FAQs
how are academic sets decided?

Academic sets are based on ability in English and Mathematics throughout the College, whilst pupils taking option subjects are placed into mixed ability classes.  Pupils entering Form 1 (Year 7) are placed into broad bands of ability based on information received from feeder schools and the results of their Pangbourne entry assessment.

Pupils entering Form 3 (Year 9) are set in classes according to their Common Entrance exam results, information provided by their prep schools and the results of Pangbourne’s entry testing.  Not all subjects at Key Stage 3 are set according to ability with practical subjects, such as Art and DT, taught to mixed ability groups.  In the Sixth Form, some setting by ability is used (especially in Mathematics and some sciences) but classes are made up of mixed ability sets in most subjects.

how large are the class sizes?

Classes in Form 1 (Year 7) up until Form 5 (Year 11) typically have 15-25 pupils.  In the Sixth Form, the amount of students can be anything from six to 15.

how much prep (homework) do students do?

Pupils in the Junior House (Forms 1 and 2 – Dunbar) have time during the College day on Monday, Thursday and Friday to do a 30-minute prep session but other prep in their own time.  Pupils in Form 1 can expect a 30-minute prep session each day and a 15-minute learning prep on some evenings.

Pupils in Form 2 can expect two 30-minute prep sessions on some evenings but only one 30-minute prep on other occasions.  Form 3 pupils have two 40-minute prep sessions most evenings, whilst pupils in Forms 4 and 5 have two 45-minute prep sessions each evening.

Sixth Form students can expect their study time outside the classroom to match, or exceed, the time spent in lessons.

how do you stretch the most academically-able students?

After individuals have been identified as being amongst the most academically-able students within their year groups, there are a number of ways they are stretched in order for them to reach their potential.  Students identified as likely to benefit from an extra challenge are invited to fortnightly group meetings run by teachers across the curriculum, as part of Pangbourne’s flourishing Gifted & Talented programme, which are designed to extend the most able pupils.

Subject-specific extension groups, lectures, visits and tours also enable the most academically-able students to further their learning.  There is differentiated teaching to stretch the most able students.

what are academic surgeries?

Academic surgeries are held to frequently to cater for pupils’ needs, whether that is seeing a teacher for a couple of minutes to get specific help or working for longer with a member of staff for help with academic work, revision or remediation.

does pangbourne offer the gcse or igcse curriculum?

The English and Mathematics Department offer IGCSE courses as they feel it is good preparation for pupils taking their A Levels.  Other subjects follow the GCSE syllabuses but will continue to monitor the changes proposed by the Government to ensure the best specification available for the students is being used.

how is work monitored?

Each pupil has an academic tutor who they meet with daily.  Staff provide tutors with information about individuals so their progress can be monitored.  Work is reviewed across the year group or by topic in Departmental meetings.

how frequently do parents meet with teachers to assess their child's progress?

There is a formal Parents’ and Guardians’ Meeting each year but communication between tutors and parents, as often as necessary, is encouraged.

what is pangbourne's stance on the use of technology in lessons?

Pangbourne believes in the appropriate use of technology where it is a genuine aid to pupils and their learning.

what further resources does the college provide to aid students' independent learning?

Pupils have access to the College Library and the Internet.  There are Study Skills sessions throughout the year for specific year groups to advise pupils on the best methods of enhancing their independent learning and getting to grips with their prep (homework).