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(Aged 9 to 13, Years 5 & 6)

The curriculum for our Senior Prep pupils is based around, but goes beyond, the National Curriuclum and Prep School Baccalaureate programmes of study. Children enjoy lessons in art, computing, dance, drama, design technology, English, French, geography, history, mathematics, music, P.E  (including swimming and team sport with fixtures against other schools), PSHE, religious studies, science, Spanish and study skills.  All the way through, pupils are taught by specialist practitioners for all their subjects.  

Individualised programmes of study are created, where appropriate, in order to challenge and support those pursuing scholarships and those overcoming difficulty in a particular area.

Children preparing for entry to local grammar schools continue to receive a beautifully broad curriculum, but we work especially hard during Year 5 in our study skills lessons, Grammar Club and Grammar Holiday School, to build their skills so they are able to meet the challenges of the entrance tests with confidence.

The assessment of pupil progress is robust and comprehensive at Yarrells. Children are assessed informally at all stages, and formally at key points during the academic year in order to inform further planning. In addition, comprehensive, nationally recognised, standardised data is gathered regarding pupils’ underlying ability as well as their progress each academic year. Careful tracking of each child’s academic journey is made and this provides us with vital information in order to plan next steps for learning.

The Head meets with parents to support, guide and advise them through the many and varied senior school routes for their child(ren).

Work on the transfer to senior schools is undertaken sensitively and the beauty of our school is that, no matter what your child’s route of transition, we can and will prepare them for every style of assessment, interview and scholarship award.

Preparing for the Next Stage in Life

From Year 5 upwards pupils are taught by specialist teachers in all subjects and the focus is on higher order thinking, planning and writing skills as well as preparation for 11+ examinations:

  • Taking responsibility, from Heads of School to prefects, form captains and house captains, is key to developing our school leaders
  • moving around the school between specialist teachers develops resilience, independence and maturity
  • motivation by setting high targets and aspirations is backed up by gold stars and exciting offsite trips
  • accelerated learning by offering an 11+ curriculum it means that pupils are prepared for exams at the end of Year 6
  • taking care of others through the tremendous buddying system and global eco programmes develops a strong sense of responsibility in all areas of life
  • teaching pupils to take public examinations in their stride is part of ensuring a feeling of well-being that it vital in the years ahead with GCSEs and A Levels

Academic Skills Developed


Development of both English language and literature skills ensures that technical mastery of grammar and spelling is matched with creative writing through the media of poetry, storytelling, playwriting and persuasive advertising. The aim is to ensure that every child is an avid reader before they leave the school.


Understanding complex concepts is made easier by relating them to solving problems in the real world. Creative mathematics teaching ensures that the love of numbers is infectious at Yarrells. Pupils are inspired to enter national and global Maths challenges, program robots using information technology and test theories through scientific experiments.

Creative Thinkers

By encouraging our pupils not to be satisfied by the obvious answer and to insist that they think outside the box, we prepare them for top level academic studies and for top jobs later in life. Letting them set up their own business in Years 7 & 8, sending them on leadership courses and giving them the opportunity to run house assemblies and school events, enhances their whole approach to learning. We aim to ensure that by the end of Year 6, for those taking 11+, our pupils are ready and confident to deal with whatever later life throws at them.

Prep School Baccalaureate Group

In Autumn 2019 Yarrells School became a partner school in the Prep School Baccalaureate (PSB) group.

The decision to integrate the PSB within our curriculum came after extensive discussions between all the teaching staff across the school about our desire to deliver the highest quality teaching and learning experiences for all children so that their outcomes are the best they possibly can be when they make the transition to their senior schools and beyond.

The PSB is a programme of study for pupils in Prep and Junior schools, with exit points at 11+, that aims to prepare them for the challenges of life as young adults in senior schools academically, personally, socially, culturally and spiritually. It does so by actively developing and tracking knowledge, skills and attitudes from the Early Years Foundation Stage onwards. By sharing resources and good practice, schools ensure the strongest preparation for pupils whether moving on at 11+ or progressing through the junior department of a senior school.

The PSB is an assessment model that has at its heart the development of the right values, skills, attitudes and behaviours required for children to succeed and flourish in an ever changing world.

Children are encouraged, recognised and celebrated in their achievements, and directly prepared for the next step of their
educational journey.

The PSB is centred on lifelong skills that:
• Develop flexible and adaptable intelligence
• Bridge the skills gap previously lacking in a content based curriculum
• Foster application in the individual
• Promote excellent communicators
• Challenge pupils’ perceptions of school, and inspire a love of learning
• Ensure that collaboration and teamwork are at the core

In a PSB school pupils will:
• Participate in an engaging curriculum that inspires independent thinking and intellectual curiosity
• Have opportunities to develop and demonstrate the six core skills:- leadership, collaboration, independence, thinking & learning, reviewing & improving and communicating
• Regularly reflect on their learning with feedback to inform progress
• Develop knowledge and breadth in all subject areas, each of which are equally valued

Download Prep School Baccalaureate Leaflet
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