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The Prep Curriculum for children aged 7 - 13

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The breadth and balance in the curriculum give pupils an opportunity to get excited about the lessons they have each day.

The curriculum has a real, hands-on feel where children participate and are not just spectators.  Activity and investigation enable pupils to learn to think for themselves and to solve problems. We hope that they can begin to see that failure and getting it wrong are just as important as getting it right. We believe that specialisation should wait until senior school.

I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand

Chinese proverb

The heart of prep school education is expressed in one word, preparatory. The curriculum at Hazlegrove is fashioned to prepare children for the next phases of their lives, for the demands of a more specialised senior education and, in the longer term, to be able to meet the challenges of the workplace and to take their place in society.

The traditional academic disciplines, including Latin, are complimented by Music and Drama, Art and Design and Outdoor Education, as well as a varied Sports programme. Computers and ICT are seen as a vital component of Hazlegrove education but never as an end in themselves.

We believe that many of the most important aspects of education, contrary to contemporary belief, cannot be measured. We value honesty, compassion, respect for our neighbours and their property, whoever that neighbour may be. We aim to win and lose with equal grace and to be quick to say thank you and well done.

Pupils' progress is monitored from an early age to ensure that potential is fulfilled and any difficulties are identified as early as possible. This progress is regularly assessed, both formally and informally, and parents are kept up-to-date about levels of effort and attainment through the reporting system and pattern of regular parent-teacher meetings. Parents are encouraged to discuss their children's progress with staff at any time.

Pupils are prepared for entry to a wide range of senior schools and considerable success is achieved on the scholarship front. They gain entry either through the Common Entrance or Scholarship examinations and awards gained may be Academic, Sport, Music, DT, Drama or All Round.

Parents recognise and greatly appreciate the fine teaching that goes on at Hazlegrove ... 'The quality of discussions at parents' evening is phenomenal' said one mother'.

Good Schools Guide

Please click on the links below to find out more about the structure of the prep school:

Tutors and Head of Section

The tutor is the first point of contact for pupils and parents if there are academic or other concerns. Additionally, the Head of Section (Lower School, Middle School or Upper School) will always be happy to discuss any concerns parents may have.

In Years 3 and 4, the class teacher is the tutor.

In Year 5 the children are taught by specialist teachers for the moajority of subject but still have a "class teacher" for English and humanities. All children in a Year 5 class have the same tutor who they meet in the mornings and at the end of lunchtimes for registration and for longer tutor periods.

In Years 6, 7 and 8 the tutor groups become "House" based rather than class based and all subjects are taught by specialist teachers.

The Lower School - Years 3 and 4

Aged 7, the children move into the Lower School (Years 3 and 4). At this point they are classroom based with a class teacher for core subjects (such as English and Maths) and move around the school to be with specialist teachers for subjects such as French and Science.

The Middle School - Years 5 and 6

Aged 9, the children progress to the Middle School (Years 5 and 6). In Year 5 they are classroom based for English the the humanties subjects and will move around the school for other subjects. From Year 6 they are taught by specialist teachers across the curriculum and move around the school accordingly.

Pupils start to learn Latin and Mandarin in Year 5. 

The Upper School - Years 7 and 8

The final two years in the Upper School at Hazlegrove (ages 11 to 13) are an exciting time. With a combination of hard work and fun, the children prepare for the move to their senior schools via Scholarship or the 13+ Common Entrance examinations.

Early in the Autumn Term in Year 7, a trip to the River Dart enables the year group to bond and work on team building skills, welcoming new pupils who have joined us at this time.

Setting and Streaming

Pupils in Years 3, 4, and 5 are in mixed ability classes with setting for some maths and English work.

Streaming starts in Year 6 with the introduction of one A stream and two parallel B streams or two parallel A streams and two parallel B streams depending on the number of classes in the year. By Year 8, a likely structure will be a scholarship class, a higher tier Common Entrance A stream and two parallel B streams. 

Prep or homework

Prep is set for pupils in Years 5 to 8 on four nights of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) as follows:

  • Year 5: 1 subject for 25 minutes. Pupils are also expected to read a book and practise times tables
  • Year 6: 2 subjects for 20 minutes each
  • Years 7 and 8: 2 subjects for 30-40 minutes each

Younger pupils will be expected to read, learn spellings and practise times tables. 

Reward systems

Years 3 - 6

Pupils are able to earn "plus points" for good work. "Merits", worth three plus points, can be awarded for exceptional effort.

Pupils keep track of points earned in their journals and they work towards target totals where they can earn Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and, even on rare occasions, Krypton Certificates. These certificates are awarded in assemblies.

Years 7 and 8

As the children move into the Upper School (Years 7-8), the system changes to one of commendations being awarded for work that is exceptional in terms of effort or attainment for that child. These are recorded on the school management information system for staff and pupils to see.

It is hoped that all pupils will try to earn as many commendations as possible, and that they will try to improve on their performance in previous terms. At the end of each term the 10 children with the highest totals of commendations in each of Years 7 and 8 are rewarded with Waterstones vouchers. Additionally, each tutor can further nominate for an award one pupil from their tutor group who they consider to have made exceptional progress.

We hope that this system continues to motivate our older pupils to try as hard as they possibly can to approach their studies with determination and industry.

Inter-house competition

There are four "Houses" in the Prep School at Hazlegrove which are Dover (red), Lyon (blue), Norton (yellow) and Tremlett (green). Houses are allocated on joining the Prep School and children in the same immediate family will belong to the same House. The children wear House ties during the winter terms.

Inter-house competitions run throughout the year in sport and other areas of school life.

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