Welcome to the Prep School!
The Prep School covers Years 3 to 8 and the transition from Pre-Prep to Prep is a seamless one.
The Year 3 and Year 4 children are gently encouraged to become more independent in their thinking, learning and personal organisation. They spend around 60% of their time with their class teacher, who teaches them the core subjects, and they spend the remaining time moving around the school for their lessons in Design Technology, Art, Music, French, Science and Games.
By the time they move to Year 5, they are extremely well-equipped for the transition. From Year 5 upwards, lessons are taught by specialist teachers in well-resourced classrooms. A secure and productive relationship with their teachers ensures that children acquire knowledge and develop thinking skills and individual learning styles.All classes in Years 3 to 5 are mixed ability. Differentiation in the classroom ensures that children are supported or stretched as appropriate. Where necessary, extra support is offered by the Learning Support department. As children move to Year 6, they are placed in sets for Maths and English.
In Year 7 the curriculum focuses increasingly towards Common Entrance and Scholarships. Latin and a second modern language, German or Spanish, are added at this stage. Children also have modules of Drama, Debating and Current Affairs. Setting continues in English and Maths and is introduced in Science, French, Latin, and other subjects when appropriate. All sets are flexible and fluid, so that children work at the pace that suits them best. They are assessed using NFER tests, CAT tests and internal exams and teacher assessments; thus, movements between sets are possible at all times.
This is an important aspect of developing an understanding of private study and its academic skills. Formal prep is not regularly set for Years 3 and 4. However, younger children are asked to learn spellings, times tables and do regular reading. From time to time, they may also be asked to research a topic being studied. Year 5 have three supervised prep periods per week in Maths, English and Science. They are also expected to read at home, learn spellings and practice basic Maths skills. Years 6, 7 and 8 have two 30-minute preps most nights which they can do at school or at home.
The children here expand and develop their education in our idyllic rural surroundings and beyond.
All new children joining The Downs Malvern at any time throughout the academic year receive a very warm welcome and quickly feel 'at home' in our close school community.
Saturday mornings are not a formal teaching day. The Hobbies programme is in full swing until lunchtime, and in the afternoon there are frequent school sports fixtures.
The school week is a busy one. It flies by in a whirl of excitement, smiles, laughter and, of course, hard work!