Life at St Catherine's Prep School

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elcome to St Catherine’s, Bramley, a school where little girls with dreams become young women with vision. For most girls, their school life with us starts in Pre-Prep at age 4, full of curiosity and a desire to learn. We are driven to capture that love of learning and to build on each child’s innate enthusiasm to explore the world around her. We ensure that the team around each child creates a secure, happy environment which encourages self-belief, developing the skills to go on to achieve and succeed. We are able to provide the many exciting opportunities that come from being part of a through school (4-18 years) with world class facilities including a purpose built auditorium with orchestra pit, seven outdoor sports courts and an indoor swimming pool. St Catherine’s is an exciting place to work and learn. We attract and retain the very best teaching staff, who are ambitious for and invested in our pupils. We are experts in girls’ education and girls here benefit from the many proven advantages, both pastorally and academically, of a girls’ only learning environment. We offer a school where nothing is off limits for girls and where girls become confident, capable, considerate young women, equipped for success both at Senior School and beyond in their chosen fields. Instilling the importance of giving back and building a social conscience is a core part of the girls’ education. The girls here will be the game changers of the future and will go on to inspire others and make a lasting impact for good, whether that be locally, nationally or globally. If you’re looking for a Prep School where your daughter will be inspired and nurtured to reach her full potential, look no further. You’ve found St Catherine’s. We’re looking forward to meeting you. As a community, we will ensure that your daughter believes, achieves and succeeds.

St Catherine’s greatest strength is its ability to bring out the best in each girl in her own way, by seeing and appreciating what makes them unique and amplifying it. Prep School Parent, Mrs Cushway, 2021

OPEN MORNINGS - PREP SCHOOL Friday 10th June 2022

Reception Entry Taster Afternoon Friday 30th September 2022

Wednesday 21st September 2022

Reception Entry Play Assessment Saturday 15th October 2022

Wednesday 12th October 2022 Thursday 17th November 2022

Year 1 - Year 6 Taster Morning Thursday 20th October 2022

To book a place for any of the dates, please ask your parents to complete our online booking form or contact the Prep School Registrar: +44 (0)1483 899665 |


DIGITAL LEARNING Listen to the latest episode of the Prep School Soundscape podcast:

rs Malins joined St Catherine’s 2012, as a KS2 Form teacher, English and Maths coordinator and she is now Director of Digital Learning. Mrs Malins strongly believes that we need to prepare our pupils for a world that we, as parents, may not be able to envisage. In providing our girls with a range of opportunities to develop their computational thinking skills and digital literacy we are helping them to engage critically and safely with the online world. At St Catherine’s we aim to provide varied experiences enabling the girls to become confident in applying their digital skills to access, understand and create digital content; collaborate and share with others and become adaptable and flexible in their thinking so that they are able to transfer those skills from one tool or platform to another.



rs Bennett joined St Catherine’s in 2013 as a Senior Drama teacher and is now Head of Prep School Drama and is a LIII (Year 6) form teacher. Having studied Drama and History of Art at University she then pursued drama courses in both France and Spain before returning to the UK to become involved in Shakespeare’s Globe’s outreach education programme. Drama plays a huge part in life at St Catherine’s, both in the timetable as a discrete subject, as part of the English curriculum, and as an extracurricular activity. Its study enhances students’ ability to empathise as well as communicate with their peers. Working together on group productions such as ‘Jungle Book’, teaches the students to work effectively as a team and builds confidence, imagination, coordination as well as developing their speaking and language skills.



he WonderLab was opened by space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE. This amazing area is used daily by the students and their specialist teachers and is evidence of St Catherine’s commitment to science. The WonderLab has been designed to inspire the girls and ignite their imagination. The Head of Science is Mrs Maren Kelly who joined St Catherine’s in 2009 and has a particular interest in Maths and Science and is the School’s STEM lead. Whilst not teaching Mrs Kelly is a keen baker.

At St Catherine’s Prep School the girls are not only taught academics, but also confidence and a strong sense of community. The range of sports, clubs, trips and other activities gives them a huge number of amazing opportunities in a friendly and encouraging environment. Prep School Parent, Mrs Cardy, 2021



rs Elizabeth Harrison heads the Prep School Art and DT Department and has a special interest in adapting the complexities of Art and Design for young children. Within the Art curriculum the students have the opportunity to work with a variety of different media. Girls are encouraged to develop their techniques with creativity and different kinds of art and design by studying artists from Pollock to Henry Moore. Two weekly Art clubs are also available as an extra-curricular activity.



ere at St Catherine’s the students are introduced to both French and Classics. The girls are fortunate to have two amazing Modern Language teachers, Miss Jessica Murphy and Mrs Sophie Edwards. Language comes alive for the girls through activities such as the ‘French café’ day where girls enjoy French cuisine, ordering their choices in French of course. The annual five day trip to France for the UII (Year 5) is also a highlight of the calendar year. In addition to French, the girls in LIII (Year 6) are taught Latin by staff from the Senior School.



