During Year 3, we work hard to prepare our pupils for the move to the Prep Department, building on the relationships they have already built with the Prep staff.
While at Pre-Prep they enjoy Games, Art and Design Technology, with specialist teachers from the Prep, they also visit the main Prep building more frequently, for example to use the Prep library and DT workshop. Year 3 sing together with the Juniors (Year 4) at the Christmas Prep Carol Service in Rugby School Chapel, rehearsing together in the lead-up to the end of term. Throughout all of their lessons, they are encouraged to work more independently. For our pupils, the move to the main building is exciting and one they are ready to make.
We recognise that, at age 8, Juniors are still young and so day pupils arrive at the Prep School via a separate junior entrance leading directly to the Junior classrooms, allowing parents to maintain a direct line of communication with their form teachers as their children get older. There is also a member of the Senior Leadership Team on duty in the mornings. However, Mrs Rea and Mrs Balchin on our main Prep School reception are a fount of knowledge and always happy to help.
The Juniors quickly adapt to their new surroundings and way of working. Whilst they do mix with the older pupils, they also have their own special outdoor play area, with access to the Scout Forbid, their own piece of woodland when the weather allows; they also have opportunities to attend ‘Wild Wednesday’ and ‘Super Saturday’ to play in our larger woods. The broad curriculum and range of Options made available to them at this point means that they are able to try new activities and develop new talents. The move to the Prep School means that their day is extended, with all but a few Options and Activities (eg horse riding) included within the School fees and parents may now choose to pick their children up at various times from 4.00pm – 7.30pm. Some children also choose to begin boarding at this stage, either on a weekly or a flexi basis, often with their friends; children can begin boarding from Year 3 if this is desired.
As they move into Juniors, our pupils become ‘Hobbits’ – the name we give to Juniors who have yet to be allocated to one of our four Prep Sections (different from the Sections, our term for Houses, in the Pre-Prep). During the Michaelmas term, the Juniors undergo the now infamous ‘Sorting Ceremony’ when our magic all-knowing Lion in the Sorting Flag will allocate each child to a Section. This Harry Potter-esque ceremony is very popular with the Juniors (and all the children, who enthusiastically welcome the new members of their Section) and just one of the memorable activities that happen early in their Junior year.
To help parents manage the transition from Pre-Prep to Prep, we hold a ‘Moving up’ event for parents of Y2 and Y3 pupils at the beginning of each summer term to allow them to meet the Junior teachers and ask any questions they may have.
Our Moving up to Juniors Handbook 2016 contains lots of useful information for parents and pupils.