The Prep-Prep Department provides a structured, caring and secure environment for children aged between 4 and 7 years. There are two classes in each year group (Reception to Year 2) with approximately 16 children in each class so that every pupil receives individual care and attention.
Three Classroom Assistants support the Class Teachers and we are committed to ensuring each child's education and welfare. We stress the importance of a caring attitude towards others and help the children to develop good relationships within the school.
The curriculum at this stage aims to establish a firm foundation in literacy and numeracy skills.
Reading is emphasised in the early years, and we use a range of resources to help the children to acquire this vital skill. The majority of subject lessons are taught by a class teacher which provides continuity and security. However, all children receive weekly lessons from specialist teachers in French and ICT.
Our principal academic aims are the pursuit of excellence and fulfilment of potential in all our children whatever their ability. We intend that each child should regularly exceed their own expectations through a mixture of stimulating teaching and an encouraging atmosphere.
In the first year of the Preparatory School (Year 4, Age 7) children are taught several lessons by their Form Tutors, which eases them into the main part of the Preparatory School. Thereafter, while still retaining a Form Tutor they are taught by specialist staff in each subject and move around the school to the appropriate classrooms. The Form Tutor still plays an important part throughout the child's career within the school, overseeing their academic and pastoral well-being.
The core subjects in the curriculum are English, Mathematics, French, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Music, PE, Art and Design Technology. All pupils start Latin in Year 6, while Spanish and German are also offered in the top two years (Years 7 & 8).
We follow the National Curriculum closely and in Year 6 the children take the Key Stage 2 SATs. The streaming of forms by ability begins in Year 4 (Age 8) while Mathematics, French and Science are set as pupils move up the school. Children’s academic development is kept under regular review and children can move between streams as they progress. Class and set sizes vary according to age and ability; however, no set or form is ever larger than 20 while 16 to 18 is the norm.
Pupils work through a rewarding and demanding programme of study (Key Stage 3) in many different subjects in order to be able to take the Common Entrance Examinations at the age of 13. The children plan and manage their own workload using homework and carefully prepared revision programmes to help them achieve individual work habits which suit their style of learning and their needs. All children move on to the next chosen stage of their education at 13 with the majority entering Felsted School.
The core subjects in the curriculum are English, Mathematics, French, Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Music, PE, Art and Design Technology. Latin, Spanish and German are also offered from 11+.
To learn successfully, motivation and enjoyment are both essential ingredients.
Each pupil is presented with ambitious personal goals which are realistic and attainable so that confidence can be fostered and sustained. With a staff to pupil ratio of below 1:10, group numbers are kept deliberately small to cater for the needs of the individual pupils.
The technological and curricular innovations of recent years have been adapted to best effect by a well-qualified and dedicated staff and these contribute to inspiring and effective teaching. ICT pervades the curriculum and the school computer network links the whole campus. Pupils are further inspired by regular excursions, field studies and tours which widen their scope of learning.
The curriculum is carefully balanced to allow for delivery of the National Curriculum, in addition to the broader and more challenging range of intellectual and cultural pursuits.
The Sixth Form at Felsted is a bridge between school and university. Students must be prepared academically to work independently and to develop the skills that they will need for their tertiary education and beyond. Class sizes are typically between 6 and 12 students and this makes for a less formal, more seminar style of teaching. Relationships between teacher and student are strong and students will rely greatly on the support of their teachers.
Felsted is able to offer its sixth form students a choice of study - Advanced Level or the International Baccalaureate Diploma. For most subjects within these two courses there will be two teachers and homework is set on a weekly basis thus giving students further practice in organising their academic work. Within the classroom ICT, recent articles and other materials are used to ensure teaching is contemporary. There are many trips away from the school, both in term and in the holidays, which will extend students’ knowledge and enthusiasm for their subjects. There is also a large number of academic societies which broaden students’ interests.
Students receive considerable advice about careers and university entrance. The vast majority of Felsted students go to university and Felsted is expert in helping students gain admission to top universities - four students accepted Oxbridge places this year in 2006. Advice in writing personal statements and interview training are freely given.