The Preparatory School
The Preparatory School is made up of the following departments.
Pre-prep Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
Prep Year 3 – Year 6
In both Pre-prep and Prep, each child is placed in a form where the teacher is responsible for day-to-day pastoral care as well as the academic progress of the children. Classes are small, and children in the Pre- prep have the benefit of a full-time learning support assistant in addition to the class teacher, enabling each child to receive individual help and attention. In the Preparatory School, learning support assistants provide help on a targeted basis when required.
Close contact between staff and parents is important at all times and parents are encouraged to meet and discuss with form teachers issues and celebrations as and when they arise. More formal Parents’ Evenings are held each term. In October, immediately before half term, a ‘settling-in’ evening is held so parents may meet with staff to discuss how their child is settling into their new class.
Reports are issued to parents at the end of the Michaelmas and Summer terms and close attention is paid to the levels of achievement and effort of each child. For children in in Key Stage 2, Effort Grade reports are issued at the end of each of term. Progress, both academic and social is carefully monitored and tracked by means of on-going assessment. This is carried out through continuous daily formative assessment and twice yearly summative assessments.
Physical Education plays a very important part in the life of the school, both curricular and extra-curricular. Children are encouraged to achieve their full potential, to understand what is involved in being part of a team, to appreciate fair play and to learn the values of good sportsmanship.
A wide range of games are taught by specialist coaches including; rugby, football, netball, hockey, rounders, athletics, cross country, tennis and cricket in addition to gymnastics and dance. Swimming is taught to children in Years 1 and 2.
Regular fixtures are arranged at Under 9 and Under 11 with other independent preparatory schools in Cambridge, Suffolk and Norfolk. House matches take place each term in football, rugby, netball, hockey, cricket and rounders and this gives all of the children in the junior school the opportunity to proudly represent their house.
Residential Trips and Day Outings form a vital part of the broad, balanced and creative education that Fairstead House School provides.
For our younger children, there are day trips to see the dinosaurs at the Sedgewick Museum in Cambridge or the chance to be immersed in Anglo-Saxon history at West Stow Anglo-Saxon village in Suffolk. Older children become Tudors for the day in full costume at Kentwell Manor in Suffolk or visit art exhibitions and museums in London.
Residential field trips begin in the Preparatory School in Year 3, with a two night trip to Burwell House in Cambridgeshire. In Years 5 and 6, more adventurous residential trips to Norfolk and Snowdonia are pivotal in the children’s emotional development. Through outdoor activities in spectacular natural environments, the children learn the importance of team work, how to successfully assess situations and take appropriate risks, which allows their independence and confidence to flourish.
Extra- Curricular Clubs and Activities
A whole host of clubs and activities are available to children at both lunch times, and after school between 4.00pm and 5.00pm. These range from a wide selection such as; sports, arts, music, craft, drama, French, storytelling and many more. Children have the opportunity to choose their activities at the beginning of each term.
A Breakfast Club is available each day from 7.30 a.m. and we have a well-established and very popular After-School Care Club until 6 p.m. Here children are offered a variety of quiet activities and the opportunity to complete their homework. A light tea is provided.
Creative Performing Arts
Music and Drama performance is a great strength and plays an important part in the life of the school under the direction of a specialist teacher. All children are given opportunities for singing, performing, composing and playing a selection of instruments. Specialist private tuition is available in a wide range of instruments including the piano, cello, flute, violin, clarinet, guitar, drums, violin, recorder, saxophone and trumpet. Children are encouraged to participate in the school orchestra and the Chamber and Christmas choirs, together with a Junior Choir.
Our Music & Drama Production takes place in the Spring Term and all children in the Junior School take a part. Recent productions have included the Wizard of Oz and the Tempest. Other regular music and drama activities include our Christmas Nativity for Nursery and Reception, our own in-house Music, Speech & Drama Festival and a Christmas Carol Concert held at Tattersalls Sales Ring in front of a congregation of 500 in aid of the local charity Racing Welfare. Children regularly perform in school assemblies.
Children have the opportunity of taking extra Speech and Drama lessons and entering for the national Trinity Hall Speech and Drama Exams. Each year the children perform exceedingly well.