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The Prep Department comprises 4 parallel year groups – Years 3 to 6 – totalling 8 classes with around 120 children. Although, the curriculum becomes more formal at this stage and much of the work is subject based, there are still many opportunities for creativity both within the curriculum and through extra-curricular clubs and activities. Additional sporting opportunities are also available to the children and teams compete against other schools in the major sports.
In Years 3 and 4 (8-9 years) the independent use of the key effective learning skills becomes increasingly habitual for the children. Particular focus is paid to developing strong organisational skills, independent learning, motivation and beginning to think critically based upon personal experiences. By the end of Year 4 children are confident in their own ability and are starting to understand the need to take appropriate risks to extend their learning.
Children in Years 5 and 6 (10-11 years) further develop the key skills of effective learning. Particular focus is paid to developing strong resilience, learning to take appropriate risk, determination, a sense of enquiry and to becoming a confident and thoughtful member of the wider school community. By the time they leave St Margaret’s, children display a positive ‘can do’ attitude where they take pride in both their own and others’ achievements. In English, Mathematics and Science, our teaching goes far beyond the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum, and also encompasses the ISEB Common Entrance syllabus. A full range of effective learning skills enable all children to leave St Margaret’s taking responsibility for the progression of their own learning goals.
From Year 6, our children will continue their education either locally in an independent secondary school or state school, or they may choose to board further afield. Our pupils are thoroughly prepared for entrance examinations and our Year 6 children sit the 11+ Entrance exam to their chosen school in the January of the year of transfer.
St Margaret's has an impressive record of success in academic and specialist subject scholarships to leading independent schools, including St Mary’s, Calne, Dauntsey’s, Sherborne Girls, The Royal High School, Prior Park College and King Edward’s in Bath. Without exception, all our pupils gain entry to their senior school of choice.