The philosophy behind the Preparatory School curriculum is to provide a balanced programme which gives a thorough grounding in the core subjects while offering the children a broad spectrum of experience in language, art and design, music and drama, and sports.
The curriculum is supported by a programme of educational visits directly linked to the courses, and by voluntary participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities.
Our academic standards and expectations are high, based to a large extent on the National Curriculum. There are some adaptations consistent with our independent status in the hope that all pupils will be able to broaden and deepen their studies beyond the National Curriculum guidelines.
Find out more about the Prep School subject areas:
An artist requires inspiration and opportunity. The Art Department at Wellingborough Preparatory School provides both. The Art Atrium provides a light, spacious, stimulating space where pupils can fully engage in drawing, painting, sculpture, clay, printmaking and textiles.
The Art Curriculum consists of a number of themes, which are taught through a balance of different teaching methods. We challenge each child to discover a love of art, to have fun and express their ideas and personality through their work. Pupils are always encouraged to develop their artistic talents and to use and stretch their imagination. Art work is on display throughout the Preparatory School and always given high value.
Pupils are given the opportunity to learn through a combination of teacher prepared materials and practical tasks. Pupils are always encouraged to develop their artistic talents and to use and stretch their imagination. Year 8 pupils visit Burghley House Sculpture Gardens in the Michaelmas term and there are opportunities for pupils in years 6, 7 and 8 to work with professional artists in practical workshops.
Pupils from Year 4 to Year 8 are taught by a specialist teacher in the light filled Art Atrium. This means that by Year 8, pupils have had experience in most disciplines and are enthusiastic to develop and expand their creative skills.
The high profile given to Art at Wellingborough Preparatory School is further enhanced by a popular After School Art Club as well as an Art Scholarship group of selected pupils.
Design & Technology at Wellingborough Preparatory School is a subject that allows pupils to be creative, encouraging the development of new skills and knowledge through practical activities.
As a pupil of the school you embark upon a series of projects from Year 4 through to Year 8 using a wide variety of materials and processes. With the guidance of specialist teachers and working in small groups, pupils design and make products following a formal design process.
Pupils study in the exciting and vibrant environment of the Gent Centre at Wellingborough School, the same well-resourced specialist facility used by the Senior School examination groups.
Teaching an enjoyment of learning, an enthusiasm for reading and a desire to communicate precisely and persuasively is at the heart of all we do. English is our pupils’ language, and we wish to inspire every child to use it, now and in their future lives, to the best of their abilities.
Students are given the tools with which to analyse what they read (identifying elements of the author’s craft), to persuade others of their views, compare texts, inform readers and argue points. They will write convincing letters and develop personal poems and diaries. Planning tools are placed in their hands and success criteria provided to help them concentrate on the requirements of a task. They are supported in understanding how to control their ideas within effective structures.
They give presentations, perform plays (such as ‘Macbeth’), recite poetry, attend drama workshops (such as those with the Young Shakespeare Company) and watch productions (both at the theatre and on site). Visiting authors are invited to inspire their creative writing. They apply to participate in the ‘Write a Book in a Day’ competition.
Reading is central to all pupils’ progress; here, we use the Accelerated Reader programme to incentivise through rewards and successful achieving of targets, raised standardised scores and vocabulary levels, the inter-Club trophy and prizes. Our Library is a hugely attractive environment; the Librarian and all English staff are always at hand to advise about book choices.
Each child has an individual Progress Grid with targets specific to them; this follows them through the Prep School and into the Senior School. Every pupil is challenged and extended; those who have been identified as requiring extra support are given it. Years 7 and 8 cover skills needed to prepare for the GCSEs.
We aim to equip them with tools they will need in whatever their chosen career turns out to be. Above all, pupils are encouraged to enjoy themselves so that they can step confidently into the future, making their mark through the spoken and written word.
In the Preparatory School we are passionate about Geography and about our students becoming active and engaged citizens of the world. We want them to learn and understand key concepts, terms and processes, but also to think about the relevance of the subject to our everyday lives and their possible future careers. We like our students to think for themselves about world issues and to make informed decisions, using evidence and case study examples. We encourage them to think creatively, yet critically.
By covering a range of Human and Physical Geography topics over the years, students are able to leave the Preparatory School with a good, broad understanding of location knowledge and about the world and its environments more generally. They are equipped with skills to interpret data and to research independently. They learn how to express their opinions about a place and ask serious questions about why it is so. They are encouraged to acknowledge that an environment can affect people as well as being affected by us and our actions.
