Wednesday 20 February 2019

8 reasons to send your four-year-old to a prep school

An array of extra-curriculars, delicious dinners and teaching from specialist teachers – there’s so many reasons to consider a prep school education for your child. SoGlos has rounded up the top eight in our helpful hot list.

Believing that a happy child is ‘far more likely to achieve their potential’ Wycliffe Prep School is a co-educational, independent school in Stonehouse, which teaches children from the age of two through to 13.

Here, SoGlos examines some of the top reasons why a prep school education could be the right solution for your four-year-old, if they’re about to embark on the exciting journey of education!

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1. Wrap around care

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school
Recognising the importance of flexible and reliable childcare for the hours outside of a standard school day, Wycliffe Prep offers a full wrap-around care facility.

This means that children can be dropped off at the school’s breakfast club from 8am, and then collected from the after-school care team as late as 6pm.

Breakfast club includes a healthy selection of fresh fruit, cereals and yoghurt for children to enjoy. Supervised by staff from the Lower Prep school, children will be familiar with the team providing their care, and parents can be confident that their children’s welfare will be a priority.

After school care can be arranged during term time, between the hours of 3.30pm and 6pm. Combining indoor and outdoor play, as well as creative activities such as crafting and painting, the care facility at Wycliffe Prep promotes imaginative play and the opportunity for youngsters to relax.

2. Wide range of after school activities

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

From coding and cooking, through to swimming and drama – Wycliffe offers a vast array of after school activities, with something to suit all tastes.

Children will love the school’s sensory garden – a calm and quiet space where children can study the crevices within wooden logs, walk barefoot through the grass and listen to trickling water as it flows over pebbled paths.

Grow and Cook classes teach children about growing their own food, healthy eating, and the fun you can have by cooking and creating your own tasty dishes.

More traditional after school clubs such as music, art and drama help little ones to improve their confidence in public speaking, and to develop their creativity through composition and performance.

3. Small class sizes

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

Wyciffe offers highly individualised learning, with small class sizes of no more than 18 pupils.

Focussing on functional teaching, the maths department says it wants pupils to ‘see the relevance of maths in a wider world context’, while in English lessons, the Prep sets the foundations for a positive learning experience of English throughout school life, by setting realistic goals, to help children achieve on an individual basis.

Subjects include maths, drama, languages, design and technology, football and music – to name just a few.

4. Weekly vocational classes

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

While traditionally academic subjects such as maths, science and English are taught throughout Wycliffe Prep School, an equal importance is placed on more vocational topics like swimming, drama, music and art.

The school benefits from an on-site pool, meaning that swimming lessons can be offered to younger children as part of their curriculum. In addition to its health benefits, the lessons can aid children’s knowledge of life-saving skills and personal survival around water.

Specialist teachers can help develop children’s creativity through music classes, focussing on a specific musical instrument from Year 1. Working closely with the drama department, music teachers help in the production of staged musicals at the school each year, designed to build children’s confidence in public speaking and performance.

5. Structured games programme

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

For active children, and those who need encouragement to partake in group sport, Wycliffe’s specialist games programme offers opportunities to all.

Encompassing tennis, rugby, rounders, netball, hockey, cross-country, cricket, athletics and physical education; the school provides a well-rounded sporting curriculum, taught by fully qualified teachers.

The benefits of such a variety of sports help to develop team working, tactical skills, effective play, strategy and problem solving.

6. Professional subject specialist music teachers

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

Developing fundamental musical skills such as understanding rhythm, singing in tune and basic musical theory, the music department at Wycliffe promotes a love of music in its pupils.

Running several musical groups and choirs, the department provides the ideal environment for children with a flair for creative subjects and performance.

Within the groups lie many opportunities for solo and group performance, as well as the opportunity to learn to play musical instruments from Year 1. Instrumental lessons are taught by specialist subject teachers, providing a fantastic insight into each instrument from a teacher with a passion for their subject.

7. French classes

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

Children starting at Wycliffe Prep will be introduced to French at an early age, undertaking weekly lessons in the language.

Learning through playing games and singing songs, children can familiarise themselves with the basics, before extending their study of languages as they progress through the school.

As children get to years three and four, interactive study through computer programmes help pupils to combine technology with learning, to help improve their grasp of French. Fantastique!

8. Cooked lunch every day

8 reasons to send your four year old to prep school

Food at Wycliffe Prep School is cooked freshly each day, on the premises. Catering company Chartwells have been working as school caterers for Wycliffe since 2010, led by catering manager Judith Johnson.

Catering to vegetarians, those with gluten, dairy and lactose intolerances, as well as those with allergies, the kitchen has a photographic ‘who’s who’ list to ensure that children are safe from any foods which pose a risk to their health.

The school boasts a three-week menu which rotates throughout the term, offering a cooked meal every day. Selections include meat dishes, vegetarian options, freshly cooked vegetables, potatoes, pasta, rice, and jacket potatoes. Desserts span cooked favourites like rice and sponge puddings, chopped fruit, yoghurts and custard.

© SoGlos
Friday 14 September 2018

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