I n s p i r i n g E xc e l l e n c e
Welcome to St Margaret’s Prep We are proud to offer an exceptional education for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 11. Our 28-acre campus in the heart of Wiltshire, which we share with St Mary’s Calne, provides a wonderfully stimulating environment and superb facilities, in which our pupils can learn, explore, discover and enjoy being children. We offer a holistic and balanced education, with strong values at its heart. These values provide a framework for our children as they interact with one another, experiencing the challenges and achievements of their educational journey with us.
We believe our duty is to prepare the children in our care to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world; to equip them with the life skills and attributes that will allow them to flourish in their senior schools and beyond.
Our aim of ‘Inspiring Excellence’ is central to our commitment to ensure that each pupil aspires to fulfil his or her potential. To achieve this aim, our approach is underpinned by four key pillars: Igniting Interests; Nurturing Individuality; Fostering Exploration; and Realising Potential.
Luke Bromwich, Headmaster
Why St Margaret’s We moved to our current premises in the 1940s and have gradually grown to what we are today – a happy and vibrant school of around 180 pupils, with broadly equal numbers of boys and girls. The school has been extended over the years to provide light and airy, purpose-built facilities. We have a single-class entry structure in Kindergarten and Pre-Prep, expanding to two classes per year group in the Prep School. The teacher: pupil ratio in Kindergarten is a maximum of 1:8 and class sizes thereafter are generally between 12 and 18 pupils, meaning we can give our children the individual attention they need.
Our Class Teachers deliver the core curriculum and each year also has its own dedicated Teaching Assistant. Specialist Subject Teachers provide lessons in languages, computing, music, sport and art. To complement all of this we have a dedicated Learning Support Department to ensure that children are given additional support where necessary, and our Gifted and Talented Programme develops and challenges high achievers. Whilst we are proud of our exam results and entry success to senior schools, education at St Margaret’s is not just about academic rigour, it’s also about respect and understanding for each other and giving our pupils the tools to understand themselves. Throughout their time at school we see our children grow in independence, self-esteem and confidence as they learn key ‘soft skills’. We all work towards ensuring that firm foundations are laid before the children move on to senior school and face the challenges that the workplace and wider world will present in the future.
“ Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire.” W. B . Y E AT S
INSPIRING E XCELLENCE
Igniting Interests Teaching throughout the school is tailored to inspire each individual child, meeting his or her needs with both class and specialist subject teachers, supported by an extensive array of resources and technology. Children are encouraged to evaluate their own learning and, with support, identify their next steps. Our bespoke, individualised learning programme means that we are able to challenge at the appropriate time and give support when it is required. We actively seek strengths in children to challenge and extend whilst also offering opportunities for children to consolidate their learning through classroom support and organised Booster Groups.
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” JUDY GARL AND
INSPIRING E XCELLENCE
Nurturing Individuality Of course you want your children to be happy, alongside giving them the best possible start in life. Our family-focused approach allows us to work with ‘Parents as Partners’ to truly understand each child and to ensure they feel understood, valued and secure. This helps us to nurture their individuality by encouraging meaningful relationships amongst peers, teachers and the wider school community. By cultivating a safe, happy and nurturing community where each individual is valued, our children are given the opportunity to learn about themselves.
“ Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” SWAMI VIVEK ANANDA
INSPIRING E XCELLENCE
Fostering Exploration We provide a trusted environment that enables our children to feel secure and ultimately have the confidence to take risks. By encouraging positive relationships and time to reflect, we help them understand that making mistakes is part of learning and developing. We appreciate that variety during the school day is key to fostering a love of learning. Our children are given plenty of opportunities to learn both outside their classroom and outdoors. The opportunity to learn in a different environment has a positive impact on every individual who takes part, making St Margaret’s a happier and stronger community. Our indoor atmosphere and open, outdoor spaces enable our children to explore, learn, play, let off steam, think and grow.
INSPIRING E XCELLENCE
Realising Potential We understand that every child is unique. We are committed to developing a culture of learning where pupils seek to be the best that they can be. By working together on an individual level, we inspire our pupils to make sure they reach their full potential. Our children learn to understand that success requires perseverance, courage and integrity. By establishing a growth mindset, we can ensure continual improvement and the highest standards of expectations and achievement for all. These qualities will remain with our children for life, preparing and equipping them to deal positively with whatever challenges the future holds.
“ Potential is a priceless treasure, like gold. All of us have gold hidden within, but we have to dig to get it out.” JOYCE ME YER
The St Margaret’s Journey Kindergarten It is here that your child can start their educational journey with us from the age of three and develop their love of school and learning. In our safe and stimulating Kindergarten environment, they will feel confident to freely explore, test their independence away from their family and find their creativity. Our primary aim is to cultivate a positive home-school relationship that is established for the entire time your child is with us. Adopting a holistic, family-focused approach to understand the whole child is embraced not just by our Kindergarten teachers, but by each staff member at the school who will interact with your child. This approach allows us to work with ‘Parents as Partners’ to truly understand each child and to ensure they feel understood and secure, and confident with their new surroundings and routines. We place great importance on encouraging each child’s communication skills - developing meaningful relationships with their peers, learning how to negotiate and take turns and being confident with adults.