Fieldwork opportunities encourage our students to learn and embrace Geography out of the classroom, whether this is in on our residential trips in the Peak District (Year 7) or Dorset coast (Year 8), or exploring ecosystems at Kew Gardens (Year 5), rivers and their processes at Stanwick Lakes (Year 6), or farming (Year 4).
At Wellingborough Preparatory School, we aim to create inquisitive and enthusiastic historians.
As the world becomes smaller and smaller through technology, we aim to investigate not only British history, but also the history of the wider world. Children consider how the past has influenced the present; what past societies were like; how they were organized; how they thought and behaved and what political beliefs they held. Children see a diversity of human experience so that they may understand more about themselves as individuals and as members of a society.
What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In History, children find evidence, examine and evaluate in order to reach their own conclusions. To do this, they need ability to research, sift through evidence and argue a point of view – skills that are prized for adult life.
In our endeavour to develop each child’s sense of chronology and empathy, we organise a range of History Days, where past activities, behaviour and thinking are brought to life. These are popular with our children and are generously supported by parent helpers. The children are also able to go on a variety of trips with the school. These include;
- Viking Day
- Trip to Verulamium Museum
- Victorian Day
- Visit to Black Country Museum
- Visit to Agincourt
- Visit to Mountfichet Castle
- Tudor Day
ICT in the Preparatory School is an important part of the curriculum, with children enjoying access to up-to-date facilities and software. There are currently three ICT suites containing fully networked PCs and a number of computers in the library and art atrium. Sets of laptops and ipads are also available for pupil use. Each classroom is equipped with a data projector and most of the rooms contain interactive whiteboards too.
Pupils progress through a structured scheme of work and are taught by a specialist ICT teacher. All pupils in the Preparatory School receive one 55 minute period of ICT each week.
The Government has identified ICT as a major priority in maintained schools. Wellingborough School also places great importance on the subject and endeavours, through the development of resources and the training of all staff, to provide an excellent start for all children attending the school in something they will continue to learn about and use for the rest of their lives.
Latin is introduced in the Prep School in Year 7. Pupils choosing Latin have two lessons a week and cover grammar and vocabulary as well as Classical Mythology . In Year 7 a popular topic is the Trojan War. The aim is to reach Common Entrance Level 2 standard by the end of Year 8.
Latin is taught up to A-Level and Oxbridge entry if required. Those studying Latin continue to study it in Year 9 and it is a popular subject at GCSE and A Level. Latin is valued for admissions for top Universities as it a rigorously academic subject. Last year, 100% of GCSE pupils gained an A or A*.
The Classics Department offer a trip to Rome and Pompeii every 2-3 years which is very popular and always oversubscribed.
Latin in the Prep School is taught by Senior School staff including Mrs Holley Head of Classics
Mathematics is the means of looking at the patterns that make up our world and the intricate and beautiful ways in which they are constructed and realised. Numeracy is the means of making that knowledge useful.
At Wellingborough School, our approach to teaching Mathematics is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical concepts at a rate suitable to each individual. Every effort is made to encourage the children to build on their skills in Numeracy, through the use of exciting resources, ICT, practical work, puzzles and problems. We regularly use MyMaths.co.uk during a lesson and this is a great resource for the pupils to do independent work.
We aim to make children confident in their ability, enjoy the challenge of solving mathematical problems and at the same time, helping them to realise that Mathematics can be a lot of fun!
Our scheme of work follows Collins Connect which is an innovative online learning platform. It enables pupils to access the curriculum and provides support with interactive activities.
Our positive learning environment helps to ensure that all pupils feel comfortable, engaged and confident as learners. This is vital to pupils' success and impacts them in many ways. If they are given the opportunity to become responsible for their own learning, pupils will be more likely to benefit from the lesson, and thus be more likely to be self-motivated.
The aim of all lessons in the Modern Languages Department is to foster a love of language, a curiosity about culture and a set of skills for successful studying.
Studying languages in the Prep School is an enriching and exciting experience! Whilst French runs as a consistent strand from Year 4 to Year 8, the Department also seeks to offer pupils a broad and varied understanding of the world of language study and cultural difference. In addition to their studies of French, pupils in Years 4 to 6 enjoy one lesson per week exploring other languages and cultures, focusing on day-to-day life, festivals and language patterns, whilst pupils in Year 7 and 8 complement their French studies with a second language of their choice from Spanish or Latin.
All lessons are delivered by specialist subject teachers who bring their knowledge and passion for the wider world to the classroom, and who plan the department’s bespoke courses based on long experience of working with this age range. Although textbook and interactive courses are used in later years to lay firm foundations for GCSE-level study, the junior courses encourage children to express themselves, use languages creatively and participate in authentic situations, whilst naturally developing their acquisition and grammar skills in a fun environment. Outside the classroom, the Department offers regular opportunities to vary the pupils’ experience, from visiting Theatre Company productions, and European Language Day challenges to an annual residential French trip in Year 6.
