Preparatory School FAQs

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A SINGLE SEX-EDUCATION?

Whilst our Preparatory Schools share the same ethos, research shows that girls and boys learn in different ways. By teaching them separately, we are able to offer a holistic approach, tailoring our curriculum and our lessons to accommodate boys’ and girls’ different learning styles. It has also been found that children taught in a single-sex setting are more relaxed in class and tend to develop closer, more supportive bonds within their peer group. Our happy atmosphere and strong community are tangible within both Schools and is noticeable upon visiting.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY SON OR DAUGHTER IS UNWELL ON THE DAY OF THE ASSESSMENT?

If your child is unwell on the day of the assessment, we may be able to arrange an alternative date for him/her to come into the School. Please contact the Admissions Department admissions@surbitonhigh.com for further information.

WILL MY CHILD GET EXTRA TIME IN THE ASSESSMENT IF THEY HAVE ADDITIONAL LEARNING NEEDS?

We consider each individual’s learning needs and offer appropriate support for the Entrance Assessment where the child has been assessed by an Educational or Occupational Psychologist.

If a special arrangement (such as extra time, a laptop, a scribe or reader) exists in order for a child to sit examinations,  please let us know when you apply and provide copies of any assessment or report that is available at application. Our Learning Enrichment Department will then assess the requirements and confirm the support available prior to the Entrance Assessment.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU ASSESS THE CHILDREN. IS THERE A REGULAR PROCESS, E.G END OF SUMMER TERM ASSESSMENTS?

As part of our approach to ongoing assessment for learning, teachers continually observe the children and monitor their work. This enables them to identify gaps and teach those concepts, whilst also supporting those who have mastered an idea to be stretched and challenged. On a termly basis, children will be assessed in reading, writing and maths which enables the teachers to see what progress has been made, and where to take the child’s learning journey next.

CAN I APPLY FOR A BURSARY FOR THE PREP SCHOOL?

Bursary applications can only be made for entry into our Senior School or Sixth Form.

MY CHILD IS A SUMMER BORN CHILD. CAN I DELAY ENTRY INTO RECEPTION TO THE FOLLOWING ACADEMIC YEAR?

We have summer born children in each year group and we monitor their progress and outcomes very carefully throughout their time at the Prep School. We recognise that all children develop at different rates and summer born children do fall into that, although we have summer born children in each year group who are exceeding the expectation for that year group. With small class sizes and ample support from the high number of adults in lessons, we are able to tailor our approach to ensure the right levels of support and challenge for each pupil.

CAN I APPLY FOR MY CHILD TO START SCHOOL A YEAR EARLIER?

We strongly believe that children need to remain in their correct academic year so that they can develop, grow and progress in line with their peers. This also means that there are no problems transitioning to all senior and secondary schools at the point of leaving the Prep. Our mastery curriculum means that lessons are tailored to all abilities and we are able to stretch and challenge all children within each year group. Greater depth work is available in all core lessons and we find this is the best way to challenge our most able pupils, without needing to pull on the curriculum from the year above. The work set for all children reflects the fact that we are gently selective.

DO THE PREP SCHOOL PUPILS GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO MIX WITH EACH OTHER?

We pride ourselves on the fact that we can offer a single-sex approach with co-educational opportunities. This is the case in each year group where opportunities are given for the boys and girls to learn together. For example, in Reception, we have whole year group playdates that see the boys and girls playing together in each other’s School. We share workshops, such as the animatronic dinosaur, with year groups together. Further up the School, the boys and girls may compete with or against each other in sporting events and House competitions. At present, over 20% of our Co-curricular clubs are mixed, as is our Breakfast and After School provision. Our discos are also mixed!

HOW DO YOU MANAGE MULTI-LINGUAL CHILDREN AND WHAT SUPPORT CAN YOU OFFER THEM?

As part of our Learning Enrichment offering, we are able to support bilingual and indeed tri-lingual children to further develop their spoken English. This additional support is led by specialist teachers and happens on an individual basis.

WHY DO YOU HAVE IPADS?

All pupils are given iPads from Year 2 upwards. These are useful tools, which enhance learning sessions, but do not fully replace more traditional teaching methods. The iPads are monitored and only educational apps are allowed to be downloaded on to them. As pupils move from the Girls’ Prep School into the Senior School, their textbooks are accessed via their iPads, negating the need to carry numerous heavy books around with them.

DO YOU OPERATE THE CHILDCARE VOUCHERS SCHEME?

Existing scheme holders who have childcare vouchers can use them to pay for qualifying childcare for children up to the age of 15 (or 16 if they are disabled); the vouchers can only be used towards the Before and After School Club (BASC) or any Co-curricular clubs with costs.

DO YOU OPERATE THE TAX FREE CHILDCARE SCHEME?

This scheme allows parents to claim support for children in independent schools, but like childcare vouchers, can only be used toward nursery school fees and, once a child is compulsory school age, for care that is outside school hours. So, once a child is in Reception, they would be deemed as being in school and the scheme cannot be used to help pay for school fees (see https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs).

DO YOU OPERATE EARLY YEARS FUNDING?

Children are eligible to receive Early Years Funding for up to 15 hours per week until the term in which they turn five years old. The School will automatically apply for this funding on your behalf and the amount will be deducted from your termly invoice(s). The government has increased the free hours to 30 hours per week in certain circumstances. Parents can visit: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to find out about the different childcare offers for them.

DO YOU HAVE A BREAKFAST AND AFTER SCHOOL CLUB?

Yes, we have both. The clubs take place in the Dining Hall of the Assembly Rooms and pupils are supervised by qualified staff with a ratio of one staff member to ten children. The clubs take place each day during term time and provide a safe, happy environment for your child. Breakfast Club is available from 7.30am until the start of your child’s school day. After School Club is available from the end of your child’s school day until 6pm.

DO YOU HAVE A SIBLING POLICY?

We welcome applications from siblings of children who already attend the School. Please note that places will be allocated on merit and all applicants will need to take the relevant age-appropriate assessment as all the other applicants.

If your children attend any of the three Surbiton High Schools at the same time, fees are discounted by 5% for the second sibling and 10% for the third and any subsequent siblings.

DO YOU OPERATE A WAITING LIST?

Once we have made our offers, a small number of waiting list places may be available to pupils who have reached an appropriate standard in the  Entrance Assessment. In the event that we still have places available after the acceptance deadline has passed, we will contact pupils who have been notified that they are on our waiting list.