Pupils in Year 7 and 8 are members of Upper School at Cheltenham College Prep. Upper School brings new challenges, responsibilities and increased independence, and I am proud to manage the section as pupils begin to find their own way in life, as we look ahead to that all important "next step".
Each pupil has a class tutor who checks that they are keeping on top of their studies and encourages and supports them in their learning, as well as making sure they are happy, settled and making the most of the opportunities on offer in all areas of school life. To help the children settle into their new classes at the start of the academic year, we run a dedicated team-building day on the very first day of the Autumn Term. As pupils do join us from other schools at this time, it enables them to adapt quickly to the busy and exciting life of Cheltenham Prep. New friendships and groups are quickly formed as we move through the first few weeks of term, and tutors and I work together with parents to make the transition as smooth as possible.
In Upper School, there is, of course, a natural increase in the level of work required from the children as they embark on the two-year Common Entrance Syllabus; other pupils begin work in Year 8 on scholarship syllabuses. Pupils are supported by a broad and in-depth programme of both study skills and PSHE within their tutor groups, to equip them for life during Upper School and after that.
Our pupils' records in Common Entrance and Scholarship exams are excellent in all academic and non-academic subjects: our aim is to help maximise and build on the academic potential of each pupil as they progress to Senior School, be that College or another destination.
Year 8 also sees the selection of pupils for positions of responsibility. During Year 7, we invite all boys and girls to write letters of application for a particular post, and every pupil in Year 7 acts as a prefect for the day during the summer term. This allows us to see how they perform, and for which post the pupils may be most suitable. Year 8 culminates with the Post Common Entrance Programme, focussing on leadership and responsibility. Pupils have a three-week programme including trips to Bude for a week, a day at College to sample senior school life and Houses, as well as different sporting fixtures and opportunities to both enrich and enjoy their last weeks at the Prep.
I would be delighted to talk to you about any aspect of Upper School at the Prep; please do get in touch with me.
Sarah Reid, Head of Upper School