Prep School

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Prep School

An excellent environment for our younger children to work in.

The Preparatory School is comprised of the Key Stage 2 classes, Years 3 – 6, and is located in the Coggrave building on the main school site.

Coggrave is situated adjacent to, but separate from, the Senior School accommodation, enabling the school to retain its own identity, whilst allowing the children to share joint facilities with the Seniors, such as the Moloney Hall, the Sports Hall and playing fields, music facilities and the ICT suite.

The Coggrave Building

Whilst retaining the essential ethos of the Pre-Prep, the Prep School aims to encourage independent learning through a more specialised approach to the curriculum. The Prep School establishes exceptional work habits within small classes, where the Form Tutor teaches English and mathematics and provides a high level of pastoral care. Science, history, geography, RE and ICT, whilesome subjects are taught by specialists, such as music, art and physical education. All of the pupils also have the opportunity to take a foreign language.

This system ensures that the children have a secure base (in the Coggrave building), but that they also become used to a variety of teachers. In turn, the children become known to all members of staff in the Prep School and also to some of the Senior School supporting staff. As the Prep School is integrated into the main school site in this way, sharing resources and staff, pupils make a very successful, smooth and confident transition into the Senior School at the end of Year 6.

Why choose Read School Prep School?

We foster a strong sense of family community and spirit where the priority is to nurture the individual child to fulfil their potential. Small learning groups help to promote self-esteem and expression and develop the enquiring mind. Individuals are encouraged to succeed and we share and celebrate these achievements, but we also encourage a sense of teamwork.

We offer a wide-ranging and diverse activities programme in addition to those experienced and taught in the classroom so children become well-rounded individuals.

Prep School Boarders

Read School is a boarding and day school and we have the facility to cater for younger pupils from the Prep School, who can participate fully in the day and boarding programmes of the school.

Both the girls’ and boys’ boarding houses cater well for this age group, offering an active after-school programme and a caring home environment. Weekends also provide family style outings to shopping centres and visits to the cinema, bowling alleys and similar venues, to ensure the children have plenty of good recreational time out of school hours.

During the school day, no distinction is made between boarding and day pupils. The boarders participate fully in the school programme before returning to the boarding houses for evening activities. There is close liaison between boarding and day staff so that we can provide the children with the most stable and supportive environment possible.

Read School Prep School Academic and Homework


Read School Prep School pupils are bright and inquisitive individuals with a real thirst for, and a love of learning.  Well motivated, they each have unique abilities, interests and aspirations. A well-orchestrated curriculum, delivered by dedicated staff, allows for the integrated development of academic, physical, creative and social skills as we strive to fulfil the full potential of each and every pupil.

Small class sizes enables pupils to receive the appropriate care, support and guidance, so pivotal to future success, at this stage of their independent educational journey.  They develop at a pace that reflects their individual needs and capabilities while each pupil is encouraged to achieve the highest standard of which they are capable.  Likewise, individual care and attention promotes self-esteem and expression and an enquiring mind.

All pupils are encouraged to reflect upon their own progress, being directly involved in, and responsible for their own learning.  Pupils are predominantly taught by a Form Tutor initially and then progress towards specialist teaching in areas such as music, art and games.  There are many extra-curricular pursuits and educational trips for the pupils to enjoy.

The atmosphere of Read School Prep School is secure and friendly with pupils actively encouraged to develop a sense of achievement through learning, and good manners and behaviour are openly praised and rewarded.   Highly motivated and dedicated staff work to the precept that every child is an individual and deliver a programme of study which is both achievable yet challenging to each pupil in their care.


Homework is an essential part of school life and a vital tool used to reinforce work done during the school day.

  • Pupils in Years 3 and 4 are set English and mathematics on alternate nights and it is expected to be completed for the following day
  • Pupils in Years 5 and 6 will receive English and mathematics homework each night and these too are expected to be completed by the next day
  • Other subject staff set homework once a week and the pupils have a week to complete the work
  • The regular practice of reading books, spellings and tables is also vital for pupils of this age group to attain the basics of English and mathematics. Please assist with these if necessary, but it is essential that you do not do the work for them
  • The Prep School encourages the children to read for pleasure. This should not be viewed as a chore or as a competition of marching through the different reading levels. All children start on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme as they enter the Prep School and progress through the levels at their own pace and to support their own particular skills and needs.

As the children progress they eventually become ‘Free readers’ and we have our own library containing a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction material. The form tutor will supervise their choices to ensure they have chosen sensibly in order to encourage interest and to maintain progress.

Each child has a reading record which should be signed every night – preferably with suitably encouraging comments! Form staff and supporting prefects who listen to readers, also contribute to this record book and this information is given up in transfer as the children move up each year.

Read School Prep School Pastoral Care

Each child is well known by all the Prep School staff enabling us to provide the pastoral care necessary to provide a safe, secure and stable environment where the children settle very quickly and thrive.

We are interested in developing the whole child and their happiness and general welfare is of prime importance.

We operate the following codes of practice:

  • Zero tolerance on bullying. Any reported incidents of this nature will be fully investigated by the Head of Prep School followed by immediate and appropriate action to stamp out this unacceptable behaviour
  • Honesty is the best policy, we expect all our children to be true to themselves and each other
  • By developing a sense of self and being part of a wider school family and community the children learn the importance of looking after each other

Rewards and Sanctions

The Prep School focuses on high standards of work and behaviour in an atmosphere of praise and encouragement.

