The Prep School

One of the loveliest things about a prep school is the balance between work and play. We encourage children to climb trees, look after animals and build camps. Come rain or shine, we encourage to children to take advantage of the 40 acres surrounding the school.

Academically, all our pupils are prepared for Common Entrance or Scholarships at 13+ to their public schools. We have always been proud of achieving scholarships and awards across the curriculum to the major public schools and our record speaks volumes of the quality of teaching we are able to offer.

As well as the core subjects of Maths, English, Science and French, every child receives teaching in Geography, History, RS, Art, DT, Music, PE, ICT, Chess as well as optional Mandarin which seems to be ever increasingly popular.

The final three years focus on preparation for Common Entrance at 13+. Latin is introduced, and children in Years 6 & 7 have practice sessions of Verbal & Non Verbal Reasoning to help prepare them for pre testing to many of the public schools we feed.

We have an excellent Learning Support Department (The Log Cabin) which enables us to assist children with specific learning difficulties. The Department also monitors the progress of every child in the school. There is EAL support for children for whom English is not their first language.

End of term examinations are held for all year groups at the end of the Autumn and Summer Terms and for Year 8 during the Lent Term as well. There is written feedback on every child at the end of the Autumn and Summer Terms as well as an assessment which is sent to all parents/guardians about half way through each term. There is a parent teacher meeting for each year once a year.

During the academic year, every child will ‘tread the boards’ in a year group dramatic production. These range from musicals, a Shakespearean play (often performed outside) to the much loved Mock Trial which has been part of Ashdown for the past 60+ years. About 90% of the school take at least one musical instrument and the children demonstrate their musical talent by performing in termly concerts. Choral Day is a very popular Ashdown tradition when the whole school and their families and friends rehearse and sing a choral work during a day.

Sport is an important part of the school day with games sessions taking place every day for an hour. The boys major sports are football, rugby and cricket whilst the girls play netball, hockey and rounders. There are many opportunities to represent the school and there are matches on most Wednesday and Saturday afternoons against other schools. There is also the opportunity to try new and different sports such as golf at The Royal Ashdown Golf Club, tennis on our floodlit courts, sailing on Weirwood Reservoir and riding at a local stables. Saturday morning Clubs allow children to try other skills such as bushcraft, looking after our ponies and hens, and model making.