Class sizes have always been small at Durston House. We have always believed that greater personal attention is afforded to each boy, no matter what his ability, when teachers are able to work with a small number of boys at any time. His chance of making progress and achieving what he is capable of is much more likely when he works in a small, motivated group. Boys excel in an environment where their voices are heard.
The teacher is able to spend quality time with boys, understanding better each as an individual, being aware of his developmental needs, his strengths and weaknesses. Attention can be given to those who need extra support and others who might require stretching. The benefits of such individual care are strengthened through informative, meaningful marking, and feedback. Smaller classes also mean far fewer opportunities for distraction or disruptive behaviour, and time spent dealing with them.
Sixteen boys make up a Form Class or teaching group. The Form Classes remain mixed ability from Reception until the end of Year 5, where boys are taught, together, for all subjects. All boys in Year 6, 7 and 8 are placed in groups according to their ability, for all subjects other than Art, PSHME, PE and Music. More targeted teaching can take place in such groups, with resources, delivery and pace of lessons geared to the capability of the boys.
The teaching and learning looks towards Senior School entry, and in Year 8, the teaching groups are arranged, not just by ability, but also by the respective choice of school.