- Our Mission
- Our aims and values
- Christian values
- Childcare facilities
- An engaging, caring and inclusive school
- Student support and opportunity
- The tools to succeed
- A broad academic curriculum
- Preparing for the future
- Teaching excellence
- School life is fun and engaging
- Music and choir
- Sport and PE
- Drama and dance
- Working with parents
- Out and about
One of the most important characteristics of our school is the happy and safe environment in which children, from many different ethnic backgrounds and cultures, enjoy their schooling together. I am very proud of the achievements of the children and of the great work our staff do in order to help each individual to thrive and succeed.
As a Catholic school we embrace Christian values, teaching children to care for each other and to recognise their part in making the school a caring and happy environment. The successful development of each individual is central to life at the school. By instilling strong personal and community values, helping pupils to discover and develop their strengths and providing one-to-one extra support where it’s needed, we nurture each child’s personal and academic development throughout their time at the school.
Many of our parents lead very busy lives and it is part of our policy to provide extended cover including our breakfast and after school clubs and facilities.
To live and learn in harmony,
Caring for each other;
Treating everybody as a sister and a brother;
Reflecting Christ’s actions and His message too,
By striving for excellence in all that we do.
Our aims and values
- To provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all children, parents, staff and visitors to the school.
- To offer to all children and staff the experience of working in a Christian community which finds its inspiration in Christ and His gospel, whilst recognising and respecting the freedom of individuals to worship God according to the practices of their own religion.
- To recognise each child’s unique value and giftedness and enable them to develop a positive self-image.
- To establish close links between home and school which will benefit the all-round development of the child.
- To enable children to use, learn from and build onto existing knowledge and experience.
- To provide a broad, balanced curriculum which promotes the full academic, personal, physical, social, emotional and spiritual development of the individual child.
- To encourage children to become independent learners by building on their curiosity and desire to learn and so develop their skills, concepts and understanding.
- To prepare each child for the secondary school of which they are most suited.
We welcome children into our Christian community that finds its inspiration in Christ and His gospel, whilst also recognising and respecting the freedom of individuals to worship God according to their own practices and religions.
We are an independent Roman Catholic school for boys and girls aged three to eleven years. The school was founded in 1903 by the Ursuline Sisters. The Prep School is fully independent but enjoys close links and shares some facilities with the Ursuline Academy.
There are approximately 185 children in the school and a further 60 in our Rising Stars Nursery. Class sizes are considerably smaller than in state schools, averaging 20 pupils per class.
We provide a high level of pre- and after-school childcare to allow parents the flexibility to combine work and childcare effectively. To further assist parents, our three school terms are aligned precisely with the local authority schools in the area, providing the longer school year of 38 weeks. We also provide a highly popular holiday club from 7.30am to 6.30pm daily for a further 10 weeks of the year.
There is no additional charge for school term childcare or the holiday club.
An engaging, caring and inclusive school
The pupils are at the heart of our school community. Our classes take it in turns to run the weekly assemblies and work with their teachers to perform for the rest of the school. Every child is a member of one of our four school houses, taking part in inter-house sports and competitions.
We work with each child to build on their natural curiosity and desire to learn by structuring lessons and setting tasks that capture their imagination and make learning interesting and rewarding.
We encourage children to take responsibility at an early age. We have a school council with elected representatives from each class. Children are taught to take responsibility for their actions and to be caring and considerate of those around them.
Our school chaplain is here to guide, help and advise pupils and can always be relied upon for a friendly chat.
Children are elected onto the School Council, where they meet weekly with the Headteacher. They represent their classmates, making suggestions and planning activities for the school.
Student support and opportunity
We take children of mixed abilities and help each of them to recognise their full potential. Our Special Needs Co-ordinator works with the Learning Support Team to implement regular individual assessments, helping to identify individual strengths and weaknesses. We work closely with parents to manage expectations and enable them to help support their child’s academic development at home.