The Wellingborough School Music Department is an exciting and creative place to be. In the Family of Schools ethos we provide enthusiastic, energetic and expert musical training throughout Prep-Prep, Prep and Senior levels, combining our music making at all age ranges.
The thriving department is lucky to have over twenty weekly ensembles with sixteen visiting professional orchestral and jazz musicians offering one to one tuition. Pupils are strongly encouraged to ‘get involved’; play an instrument, join a choir or engage themselves in music production or contemporary music making right from the Pre-Prep School onwards.
We run a stringed instrument programme in Year 2 and a brass and woodwind programme in Year 5, where every pupil is given an instrument for an entire year.
Many extra-curricular musical events take place each term, and there are countless performance opportunities every term, including the highlight Spring Concert held at the Wellingborough Castle Theatre.
Wellingborough School is proud of its strong sporting tradition, which is renowned throughout the country. Its strong fixture list, coupled with well-qualified and experienced physical educationalists have produced success from county, through regional to national level in a variety of sports.
‘Sport For All’ is the main ethos for the school, but also to challenge the pupils of all abilities and to work towards realistic goals achieving true potential.
Physical education develops pupils' physical competence and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a wide range of activities. It promotes coordination, muscular, skeletal and neuro-development and knowledge of the body in action. Physical education provides opportunities for pupils to be creative, competitive and to gain experiences and different challenges as individuals and in teams.
Religious Studies is taught as an expression of the School`s conviction that no pupil`s education is complete without the opportunity to consider the importance of the main religious traditions in shaping our values and attitudes as individuals, neighbours and citizens.
Through Religious Studies, the school aims to promote religious knowledge, as an antidote to prejudice, and as a means to attain a full understanding of ourselves and our neighbours both as people of equal value and also as inheritors of distinct religious and cultural traditions.
As they progress through the school, pupils become aware of the distinctive characteristics of the different world faiths, and are challenged to consider their own responses to important contemporary issues and to spiritual and cultural identities.
The study of science at Wellingborough Preparatory School aims to fire pupils’ curiosity about phenomena in the world around them and offers opportunities to find explanations. It engages learners at many levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas. Experimentation and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought. Pupils learn how knowledge and understanding in science are rooted in evidence. They discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological change – affecting industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life. They trace the development of science worldwide and recognise its cultural significance. They learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of societies and the future of the world.
General science is taught at Key Stage Two, largely following National Curriculum guidelines, although topics are usually studied in greater depth than the National Curriculum requires. Year 4 pupils are taught by the Year 4 coordinator, whilst Years 5 and 6 are taught by specialist science teachers in a science laboratory. At Key Stage Three, the subject is taught as separate sciences by specialist teachers. The Science Department is located in the Bedford Block, where two fully serviced laboratories can be found.
Wellingborough School has a well-established Learning Development team, led by Mrs Samantha Bell and Mrs Sharon Lawson. We are based in excellent accommodation at the heart of the School, operating across the family of schools from Nursery to the Upper Sixth.
We recognise that every pupil at Wellingborough School is a unique individual and are dedicated to ensuring that every pupil is both successful and happy.
Therefore, our aim is to support pupils who experience difficulties in any aspect of their learning and to help build their confidence and self-esteem, and through appropriate support, enable them to realise their full potential.
We are qualified to assess ability, attainment and learning skills, and to identify any specific learning difficulties (SpLD), which may be a barrier to learning, and to use these results to inform pupils, teachers and parents regarding appropriate support strategies to adopt at school and at home. We work closely with parents and encourage communication and the sharing of ideas through meetings in School, email and telephone contact. All pupils take part in literacy baseline testing in Years 7 and 9. Following this testing, if further assessment is needed, we contact parents and, with agreement, are able to offer further assessment to consider, as appropriate, reasonable adjustments in examinations, including extra time and use of a word-processor for assessments and public examinations.
Learning Development in the Prep School
Our Learning Development Team provides support and guidance to nurture a wide range of abilities. Pupils may receive support in the class, in small groups or on a one to one basis as required. This enables them to access the curriculum and develop the skills they need to succeed. Specialist support staff and subject teachers work together to ensure the support is targeted and specific, and Learning Development also keep parents up to date on the progress being made. In this way, additional support can enable the further development of key skills including spelling, reading, numeracy and study strategies; such skills are highly transferable across all areas of the curriculum.