Academic Curriculum

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The aim of the prep school is to develop well-balanced boys and girls who understand the importance of honesty, courage, humility, respect and integrity. It is an aim that we achieve through excellent teaching and a huge variety of opportunities. The Abbotsholme Academic Charter is fundamental to this. 

We believe in a balance of classroom and non classroom based learning. Click here to view the timetables of each Year Group to see the emphasis we place on a balanced education.

Our teaching staff, who are highly professional, experienced and caring, put the pupils’ welfare at the heart of all that they do. A typical young Abbotsholmian’s balanced diet consists of the staples of Numeracy, Literacy and Science, but these subjects are then seasoned with Art, Sport, French, Spanish, German, as well as farm and equestrian activities, all of which are taught by Senior School teachers in bespoke areas. 

In this respect, the Prep School is the biggest and most well-equipped that you could imagine, and Prep School pupils become well-rounded and strong, thanks to this educational feast.

Our Outdoor Education programme is designed to keep our youngsters fit, sharp and healthy.  Weekly timetabled lessons in the outdoors - perhaps on the farm, or riding a horse, or in the hills, on lakes or rivers, or even down pot-holes - are all part of this happy childhood. The annual hikes in the autumn and the camps in the summer give all the pupils the chance to sleep in youth hostels or under canvas.  These are experiences from which tired pupils return to their anxious parents who are equally tired from missing a couple of nights’ sleep.  Of course parents worry, but there is no need. Their children may be muddy and tired but they are also extremely happy and safe, which is all that matters.

Digital Learning in the Prep School

Digital skills such as programming, web design, and digital content creation are no longer a niche pursuit. Using a combination of different digital technologies (including 1:1 iPads, Windows-based PCs, and other specialised systems like 3D printing and Rasberry Pi) pupils are taught computer skills and digital literacy not only to succeed in this subject, but to support and compliment their learning across the entire school curriculum.

A class bank of iPads for every student to use, and students from Year 3 upwards have dedicated ICT lessons that will follow the Computing National Curriculum. This includes modules on coding, computational thinking, digital media creation, digital literacy, and online safety.

Life, Religion and Citizenship (LRC)

LRC stands for ‘Life, Religion & Citizenship’. Each pupil in the Prep School follows a programme which encompasses the following; health and wellbeing, relationships, living in the wider world, discussion of religious questions and concepts, world faiths and an introduction to the world of politics.

These sessions are delivered by Prep School members of staff. There is a degree of flexibility, which enables the school to respond to local, national and international events, and ensures that the needs of the pupils are met. Outside speakers, trips and workshops are incorporated into the programme.

Learning Skills Support

Pupils generally attend up to 4 lessons of 40 minutes per week. The work is usually an individualised programme carried out in a small group of 3 or 4. Within the Junior Department the tuition is in close co-operation with the class teacher. Assistance given at this early stage, before the experience of repeated failure has built up a lack of confidence, and perhaps a learning block, can make all the difference between a child who struggles and one that has the satisfaction of being able to achieve standards comparable with classmates.

Careful liaison takes place over the transfer from Prep to Senior Departments of the school. Click here for more information.

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