Why were we shortlisted as pre-prep of the year 2020

Mr Reed and I were incredibly proud to attend the TES Independent Schools Awards in London earlier this month.  The evening was a fantastic showcase of all that is great about Independent Schools and it was such an exciting privilege to see Hatherop Castle on the shortlist in the Pre-Prep of the Year category. 

Why were we shortlisted?

The Pre-Prep at Hatherop Castle School is a thriving and energetic department that encapsulates the whole school ethos of ‘The Adventure of Childhood’ and our Hatherop Values (Happiness, Adventure, Teamwork, Honesty, Encouragement, Respect, Opportunity and Perseverance).  Our most recent ISI inspections (in 2016 and 2019) have found us to be excellent in all areas.  Over the last 2 years there has been a significant period of change from the traditional to the progressive and our children, parents and staff all love the caring, enthusiastic atmosphere where the individual is valued and developed. 

Arriving at the school, you will find the Pre-Prep in the area affectionately known as The Stableyard.   Experienced staff await the children as they skip into their classroom ready start their day of discovery, creativity and learning. The staff support the children through their creative, topic based curriculum in unique, bright classrooms.  As a non-selective school, we are proud of the attached academic results achieved by the children at this formative stage of their schooling. 

In our newly designed curriculum, priority is given to the core subject skills in English and Maths with an additional focus this year on phonics and handwriting.   The introduction of seven 30-minute HILT (Hatherop Individualised Learning Time) sessions has strengthened this with all 9 staff taking a small group to work on specific areas.  Without the pressure of SATs testing, our staff and children are free to develop these core skills alongside a huge range of other opportunities.  Specialist staff and extra-curricular lessons in Sport, STEAM, Modern Foreign Languages, Computing and Music give the children opportunity to experience a breadth of activities allowing each child to find and develop their niche. 

The remainder of the timetable is dedicated to skills-based learning, set around dynamic and innovative topics.  At its heart, our curriculum promotes curiosity, creativity and the application of cross-curricular skills and knowledge.  Through these topics, Pre Prep children become explorers, inventors, wildlife rangers, set designers, innovators, engineers, architects, linguists, future-proofers, environmentalists, globalists and play experts.  The future world truly is their oyster!

Life in The Stableyard does not stand still and we already look forward to the next academic year where are targets are to promote mathematical skills, achieve Play Friendly School Status and further enhance our beautiful outdoor learning spaces.  The possibilities are endless.

When this year’s Head Boy and Girl and their deputies were announced in July, the fact that all 4 have been all the way through the school from aged 2, is a testament in part to the end product produced from the Stableyard, the fact that they look back on their days in Pre-Prep with fondness, remembering trips, activities and teachers they loved is an incredible bonus.If you would like to come and see for yourself why Hatherop Castle Pre Prep was among the 8 shortlisted candidates for this prestigious award, then please contact Samantha Kinch our registrar on 01285 750206 or sam.kinch@hatheropcastle.co.uk to arrange a visit.