Understanding the prep school curriculum…

A blackboard with Education, Learning and Knowledge written on it

One of the main aims of a preparatory school is to prepare children for entrance into independent senior schools aged 11 or 13. When choosing a prep school for your child, one of the things you should consider is the curriculum, as this determines what your child will be learning for the next few years of their life. At preparatory schools, each subject is usually taught by a specialist in that field, rather than one teacher who takes the same class all week, regardless of the subject. Class sizes are usually considerably smaller than in a government-funded school, which is one of the many factors that draws parents to independent education. 

There tends to be some flexibility at independent prep schools with regards to the curriculum, which allows them to truly cater to all children. Pupils are offered a welcome respite from examined subjects and given the opportunity to achieve scholarships in subjects where they thrive. Essentially, every child is given an opportunity to shine and celebrate their talents, while also being able to recognise which areas they need to work on. As a result, they are able to reach their full potential. At this prep school in Surrey, links are made across the curriculum so that children have the opportunity to apply what they have learnt in one subject to other areas of their learning. This ensures they have a strong understanding of each of their subjects.

Prep schools are also dedicated to emphasising their classroom curriculum with a variety of day trips and longer residential trips, visits, and outdoor learning opportunities such as forest school. Not only do these provide an opportunity for children to enjoy themselves, but they also help to develop a range of transferrable soft skills. Essentially, at every corner, prep schools work hard to help prepare their children for a happy, healthy, and successful future. 

Although there is some flexibility at independent prep schools regarding the curriculum, the core academic subjects such as English, Maths and Science are usually a strong focus. However, the same level of determination is often equally expected with sport, art, music, drama and DT, to name but a few. Children are urged to consider their own learning journey and endeavour to improve at every opportunity. The Common Entrance syllabus is then taught to all children in Years 7 and 8, preparing those children for the next stage in their education.

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