There are many ways of measuring the success of a school, but the simplest is often the best: how happy is the school? Pupils are happy when they are engaged, feel valued and sense that their interests and achievements are recognised. Families are happy when their aspirations are fulfilled and exceeded. Staff are happy when they work in a creative and innovative learning environment. In aiming, above all, to be a happy school, we are not trivialising our academic and professional values – we are putting them to the ultimate test.
For the youngest members of our school community, the educational adventure stretches ahead and our first task is to ensure that it is enjoyed in a safe and secure environment. The aim, even at this early stage, is to nurture an enthusiasm that will in time become a lifelong love of learning. The skills of independence and self motivation will underpin each child’s confidence and feeling of self-worth, regardless of their absolute level of academic achievement.
As pupils continue on their learning journey, the Collegiate Prep School focuses very much on the individual child and on the idea of bringing out the best in everyone. We promote an educational experience that enriches their lives. Pupils are given the encouragement and inspiration to succeed; and excellence, whether in the classroom, on the sports field or on the stage is celebrated. Our pupils understand that learning is about active participation, seeking answers, taking risks, solving problems; making mistakes; about resilience in the face of adversity and about the humility to accept when things go wrong.
We welcome pupils with a wide range of abilities and provide the support and challenge they need to succeed. This applies not only in our timetabled curriculum, but also in our very wide range of extra-curricular activities and our Forest school activities. We consider Sport and PE to be a very important part of every pupil’s daily life, ensuring healthy bodies and minds and a lively, competitive spirit. Opportunities for free expression and creativity are made possible through arts, crafts, drama and music. The fast changing world of technology is the future for our pupils and we embrace it. Technology is used to enhance teaching and learning in all classes. However new and innovative ideas are always balanced by the very best of traditional teaching ideas. Staff and pupils are committed to caring for the environment, and act very practically to support a better global environment in the future.
The Collegiate Prep School prepares pupils well for the next stages in their education, and here we take a very open-minded view of the options. With our own co-educational Senior School in Bournemouth, complete with its own Sixth Form, we encourage families to think of the merits of opting for a fully-integrated path through schooling. At the same time, though, we recognise that there are many other choices available at age 11, and we work equally enthusiastically to prepare children for these alternatives. The choice is yours, and it’s a choice that does not need to be made until Year 6.
This is a vibrant and rapidly expanding school but it is of a size that allows us to nurture, develop and really understand every one of our pupils. Pastoral care is a strength of the school. Staff and pupils live by a set of shared values and the ethos of the school is that of love and respect for each other, recognising and appreciating our differences. Our pupils are encouraged to be independent but also to understand and value the strength that comes from co-operation and teamwork and the confidence that comes from leadership. At the Collegiate Prep everyone is different, everyone is special and pupils have the pride and the confidence to say, ‘It’s good to be me’
Kay Smith, Head of Prep School
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