Prep at
St Joseph’s College


A brilliant step forward for children aged
5 to 11

Our Prep School children are equally encouraged to seek out the best in themselves to make the most of these crucial years for acquiring knowledge and developing self-confidence.

A curriculum to cement the basics and to challenge and expand horizons

We value independent thinking, creativity and good manners in our pupils. Their natural curiosity, boundless energy and imagination are the starting points for challenging and inspiring topic-based learning.

For would-be explorers, time-travellers and diplomats, we know how to bring a Geography, History or Spanish lesson to life. We are committed to giving children the optimal start and we continually seek out and champion the best approaches to education. Our Prep School children are encouraged to seek out the best in themselves, too. We support them to make the most of these crucial years for acquiring knowledge and developing self-confidence.

Whilst the National Curriculum provides a well-tested path towards academic success, it is supplemented at St Jo’s with a multitude of artistic and sporting opportunities, further enriched with an array of educational trips and extra-curricular clubs.

And our little prospectors of knowledge do not travel alone. Our dedicated teaching staff, including subject specialists, view parental support and partnerships as vital to their success. We are determined that every child will succeed.

The sheer breadth of the Prep School curriculum may be its most immediately obvious feature, encompassing the academic, the artistic and the sporting, but its real distinction lies in its forward-thinking approach to teaching.

Traditional methods are valued but where they have been superseded by better practice, we embrace innovation in our quest to provide children with the finest and most innovative foundations for lifelong learning.

Creativity is nurtured throughout, and special attention is paid to the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – so vital to our 21st-century citizens and the higher studies and careers they are likely to pursue. Our well-qualified staff include specialist teachers and classrooms for Spanish, Art, Science, Music and Design Technology. Our class sizes are small.

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The thriving Prep school sports programme provides a foundation for a through-College of sporting excellence and encourages a lasting love of sport for a healthy and happier life. Fun and enjoyment are prioritised and sport is used as a vehicle to instil important life skills, from adaptability and resilience to cooperation and mental agility. 

With first class facilities and exceptionally qualified staff coming from the worlds of both education and professional sport, pupils have an unsurpassed opportunity to develop their physical skills and sporting passions.

We are proud of our reputation as a centre of sporting excellence and of our grass and artificial pitches, courts, sports halls and changing facilities. Our pupils love to use them for Games and PE lessons, for clubs and in their free time.

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Our confident pupils explore the arts with chalks and tissue paper, drums and violins, bare feet and silver crowns. Just try to stop them! Our arts teaching aims to be magical.

With choirs, ensembles and clubs, our musicians rehearse for performances under the guidance of a music specialist teacher. The Prep School is accredited to deliver Arts Award Discover and Explore qualifications, designed to inspire learners to grow their arts and leadership talents. From Taiko drumming to performing in a production there are so many experiences that our children can use as evidence for their award. Peripatetic tuition is also available on a large range of instruments.

Our Infant and EYFS departments create a wonderful Christmas nativity and annual drama. Older children take part in an all-bells-and-whistles summer production, as a performer or as crew members. Not everyone can play the lead, but every role is valued.

Art, Drama, Dance and Music all feature in the curriculum and the standard is consistently high. The children’s artwork, inspired by the world’s great artists, cultural studies and the natural world, is spectacular.

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Time to step up and discover those hidden strengths… Extra-curricular activities broaden experience, build confidence, deepen knowledge and heighten enthusiasm for every subject we teach and activity we offer. They encourage children to take on new challenges and exciting adventures.

After-school activities include eco-club, netball, tennis, computing, STEM, karate, theatre, hockey, rugby, orchestra, football, and athletics – to name just a few. The schedule is constantly evolving but always tries to offer something for everyone.

Our residential trips typically taken in Years 4, 5 and Year 6 really do provide memories to last a lifetime. We simply don’t believe that learning should be confined to classrooms.

Education comes through active participation in character-building and spirit-enhancing challenges. We celebrate extra-curricular successes at our weekly parents’ sharing assembly, when Brownie badges, karate belts, musical accomplishments and charitable efforts are recognised, and the children who have earned their moment in the spotlight glow with pride.

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Open Morning

Saturday 21 September


Here you will find answers to some of the commonly asked questions about St Joseph’s College Prep School. Feel free to browse through the questions to learn more. 

Do you offer wrap-around care?

Prep School children are welcome to arrive from 8.00am. Once their lessons finish there is a plethora of development clubs to occupy their minds and bodies, followed by supervised prep (homework) up to 6.00pm. All of this is included in the termly fees (terms and conditions apply).

Does my child need to sit an entrance exam?

Children from Year 3 onwards are asked to sit a two-hour assessment in Mathematics and English. This allows teachers to appreciate their strengths and identify any gaps in their learning. 

What is your Learning Support provision?

The Prep school has a designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENco) and  teaching assistants, to help stretch those children who require additional challenge  and to help those requiring a little more support.

What makes you different from my local primary school?

St Jo’s Prep offers several unique features that distinguish it from many local primary schools. These include small class sizes, specialist teaching staff for Music, Drama, Sport, Engineering and Science, a broad curriculum, and outstanding pastoral support. These elements provide a nurturing and stimulating learning environment that prepares girls and boys for success in their academic and personal lives.

Will my child be offered any extra-curricular trips, visits or opportunities?

Yes! With residential trips starting from Year 4 and half-termly day trips for children in Reception – Year 6, we ensure our Prep School children are aware of the world around them, beyond their high-tech classrooms. Trips include attractions such as Africa Alive, Buckingham Palace and the Kinetic Science Centre. We also go international – to Holland and France. Whenever possible there’s a fantastic Year 6 adventure, before the children transition to Senior School.

How do parents get involved?

We welcome and encourage parent involvement in their child’s education. Parents are warmly welcomed at the weekly coffee morning and Prep School Sharing Assembly, to which the whole family is invited. We also have numerous concerts throughout the year, plays – including Christmas nativities – House games, parents’ evenings, fayres/fetes and sports days. These events give parents the chance to engage with their child’s academic and extracurricular activities, meet other parents and strengthen our school community.

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