Our gifted and talented programme allows high achievers to spread their wings and enjoy accelerated learning. Equally, when children need a little extra support, our skilled team provide one-to-one tuition and encouragement where the children most need it. By supporting and encouraging children in this way we achieve excellent overall academic achievement.
Essentially, our school is a place of celebration, where pupils’ unique gifts and talents are identified, developed and nurtured.
The tools to succeed
A broad academic curriculum
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum of English, maths, religious education (including meditation), science, history, geography, ICT, design technology (including cookery) and art. In addition, PE (including swimming) and music is taught by specialist teachers Being an independent school, we are able to go far beyond the limitations of the National Curriculum.
Preparing for the future
Boys and girls enjoy regular assessments. We keep parents up-to- date with four progress reports spaced out across the academic year. By identifying their strengths and the areas requiring improvement we are able to work with pupils and their parents to bring the best out of their education.
Our focus in Years 5 and 6 is to work towards Eleven Plus exams and entry to independent and maintained senior schools. In the autumn term of Year 5, parents are invited to come and discuss the options available for their children’s further education. We help advise parents on the next stage of education for their children.
Our teaching staff are all fully qualified ensuring that our teaching standards follow modern practices and are of a consistently high quality. We only recruit staff who fit in with the schools ethos and can add real value to the children’s learning. All our staff take part in a comprehensive ongoing programme of professional development.
Teachers have excellent relationships with pupils and give them ample opportunities to work independently and use their own initiative.
– Independent Schools Inspectorate
School life is fun and engaging
Music and choir
We provide a very diverse range of music tuition that includes violin, piano, guitar, clarinet and trumpet but we are always very flexible towards musical interests and will try to arrange tuition for most instruments. Our school orchestra are very accomplished and turn in some very polished performances on Awards Day and at the Christmas Fayre.
Our school choir are a great source of pride to us, having won first prize at the Stratford and East London Festival for the last three years.
We have regular visits from outside groups for music, dancing, drama, speech and ballet. The children enjoy the input and experience of visiting groups and tutors.
We take part in international Ursuline events and local diocese events, such as the Year 6 conference in Aylesford, which is a residential event focussing on young leadership and citizenship training.
Sport and PE
The school affords the highest priority to sports and physical education both to promote the physical development of all our children and to instil a love for sport and the sense of well-being and fun which it can bring. We have a specialist PE teacher and access to a wide range of facilities on-site which we share with the Academy. Both girls and boys are encouraged to engage in all sports in the hope that they will discover and develop their talents. Many of these activities take place in the indoor sports hall, fitness and dance studio, and the large outside recreational area. Also, we make use of the nearby Valentine’s Park and Frenford Club facilities, as well as local swimming pools. For the older children, we also take advantage of Fairlop Waters to introduce them to the joys of sailing and water sports. We compete with local schools in a growing number of sports.
Drama and dance
Children love to express themselves and have plenty of opportunity to do so! There are regular class assemblies providing the chance to perform, as well as school performances in dance and drama that are planned throughout the year and always attract a full house! A large number of our children take LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) speech and drama examinations each year.
Catholic ethos is at the heart of its work, and pupils develop as well-rounded individuals with excellent personal qualities and a love of learning.
– Independent Schools Inspectorate
Working with parents
We value the help and support of parents and seek to involve parents in the running of the school and involve them with individual education programmes for their children. Parents regularly come along to enjoy their children’s class assemblies and the Headteacher’s door is always open for a chat when needed.
Our Parents and Friends Association (PAFA) are an active force within the school. Each year they organise three wonderful events; our Christmas Fayre, the annual talent show and our end of year barbecue. PAFA also contributes to the running of our school minibuses that give us the flexibility to take children on so many trips.
Out and about
Each class goes on a school trip at least once a term. Recent trips have included The War Museum, Colchester Castle, Lille in France and our annual Year 6 PGL residential trip.