High academic expectations in the Prep Department go hand in hand with pastoral care and a commitment to see all pupils make the most of the varied opportunities available to them. Throughout their time in the Prep Department, the key skill of independence is one which the children are guided to develop. This ensures that St Michael’s pupils are thoroughly equipped, both personally and academically, to deal with the rigours of their secondary education.
By the end of the Prep department, Form 6 children achieve well above the national average in Key Stage 2 SATs tests in English and Maths. Thorough preparation in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning also means that pupils have the option to participate in the Consortium Selective Test (11+) and other senior school entrance tests. Of those that choose to sit the 11+ Entrance Test, the vast majority are successful in gaining entry to one of the local Grammar Schools. Likewise, of the children who sit entrance tests for independent senior schools, many are successful in gaining entry or scholarship awards.
Homework is introduced from Form 3, to support the children’s learning in school, and planners are provided to enable pupils to organise their own learning. As well as specialist teaching in French, Music and P.E., which the children have received since Nursery, they begin to experience specialist teaching in other areas and the opportunity to make the most of resources such as the well-equipped Science Lab.
Our unique Outdoor Education programme affords the children opportunities to develop and enhance their ability to work as a team, to lead, gain independence and face personal challenges beyond the classroom whilst also enhancing self-esteem and respect for others and the environment.
Facilitated by our team of dedicated instrumental teachers more than 50% of pupils in the Prep department are involved in more than one musical activity each week as a member of one of the three choirs, two orchestras, a variety of instrumental ensembles or in individual instrumental lessons. There are many opportunities for children to perform in class, whole school events, assemblies and school concerts and the senior choir is regularly invited to join local choral societies to perform in public.
All pupils are able to participate in a wide range of sporting activities in their PE and games lessons. Extra-curricular sports and games clubs allow children to further develop their skills and to build the team dimension. Our sports teams regularly compete against those from local primary schools and other independent schools in tournaments and friendly matches. All children compete in our annual Inter-House Sports Day in track and field events, both as individuals and as part of their House team.
A varied programme of educational visits, residential experiences and visitors to the school, helps to further enrich the curriculum and to foster new skills.
By the time the children reach the top of the school we know that they are ready to face the next exciting stage of their educational journey with confidence having benefited from a thorough preparation for all that lies ahead.
We offer the pupils of St Michael’s School a learning experience that is truly memorable and will inspire them to have a life-long love of learning.
We aim to achieve this by creating a rich and stimulating environment where the pupils feel confident, their natural curiosity is nurtured and they develop a desire to aim high.
We are committed to providing our pupils with a curriculum that is broad, challenging and differentiated to suit their needs.
All areas of the curriculum are valued and we aim to offer a balanced and stimulating variety, including academic subjects, the arts, music, practical activities and physical education.
We aim to provide pupils with a curriculum for the 21st Century, where we endeavour to foster independent learners who are confident in the use of new technology and have the skills to access knowledge and develop their practical and problem-solving skills. We encourage pupils to discuss, reflect and evaluate their learning experiences.