September is a time in the school calendar towards which I always look forward in particular. In the life of a school, September represents new beginnings. For almost twenty years, I have being trying to draw an analogy to best capture the renewed energy and enthusiasm with which children approach the start of a new academic year, but have yet to find one; it is quite intangible.
I have been in to all classrooms and witnessed at every turn, happy children. Happy children are the first step towards success in any school. If a child is happy, learning will be a natural process. There is a truly positive energy that emulates from each classroom. Even at 08.20am, children are engaged and focussed, interested and ready to learn.
The beauty of being part of a new school is the luxury to hand pick the best teachers who fully support the school’s aims and, more importantly, bring with them exceptional skills which will naturally lead to ensuring the children in our care achieve to the best of their ability, are excited by their learning and thrive in our unique, nurturing environment. Outcomes of research suggest that a school is only as good as the teachers in it. Between us, we have almost 100 years’ experience. 100 years’ of expertise to share and talent upon which to draw.
For those of you who have visited our new website, you may have noticed that there has been a shift in our tagline, born out of discussion as a team surrounding what it is that underpins all that we do here at Wandsworth Prep, what drives us and makes us special. We agreed:
Nurture Ignite Achieve
What I believe makes our school so special, are the strong friendships that children forge amongst themselves and the relationships they build with their teachers. These relationships are very powerful. Positive relationships are the lynch pin to progress and success. Our small class sizes mean that we can treat every child as an individual.
A small environment also leads to abundant opportunities for children to build their confidence and explore their individual talents. At our summer concert, two five year olds sang solo parts to ‘ Somewhere, over the rainbow ‘ to a sixty strong audience, I do not believe there was a dry eye in the room. By the time a child reaches half-term in Year 3, they will have been given the chance to represent the school on the Sports’ field.
We want our children to display values that will help them learn and achieve, not just here, but in life. The journey towards 11+ begins when children walk through our gates, aged 4. The journey is not stressful. What will ensure that our children succeed, is resilience, perseverance, honesty and kindness. Buttressed by strong relationships and a happy, nurturing environment, our children naturally acquire these skills and, as a result, want to learn.
Our aim is to inspire and challenge our children to love learning. We believe that school should be a fun, exciting place they can learn in a secure environment and be willing to take risks when trying out new ways of learning. How children learn is as important to us as what they learn. A passion for learning and a desire to enquire and find out more is what drives the teaching and learning at Wandsworth Prep. Underpinned by firm foundations, by the end of their time with us, children will have learned to learn, a skill that universities, these days, unfortunately rarely witness.
Whether a child is in Reception or Year 4, our broad and balanced curriculum enables children to achieve. We are not bound by the National Curriculum, in fact, we go beyond it, with the luxury to be able to plan learning according to children’s interests and starting points.
I believe that we have an extraordinary year ahead with a hugely talented team. A year that will see Wandsworth Prep strengthen its Ofsted judged status of outstanding.
Bridget Saul, Headteacher