Why Gloucestershire parents should consider an independent prep school for their child

Gloucestershire has some of the best independent schools in the country, with prep and senior schools such as Wycliffe College in Stonehouse offering the very best start to children aged three and above. SoGlos looks at why investing in a pre-prep school education for your child could be an excellent idea.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
An independent pre-prep such as Wycliffe Prep offers a diverse and enriched start to a child's education, with wraparound care and a wealth of extracurricular classes included in the fees.

There is so much choice in Gloucestershire when it comes to selecting the perfect school for your child, be it state or independent, the county has some outstanding schools and teachers. But have you considered that choosing an independent pre-prep school may give your child one of the best starts in life, with a rich and diverse education plus wraparound care at no extra cost?

Set in 52 acres of beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, Wycliffe College's Pre-Prep school is located in Stonehouse near Stroud and prides itself on a pupil-centric environment, where individuality and independence are encouraged and respected. 

From a child's very first day in the pre-prep's nursery class, the youngest pupils aged from just three years old are encouraged to forge their own paths and write their own identities — and this aspiration takes them all the way through to age 18, at the very top of the school.

Wycliffe's Pre-Prep school welcomes children from age three to age seven, spanning pre-school, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. After Year 2, children will move up to Prep school to begin Year 3 and Key Stage 2.

David Aherne is the head of Wycliffe Pre-Prep and has been at the school for six years. He said: 'What makes Wycliffe really special is the children. They love sharing their experiences and talking about what they enjoy doing in school and outside of school, and we can really draw upon these interests and create a curriculum and a set of activities that we know they will enjoy and engage with.'

Parents of Wycliffe children get to enjoy the school community too, with a plethora of events to watch, one-to-one consultations with teachers and a general open-door policy to parents across the whole school. Whether it's a quick chat at the school gates during drop off or pick up, a meeting in the classroom or a visit to see the school in action, parents are welcomed into school and encouraged to get in touch, with any emails answered within 24 hours, too.

Aherne continued: 'At Pre-Prep we have an amazing team of teachers, teaching assistants and specialist teachers who go above and beyond to make the learning of each child unique, individualised and the best it can be.

'Personalised learning is beneficial to the education of each child, alongside smaller class sizes that help enable a greater understanding of each child — a tailored, more individual pupil support ensures a programme that is suitable for each child's needs.

Another excellent benefit to an independent school like Wycliffe Pre-Prep is that wraparound care is included in the cost of its termly fees, with no hidden extras. Parents are able to drop off at 8am and pick up at 6pm, with children given breakfast, lunch and supper, having taken part in after-school dance classes, music lessons and sports clubs, all as part of the school fees. 

Aherne said: 'At Wycliffe we've got some amazing facilities: we've got a swimming pool on-site, an indoor playground, state-of-the-art sports fields, a drama studio and theatre, all offering a diverse range of specialist learning opportunities available to children during and after school.'

Opportunities from a very early age include swimming lessons, dance, music and drama classes, STEM subjects and extra clubs, all happening during the school day; but also, any school trips, meals and activities are all included in the term's fees, giving parents extra value for money.

Aherne said: 'It frees up time that would be taken, dashing about after school or at weekends, to be a family and have that time together.'

With transitions also being of the utmost importance to the staff at Wycliffe, they strive to make sure children have a seamless move between year groups and key stages, fostering happy and confident children who look forward to each new school year with excitement and aspiration. 

If you would like to book a visit to Wycliffe Pre-Prep, email mike.mcdonnell@wycliffe.co.uk to arrange a date.

In partnership with Wycliffe College  |  wycliffe.co.uk

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