Sending your child to preparatory school gives them a head-start when it comes to later examinations. As most pre-preps naturally lead onto prep school, and are often linked to independent secondary schools, children who start from the age of 4 find the leap from year to year much easier to handle.
Independent pre-prep vs. state primary school?
While many parents opt for prep schools after the 7+, fewer tend to consider independent pre-preps when their children are so young.
Selective pre-prep education offers a number of advantages over state schools:
1) Small classes
Over subscribed primaries often stuff classes with 30 or more children, making calm learning and play very difficult. If you think your child might struggle in this environment, it is worth looking into some independent pre-preps. Every child can benefit from learning in smaller groups, and making friends will be easier in a close-knit school community.
2) More accessible
State primary schools can be a nightmare for parents when it comes to admissions. Due to the high demand for places, parents must start applying years before their children start reception, and the small catchment areas means that your child is never guaranteed a place.
Independent pre-preps take students from a large catchment area. Your child’s place will be given based on merit, rather than withheld because you live too far away from the school.
3) Bigger challenges
Many bright children feel restricted in state primary schools, where they must learn with the class rather than at their own pace. Rather than having to fulfil the demands of the national curriculum with SATs at a young age, children at pre-prep schools can progress faster.
Students at pre-prep therefore benefit from small classes and better facilities, which also gives them the chance to explore extra-curricular activities such as music and sports