When entering classrooms at Gresham’s Prep School, the most striking thing is the high level of engagement from our pupils – they love learning! We aim to provide a rich and varied diet of academic rigour, peppered with plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge that are not traditionally taught across the country. Trips and visits complement our provision to enrich learning, real-life application and understanding.
We are not bound by the Common Entrance Syllabus, or the National Curriculum, so we really can tailor our teaching and learning provision. What this means is that we have the freedom to prepare our pupils for real life experiences in the way we teach. We offer schemes of work written by our teachers and adapted annually to ensure that we take the very best bits of published programmes of study and we enrich them with numerous opportunities to be creative in our teaching. Outdoor learning at the school is much more than ‘forest school’ as pupils have varied opportunities to learn traditional subjects, bush craft and adventure skills in our wonderfully equipped woodlands.
Our two-week timetable allows flexibility and the ability for us to increase our educational offering. For example, we have supervised ‘prep’ periods included so all ‘homework’ tasks are completed in the school day – leaving time at home to be time for the family. There are extra periods for reading, catch up and reasoning skills to be taught to increase academic focus. Each period is 45 minutes long, with double periods 90 minutes long. Our school timetable at the Prep School is identical to the Senior School; therefore, we are able to share our outstanding facilities, expert staff and wealth of resources. Double periods suit some subjects well by allowing longer sessions in subjects such as Creative Arts, PE, Outdoor Learning and STEAM.
We are committed to delivering a forward-thinking, broad and innovative curriculum, for example, project-based STEAM lessons (Physics and DT) in Year 7 and the ABE Endorsed KidsMBA intensive entrepreneurship programme for pupils in Year 8. This illustrates our ongoing mission to provide academic opportunities to all with an individualised approach were appropriate. Our more able pupils are supported in departments with extra opportunities, such as workshops, lectures and trips, and our pupils with SEND receive a ‘joined up’, informed, caring approach from our subject teachers and extensive learning support department.
“Pupils value the role that praise plays in school life and were appreciative of the awards presented in chapel. They are clearly supportive of their peers and recognise that a sense of pride creates a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.”
SENIOR SCHOOL – ISI INSPECTION REPORT 2023
The assessment process is an essential part of everyday life at Gresham’s Prep from questioning the pupils and observing what they say and do to setting formal exams.
Prep and private study are planned to support the learning in the classroom. Regular school reports and parent evenings are scheduled throughout the academic year to keep parents updated of their child’s progress.
The Library is a busy vibrant place at the heart of the School. Children are welcomed throughout the day and enjoy using the computerised self-service system.
All pupils in Years 3 to 6 have a session in the library every week where the emphasis is on the promotion of reading. We feel that time spent helping them choose carefully and fostering a love of reading at this age is invaluable. Pupils in Years 7 and 8 use the library more independently but support and guidance are still readily available and dedicated time with the librarian is provided monthly. The Library stock is regularly updated and the children are encouraged to make suggestions for new books they would like to read.
Our curriculum is unusually broad. Each department is run by a subject-specialist head and departments are well resourced with subject-oriented accommodation. View a full list of the extensive range of subjects we teach to pupils in the Prep School.