The Preparatory School consists of Reception Class and Years 1-6.
We aim to create a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment for the children at our school. We provide the structure that pupils need to develop good working habits, engage their interest and stimulate their desire to learn.
Our teachers encourage pupils to be happy, confident individuals with the values, skills and knowledge necessary to take on the challenges of life in the Prep School and beyond.
Years 1 and 2 are situated in the spacious Garden Block, overlooking the Summer Garden and next to the Orchard Garden.
Years 3-6 are located in the main house.
Pupils benefit from having full access to whole-school facilities, including an assembly hall, a sports hall, a swimming pool, extensive playing fields, an outdoor learning area and Forest School (The Dell) and specially designed cookery, music and drama rooms.
Each class has a full-time teacher and access to a qualified teaching assistant. From Reception, we are committed to maintaining smaller class sizes to get the best out of every child. A broad, balanced curriculum allows us to celebrate and value creativity, whilst giving the pupils plenty of time to develop at their own pace, with teaching tailored to the needs of each individual.
Within the structured school day, our pupils quickly gain self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning. Emphasis is placed on trying their best, being kind and respectful to others, and having fun at school!
We work hard to build a caring, family-style environment where our happy pupils flourish in their learning and personal development. We encourage strong links between school and home through ‘Meet the Teachers’ evenings, regular written reports, parents’ evenings and an ‘open door’ policy.
Our Form Teachers, all of whom are primary specialists, teach the majority of lessons in our well-resourced classrooms. Gradually, specialist teaching is introduced until, by Year 6, approximately half of all lessons are delivered by subject specialists, many of whom also teach in our Senior School. French is taught from Early Years but Spanish is introduced in Year 5.
We follow the National Curriculum guidelines for all subjects but, as an independent school, we are not constrained by them. Instead, we use this guidance as a tool to inform our own unique curriculum, to make the learning pertinent and enjoyable for our pupils, with lessons tailored to their needs and interests.
Years 3 to 6 go on an annual residential visit, starting with one night in Year 3, two nights in Years 4 and 5 and developing to 3 nights in Year 6. The girls enjoy numerous day trips, workshops, performance opportunities and theatre trips, including a French language interactive theatre show. There is a much anticipated Preparatory Drama production in the Summer term that every girl takes part in. Choir is a popular extra-curricular club, as are the various sports clubs, and we have a high uptake of co-curricular Music and Drama lessons.
Across the Prep School we regularly address a specific core value through assemblies and PSHRSE (Personal, Social, Health Relationship Sex and Economic) lessons and place great emphasis on pastoral care and wellbeing.
Our equipment list for pupils in Year 3 to Year 6 of the Prep School is listed below.