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The Prep Curriculum for children aged 7 - 13

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The curriculum has a real, hands-on feel where children participate and are not just spectators. We are passionate about developing in the children, genuine awe, wonder and curiosity at the complexities of life and the world about us - past, present and future.   

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

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. 

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 thrive in their personal and professional lives, understanding their responsibilities in making the world a better place.

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.

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 Years 5 and 6 the children are taught by specialist teachers for the majority 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 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

In Years 3 - 6, the basic academic reward is the Plus Point. A member of staff might give up to 3 Plus points to a child for a particular deed. The total of Plus points a child gets in a week is calculated by the house staff and goes towards an overall house total, which in turn forms part of the overall annual House Competition. 

For academic work, the major reward is the Merit. A merit wins 3 extra plus points for the House. These are awarded by staff for exceptional work by the individual child. The child’s tutor keeps a record of the Merits for the term.

Years 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8 pupils move to a system of commendations awarded for exceptional acts of good behaviour. A commendation is awarded for work that is exceptional for the individual child in terms of effort or attainment. At the end of each term the highest scoring pupils are awarded a book token in final assembly. Tutors can also award a ‘wild card’ to pupils who have made exceptional progress.

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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