Life in the Prep Department at St Margaret’s provides a rich and stimulating journey for our older children. Dedicated, experienced teachers inspire our pupils by delivering an engaging and broad curriculum, supported by personalised development, enabling each child to achieve their best.

We continue to ‘Inspire Excellence’ in our pupils by offering an increased breadth of opportunities both in and out of the classroom.  Our dedicated and experienced teachers adopt a variety of approaches to suit the children's needs.  
Although the curriculum becomes more formal at this stage and much of the work is subject-based, there are still many creative opportunities to enjoy. Art, Drama and Music, along with Sport, French and Computing continue to form an important part of our curriculum. Through a varied extra-curricular programme,  school trips, residentials and visits, children have ample opportunities to persue their interests . Sport becomes more competitive in Prep, with weekly fixtures against other schools in the major sports.
By the time our children leave St Margaret’s, they have developed a positive ‘can do’ attitude where they take pride in both their own and others’ achievements. By concentrating on developing a full range of effective learning skills throughout their time here, we enable each child to take responsibility for the progression of their own learning goals, which helps make the transition to senior school a positive one.
Alex Hopkins  
Head of Prep

"Pupils take pride in their learning and regularly enjoy celebrating the achievements of others in assembly."

ISI Inspection Report

Take a look at our ‘Day in the Life of a Year 5 Pupil’ to find out more


Years 3 & 4

In Year 3, we move from single to parallel classes which means that the children can continue to benefit from learning in small, focused groups, but can also take advantage of the social interaction of a larger peer group for collaborative learning and sporting activities. 

Particular focus is paid to developing strong organisational skills, independent learning, motivation and beginning to think critically based upon personal experiences.  

It is at this point that we actively encourage our children to independently use the key effective learning skills that they have started to aquire. By the end of Year 4 they are confident in their own abilities and are starting to understand the need to take appropriate risks to extend their learning. 
All pupils cover the same syllabus and whilst we do not place children in sets, detailed pupil planning means that we can differentiate at an individual level to ensure that the needs and abilities of each child is catered for.
The subjects taught are: English, Maths, Science, Art, Design Technology, French, Geography, History, Computing, Music, PE, PSHEE and Religious Studies.


Years 5 & 6

Prior to Year 5, our children mix within their peer group by joining different classes each year, but once in Year 5 they are assigned to a class and a teacher who they will remain with until the end of Year 6.  

At this pivotal point in their development, this approach allows for each child and their family to build a positive relationship with an individual class teacher. We can then also help to guide them through to the end of their learning journey at St Margaret’s and instil confidence and a positive work ethic prior to Common Entrance and 11+.   
Particular focus is paid to developing strong resilience, courage, learning to take appropriate risk, a sense of enquiry and to becoming a confident and thoughtful members of the wider school community. Children in Year 6 participate in the English-Speaking Board award to further develop key life skills in presentation, speaking and listening and debating.
In English, Maths and Science, our teaching goes far beyond the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum, and also encompasses the ISEB Common Entrance syllabus. Once pupils reach Year 5, they also enjoy Science lessons in the St Mary’s Laboratory and in Year 6 the Modern Foreign Languages provision is extended to Spanish.


Beyond Year 6

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 not only on an academic level, but also to support them from an emotional and engagement perspective. We run yoga classes to help with focus and relaxation and the class teachers and Headmaster spend time talking through the exam process and conducting mock interviews. Our Year 6 children sit the 11+ or Common Entrance exam to their chosen school in the January of their final year.

 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, Warminster, Stonar, The Royal High School, Prior Park College, Kingswood and King Edward’s Bath.