At Hurst Prep, value is placed on an education which takes the best from traditional and modern methods. Classes are taught in an ordered environment with structured lessons designed to stretch and challenge every child.
A variety of teaching methods are used to ensure that every type of learner performs to his/her best ability.
Curriculum and timetable
We believe that high expectations are the key to high achievement. The curriculum is broad and, although we take the National Curriculum as our base, we exceed this in many ways.
Our timetable is in line with the Senior School which creates greater fluidity between the two teaching environments. Lessons are usually of one hour duration and the timetable extends over two weeks known as week A and week B.
In the first full week of the Michaelmas Term we hold a welcome evening where all parents are invited to come into their child’s classroom and meet with other parents and the form tutor. A curriculum booklet is given out which informs parents of the content of their child’s education and gives them useful information, such as the timetable and timings of lessons.
Years 3 to 6
In Year 3 the majority of subjects are taught by the Form Tutor with the exception of Music, Drama, IT and PE. In Year 4 Art, Science ,Latin and French are also taught by subject specialists. The lessons are predominantly delivered in the Year 3 and 4 classrooms.
From Year 5, the children are taught by subject specialists for all their lessons and the children move from class to class.
In Years 3 to 6 every child has one hour of English and Maths every day, and are set according to ability - movement between these sets is regularly reviewed.
Years 7 and 8
Year 7 and 8 pupils study the core subjects of English, Maths, Science and the foundation subjects of History, Geography, French, Spanish, REP and Latin. In addition, all pupils are taught Art, Design Technology, Drama, IT, Music, PE and PSHCE.
Although pupils are placed in sets according to their ability. Our focus, through our monitoring and grading system, is on every pupil’s individual progress.
The curriculum is devised in conjunction with the Senior School to best prepare the children for the challenges of Year 9 and GCSEs. Where appropriate, some pupils may have extra support in English or maths instead of a language.
Assessment and monitoring
All children have regular assessments in class. We use a number of standardised tests to monitor pupils’ progress as they pass through the school.
In Year 7 and 8 pupils have internal examinations at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer terms. As well as their academic subjects, Year 7 & 8 pupils also take a general paper, focusing on current affairs and the ability to create an argument. The Year 8 summer exams are set and marked by the Senior School and on the basis of their performance, academic scholarships may be awarded. In Year 8 the pupils undertake an independent piece of research of an academic nature on a topic of their choice. They then give a presentation to members of the Senior School, answering follow up questions. They also write a timed essay on their chosen subject and this also forms part of their summer exams.