Life in the Preparatory School
The Prep School Day
On arrival from 8.15am each morning, children go straight into school to their Form Rooms to join their Form Teacher in time for registration. This ensures a positive and focused start to each day.
Form time is used to discuss the day and week ahead as well as to explore latest news and current affairs. Each week, there is a topical weekly debate, based on which we submit our views to the government via VotesforSchools. This encourages a healthy interest and understanding of topical issues and enables teachers to offer explanation and context.
A typical Prep day follows the timetable below:
|Day Begins||8.50am Registration|
|Form Time / Assembly / House Meetings||8.25am – 9.00am|
|Session 1||9.00am - 11.00am|
|Morning Break||11.00am – 11.20am|
|Session 2||11.20am – 12.40am|
|Lunch / Extras||12.40am – 2.00pm|
|Session 3||2.00pm – 3.25pm|
|Afternoon Break||3.25pm – 3.40pm|
|Session 4||3.40pm – 5.00pm|
|End of school day||5.00pm (4.00pm on Wednesdays)|
|Prep (optional)||5.00pm – 6.00pm|
Children in the Junior Forms are taught predominantly in their own classroom by their Form Teacher with the exception of art, music and sports. Where lessons are taken by specialist teachers such as French and Spanish, the teacher goes to them in their own classroom.
After registration and form time, senior children (from Year 6 and above), move from department to department for lessons with specialist teachers, according to their timetable.
Assemblies & Church Services
Assemblies take place on Monday and Friday mornings. Our Monday Assemblies focus on hymn practice and Friday mornings on celebrating the achievements of children throughout the week. Assemblies are also an opportunity for our young musicians to perform and dramatic class performances and talks take place throughout the term.
Christian prayer is important to our school life and plays an important part of Assemblies. Our School Chaplain, Canon Tony Kaunhoven takes special assemblies in school every term.
Children attend church for special services during term time including Ash Wednesday, Harvest and Christmas. The walk to Bakewell Church has become a S. Anselm’s tradition, with the children processing down Stanedge Road often to the sound of pealing bells.
After registration each Thursday, children head to their House Meetings. News is shared, plans are laid for charitable work and fundraising and rehearsals held for Inter-House competitions and activities, such as the House Shout.
Break times are a hive of activity, fun and friendly laughter and the children have a range of spaces to play in.
Younger children enjoy playing on the climbing frames, whilst older children might opt for a fun game of football or netball on the top court. A range of balls and sports equipment is available for use. Traditional games remain firm favourites, from long rope/team skipping to hide and seek around the permitted areas of school grounds.
A range of musical ensembles and clubs also take place in morning, afternoon and lunchtime breaks.
As well as the on duty staff, our sports coaches and other members of staff often can’t resist joining in the play or helping with an impromptu game of sport.
During wet breaks, children may opt to use the Innovation Studio, spend time in the school library or relax in a classroom.
A hearty two course school lunch is served in the main school Dining Room. Here the children are seated in Houses with a form teacher or teaching assistant who serves all the children from the head of the table. Before and after eating, the children say Grace.
The Dining Room is at the heart of S. Anselm’s and whilst every mealtime is special, Harvest, Halloween, Christmas and Easter are particularly celebrated and meals are set against the backdrop of magnificent seasonal decorations that the children adore. The weekly roast dinner each Tuesday is also a firm favourite!
All Prep School children are welcome to stay for supervised Prep between 5.00pm and 6.00pm in the School Dining Room on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday. There is no prep on Wednesdays or Saturdays due to matches.
The practice rooms in the School of Music are available for use between 7.00am and 7.30pm and children are encouraged to do their instrumental practice once their prep has been completed.
There are a number of after school activities (Extras), which children may opt to participate in. Parents can select which Extras they would like their children to do, although some do have limited places or are only offered to specific year groups. Regular Extras include cricket nets, hockey training, swim squad and gymnastics. Further Extras take place during the lunch break and morning/afternoon break times such as pottery, drama, library club and music ensembles. Where Extras are taught by external specialists and/or involve specialists materials, additional charges apply.
Sports fixtures are usually scheduled for Tuesday afternoons (for Junior Years) or Wednesday afternoons (for Senior Years) as well as Saturday afternoons. These are published in the school calendar with team sheets posted at least 24 hours in advance. The children take their team commitments very seriously and all children selected for a team are expected to be available to play, and afterwards to stay for match tea and cheer off their opposing team.
Parents and families are warmly welcomed at sporting fixtures – both at home and away – to support and cheer on our teams, and are invited to stay for match tea afterwards.
From Year 3, children may attend optional Saturday Morning School from 8.25am to 12.30pm. Sessions include a mixture of music, drama, art, sports and fun activities designed to further enhance learning and engagement with the arts in a lively, club atmosphere. Home clothes may be worn. If selected for a sports team, children may stay in school for lunch prior to their match.
From Year 6, Saturday School is compulsory. Children wear their school uniform and attend timetabled lessons throughout the morning. After lunch, children are either involved in sports fixtures or attend sports training in school. Unless a sports fixture is expected to end late or teams are returning to school late, the school day ends at 4.00pm.