Teaching Approach

Pangbourne’s staff come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some have taught for many years and bring great teaching experience to our school, some are just starting out in their teaching career and can closely relate to the challenges our pupils face, and some have joined us from industry and bring a real-world perspective to every lesson. This creates an atmosphere of enthusiasm and ingenuity in our staff room, united by a common purpose: to share a love of learning with our pupils. 

Students make excellent progress in a classroom environment where they are encouraged to contribute without fear of failure, extending their intellectual growth through excellent teaching and a solid base of knowledge and understanding.

ISI Inspection, 2019

A big thank you for your support and enthusiasm at Parent's Evening. It was a perfectly timed boost, and I really appreciate your skill at being warm and caring, but also commanding respect. You make a real difference to the children at Pangbourne.

Kelley Waters

Class sizes

Pupils learn best in small classes where staff can provide individual attention to ensure every pupil reaches their full potential. At Pangbourne, we are proud to offer this.

Whilst there is no set formula for our class sizes, pupils are in classes of around 16 in Years 7 to 11. In the Sixth Form, no classes will include more than 14, but the vast majority are considerably smaller.


Where appropriate pupils may be set by ability based on prior attainment. These sets are consistently adjusted based on our knowledge of the individuals and an understanding of how they learn.


We set regular homework, which we call ‘prep’ in all subjects. This helps pupils to develop independence, as they are expected to organise their own time and prioritise their workloads. Pupils can expect to spend one to one and a half hours per day on their independent work but some of this can be completed during enrichment time at school. A prep timetable is in place for Years 7-11 to help the pupils to manage their workload. Tutors are also available to help individuals with this organisation. Teachers give regular feedback on pupils’ written work to help them develop further.

Learning support

We want our pupils to develop the skills and strategies needed to become confident and independent learners. Whilst this might come easily to some, we recognise that some students require additional support. 

Led by our experienced learning support department, we take a whole-school approach to identifying and supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), English as an Additional Language (EAL) and those who require additional exam preparation support. 

Academic Clinics

We timetable specific periods in the week for pupils to receive individual support from subject specialists. All departments make teaching staff available during academic clinics to help pupils clarify lesson content and deepen their understanding. 

High Potential Achievers Programme

Pangbourne’s High Potential Achievers Programme was developed for those who achieve particularly well in their classes. This initiative provides specialised activities to give these pupils additional challenges and enable them to go even further in their learning.


Pupils are rewarded for good work/effort using positives on Classcharts. Negatives can be given for poor or missing work. Tutors discuss the positives/negatives awarded through this system with their tutees on a regular basis and parents/guardians are able to monitor this as well.

Effort and Attainment Grades

Pupils receive effort and attainment grades in all subjects on a regular basis. From Year 10 upwards attainment grades are relative to the pupil’s indicative grades as given by the Yellis/ ALIS tests.

We encourage an open dialogue between pupils, parents and teachers to help all our pupils fulfil their potential.

ICT at Pangbourne

Pupils and staff enjoy a modern, fast, high-capacity fibre network that is resilient and has two independent internet connections. These connect to the College network via Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the campus.

Learning resources are shared using Google’s Enterprise Workspace for Education, which includes Email, Drive with unlimited file storage, Classroom for electronic work, and Meet and Chat for interactive and remote learning.

All pupils are expected to use their own device in lessons or for prep and a suggested specification is available in our 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) policy.

Pangbourne makes extensive use of cloud-based services and is well-placed to react swiftly to any incidents in the local or national environment.

Our network is secure and monitored to ensure pupil well-being and safety. Parents have access to key information through a parent portal, which includes reports, timetables, documents and attendance records.

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