Prep-School – Years 3 to 6
This next stage in the St Ives journey marks the transition from the early stages in your child’s education into the preparatory school. This often heralds a new level of confidence, independence, self-reliance and organisation as pupils are asked to move around the building for some subjects.
Years 3 and 4
'Pupils achievements and the quality of their learning are excellent' Independent Schools Inspectorate Report, 2015’
We know that, from Year 3, girls learn and perform better in a single sex environment, which is why we only offer single sex education in our upper school. Every year we are delighted to welcome a number of new girls in to Year 3 to take advantage of the locally unique educational environment we provide.
Maths, English and Science remain at the core of our curriculum in line with the Key Stage 2 framework, PE, French and Music all of which are taught by specialist teachers, are often in purpose built facilities to enhance effectiveness. As with the lower school, our curricular freedom allows us to base our teaching on the framework of the national curriculum but enables us to enhance, add to and expand our teaching around it to offer a more comprehensive, specific and in depth learning experience to our pupils.
In line with our inclusive teaching philosophy and many years of experience, the curriculum is taught in mixed ability groups. Most the curriculum is specialist taught at this stage. Bringing teaching to life with hands on experience is a key part of how we teach at St Ives and in order to deliver this we have built a number of visits to sites of interest into our schedule at appropriate stages. A few examples of trips that our Year 3 and 4 students enjoy are:
- Year 3: Butser Celtic Village, Mummification workshop.
- Year 4: Fishbourne Roman Palace, River Study
- There is a 2 day activity residential each year for children in both Year 3 and Year 4.
Years 5 and 6
Year 5 marks the first stages of preparation for entrance examinations which are taken in the spring term of Year 6, and while our focus continues to be on the provision of a well-rounded education, students are guided in exam technique to help them achieve entry to their first-choice senior schools.
During these last two years, our pupils develop even more robust organisational skills and independence as they move around the school for different subjects and are expected to be prepared for each lesson, a skill that is a huge asset to them when they start senior school.
It is testament to the school ethos, the quality of our teachers and the care they take with each individual child that we consistently achieve 100% success in getting our students into their first choice of senior school. We frequently receive feedback from senior schools on how well our pupils are prepared for their transition to Senior School. For more information about which schools our students typically go on to please visit our ‘Where Next?’ page.
In years 5 and 6, our girls complete their three-year ‘Learning for Life’ programme. You can find out more about the structure of this programme and what it is designed to achieve here.
We also provide a solid, post-examination, education programme for Year 6 which incorporates life skill, community work, business enterprise, team building, key skills and local charity work. This is a programme that is designed to complete their grounding with us and more effectively equip our pupils intellectually, socially and morally for the next stages of their lives.
In years 5 and 6 typical events and outings to complement our pupils’ learning include:
- Year 5: A war time local history trail, a workshop with an Everest explorer.
- Year 6: Milestones, Woodham historic village.
- Each year there is a 5 day residential, one year to France and the other to Wales.