The Prep Department incorporates Years 4 to 8, and is housed principally in the magnificent Pugin Mansion at the centre of our 90 acre estate. Pupils join us into Prep from both our Pre-Prep department, and schools across the region and beyond, and all new arrivals (and their parents!) are carefully supported and guided as they settle into their new routines.
We structure the Prep department to ensure that the changing needs of the children are met as they progress up the school. Our Pastoral team of tutors is led by our Assistant Head Pastoral, Mrs Everton and each department is led by an experienced member of staff who keeps an overview of each child’s progress and happiness, in partnership with form tutors and house parents.
The academic subjects and Heads of Department are led by Mr Das Gupta, Assistant Head Academic. Our children are taught by outstanding subject specialists from a much earlier age than in other independent or maintained schools and have access not only to well-resourced subject classrooms but specialist facilities for science, art, design and technology (including CAD/CAM) and music. Learning outside the classroom plays a major part of Prep School life, and the huge range of activities that form part of the school day ensures that each child may find their niche and explore new interests.
Upon arrival in the Prep Department, children join Juniors (Year 4), and their curriculum is structured so that they continue to be taught a number of subjects by their form teachers, with specialist teachers for others. Juniors participate fully in the games and activity programme, but we are mindful that they are still young, and as such, we structure the day to get the best out of the children.
Years 5 and 6 are taught by experienced subject specialists for all subjects, and increasingly are set by ability (for subjects such as French and Latin). However form tutors still remain a key part of the overall pastoral relationship, overseeing the child’s progress as an important point of contact for parents. Even at this stage, we work with parents to consider the early decisions often needed in the Senior School admissions processes, and start to identify high fliers aiming for scholarships and awards at their next schools.
Many children choose to join Bilton Grange at this stage, and we aim to ensure that their transition to Bilton Grange, and then subsequently two years later on to Senior School, is a productive and enjoyable one. Our senior boys and girls are articulate, well informed, sensible and good fun and leave us fully prepared to meet with enthusiasm the new challenges that lie ahead. As our pupils reach their final year at Prep School, they are given greater responsibility, the opportunity to lead, whether as team captains, prefects or Head of School, and we believe that these opportunities provide a good stepping stone from childhood Prep School to the bigger world of Senior School.