Pre-Prep In Pre-Prep we really start to develop the St Margaret’s ‘have a go’ attitude which is central to our ethos and the children are encouraged to persevere and take risks in a safe environment. At this stage, it is important that they begin to learn to celebrate each other’s efforts, developing a greater understanding of the need to respect others and a sense of responsibility for both themselves and the wider community. The combination of new challenges, individualised teaching and rich learning opportunities provides an engaging and stimulating experience to start to ‘Inspire Excellence’ in our younger children as they continue their journey towards life in the Prep Department.
Prep We continue to ‘Inspire Excellence’ in our pupils by offering an increased breadth of opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Our dedicated and experienced teachers adopt a variety of approaches to suit the children’s needs. Although the curriculum becomes more formal at this stage, there are still many creative opportunities to enjoy art, drama, music and sport both within the curriculum, through extra-curricular clubs and with school trips and visits. Additional sporting opportunities are also available to the children as teams start to compete against other schools in the major sports. By the time our children leave St Margaret’s, they have developed a positive ‘can do’ attitude where they take pride in both their own and others’ achievements. By concentrating on developing a full range of effective learning
skills throughout their time here, we enable each child to take responsibility for the progression of their own learning goals, which helps make the transition to senior school a positive one. Our children are thoroughly prepared for entrance examinations to senior schools and St Margaret’s has an impressive record of success in academic and specialist subject scholarships. One of the key roles of the Headmaster is advising parents which senior school will best meet their child’s needs and so we keep in regular contact with many senior schools and welcome return visits to the school by the Heads.
Creative Arts We place great importance in fostering children’s interest and talent in the Creative Arts and they are an integral part of school life. In music, drama and art, pupils of all abilities are given every encouragement to realise their potential and to develop cultural awareness. We firmly believe that children who acquire confidence through creating and performing are being provided with vital skills and lessons to support them in later life. St Margaret’s has a vibrant, well-resourced Art Department and a flourishing Music and Performing Arts Department with an award-winning Chamber
Choir. We employ specialist staff to offer numerous creative and performance opportunities for our children. Creatively, our pupils are exposed to a wide range of mediums, through drawing, painting, print making and sculpting, to enable them to gain confidence in their own artistic abilities. In addition to class music lessons, individual tuition is available for solo singing and a wide range of instruments. Many of our children also enjoy speech and drama tuition from our specialist drama teacher.
Sport for All Sport plays a significant part in life at St Margaret’s. We believe that it is important to play to win, but additionally teamwork, losing with good grace, the development of self-esteem, social skills, healthy living, and ultimately having fun are all equally vital. The school employs specialist sports staff for both boys and girls, enabling the children to receive expert tuition in rugby, netball, hockey, swimming, football, cricket, athletics and climbing as part of the curriculum. The comprehensive extra-curricular activity programme offers opportunities for the children to try other sports including judo, cross-country, ballet and yoga. The St Mary’s Calne Tennis Academy (SMCTA) provides professional group coaching to pupils from Reception and above, no matter what their ability.
In addition to the regular inter-school fixtures programme, we provide enrichment opportunities for participation in school competitions in swimming, biathlon, cross-country and golf. Teaching children to be ‘sporting’, not just those who are sporty, is one of our main aims. We want every child to leave us having enjoyed their experience of many different games, whilst developing the skills necessary to appreciate the value of ‘sport for life’.
Depth and Breadth At St Margaret’s we place great emphasis on developing the child as a whole. In addition to accessing a full and varied curriculum, our children are encouraged to participate enthusiastically in a wide range of activities, both at school and in day and residential trips further afield. The extra-curricular programme, which is available each day at school, offers a breadth of activities and aims to encourage children to take on new challenges, in addition to building their confidence. It also expands their
The experience starts in Year 3 when the children camp in the school grounds and ends in Year 6 when our senior pupils spend a week at UKSA in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Giving our children a balanced curricular
interests, both on an individual and team basis, and encourages them to take responsibility for the choices they make. Outings that always prove to be very popular with children and staff alike are the residential trips.
and extra-curricular programme helps to provide the key life skills they need to cope successfully with their next move to senior school.
Wellbeing The happiness, health and wellbeing of our entire school community is at the centre of life at St Margaret’s and we place great importance on the relationship between parents, pupils and staff. Maintaining open and positive relationships with our parents plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, wellbeing, motivation and all-round development of each child in our care. Adopting a holistic, family-focused approach to understanding the whole child is of central importance to all staff at the school. This approach allows us all to work with ‘Parents as Partners’ to truly understand each child and to ensure they feel valued and secure. This means we can nurture their individuality by encouraging meaningful relationships amongst their peers, teachers and the wider school community.
We hope we have conveyed something of the essence of St Margaret’s and all that we can offer your family, but I hope that you will visit us in person to truly experience this very special school.
Luke Bromwich, Headmaster
Inspir in g Excellence
360° Virtual Tour St Margaret’s Preparatory School, Curzon Street, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0DF 01249 857220 • email@example.com • stmargaretsprep.org.uk