A Varied Curriculum
Sherborne Prep takes the academic formation of children seriously, striving to deliver a broad-based experience that gives every pupil a chance to shine. We concentrate on nurture and encouragement to foster a spirit of discovery among pupils.
This is no hothouse in which they are pressured to perform. Instead, we establish a community in which every individual is celebrated, and given what they need to grow into the best possible version of themselves.
We make links across our curriculum to help children develop a rounded understanding of the world. And with our Dragon Values at the heart of everything, we bring every experience back to the habits and attitudes we hold most dear.
Building on their engagement with the Inspire programme in the lower school, Seniors have the confidence to go deeper into Maths. The focus is on lateral thinking, problem solving and independent learning. For many, this stimulates a real love of the discipline, laying foundations for further growth and development in senior school.
Pupils at every level are encouraged to discuss their work and help each other’s learning. The result is happy classrooms in which Maths is relished and pupils achieve their full potential.
Our curriculum is benchmarked against the high standards of the National Curriculum. We add value at every turn, with activities including World Book Day, an annual recital event to encourage Poetry by Heart, and frequent author visits that empower pupils in their reading and writing. We also arrange regular theatre trips and an annual production in School by the Young Shakespeare Company.
With the support of our enthusiastic and knowledgeable librarian, we deliver English education that inspires pupils for the rest of their lives.
We equip our pupils with the understanding to make the best use of the abundant technology at their disposal. We model best practice in the use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and online learning – equipping pupils with important skills for life. We focus on online safety, ensuring they make sensible decisions about their use of technology.
As with every aspect of our curriculum, ICT is about helping pupils engage fully with the world around them, developing their problem solving skills and resilience. We offer teaching in programming, software and hardware design, and critical thinking, using real-world projects and examples to bring the subject to life.
Our hands-on approach to Science gives pupils the chance to test hypotheses and reflect on their findings. This generates an intuitive grasp of the connections between Biology, Chemistry and Physics, as well as confidence to explore further.
Sometimes working alone and sometimes together, pupils explore real issues such as climate change, pollution, and the use of technology. So, when the time comes for them to move on, they are sophisticated thinkers with a deep appreciation of the beauty and complexity of the world around them.
French is taught throughout the School, with Latin and Classical Civilisations taken from Year 6 onwards. As a result, our pupils discern the power of intercultural communication, grounded in both the past and the present day.
By the time they leave for senior school, our hope is that pupils are confident in speaking, listening to, reading and writing French. Studying Latin and Classics enhances their language skills, as well as providing a deeper understanding of the role of the past in shaping our future.
History is very much a living discipline at Sherborne Prep – and a lively one, too. We bring the subject to life with props, reconstructions and enacted accounts of key events, as well as regular trips to places of historic interest, helping pupils develop a fascination with the past.
As they mature, we help pupils develop their skills as independent and critical thinkers. They’re not taught to accept historical information at face value, but to evaluate it through lively discussion and wider research – skills that prepare them well for the next phase of their education.
Few other disciplines offer so many opportunities for hands-on research. Our Geography classes frequently involve gathering data in Sherborne or the surrounding area, or investigating phenomena like coastal and footpath erosion further afield.
Underpinning all these activities is a commitment to critical thinking, which comes ever more to the fore as pupils progress through School. Our ambition is not only to increase their subject-specific knowledge, but also to equip them with skills and dispositions that help them to thrive for the rest of their lives. The fascination with the world engendered by Geography is a good place to start.
Design & Technology (DT) is a practical discipline, with children from Year 3 upwards developing their skills in our well-equipped workshop. As well as encouraging their inventiveness and creativity, we help pupils to plan with care and take their time in completing projects with accuracy and diligence.
By the end of their time at Sherborne Prep, we expect every pupil to have hands-on experience in sewing, woodwork, mechanical devices, metalwork and electronics. Even better, the fruits of their labours make wonderful presents for family and friends!
As well as our curriculum offer, we give pupils the opportunity to develop their enthusiasms further through two popular Saturday morning activities: Clay Club and Electric Car Club.
We focus on developing Functional Movement among younger pupils during our PE lessons. We work closely with FMS UK to screen all our pupils and provide them with personalised programmes. These sessions are incorporated into our PE lessons from Year 3 -8. This innovative scheme improves movement efficiency in children and focuses on physical literacy. It involves creating an individual pathway for every pupil to establish personal goals. As a result, they have the building blocks in place for a healthy life and can enjoy a variety of sports.
Our high-quality delivery of Physical Education ensures children develop a love for physical activity and create a sporting habit for life. Our broad curriculum ranges from developing fundamental movement skills in gymnastics to mastering swimming strokes and techniques. From individual activities to collaborative group tasks, our pupils develop skills beyond purely the physical. Leadership, self-confidence, self-esteem, and stress reduction are just a few of the wider benefits of our outstanding physical education programme.
Personal Development focuses on the individual child's emotional and social growth. Through our programme, we encourage every pupil to find his or her place in the School and wider community.
We seek to instil a commitment to being outward-facing and community minded, at the same time as developing pupils’ personal resilience and self-understanding.
Every year group has weekly Personal Development lessons, following a dedicated curriculum delivered by specialist staff. The content is varied, and tailored to individual cohorts, as we recognise that each group of children will have its own identity, challenges and needs.
This comprehensive approach helps pupils develop habits that set them up for life. We focus on our “Dragon Values” throughout the sessions, ensuring children are empowered to contribute to discussions and find their distinctive voice.
Through engagement with our Personal Development programme, pupils become rounded individuals with a strong appreciation of their place in the wider School community and beyond. They are ready to lead and able to follow, equipped and inspired to make a contribution to the world around them, and to their senior school.