Many of us will be familiar with the term Preparatory school, but what exactly is a prep school and how do children benefit?
What is a prep school?
At Weston Green Preparatory School, we educate children from ages 2 to 11 years.
The term preparatory is used as it describes how the schools prepare children effectively for the next step of their education at senior schools, where they will usually complete GCSEs and A-Levels.
Unlike mainstream primary schools, Preparatory schools are not restricted to following the national curriculum. This independence gives prep schools the freedom and flexibility to deliver a curriculum that not only aligns with their vision and ethos, but can also be tailored to the needs of individual children. Children are not subjected to the ‘one size fits all’ approach. Weston Green is a member of the Independent Schools Association (ISA) achieving ‘Excellent in all areas’ status, and as such we are required to deliver a broad curriculum. At Weston Green, we have written and developed a bespoke curriculum which adheres to the EYFS but which is tailored to the preparation we know our children need as they move through the school. We focus on providing the firm foundations on which future education success is dependent. We ensure that purposeful play provides a stimulating environment through which learning is crafted and children have opportunities to work both independently and with their peers, building important relationships and learning valuable social skills. Our curriculum provides children with the chance to build on prior learning and returns to knowledge gained to deepen the learning. We tie all this in with our school values and learner profile characteristics. We use the freedom our independent status provides us to tailor what we do to cater specifically for the children in our school.
When they move into Upper Prep, we encourage children to engage in a more formalised style of teaching and learning as they begin to explore subjects in greater depth, following a balanced thematic curriculum which is embedded across the school. Learning in this way enables children to remain engaged and motivated, make clear links between subjects and to apply a range of skills across all areas of the curriculum.
Throughout their school journey, children work towards building our learning profile skills: creativity, resilience, risk taking, team work, independence and reflection. We are passionate about helping our children develop and build on these vital skills.
Our school boasts smaller class sizes. Children benefit from more individual time and attention from teachers who can clearly assess a child’s progress and tailor their learning accordingly. Teachers can also build an in-depth understanding of our classes and know how to support and challenge each unique child.
Smaller class sizes also enable children to build better relationships with their teachers and classmates, which encourages better class cohesion and less disruption.
Rather than being taught all subjects by a single generalist teacher, many children attending a preparatory school will enjoy some lessons led by subject specialist teachers. These teachers have substantial expertise and enthusiasm for their respective curriculum area and can best support pupils of all abilities to reach their potential.
At Weston Green School, we are privileged to have a school wide specialist team where each member of staff brings a specialism in their own way. We incorporate these specialisms into our bespoke curriculum where we offer a mix of enriching subjects including Music, French, Latin, Science, Drama aswell as a wide variety of sports.
Our highly qualified teachers and specialist teaching staff, together with small class sizes, allows for more individualised attention and mentoring. Consequently our pupils gain a high level of achievement in the areas of critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, resulting in a high number of scholarships at prestigious senior schools.
Extensive and continuous staff training is fundamental to maintaining the high quality of teaching and learning in our school. Staff enjoy a range of developmental opportunities and constantly strive to improve their knowledge, skills and understanding.
At our school we offer a wide range of extracurricular activities that supplement the core academic curriculum, providing our children with active learning opportunities to develop their interests and talents in greater depth. With a strong focus on a mix of academia, sports and creative areas including our STEM and robotics, lego engineering, poetry, art, drama and circus clubs, plus a wide variety of school trips and residentials, these help to foster a culture of teamwork and life skills whilst encouraging children to explore their passions.
Our pupils are full of ideas and opinions and it is important their school listens to their voice.
Consequently we have set up a School Parliament which is an elected body of pupil representatives from across the school who regularly meet together to discuss and improve the school and the opportunities it provides. Children can be elected onto one of 4 committees; School Council, Eco Committee, Harmony Committee or Food Committee.
Get in touch with us:
The best way to see how your child will benefit from a Weston Green School education is to visit us on our Open Morning on Tuesday 19th March at 9-11am. If you can’t make it, we would be delighted to welcome you into school for a personalised tour with our Headteacher. Please contact Mrs Ranger email@example.com to book your place.