Prep School Life
The Prep School takes boys from age seven until they are ready to leave for senior school at thirteen. In contrast to the Pre-Prep department, where most teaching occurs in the same classroom, boys in the Prep School have more timetabled lessons in a variety of specialist classrooms. As the boys grow older, the intensity of the academic work gradually increases. The boys are also involved in a wide range of musical, sporting, and other extra-curricular activities through the lunchtime and after-school activities programme. Staff also give generously of their time to the extension of the curriculum beyond the classroom, utilising the rich resources of collegiate Oxford and beyond. While we aim to stretch and to stimulate our pupils, we are also careful to ensure that they are never placed under excessive stress and take very seriously their mental and physical wellbeing. Like the Pre-Prep, the Prep School is a happy and contented place.
In addition to the pursuit of academic, sporting and musical excellence, the Prep School aims to instil in its boys the personal qualities that will carry them through their teens and into adulthood. Naturally, they acquire good study habits. More importantly, they learn, through the example of their peers and their teachers, to respect themselves and others. As they grow older, they spend short periods away from home on school trips: these trips not only serve an important educational role; they also help the boys to develop self-confidence and self-reliance. Boys in the Prep School are also encouraged to engage with the wider world outside the School, and to take initiatives that provide practical support to those less fortunate. The boys enthusiastically volunteer to organise schemes to raise money for the various charities that we help each term.
In the Prep School our positive rewards include the ‘house point’ system. Pupils are keen to achieve certificates for the number of house points achieved and Gold Skills Cards are awarded for house points relating to core learning skills. Certificates of Merit are also awarded for work of special importance and for particular effort. These, and other certificates, are presented to boys every week in our Chapel Service on Wednesdays in New College Chapel.
We have a staggered start to arrival in the prep school in the mornings. Years 6-8 can arrive from 8.00 and they go straight to their form rooms; Years 3-5 arrive from 8.10 and go to their form rooms. (Years 3-5 can be supervised in the playground between 8.00 and 8.10). Registration is at 8.20, before assembly which starts at 8.30. Lessons begin at 8.50. (On Wednesdays, there is a form period before our chapel service which runs from 9.00 to 9.30). There are four 40-minute periods with a 20-minute mid-morning break (breaktimes are staggered; Years 3-5 have their break, then Years 6-8 have theirs). Years 3-5 have their lunch and midday break from 11.50 to 12.50, followed by the lunchtime activities programme. Years 6-8 have their activities from 11.50 to 12.50, followed by their lunch and break until 13.50. During the afternoon there is a further registration in forms (13.50-14.00) and then three lessons before school ends at 15.45. After-school activities commence at 16.00 and usually finish at 16.45.