  • Good work and behaviour is rewarded by the awarding of a star and these are then collated within the individual classes. Each week the stars are added up and the winner receives the Star Award certificate
  • A celebration assembly is held every week during which these awards are presented, so that all the children can recognise each other’s achievements
  • We also celebrate a Citizenship Award, a certificate that highlights an individual’s contribution to the wider school community, either through being particularly helpful or by polite and caring actions which have directly helped others
  • Any silly or inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with in a suitable manner according to the age of the child
  • We will inform parents if necessary for them to reinforce the importance of high standards of behaviour and manners
  • Our ‘Pupil of the Half-term’ receives a book token for displaying all of the qualities we expect in a Read School pupil.


  • All new entrants to the Prep School are assigned to one of the three Houses: Dragon (red), Phoenix (yellow) or Unicorn (green)
  • The children are encouraged to work together and any House points won feed not only into the Prep School tally but to the whole School providing an overall winning House each term. This encourages team spirit and a sense of whole school involvement
  • Each child will be provided with the appropriately coloured lapel badge to signify their designated House. Every attempt will be made to assign siblings to the same House

Read School Prep School Learning Support

Many parents, grandparents and guardians choose The Read School because of our commitment to helping all the children in our care to fulfil their potential.

We believe that well targeted support can go a long way towards meeting this wide ranging objective.  Each child is respected and valued as important in the school, and for the contribution they can make now and in the future within the wider community.  Our pupils have a wide range of abilities and skills; we aim to develop the particular gifts they possess, whilst providing a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum to aid them in their future career and life.

The Inclusive Learning Department (ILD) exists to enable all children in the school to achieve the above objectives.  We understand that many children require a little extra input for a wide variety of reasons; often for a short period of time to deal with specific issues and sometimes for an extended period to help children access the wider curriculum successfully.  Pupils we support include those with:

• developmental delay
• specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia & Asperger’s syndrome)
• general learning difficulties
• communication problems
• emotional and social difficulties
• speech and language difficulties
• physical disabilities
• gifted and talented requirements
• sensory, physical or medical conditions
• LEA statement identifying special needs
• gaps in knowledge for various reasons
The school educates all pupils alongside their peers within the normal curriculum wherever possible, as we strongly believe in an inclusive approach.  We recognise, however, that some specialist provision outside the classroom will raise self-esteem, help our children succeed in the classroom, and improve results in their final examinations.  The following support is put in place after due process according to need and agreement:

• classroom support to increase curriculum access and pupil achievement
• differentiated work according to need
• small group tuition to raise attainment in any area required
• individual tuition to raise attainment in important areas
• counselling as part of our pastoral responsibilities
Mrs Kathryn Patrick, as Director of Inclusive Learning, is responsible for coordinating the above provision.  In order to provide timely support, Mrs Patrick screens all pupils in the school at appropriate intervals, and assesses pupils with identified needs as promptly and thoroughly as is possible.  Specific professionals and agencies are used where appropriate, so that we can provide the best possible support for our children.  We use provision mapping to provide all pupils on the ILD register with appropriate support, to help maximise access to the school curriculum, and we provide individual action plans to use with pupils in need of more intensive help.

We believe successful education and pastoral care is dependent on active and positive dialogue between parents, pupils and teachers.  Mrs Patrick is happy to discuss any educational or pastoral issue with parents or guardians of pupils at the school and welcomes the opportunity to talk to prospective parents about what our school can offer your child.

Read School Prep School Activities

The Read School is keen to promote the independent boarding school ethos across all areas of the school and with this in mind, we run an activity programme at the end of the normal school day, running in line with the timings for the Senior School.


Supervision from 3.50 – 5.00 pm is offered in the Prep School., Monday to Thursday.

  • Drinks and fruit are available
  • A variety of supervised, structured activities are offered, which change termly
  • Parents with younger or older children in the Read School participating in activities, can collect all their children at the same time
  • Those children who travel home on school transport should go to the collection point near the Finance Office at 5.00 pm (3.50 pm on Fridays)
  • The Prep School staff offer a wide range of activities which are rotated on a termly basis. The choice of activities is made available to parents via a letter from the Head of Prep School at the end/start of each term. The return slip provided enables parents to discuss with their children the choices for the term and help organise their busy calendars and schedules. A term’s commitment is normally required to ensure our registers are accurate and we know the children are where they should be.


The children can choose from a wide range of sporting, musical, dramatic and artistic activities and some curriculum based activities, including:

  • Science Club
  • Wide range of instrumental lessons such as piano/ keyboard, woodwind, strings, brass and percussion
  • Junior Choir
  • Recorder Club
  • Hockey/Netball/Rounders training
  • Rugby/Football/Cricket training
  • Chess Club
  • Sign Language
  • Swimming Club
  • Drama/Production Rehearsals
  • Craft Club

Educational Visits

Over the course of their time in the Prep School, the children will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of excursions and visits, providing invaluable learning experiences supporting the curriculum.

Recent visits have included:

  • Year 6 ‘Rock Pool’ trip to Robin Hoods Bay supporting the Science curriculum
  • Theatre and cinema trips supporting literacy
  • Visits to museums supporting history and geography
  • Visits to local churches in Drax, Selby and Brayton as part of the Religious Studies curriculum
  • Annual residential excursions for pupils in Years 3 – 6 to East Barnby Outdoor Adventure Centre in North Yorkshire, to Bewerley Park Centre for Outdoor Education at Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, or to the Hollowford Centre on the edge of the Peak District
  • Year 6 visit to ‘Crucial Crew’ in York, run by North Yorkshire Police
  • Participation in the annual Youth Music and Drama Festival in Barnsley
  • Participation in the ‘Young Voices’ concert at Sheffield Arena

Letters providing all relevant details of the visit will be sent out to parents beforehand and parents are required to give permission via a return slip. Parents Evenings are also held before residential visits to give you all the information you need and an opportunity to answer any questions/queries you may have.

Smart uniform appropriate to the time of year should be worn on most visits (you will be advised which ones do not require this) and this helps give the children a sense of identity and responsibility, fostering pride in being part of Read School.