How starting prep school early sets children up for success
PUBLISHED: 16:28 26 November 2020
How can a prep-school education transform your child’s future?
Jonathan Brough, from St Swithun’s - an independent all girls prep school in Winchester - shares how your daughter can benefit from spending her early years in private education.
Q: What are the benefits of a prep school education?
A: Smaller class sizes enable us to tailor the learning experience to suit the interests of the child, and make every day at school an enjoyable experience. When a child is happy and loves learning, they are better able to perform at the optimal level for them and get more from their education, so that it is a truly rich and personalised transformative experience.
Students have access to an amazing range of facilities that enrich their education. The school is set in 45 acres of rural Hampshire countryside. We use this, including our bespoke forest school, to incorporate as much outdoor learning as we can. We have a magnificent performing arts theatre where students can practise art and drama, build their confidence and develop their speaking skills.
From nursery upwards, children have weekly lessons in our learner or full-size swimming pool and they learn key coding and computer skills in our IT suite ‘the Cat Hub.’
Our extensive co-curricular programme encourages students to explore new things and cultivate their curiosity. They can try their hand at judo, coding club, the performing arts, choir, netball and much more. Activities on offer reflect the interests and requests of the girls. We’ve even started a virtual cookery class over lockdown. We’re currently running clubs in bubbles and smaller groups to ensure safety and compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.
Q: What is High Performance Learning and how does it help prepare students for later life?
A: High Performance Learning is a philosophy that everyone can achieve highly in every facet of school life and beyond. It explicitly teaches the advanced cognitive skills, attitudes and values which characterise successful people throughout their lives. The philosophy is woven throughout our curriculum and co-curricular activities.
Q: How can starting my child in private education earlier help them in the future?
A: Children who have access to the rich and diverse education provided by independent schools from nursery or reception age develop a secure understanding of the building blocks needed to master the complexities which come later on. They develop the confidence, courage and capacity for learning which are the foundations for future success and the compassion for others which is fundamental to a happy and successful life.
Q: How have the challenges of Covid-19 helped bring the school closer together?
A: We’ve always been a tight-knit community here at St Swithun’s - more of a family than a school. We teach our students to support and help each other, remain resilient and stay positive. Kindness is central to our ethos. This message is important now, more than ever.
Q: Are you accepting admissions during the pandemic?
A: Absolutely. We’re offering virtual tours of the school, are more than happy to chat to parents over the phone and can arrange private Covid-secure on-site visits.
Q: Can my child join the prep school straight away?
A: In some cases, you may feel your child should join us as soon as possible and we’ll do all we can to facilitate this where there is space in the year group. We understand moving schools is an important decision for you and your child, and are dedicated to doing all we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Q: How can I find out more?
A: We’d love to hear from you. You can contact our registrar Sara Mathieson who will be happy to answer any questions.
Apply online to join our prep school.
St Swithun’s is in easy walking distance of Winchester city centre and lies at the heart of a convenient regional road transport network.