Prep School, for 8-11 year olds

As the children enter our Prep School in Year 4, we aim to build on the foundation from Pre-Prep, continuing the implementation of our 7Rs.  

When entering the Prep school in Year 4, our children will continue to benefit from the stability of a class teacher who teaches them for Core and Humanities subjects (English, maths, science, geography, history, religious education, and computing). The children will also receive specialist teaching for French and Spanish, food and nutrition, music, drama, sport, and art. This continues into Year 5 within a mainly tutor-based setting. 

When children enter Year 6, they have a form tutor who will meet and greet them every day, who is always their first point of contact and then with them occasionally throughout the day. In Year 6, children can put themselves forward to be House Captains. This is a special job that requires supporting the youngest children in the Prep school, becoming ‘active listeners’ for their peers and helping to motivate their houses for inter-house competitions.  

“We pride ourselves on developing confident and happy children with a zest for life and a love of learning.” 

Lisa Caruana, Head of Prep School

In preparation for heading into Senior school, teaching in Year 6 is by subject specialists in all subjects. These include art and design, computing, drama, food and nutrition, geography, history, maths, music, PE, PSHE, religious studies, science, English, French and Spanish. Differentiation occurs in all lessons to stretch and challenge the most able and provide sensitive support for those who need it. Setting occurs in English, maths and, where appropriate, science. 

Challenge is the core of the growth mindset; without it, pupils do not get the opportunities to take risks, learn to fail and figure out how to pick themselves up again. Our children in the Prep school embrace this “sense of progress” as it is central to developing growth mindsets. Following our school day, your child will be required to complete a daily Prep (homework) task. For the youngest children, this will be a 20-minute English, maths or languages task and for the eldest a 30-minute core subject task. If your child is academically driven or craving an opportunity to get messy and be creative with their learning, we also host a ‘Voluntary Prep’ website. This site presents many opportunities to suit different children’s thirst for knowledge. You will find opportunities to write balanced arguments in response to debates, maths challenges that will help your child to develop further fluency and project ideas that evoke critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Sport is at the heart of our Prep school and takes place on several days, with pupils benefiting from five hours of sport and physical activity each week during the core timetabled hours with a further five hours available in clubs. After a busy day at school, our Prep children can relax and unwind in a Yoga club, let off steam in one of our many dance clubs, or enjoy an active club hosted in our spacious sports hall, Acorn Theatre, or on our AstroTurf tennis courts.  

At Boundary Oak, we are also extremely lucky to have our own onsite heated swimming pool. This allows us to offer all children regular swimming lessons and clubs from April through to October, including our children in Prep. We are proud to host an ‘Inter-house Yearly Swimming Gala’ which all children look forward to participating in. 

In the Prep school, we value the opportunity to explore and extend learning; both in the beautiful woodland setting of the school and beyond the school grounds. 

In learning to understand the natural environment through specific Outdoor Learning sessions, the children in Prep begin to take on specific skill sets that ultimately enrich their outdoor experiences. These valuable woodland skills include exploring natural history, trailing and tracking, camp craft, craftwork, fire, shelter, and backcountry cooking! 

Enriching the curriculum through a variety of well-planned school visits, residential trips, visiting speakers and school charity events brings our children’s learning alive.

A hands-on approach is integral for a child’s understanding and ignites a desire to find out more. From Year 4 to Year 6, offsite visits are arranged to bring our curriculum to life. Examples of trips include: Tile Barn Outdoor Residential Centre, Runways End, Arundel Castle, Fishbourne Roman Palace and Marwell Zoo, to name a few. Year 4 children also enjoy their yearly ‘Camp Out’ in the beautiful grounds, complete with campfire songs and toasted marshmallows! 

Research shows parental engagement has a bigger influence on children’s attainment than other social, economic, and family background factors. In the Prep school, we use ‘Class Charts’ to keep our parents well-informed of behaviour, attendance and homework. 

We aim to spot children where they have shown our 7Rs and have gone above and beyond in their learning. Each week, during our whole school celebration assembly, we identify one child from each year group and name as a ‘Prep Star of the Week’. Our ‘Prep Weekly’ newsletter features these children so that the wider school community and parents can celebrate with them. 

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