School Blogs

State ‘til 8?

20th January 2017 | Head's Blog

State ‘til 8?

In this digital age, online magazines and websites for parents of young children are awash with advice surrounding how best to educate one’s child. Debates range from the benefits of co-education to the advantages of specialist subject teaching in the primary phase.

In South West London, parents are even more fortuitous. Plentiful and easily accessible advice exists for those considering an independent school education for their child; advice is so bespoke, that there are websites dedicated to assisting parents living in Wandsworth alone.

One particular debate that caught my eye, however, is state ‘til eight. In the past, where parents once tended to select either the independent or state sector for their child, sticking with that decision at least through the primary years, increasingly parents are adopting more of a ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ approach to their children’s education.

For those parents, in particular, who are considering making the move to the independent sector; what are the advantages?

The worry for parents, quite often, surrounds how their child might cope with the transition, particularly if they have formed strong friendships with their peers and teachers at their existing school. A natural point of transition, however, is the end of a Key Stage.

For many parents at Wandsworth Prep, transition from the state sector is a well-trodden path. For those children who have joined us in Year 3 or above, the move has been successful. Children themselves, comment on how they feel challenged and engaged by the specialist teaching they enjoy, supported and encouraged by the relatively smaller class sizes and, perhaps more significantly, welcomed to their new class by their peers. For parents, it is the individual attention we are able to afford their children, both pastoral and academic, and the subsequent progress they make. Click on the image below to see how pupils joining us in Key Stage 1 and 2 typically progress in reading, writing and Maths, compared to the national standard.

Successful transition is key to success. At Wandsworth Prep, we place great emphasis on settling our new joiners. Before children join us, they spend a day at the school with their peers, sampling and taking part in our broad curriculum. We operate a buddy system. The purpose of the buddy system is to offer peer support whilst children settle in to life at the school. All children who are new to the school are assigned a class buddy.

Our class sizes lend naturally to a climate of mutual trust and support and class teachers, in particular, play a pivotal role in creating an atmosphere of warmth and openness where children quickly feel secure, well looked after and highly valued.

If you are considering an independent education for your child, when you visit Wandsworth Prep, you will find happy and engaged children who benefit from a fine recipe of specialist teaching in English and maths, music, sport and languages, opportunities that extend beyond our gates, as part of Bellevue Education and the Independent School Association, an enviable variety of extra-curricular opportunities and an unfailing emphasis on enjoyment of learning.

Bridget Saul - Headteacher