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 Schools 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. What this leads to, is children reaching standards beyond what might typically be expected for their age and, more significantly, beyond where their innate ability might indicate.
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.
This academic year alone has seen a film created by our Upper School children win the award ‘Best Performers’ at the gala night for the ‘Screen Your Story Film Festival’. In July last year, the Upper School children won the opportunity to work with professionals in the film industry to transform a short story into a film production. This short story, of course, had been written by our very own Year 6 pupil, who had won his category in the ‘Screen Your Story’ writing competition last summer.
Throughout the next month, pupils in Years 3 to 6 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. Last year, four of our flourishing writers reached the second round of the competition. Considering that each year there are over 131,000 story entries and only 5000 make it through to the second round, we were extremely proud of all the children’s efforts.
Monday morning will be set aside for 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. This is an incredible opportunity for the children and we look forward to sharing updates of this over the course of the coming weeks.
As well as being a small and nurturing school, Wandsworth Prep also provides all the children with big opportunities.