5 benefits of choosing a prep school for your child
- Credit: Thetford Grammar School
Preparatory (prep) school lays the foundations of a rich and fulfilling education, providing young learners with the opportunity to attend some of the best secondary schools in the country. As a parent, there’s a lot to think about if you’re considering a prep school for your child, especially as they can be so diverse.
Amanda Faye, deputy head of Thetford Grammar Nursery and Prep school, shares five key benefits of prep schools to help shed some light on why they might be the right choice for you.
1. Excellent facilities
Most prep schools have superb facilities and specialist teaching spaces both inside and outside the classroom, enabling children to fulfil their potential within a stimulating and secure environment.
One facility which Thetford Grammar School is particularly proud of is their new outdoor classroom. “Getting children outdoors to enjoy some fresh air is so important and it provides a fun and engaging way for them to learn about the world,” says Amanda.
“Teachers will plan lessons around the outdoor facilities, whether it’s using sticks and leaves to create patterns, learning about language through describing shapes in nature or developing problem-solving skills.”
2. A broad and varied curriculum
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Independent prep schools are not bound by the national curriculum and can offer a flexible and varied education adapted to pupils’ needs.
Thetford Grammar School is currently developing an academic programme called ‘the exploration curriculum’, which includes a cross-curricular, topic-based approach to learning. “Having a combination of lessons taking place all the time rather than in block sessions offers a more creative and engaging way for children to develop ideas and learn skills through interconnected topics,” says Amanda.
3. A range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
Co-curricular activities are an important part of a prep school education. As well as English, maths and science, children explore all areas of study, including art, sport, music, drama and computing. This offers an opportunity for pupils to develop soft skills, engage in social activities and find new interests outside of the core subjects.
“By providing breadth and depth of opportunity, we enable our pupils to discover their own passions. We also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities such as book groups and chess clubs, as well as community engagement opportunities, because we know that well-rounded young people are best equipped to thrive academically and socially,” says Amanda.
4. Strong pastoral care
Most prep schools have a strong pastoral care system where pupils’ personal development and wellbeing is treated with equal importance as academic provision. Due to small class sizes, teachers are able to provide individual care and guidance to each child and have close relationships with parents.
“We pride ourselves on the level of pastoral care that we offer and love to see our children coming to school happy and eager to be here, which has a lot to do with the rapport they have with their teachers and our close-knit family environment,” says Amanda.
5. Specialist teachers
All pupils have different learning needs, and most prep schools employ specialist teachers who have the experience and skills to cater to each child and provide additional support for those with dyslexia or learning disabilities.
“From the start of their school life, children are allowed to develop at their own pace while being nurtured by caring staff who will go that extra mile to support them as individuals,” says Amanda. “Teachers recognise strengths and spot issues quickly, which allows them to set tasks appropriate to each pupils’ ability so they are confident to achieve the very best of which they are capable.”
Thetford Grammar School Nursery and Prep School, Bridge Street, Thetford, IP24 3AF