherton also has an enviable record of academic success and most girls move on to their preferred choice of senior school each year.

We accurately predict a girl’s suitability for a wide range of senior schools, including local independent schools and grammar schools, where our average Transfer Test (11+) pass rate over the past 10 years has been approximately double that of the county average – at over 60%.

At Heatherton, we believe in tracking our pupils from an early age and we use Cognitive Ability Tests, amongst others, to test our students. These tests are effective in providing additional insights in your daughter’s learning, enabling us to understand how we can better help them to learn. With this information we can provide your daughter with the teaching environment and methods that most meet her individual needs.

As we track the girls’ progress from a young age, we are able to predict with a high degree of accuracy if we feel a pupil will pass the Transfer Test (11+).

In Year 5, our parents meet with the Deputy Head, who is on hand to give advice regarding future schools and will advise you regarding the senior schools in which we feel your daughter will thrive.

Heatherton has exceeded my expectations


A Learning-Powered school

At Heatherton we offer our students the opportunity to study “Building Learning Power” BLP.

BLP helps to create a classroom environment that will enable your daughter to become an independent, lifelong learner, facing any future difficulty with ease.

At Heatherton we can see the tangible benefits of BLP on a daily basis. Our students:

  • Use active listening and respond with empathy and compassion
  • Understand the different roles within a team and learn how to resolve conflict
  • Understand the importance of planning ahead and reviewing progress regularly
  • Are able to see things with a different perspective, spotting patterns and identifying the bigger picture as well as the fine detail
  • Can explain how different topics and subjects can link to each other
  • Develop resilience by learning how to implement strategies so that they can view any failure as a valuable learning opportunity
  • Learn how to ask probing and insightful questions to mature their understanding and encourage innovative thinking
  • BLP also provides the ability for your daughter to take control of her own learning.

If you would like to know more about BLP, talk to our students when you visit our School. We believe they are our best example of the benefits of Building Learning Power.

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Why do we offer Building Learning Power?

Estimates now suggest that two-thirds of current school pupils will end up working in roles that don’t yet exist. Teenagers today are expected to have had between 10-15 different jobs by the time they are 40.

Where focus exists concurrently, progress will be made. In addition, establishing the concept of ‘learnable intelligence’ will stimulate independent learning, which in turn will allow pupils to develop their resilience and flexibility when confronted with difficulty.

We believe these core skills will benefit our students as they move through the school and beyond, onto university or an apprenticeship then into the workplace.

Our chosen BLP dispositions

We have chosen dispositions which, between them, represent four areas of development:

• Cognitive
• Emotional
• Social
• Strategic

Our chosen dispositions are:

• Persevere Explore
• Notice Plan
• Question Review
• Link Collaborate
• Reason Listen

Each disposition is then further subdivided to provide our teachers with opportunities to provide targeted interventions to help each pupil develop their ability to become reflective, independent and interdependent learners.

Academic curriculum


At Heatherton, our pupils’ education is not just about achieving academic excellence. We celebrate childhood and inspire our pupils to foster a real love for learning that will last throughout their lives.


Early Years Department – Nursery and Reception

The Independent Schools Inspectorate cite Heatherton’s EYFS as an example of the very best practice. Heatherton was recognised by the Inspectors for its “outstanding quality of provision” in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Heatherton’s “calm, purposeful environment” and “host of stimulating learning opportunities” were just some of the features highlighted by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

At Heatherton, we understand that early school experiences will shape your child’s attitude to learning for the rest of their life.

Children at our Heatherton Nursery learn through purposeful play, exploration and investigation. This is facilitated by our carefully planned indoor and outdoor learning environments overseen by caring, supportive and highly experienced staff.

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We believe it is important to us to work closely with you, so that we can learn about your child’s interests and previous experiences. This enables us to create new learning opportunities to ensure that she will have fun and enjoy challenges and successes whilst making real progress.

In line with best practice, we plan experiences that support learning and development across seven areas of the curriculum.

Of these, three prime areas form the essential foundation:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Physical Development
The remaining four areas of learning provide children with a context in which to take their learning forward, namely:

Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
At Heatherton we also teach the children how to become learners through:

Playing and exploring – teaching our students to become more adventurous
Active learning – so that our students become motivated to learn
Creative and critical thinking – encouraging our students to be innovative
By the time girls enter our Reception Class, teaching takes account of their growing independence, knowledge and skills while also recognising that they still need to investigate, explore and have fun, both indoors and outside.

Specialist teaching is continued for Music, Art, IT, STEM, Ballet, Gymnastics, Playball (in nursery) and Modern Foreign Languages and also introduced for PE. As the year progresses, the girls take a more active role in whole school activities.


Open Events

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Pupils achieve highly and exceed expectations across all areas, well above their commensurate ages.

Forward thinking and outward looking enough not to be a bubble, but there’s a lovely innocence about this small girls’ school nonetheless.

Teachers’ insistence on high expectations ensures that pupils strive from, and achieve, high standards in their learning and gain skills that enable them to make positive transitions within their school and to their senior schools.

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