Why you should send your child to an independent prep school
PUBLISHED: 10:27 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:18 07 August 2020
Many parents struggle to decide between a state or independent school education. To help you make your decision, we’ve got the answers to your frequently asked questions.
What is a prep school?
Prep schools ensure children are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help them pass academic entrance exams and succeed in interviews. Children also get the chance to shine in areas such as sport, technology, and creative and performing arts.
Preparatory schools are independent schools for children aged 3-13. They aim to give children as broad and exciting a curriculum as possible to prepare them for entry into independent senior schools.
What is the curriculum like?
The curriculum is usually based around the national curriculum but is enhanced by extra-curricular lessons and activities, such as design and information technology, dance and drama, plus many educational outings. Sport is also a big part of prep school life – pupils will often compete with other schools in a variety of competitions and events.
Mark Brain, Headmaster at Westbrook Hay Prep School, in Hemel Hempstead, says: “Independent schools like Westbrook Hay offer a different level of education. We can employ first-class teachers and make use of acres of wonderful facilities.”
Westbrook Hay promotes the use of the natural environment around them, incorporating it into their day to day lessons as often as possible.
“Pupils can have fun whilst learning in a fantastic outdoor environment, where they can nurture friendships and develop their incredible imaginations,” says Mark.
“Prep Schools often use technology extensively within their curriculum which enabled our pupils to continue learning through the coronavirus pandemic with the continuation of live lessons for all children from Reception upwards.”
The class sizes at an independent school like Westbrook Hay are much smaller with around eighteen children per class, compared to the average of thirty children per class in state primary schools. Teachers can offer children more individual attention, giving them every opportunity to reach their full potential.
How do the facilities differ?
The facilities at independent schools are often unrivalled by state schools.
Westbrook Hay Prep School has a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre, which includes six music practice rooms, a dance studio, a large auditorium, and all the modern technology to put on a spectacular show.
“We recently installed a custom-built outdoor classroom for our youngest children,” explains Mark.
The school also offers extensive sports facilities, a large, fully equipped library and an inspirational learning environment.
“Westbrook Hay is a highly regarded choice for independent school education in Hertfordshire, offering a high standard of education in a beautiful, rural setting,” Mark says.
“We aim to instil ‘Happiness, Confidence, Success’ in all our pupils – nurturing childhood is paramount, and here our children have the space to play, experience and learn.”
See the exemplary grounds and facilities for yourself at their next Open Morning.
Read ‘Three reasons to choose an independent school’ for more.