John Stainer

Stretch and challenge 

At John Stainer Primary and Nursery all pupils are challenged from their admission in Nursery to when they leave us in Year 6. Learning sequences are carefully planned and resourced to ensure all pupils are given opportunities to develop new skills and deepen their understanding in a variety of ways. Adaptive teaching is a fundamental aspect of teaching and learning and through making links, pupils are able to explain their ideas clearly, apply their learning in a variety of contexts and ultimately have a deeper, more secure understanding.

All pupils know that challenge is the key to successful learning and making mistakes is vital if learning is to take place. Here, staff work with pupils to identify the stage of their learning and move onto further challenge when they are ready.

Our pupils are expected to develop higher order skills such as evaluating, generalising, reflecting, creating, proving true/false, generating and predicting while they extend their learning.

At John Stainer, our priority is to develop the ‘whole pupil’. This covers the development of pupils physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, creatively and intellectually. We are committed to achieving high quality learning and equality of opportunity and believe that all pupils should be encouraged to maximise their potential, in order to raise standards across the whole ability range. Our intention is to provide a supportive and caring environment, in which the talents of each pupil will be valued and nurtured. Through quality teaching, we aim to challenge and inspire pupils, extending and enriching their thinking, understanding, knowledge and skills of our most able children who demonstrates achievement, performance, or expertise in one or more academic areas; shows use of high-level thinking skills, academic creativity, leadership skills, intense academic interest areas, communication skills, art / foreign language aptitude, or technology expertise.


Our aim is to help our more able children and every child reach their full potential.
We encourage our children to be critical thinkers and resilient problem solvers who are willing to take risks. With this in mind, our promise is to build on this further by offering children enrichment activities along with opportunities to participate in self-led research and projects.  Through termly opportunities to undertake independent project-based learning on a variety to topics, having our own John Stainer newspaper- ‘John Stainer Times’ which will be published three times each year and is student lead to incorporate particular operations of school life.

This allows the children to:

  • Create opportunities for collaboration
  • Have respect for the ideas and opinions of others
  • Take an interest in global issues
  • Be open-minded and adaptable/ provide open-ended assignments
  • Listen to speakers from different communities and belief systems, including religious leaders, family members and staff.
  • Respectfully listen to other people’s world views, understanding and appreciating the variety of opinions held.
  • Have opportunities to share their learning beyond their class and contribute to sharing assemblies and presentations.
  • Share their own experiences and knowledge and reflect on the values hold.

Gorne Wood

Our children recently took part in a project which took them to Gorne Wood, in Brockley. They explored the woods, talked about its history, its love and use by the community. The children also explored the potential risk of losing this space. The aim of the project was to raise awareness about Gorne Wood in order to raise funds to purchase the woods so that the community will be able to use the land eg to learn about habitats, wildlife, children and families can visit and enjoy the space. 

The video below gives a brief history about Gorne Wood and how our children are involved.





Children's Newspaper - The Red Writers

There has been much excitement across the school as the Red Writers have published our first children's newspapers. This is a termly project which is led by children, written and produced by children and sold by children. Each term's newspaper is packed with  samples of children's writing, updates about children's experiences in school, puzzles and quizzes, interviews and many more. 

To find out more about how we stretch and challenge our children, read our MAC policy below. 

More Able Children (MAC) Policy

Children's Newspaper - Issue 1


Children's Newspaper - Issue 2


Children's Newspaper - Issue 3


Children's Newspaper - Issue 4