“My philosophy on education is simple: a happy child is happy to learn”
Headmaster Mr Hodge
Every child can learn to fly
Our outstanding results repeatedly show that all children can learn to fly, regardless of early learning ability.
Great minds think for themselves; nurturing individuality is at the heart of our teaching. We believe tailor-made teaching opens up young minds to endless possibilities, encouraging them to think creatively and form their own ideas.
Our pupils mostly call it having fun.
We call it being the best they can be.
A full statement of the school’s ethos and aims is available here.
“And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly”
Sir Ken Robinson
Ethos in Action
Close relationships nurture individuality
Prospect House School was formerly a family home and retains a happy, welcoming atmosphere, starting at the front door where the headmaster or a senior staff member greets each child by name every morning.
Currently we have approximately 310 pupils and a staff ratio of 1:7 allows each child a great deal of individual attention. In the early years there are three teaching adults in each class and higher up the school small sets for maths and English allows very focused teaching. Additional small group and 1:1 sessions are commonplace.
Our extensive extra-curricular activities allow teachers and pupils to interact in a more informal atmosphere outside of the classroom. Bonds between staff and children are strong.
Our school is a place where every child feels valued and gains the confidence to fly.
No two children are the same
Every child learns differently. Accordingly we embrace different teaching methods including Montessori (for our younger children). The freedom to refine and utilise different methods, combined with small class sizes, allows us to tailor our teaching approach to each individual child.
Life is co-ed and our children benefit from being in an environment where girls and boys learn from each other.
This dynamic is particularly beneficial when we set children challenging tasks, or encourage them to work (and play) in teams.
Importantly they are taught that effort is important and always appreciated. That not all mistakes are negative, but are a positive sign that they are being challenged. Not being afraid to make a mistake increases learning and achievement.
At Prospect House critical thinking and reasoning form an important part of our curriculum. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking, something we feel develops our children’s communication skills and confidence. The children have the opportunity to think creatively, expand their vocabulary and express their opinions and thoughts with accuracy and enquiry.
We believe that there are numerous benefits from mastering critical thinking skills, such as better control of the children’s own learning and empathy for other points of view. Critical thinking has been named ‘the art of thinking about thinking’ and is thought to improve each child’s own thinking. At Prospect House, we endeavour to create a learning environment that both supports and also promotes reasoning skills and critical thinking within the classroom and beyond.
Tracking individual progress
We monitor progress using teachers’ assessments combined with tests which provide standardised national norms. This allows us to track the individual progress of every child.
Testing is operated unobtrusively to the point that younger children do not even realise they are being tested. Little do they know their results allow us to fine-tune their personalised learning programme.
Whole-school screening is also used at various points to make sure children are reaching their potential.
Some children have the good fortune to be privately educated at schools with the drive, experience and resources to teach children to think for themselves.
At Prospect House School children learn their personal choices can make a real difference, and their opinion matters. Equally importantly, they learn to respect the opinions of others.
They learn the value of endeavour and of staying power, of developing social skills and of forming respectful relationships.
Our children feel confident and valued, so they are not worried about making mistakes and are willing to ‘have a go’. This eagerness to be involved and make a contribution is one of the most valuable life skills we nurture in our pupils.
“Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning”
Robert John Meehan
Pastoral Care in Action
Pastoral care comes first
Children blossom when they feel secure, happy and valued. We put huge store on pastoral care to ensure every pupil gains the confidence to achieve their personal best.
No child has any doubt their teachers will lend a safe and sympathetic ear to their issues.
Our buddy system helps newcomers through their early days, and we encourage older children to support younger pupils, instilling a sense of responsibility.
The school’s house system encourages teamwork and a competitive spirit, allowing children to celebrate their own success as well as the achievement of others. Whole school events and charitable activities foster a sense of pride in belonging to a wider community.
We give our pupils the skills to achieve their personal best and go on to lead fulfilling and successful lives. In short, we teach children to fly.
Exploring further afield
Fresh air and new experiences are vital for children to soar to greater heights. We encourage Prospect House children to gain independence, resilience, team skills, self-reliance, a willingness to take risks and an interest in the wider world by taking them on optional residential trips. These start at age 8 or 9 in year 4. We recognise that for many children, a school residential trip will give them the first night they spend away from family. So we focus on helping every child to feel secure and have fun in a new environment.
Year 4 have the opportunity to take part in a three-day residential visit in Dorset focused on history.
Year 5 take part in an outdoor bushcraft adventure for five days.
Year 6 enjoy six days in northern France at an outward-bound château immersed in the French language and culture.
Helping every child to fly
Alongside the observations of staff, the school’s screening programme is specifically designed to detect, at an early stage, those children who may need additional help.
Children may experience difficulty with some aspects of their learning or they may have a specific diagnosis such as dyslexia.
All our specialist support teachers are qualified to work with children with specific learning difficulties. We also have close ties with a speech and language therapist, physiotherapist and visual perceptual therapist, who can all help to support the children in school.
Learning support is a positive experience to ensure every child makes the best possible progress. Lessons support work in the classroom and teach strategies to support any specific difficulties.
Gifted and Talented
Gifted and Talented
Talent spotting is part of our job. If a child if gifted in a particular discipline we build a personalised programme providing the challenge of advanced problem-solving techniques, answering open-ended questions and learning to apply the processes they have been taught in class to unfamiliar contexts.
Children with particular talent in sport, music and drama are encouraged to nurture their skills through deliberate practice, and opportunities to perform, remembering that, from a growth mindset perspective, ‘hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard’ (Tim Notke).