One of the dilemmas with which many parents are faced when choosing a school for their child, whether at the age of four or eleven, is size. The perception can often be that large schools, with cohorts of 80 or so pupils per year group, equipped with science labs and extensive grounds, offer children broader and wider opportunities than a smaller school. In the world of business, it is not just big organisations that add value; the same goes for education.
An ideal recipe for ensuring that children reach their potential, is high quality support and attention in the classroom, wider opportunities to acquire new skills and, significantly, the chance to put these to the test in competitive situations; this is what we do well, at Wandsworth Prep. Being a part of Bellevue Education and the Independent School’s Association, opens doors to our pupils that challenge their academic, physical and creative talents.
There is no question that the smaller size of Wandsworth Prep is a major factor in building the self-confidence of our pupils and parents choose us for our close-knit and community feel. In the classroom, the personal relationships that teachers form with each child allow them to tailor their teaching very tightly to each individual’s abilities and needs; be it support or extension.
As a school where all pupils and staff know each other, coupled with our effortless sense of unity; children flourish. Imagine, for example, a sports team. In a large school, competition is fierce for a few coveted spots, with those who do not quite make the grade potentially feeling disheartened. With us, all pupils are given the opportunity to represent the school on the sports’ field, partake in end of term plays or concerts.
An integral part of Wandsworth Prep’s calendar, are two Art competitions. Every year, pupils throughout the school take part in the London Mayor’s Fourth Plinth Schools’ award to create artwork, inspired by the commissions for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. In the Autumn Term, pupils participate in the Art Competition for Independent Schools, a national competition which allows competitors to demonstrate a range of skills across a variety of media.
In sport, pupils as young as six have their first opportunity to represent the school in football by taking part in a tournament hosted by one of our sister schools within the Bellevue Group, Weston Green School. For older pupils, the Independent Schools Association offers an extensive programme of area and national sporting events throughout the year. For many pupils, an ISA sports event provides greater challenge when compared to their everyday experiences and the catalyst to perform at a higher level as a result.
In the next month alone, pupils in Years 3 to 5 will be honing their creative writing skills to enter Radio 2’s national 500 words competition; the brain child of Chris Evans to get children across the nation excited about reading and writing. 500 Words is now one of the most successful story-writing competitions for children in the world. In partnership with Rutherford House, pupils in Key Stage 2 will take part in a competitive skip-a-thon with children from other schools in the borough.
Wandsworth Prep is a small and nurturing school with a big heart and even bigger opportunities.
Bridget Saul - Headteacher