The Prep School at Parkside is for boys aged 7-13. These exciting years are transformational.
The young boys at the beginning of this journey in Year 3 become self-respecting, confident and happy young men as they leave at the end of Year 8; ready and well-equipped for senior school.
The curriculum is designed to challenge, support and ignite a curiosity for learning. It is centred on the core values of PSB (Pre-Senior School Baccalaureate); focussing on transferable skills of learning rather than knowledge. Teaching the boys to develop the courage to take risks, embrace new opportunities, make links in their learning and become curious is at the very heart of how our pupils learn. The result is that boys are equipped to tackle any task, no matter how unfamiliar, with commitment and the confidence required to achieve their very best. We encourage the boys to step out of their comfort zone and embrace challenge rather than fear it. This results in pupils leaving the Prep School as lifelong learners with passion, inquisitiveness, independence and above all, confidence.
The Prep School begins in Year 3 where the pupils are based in their Form room for the majority of their academic lessons. This helps with the transition from Pre Prep, whilst allowing the boys to settle into the increased rigour and expectations of Prep School lessons. From Years 4 to 8, the boys remain in their Forms for the foundation subjects; thus, allowing strong relationships and friendships to develop with their peers. They are set for reasoning and the core subjects, which enables specifically focussed classroom teaching where each pupil is closely tracked and progress is assessed and reviewed regularly. These sets are fluid, to accommodate boys progressing at different rates and at different times. With specialist teachers and small class sizes that don’t exceed 16, every boy receives teaching tailored to their needs; every small detail that will make a difference to a boy is planned in.
It is important that boys are given the opportunities to develop into well-rounded individuals and many strands to this tapestry of learning are required if we are to find and nurture every boy’s talents, passions and strengths. We recognise that a balanced and diverse curriculum allows the boys to explore strategies and learning methods by presenting them with opportunities to do this. This is why the ‘extras’ like food tech, Forest School and increased computing and technology is built in to our curriculum.
Boys begin working towards their Pre Tests from the beginning of Year 5. With carefully staged preparations throughout the course of the year including: skills exercises, timed and untimed tasks, practice tests from a range of providers and schools, interview practice, revision workshops, pupil tracking assessments and challenge or catch up workshops; pupils enter this process with confidence. Individual support is provided to ensure pupils are familiar with the style of questions in different tests as they can vary across the schools.
A large number of pupils achieve scholarship awards to senior schools in many different subjects, including: Academic, Music, Art, Sport, All Round, D&T, Drama Scholarships. Additional support and lessons are offered from the beginning of Year 7 to those boys taking Scholarship exams in Year 8. All other pupils prepare for Common Entrance exams in English, maths and science, taken in the final term of Year 8.