Strathearn School

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188 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AU, Northern Ireland | 028 9047 1595

Our Curriculum

In Penrhyn our aim is to provide a broad, well balanced curriculum, currently following the Programmes of Study as laid down by the Education (NI) Order (1996).

In Foundation Stage (Prep 1 and Prep 2) classes, an integrated approach to the curriculum is widely used, with many subjects being taught through the medium of play-based learning.

In Key Stage 1 (Prep 3 and Prep 4) and Key Stage 2 (Prep 5 - Prep 7), individual subjects are more discretely identifiable and are timetabled as such.

Areas of Learning:

  • Language and Literacy
  • Mathematics and Numeracy
  • The Arts
  • The World Around Us
  • Personal Development and Mutual Understanding
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education

Cross-Curricular Skills:

  • Communication
  • Using Mathematics
  • Using Information and Communications Technology

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities:

  • Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision Making
  • Self-Management
  • Working with Others
  • Managing information
  • Being Creative

Religious Education

Throughout Penrhyn, the girls follow the Programme of Study for Religious Education laid down in the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Parents who wish to withdraw their daughter, on grounds of conscience, from attendance at religious education classes or at school assembly are asked to contact the Head of Department.

Assembly is held every day and takes the form of a non-denominational act of worship, usually with a thematic or seasonal approach, and it also provides the opportunity for individual classes to play an active part in leading the service. We particularly value it too as the time when we all meet together as a whole school family.

Meet the Staff

Penrhyn has a team of experienced and committed teachers, each of whom has a specialist subject. This professional expertise is used and timetabled wherever possible, to the best advantage of the pupils throughout the school – in the delivery of the curriculum for Music and Art for example. A specialist teacher delivers the curriculum for Physical Education (Prep 4 - Prep 7).



Parent Information Evenings

At the beginning of each academic year, parents are invited to school to meet with their daughter’s form teacher and with the Head of Department. At that year group information evening, the teacher gives details of the curriculum to be covered during the coming year and explains teaching methods, assessment procedures and homework routines. Both the Head of Department and class teacher also give general information about the school year ahead and are always glad to answer any queries parents may have.


Assessment of the pupils’ work is continuous. Detailed written reports are issued twice a year, in January and in June.  Details of individual levels of attainment in Mathematics and English are also issued to Prep 4 (end of Key Stage 1) and Prep 7 (end of Key Stage 2) in June.

Individual parent-teacher consultations take place, by appointment, as follows:

Appointments can also be made at any time with the Head of Department or with class teachers to discuss a pupil’s progress or to assist with a parental concern about any aspect of school life.


The tradition of setting homework as a supplement to what is done in school is deep-rooted in Penrhyn’s educational practice. It has a vital part to play in the overall programme of the school. A ‘homework guide’ issued to parents each September at the Year Group information evenings offers guidance to parents/adults as to how best they can assist children to complete homework assignments and create a suitable routine and environment for homework.

The amount of time spent doing homework increases as the pupil proceeds up the school, and as she progresses, each girl is expected to take more responsibility for managing the time she spends on homework. This is an integral part of our policy of encouraging the girls to become increasingly self-reliant learners.

In their ‘homework guides’ and through discussion with parents at the beginning of an academic year, individual form teachers clarify the purpose, content, frequency, duration and nature of work to be done at home with each year group.

A copy of the school’s policy on homework is available to parents, upon request.


The high level of academic achievement attainted by our pupils enables many of them to obtain places at grammar schools. Penrhyn prepares girls for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment which is held towards the end of the first term in Prep 7. The preparation builds on the strong literacy and numeracy skills developed in the earlier years. Strathearn gives preference to Penrhyn pupils.


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