In her first major speech since the general election, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, condemned primary and secondary schools that place emphasis on their league table position above the interests of pupils and lamented, in particular, that the pressure to boost exam grades can lead to the real substance of education getting lost.
The increasing demise of what Amanda Spielman refers to as an holistic approach to education, which broadens pupils’ talents and interests, enriches their thinking and prepares them for success in the 21st century, is the premise upon which a Wandsworth Prep education is built.
Academic standards are important and our children achieve well, but we also believe it is equally important to offer our children a rich educational experience which prepares them for a world that requires courage and flexibility.
Mrs Spielman notes that there is nothing ‘ignoble about making sure young people leave school with a set of excellent exam results’ but continued by citing examples of schools that suspend the curriculum during the final year of primary school, to focus purely on English and Maths.
Here at Wandsworth Prep, the Autumn Term marks the final stage of the journey towards 11+ for our children in Year 6. What you will not see, is non-stop cramming and coaching; instead, you will see children who, together with the development of a growth mindset, approach the process with a sense of resilience and confidence, realism and composure. Alongside plentiful opportunities to hone exam technique through exposure to a variety of practice papers, you will also see children put their collaborative and problem-solving skills to the test at Forest School, use iPads to code their own adventure game, perfect their observation skills with fine pencil portraits or, even, practise Archery on the Common before the start of the school day.
At Wandsworth, we look underneath the bonnet of the workings of the school to ensure that a good quality education - one that genuinely meets the wide-ranging needs of all our children - is not being compromised.
Bridget Saul - Headteacher