hess plays an important role in the life of St Catherine’s as the School has been the proud host and sponsor of the National Girls’ Schools Chess Tournament since 2013. We have a thriving chess club from Form I (Year 3) upwards to those who attend a weekly masterclass with Mr Andrew Martin, International Master, and our resident coach. The benefits of playing chess for young people is well documented and we see clear progress in terms of developing strategic and creative thinking, focus and mental agility.



t Catherine’s Prep School has a very busy Sports Department headed by Mrs Lisa McGuigan as Director of Sport. She is passionate about developing a life-long love of sport in the girls. To support the school’s curriculum, activities are also offered at lunchtimes, after school and at the weekends. Clubs are available for all abilities and the girls are given the opportunity to compete both locally and nationally in many sports such as the Independent Schools Gymnastics Association (ISGA) competitions and regional Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) Netball Championships. St Catherine’s has an outstanding track record in both. Girls are also able to use the vast range of facilities available at the Senior School which include an indoor swimming pool with spectator area, extensive games fields and seven outdoor hard surface courts.



t is our aim at St Catherine’s, through the extra-curricular provision available, to encourage our students to become involved in a wide range of activities that broaden their interests and allow them to acquire new skills, and new friends. The girls are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and try new activities, whether that be tennis, debating or musical theatre. It is often whilst enjoying such activities that friendships are formed with girls in other forms and year groups. Girls are encouraged to pursue their own interests and are able to suggest activities which may develop into new clubs.



irls who have recently graduated from the Prep School at LIII (Year 6) have gone on to a variety of senior schools including St Catherine’s Senior School, Bedales, Benenden, Churchers College, Cranleigh, Downe House, Guildford High School, Prior’s Field, Reigate Grammar, St John’s, St Teresa’s and The Royal School. SCHOLARSHIPS, AWARDS AND EXHIBITIONS LIII girls have had great success in their 11+ applications and girls and staff deserve high praise for a total of 66 offers including 11 scholarships, awards and exhibitions.






Every girl leaves feeling valued for who she is.




t Catherine’s is a place where your daughter will grow a lifelong love of learning. Both in and outside the classroom, she will experience a range of opportunities, and discover her strengths and passions. Our expert team will cultivate those passions and from this foundation she will grow in confidence and leave our Prep School believing in her abilities and ready to embrace new challenges in senior school.


The Good Schools Guide




he role of the Form Teacher is crucial in developing a secure environment in which a strong relationship can be built between the Form Teacher and the individual girls. This relationship enables the Form Teacher to understand the interests and passions of each and every girl which in turn allows us to build the girls’ confidence and support them as they gain independence.



utor Groups are made up of girls across all ages within the school (except for the Pre-Prep I girls who remain as a class during tutor group time). This vertical mix is wonderfully enriching for the girls as it allows them to build bonds with others in different year groups. Tutor Groups meet with a member of staff on a regular basis to discuss a range of issues often not covered in the normal school day e.g. holidays, families, friendship etc.



irls are allocated a House (Pankhurst, Teresa and Curie) from PPI (Reception) upwards and can earn House points for effort, initiatives and acts of kindness. We have a number of House competitions each year which range from netball and singing to sunflower growing! From Form I (Year 3) upwards, Form Captains and Vice-Captains are elected each term by the girls, as are House Captains. All Lower III (Year 6) girls are given Prefect responsibilities including Music and Library roles, and girls are given specific monitor positions, chosen by staff.



ll new girls are assigned a Shadow from their prospective form who welcomes new girls and helps them settle into life at St Catherine’s.






t Catherine’s has a Christian ethos and the girls attend Chapel once a week with Revd. Dr McNair Scott. The services are fun and interactive for the girls and are also intended to provide a place of calm during a busy week allowing time for personal reflection.



ll girls are assigned a different ‘partner’ or ‘buddy’ each week. By changing partners the members of the form become better acquainted with one another which encourages wider friendship groups.



ll girls are closely monitored by their Form Teachers throughout their time at St Catherine’s. If a teacher feels that a pupil of any ability is having any difficulty in accessing the curriculum or requires more specialist support she will liaise with the Head of Academic Monitoring, Mrs Mudde, to put the necessary support in place to enable the girl to progress.



f a girl becomes ill or is injured during the school day, she is seen initially by the Office Staff, all of whom are qualified in first aid, and where appropriate are referred to one of the six qualified nurses within the medical team, one of whom is always on duty. The school also has a resident psychologist who is available to offer advice and guidance to parents and staff.

St Catherine’s Prep School Station Road, Bramley, Guildford, GU5 0DF +44 (0)1483 899665