Academic - Gateways School

NEXT STEPS High School Ages 11-16

Why Prep School?

It is well known that the benefits of an independent education are cumulative and that they make most difference to outcomes for children the earlier the investment in them is made. The small class sizes in our Prep school mean that each and every child is well known by their teachers. We regularly see the children outperform their peers in other schools, including other independent schools, having started at the same baseline.



Specialist and High School Teaching

At Prep School your child will receive specialist attention appropriate for their age. From the age of seven this means an increasing amount of subject specialism; a maths lesson taught by an enthusiastic mathematician, a language lesson taught by a fully qualified linguist. This also includes science lessons in the High School labs for older pupils. This balance of specialist and class based teaching coupled with small class sizes and close attention to each pupils’ individual learning style encourages both academic and personal development. Please note that PE and Music Lessons for all Prep School and Early Years pupils are taught by highly qualified specialist teachers.

High School teaching of the Lower 3 science curriculum is well established and, through this, pupils enjoy the excellent facilities of the Schofield Laboratories, High School specialist teaching and the start of their transition to High School. Problem solving and Investigating lessons have been added to the timetable to widen mathematical skills and many pupils take part in the annual Primary Maths Challenge. Pupils leave the Prep School at the age of 11 well prepared for the challenges of High School.


The curriculum for Prep School is in line with, but not restricted by, the National Curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to become independent learners, confident in their own skills and the appropriate use of all resources. The curriculum draws on the strengths and interests of the wider teaching staff to provide specialist teaching in many areas.

An Enrichment programme allows pupils to explore wider opportunities such as sports, crafts, bushcraft and languages.

The subjects taught in Prep are: English, Maths, Science, Art, Design and Technology, Drama, French (introduced in Year 1), Geography, History, Religious Education, Computing, Music, PE and PSHE. Latin is introduced in Year 6.


Homework provides valuable consolidation of work covered during the day. Teaching staff ensure a balance of subjects and workload throughout the week.


Assessment is a continuous process through which teachers ascertain each individual child’s capabilities and achievements. English and Maths assessments take place each term. Assessments in science are carried out at an appropriate time at the end of each unit. Regular testing ensures that parents and staff have an immediate and accurate picture of each child’s performance and effort.

Reading and spelling are assessed at the end of the Spring Term. Other subjects are assessed by teachers using a range of strategies to ensure that each child’s progress is monitored and recorded on a regular basis.

From Lower 2 cognitive ability tests are administered each September. These assess verbal, non-verbal and quantitative reason skills. As children move through the Prep school the tests are undertaken in “exam” conditions.


An Enrichment programme, which starts in Transition, allows pupils to explore wider opportunities outside of the curriculum.  In addition all pupils from Upper 1 are members of the Prep Choir.

Preparing for High School

There is regular liaison between Prep and High School staff on academic work and pastoral care to ensure that the transition from Prep to High School is smooth and productive. Pupils in Lower 3 are eligible to attend the Entrance and Scholarship Assessment Day which is usually held at the end of January. A limited number of scholarships are awarded for outstanding performance.

A Day in the life of ...

Nicholas in Prep School


This morning my mum dropped me off at Earlybirds as she had to be in work early. I usually play with my friend Jamie before we walk to the Prep building together.


My first lesson is science. At the moment we are studying volcanoes and layers of the earth, including fossils. This lesson we learnt that a fossil is made when water and minerals replace the bones of the dead animal but keep the shape of the skeleton.


Break time is one of my favourite times of the day. We usually play games outside. If it's muddy we wear our wellies. My favourite games are tig and blocky. I like playing with my friends from other year groups


I have maths with Mrs Wallis. Today we start the lesson by playing maths bingo - if the answer to the question is one of our numbers then we cross it off. The first one to get all 6 is the winner. Mrs Wallis knows how to make maths fun!


This afternoon I have PE which is one of my favourite subjects. Today we are playing football. Mr Scholfield helps us learn different skills such as how to dribble, shoot and to be a good goalkeeper.


Today I have Karate after school. I go every week and I am currently a red belt. I like the pad work, it's my favourite part. My mum picks me up after Karate - I'm always ready for my tea!

What's happening in Prep School?


7th April 2022

Cherryvine – Spring 22...

Below is a link to our latest issue of Cherryvine, our termly publication.  In this issue, we look at the trips and events from the Spring term, with a round up of...

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17th December 2021

Cherryvine – Autumn 21...

Below is a link to our latest issue of Cherryvine, our termly publication.  In this issue, we look at the trips and events from the Autumn term, with a round up of...

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15th July 2021

High School fundraise for...

On the last day of term, our High School pupils and staff took part in a walking challenge around the Harewood estate completing a 5-mile walking challenge to raise money for local...

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