Prep (7 to 11 years)

The Preparatory Department offers a bespoke education for our pupils and we have a personalised approach; this means high-quality teaching and learning based on sound knowledge of each child’s interests, attainment and the functional skills they will need to succeed in the future. We aim to meet not only our pupils’ needs but their aspirations as well. We facilitate skills-led and pupil-led learning, which is making us one of the front-runners in the Independent sector. Children enjoy their investigations and problem-solving lessons because they value the fact that this is life-long learning!

Every child’s attainment is tracked and monitored and every pupil knows what progress they are making, also understanding what they need to do to improve. They receive the support they need to be motivated, independent learners on an ambitious trajectory of improvement. Parents are kept fully informed about the achievements and academic progress of their children. Every parent also knows how their child is progressing, what their targets are for improvement and how they can support their children and the teachers.

Our academic standards are reflected in our high degree of ‘Value-added’ rather than a position in SATs league-tables. The children do internally-moderated SATs examinations each year and pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 receive tuition for Grammar School 11+ entrance examinations as part of the curriculum.

Children are encouraged to achieve excellence not only in their academic studies but also in the fields of sport, drama, music, leadership and service. The Prep is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the children benefit from numerous outdoor play areas. We also have a Forest School. Educational visits to places of interest take place each term and pupils in Years 5 and 6 are able to join the Year 7 pupils on the annual PGL adventure trip; this provides a valuable opportunity to interact with older pupils as they approach the transition into Key Stage 3.

We celebrate the success of each and every pupil, whether that success is academic, musical, sporting or relating to an activity outside of school. Our pupils take real pride in their community, their contributions and their achievements. This makes the Prep School an aspirational and successful learning environment.

“The teaching staff are professional and clearly dedicated to ensuring the education is tailored to meet the needs of individual children. Our daughter loves attending St. James'”