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National Curriculum and prep school question

(10 Posts)
Cortina Mon 12-Oct-09 05:03:13

Do prep schools teach the national curriculum or their own curriculum set by IAPs?

Imagine it various from prep school to prep school?

Am about to write an email to prep schools I am interested in but wondered how it worked generally? So I can hopefully sound a bit informed .

For example just been to a maths workshop for Y1 parents.
Learning about number bonds, number sentences etc.

Would Y1 pupils in a prep school do multiplication and division by the end of year one for example? Seems where DC is this is touched on but not fully covered.

If we move just thinking about DC making the transition. Not sure of our plans yet. Thanks in advance

MmeProf Mon 12-Oct-09 07:15:19

Prep schools are not tied to the National Curriculum but they do generally follow it esepcially in core subjects. The 11+ and 13+ Common Entrance Examinations are based on the NC. IAPS does not set a curriculum.

I would be surprised if a child was dividing by the end of Y1. That sounds very advanced.

The only noticeable acceleration is that they cover up to the end of KS3 by Year 8, and may be getting up to GCSE standard in MFL. What you do find at prep schools is a much broader curriculum, with non-core subjects getting more of a look-in, and lots of emphasis on sport and music.

Cortina Mon 12-Oct-09 08:14:27

Thanks. Just thinking in terms of possible selection/exams. I've heard say that prep schools are 'ahead' in terms of curriculum? But not sure if this is hearsay and don't want to sound uninformed when I speak to possible prep schools.

Thanks for help, I appreciate it!

nwmum Mon 12-Oct-09 08:32:07


In my dd's school they had done their 2,3,4,5,6,10 and 11 times table by end of yr1 also were able to divide and working on word problems requiring multiplication as well as long multiplication . They finish their times tables at the start of y2 and then move on to long division

Cortina Mon 12-Oct-09 08:47:56

Sounds advance nwmum. A state or prep school? Thanks.

LIZS Mon 12-Oct-09 08:51:53

No set curriculum except FS and Common entrance at ours - so no NC, KS1 or KS2 tests. It does follow broadly the same as NC but with less constraints and often in advance of its expectations. ie The concept of multiplication/division is taught in year 1 and x2,5,10 usually achieved by early year 2 but the real expectation of tables and division doesn't occur until Year3. Maths is taught in a cycle by topic, so each area is foucssed on for a few weeks then move onto another and the concepts built upon each time.

Cortina Mon 12-Oct-09 08:54:55

What's FS? Thanks.

nwmum Mon 12-Oct-09 09:31:07

It's a girl's prep. They do not follow the NC or do SATS.

mimsum Mon 12-Oct-09 09:58:11

FS = foundation stage I should imagine

LetsEscape Mon 12-Oct-09 11:15:57

Often the prep schools loosely follow the National curriculum taking the parts they like but in ours they state they are at least a year ahead in maths and English as a core and there will be other children who due to their aptitude are operating ahead of that. By year 4/5 they move on to the Common entrance curriculum which is much more advanced than NC especially in maths, French and if it is a 13+ boys school in Latin as well.

As most non-core subjects are taught by specialist teachers they do tend to teach more broadly and sometimes more advanced than the National Curriculum.

When we were looking at pre-prep (finishing at 7/8) vs. prep schools (going up to 11+ or 13+)we did notice that the maths in year 1 to 2 was really advanced as this is one of the key areas examined for entry to selective schools receiving children at 7/8+.
So doing division and multiplication at that level is likely though my children were never expected to do that at a 11+ school.

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