- helping parents choose the best private preparatory or pre-preparatory school for their child

We were very happy to have the choice between three strong schools, and believe we have chosen the best fit for Nicolas and Alexander. Thank you for all of your help – we couldn’t have done it without you.

Mr & Mrs F H

Sport and Extra Curricular

A Varied and Fulfilled Education

There are invariably a greater variety of sports on offer in a private school than in a state (free) primary school. However, the range of sport is undoubtedly influenced (or curtailed) by the location of the school or its size. If you are considering a prep school in the highly built up areas of Central London, it is unlikely that the school will have its own sports facilities on site. It might take its children to a sports centre in a nearby public park or perhaps borrow someone else’s facilities. This is not ideal. A school with its own large campus outside of London is likely to not only have bigger facilities on call constantly but also more variety. If it’s a boarding school or an all-through, there will nearly always be more on offer. A school with 500 pupils is bound to have more than one with 100. You need to be of critical mass to have your own 25m + swimming pool.

Don’t believe the glossy school prospectus! Ask the following questions:

- What sports are on offer during the different terms?

- Are all children expected to participate in sport? More particularly, are children at all levels encouraged rather than just those who make the top teams? Does the school regard sport as being about having fun and staying fit – as much as winning?

- How many PE & sports sessions are there per week? How is sport handled on Saturdays? Is it compulsory or optional? What percentage participate on Saturdays?

- Are the facilities exclusively for the school or shared with others? Can pupils (and parents) use them outside of school hours?

- Are there appropriately qualified coaches for most sessions?

- Is parental support encouraged and managed?

- Which other schools and teams are played? Are there pathways to national and regional teams?

Schools will always have a variety of trips, sport and clubs after school. For example one of the inner London leading preps offers chess, horse riding, fencing, debating, indoor rock climbing, choir, rowing, roller hockey and model making to name but a few. As regards trips they offer geography field trips, bushcraft trip, language travel into Europe and many visits to museums, theatres and attractions.

All of these extra-curricular options can burst your wallet, but parents are usually more concerned their children are fully occupied with interesting activities including a learning element.

Most parents are looking for a well-managed, good variety of activities as opposed to something specific. However, parents are always asking us to find them schools with a specialism e.g horse riding or girls cricket. So do not hesitate to ask us on +44 (0) 1732 368767 or complete the Enquiry Form.