Sussex Business Times - Issue 403 2016

Page 36

The Choice Is Yours:

Through-School Or Stand-Alone Prep School? Choosing your child’s education isn’t easy, so SBT looks at the advantages of different types of schooling and what Hurstpierpoint College has to offer

When parents are considering independent Education education for their children, they need to decide between a stand-alone prep school or a throughschool where children move up to the senior school from Year 9. Independent education is separated into four stages: Pre-Prep for ages 4-7 (Reception to Year 2), Prep for ages 7 to 13 (Year 3 to 8), Senior School for ages 13 to 18 (Year 9 to 11) and Sixth Form for ages 16 to 18 (Years 12 and 13). Most parents are aware of the differences between the independent and maintained sectors, however the benefits of a through-school education are often understated. Through-schooling provides a smooth transition during the important phases in a child’s school life, offering stability and consistency to minimise the disruption of moving schools. There are significant educational


advantages in through-schooling, with league tables showing that academic achievement is likely to be high. It allows teachers and parents to track the child’s progress from the age of 4 -18 and enables prep and senior school staff to work cohesively towards a smooth transition for the child from one stage of school life to another. Senior school teachers are subject specialists and may teach across both schools, which benefits younger children greatly as they often have the resources of the whole department to call upon. The move up to Year 9 can prove quite daunting for some children in adapting to new ways of teaching and learning, making new friends and finding their way

around a new, larger campus. Some will take this in their stride, but for others, the continuity of moving up to the next stage in a school they already know can increase a child’s confidence. These children will understand how the school runs, can help settle in those who have joined from other schools and benefit from mixing with the newcomers as they move from being a big fish in a small pond to a little fish in a bigger one. Not many stand-alone prep schools offer the same range of extra-curricular activities that a through-school can. Shared campus facilities are generally more extensive and allow younger children access to senior school facilities such as swimming pools, theatres, sporting

“One of the most important factors for parents in choosing the right school is to consider whether their child will be happy and thrive”