In Junior Prep, we aim to lay down firm foundations to be built upon in Prep, helping a strong mind, soul and heart to develop. Most importantly, we aim to set a strong fire burning for the joy of learning that will last throughout the remainder of their school lives and beyond.
At this early stage we are not eager to overly measure each child against what is perceived to be a national average. We are much keener to set each child individual challenges and targets. We also stress the need for maximum effort each and every day and we report on this level of endeavour each and every half term.
The fantastic Mrs Emma Sleightholme is the Head of Junior Prep. Her role is to oversee the emotional, physical and educational well-being of all the children in her care. She has the most wonderfully talented and experienced teachers in her team all of whom are superbly supported by a learning assistant.
Children arrive at school from 8.00am with registration taking place at 8.10am followed by a tutor period until 8.30am.
There is one lunch sitting for all of Junior Prep from 12.25pm. Delicious, healthy hot food is freshly prepared by our chef and her team. An extended break follows until 1.40pm. We encourage good table manners and the eating of a healthy and balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables included.
The end of day is 3.30pm for Reception to Form Two and 4.00pm for children in Forms Three and Four.
We have whole-school assemblies twice a week. These present an important opportunity for our pupils to reflect on key issues and to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural values. Our assemblies bring together the main school from Reception to year 8. Pupils have the opportunity to take part in class presentations throughout the year which help children increase confidence in public speaking. We welcome parents and grandparents to join us to see their children in action and find out about a topic or theme they have been focusing on in class.
As additions to the school day, there is a breakfast club every morning from 7.30am to 8.00am and an after school club from the end of their school day until 6pm. After school care starts off in the Form One classroom with suitable activities provided and the opportunity to play in the outside classroom (weather permitting) followed by moving up to the I.C.T. room in Prep after 4.30pm. A high tea can be ordered for a small extra charge.
In Junior Prep the Curriculum is rich, broad and varied with the use of a range of creative learning styles. Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTs) feature strongly from day to day to develop an independent style of learning in readiness for the move up to Prep in Form 5. The teachers view the whole of the school grounds and the local area as their designated classrooms and take every opportunity to take learning outdoors, making sure that busy and active learners remain fully nourished.
In Reception, children spend their day with their teacher and teaching assistant. From Form 1, children spend approximately half of their timetable in their tutor room with their class teacher covering the core curriculum of English, Maths, Topic (Religious Education, Science, Geography and History) and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education). They also benefit from a host of specialist teachers sharing the joy of their subject with them which includes Art, Music and Drama, French, Computing, Games and PE.
Individual music and tennis lessons are offered from Form One. Most children in school learn at least one instrument, take ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) music examinations and have lots of opportunities to perform in public within school. They also all take LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) exams in the summer term.
Sport and PE feature very strongly in the academic diet of all our children. In the warmer months our outdoor pool is in constant use and over the winter we retire to the warmth of a local indoor pool to keep this vital skill going.
On a Friday afternoon all children follow an Enrichment programme to develop other skills and experience new activities and challenges. Examples of this might be eco schools work, forest school, windsurfing, cycling proficiency, rights respecting, design & technology and much more.
In Form 3 and 4 children play sports fixtures against local schools on a Tuesday afternoon. Tasty match teas always follow when we play at home.
From Form One children have the opportunity to sign up to a range of extra-curricular lunchtime and after school activities that include sports clubs, horse riding, musical activities, make and bake and much more.