St Ives pupils are going places...

My daughter started in The Ivies in 2009. From the moment she walked in, we knew she was in good hands. She has never looked back and, now in Year 5 in the main school, we are approaching a very sad day when she will have to move on to another school.

Parent 2016

The lessons are fun, the teachers are kind, I have made lots of friends and I love all the events.

Freya (age 9)

The teachers are the best because they have helped me to be the best I can be in every lesson.

Bea (age 9)

It is a very encouraging and a very happy atmosphere to be in. The teachers always challenge us but always make the lessons fun!

Isabel (age 10)

The days I’ve had here are days I will not forget. Leaving in Year 6 is one of the most heart-breaking things I will ever do.


My two girls have totally thrived at St Ives. It has been the making of them! Mrs Goldsworthy is young and enthusiastic and has a brilliant rapport with the girls. She completely understood my girls and guided them to the right school. Thank you for all you have done for us.

Parent 2017

St Ives has been a fantastic choice for all of my three daughters, who each have very different personalities and interests. My girls have had a lot of fun at St Ives and the preparation for senior school exams is excellent.

Year 6 Parent March 2017

St Ives really is a fantastic school, where the girls are treated as individuals. There is a lovely "family" atmosphere where the girls flourish. I have seen my daughter grow in confidence as she has been nurtured and encouraged by the very dedicated teachers. The academic standards are high, my daughter was offered a place at all three 11+ schools she sat for.
Kay Goldsworthy the head teacher is very approachable is passionate about the school. I have been so impressed with her dedication and energy.

Year 6 Parent March 2017

From the moment my daughter joined St Ives we saw her blossom, thrive and grow in confidence which she has continued to do throughout her years at the school. There is in a genuine happiness, warmth and sense of fun within the spirit of the school and she could not have had a better prep school experience. Teachers know your child well and prepare them exceptionally well for their next steps at their secondary schools and the level of academic achievement is high

Year 6 Parent March 2017

St Ives somehow achieves that magical blend of being a nurturing, encouraging school, coupled with academic focus and achievement to ensure that all the girls fulfil their potential. Our daughter has been so happy there. The staff show great dedication to the pupils and we have every confidence that our daughter has the best foundation to move on to her senior school.

Year 6 Parent March 2017

Prep School
Years 3 to 6

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.


The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

United Learning