Beyond The Curriculum

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An education at Berkhamsted Prep provides our pupils with the academic skills and qualifications they will need to meet their future aspirations, combined with the opportunity to gain the life skills and experiences they will need for a successful, happy future.

We teach our pupils to do their best academically, yet we also encourage them to discover and develop interests outside of their academic subjects with our extensive extra-curricular activities and after-school clubs.

We encourage every pupil to stretch themselves, challenging their own expectations of what they can achieve, both academically and pastorally.

Our children leave us to begin the next step of their education in Senior School as ambitious, confident and resilient, with the desire to succeed in everything they do in the future.

Extra-curricular activities at Berkhamsted Prep

Our extra-curricular activities provide our pupils with numerous benefits including improved academic performance, higher self-esteem and the opportunities to learn essential life skills.

Helping our children to stand out from others in their future university applications and interviews, our extra-curricular activities develop adventurous, well-rounded young people, which is something that we truly value at Berkhamsted Prep.

Our extra-curricular activities also provide the opportunity for our staff and pupils to interact outside of the classroom in a lively and enjoyable environment. Our pupils flourish with the opportunity to participate in Sport, Music, Drama and an abundance of other activities.

To ensure we are able to provide fresh challenges to keep our children motivated, we review our extra-curricular programme every term. We have recently introduced Eton Fives, Lacrosse and skiing to enhance the activities available to our pupils.

Outdoor Education

Sparking a sense of adventure and developing long-lasting friendships 

When children are allowed to experience adventure it helps them to be able to deal with risk and assess danger, encourages them to think for themselves, builds their self-confidence, and develops their resilience. In this way, adventurous activities will prepare them for uncertainties they may face in the future.

We believe that getting outside and experiencing alternative methods of learning is a vital part of education which gives our pupils a direct, first-hand experience of nature. As a result, our pupils are also respectful of the natural world and have a desire to care for it.

Through a variety of fun and challenging ventures, pupils will learn how to explore and innovate, while also developing their leadership and teamwork skills.

Regular Outdoor Pursuits Clubs take place after school and provide pupils with the chance to learn basic outdoor skills such as map reading, shelter building and fire lighting.

Additionally, our pupils are given the opportunity to challenge themselves on our on-site High Ropes course at the Prep Prep’s Haresfoot campus, testing themselves against the Gladiator Challenge or working in their teams to build the tallest tower of crates possible.

Looking Forward

Pupils who progress from Berkhamsted Prep to our Senior Schools will have the opportunity to continue their adventurous outdoor education, starting with a Bushcraft experience day in Year 7 and going on to include:

  • A climbing club
  • A multi-activity trip to Snowdonia, where pupils will scale a mountain, scramble up a gorge and abseil into a disused quarry
  • Joining the Combined Cadet Force – which offers students the opportunity to experience everything from becoming a powerboat instructor to a glider pilot
  • The Duke of Edinburgh Award – beginning with the Bronze level and continuing through to Gold, with the opportunity of expeditions to the Lake District, Brecon Beacons or the Croatia coastline

Performing Arts – Drama and Music

Confidently performing on stage and developing technical and design skills 

We give every student the opportunity to become involved with choirs, music ensembles, drama and public speaking. The Music and Drama activities available to our pupils helps them to increase their self-confidence and become well-rounded individuals.

Music and Drama lessons form part of our curriculum at Berkhamsted Prep. LAMDA examinations are taken each year and individual music lessons are available to all students, including strings, woodwind and brass instruments as well as singing, piano, organ and drums.

Pupils are able to have additional music lessons for a range of instruments.

Small group Theory of Music lessons are also available to pupils, which usually take place after school.

Students will have the opportunity to work towards a range of examinations including those validated by ABRSM, Trinity College London, RGT and RockSchool. From Grade 6 upwards, grades from all exam boards are accredited by UCAS to support pupils’ future applications to university.

School Choirs and instrumental groups, Drama Club and LAMDA work all help the children develop a real love of the Performing Arts. Pupils enjoy the thrill of live performance in assemblies, concerts and a wide range of other performances including major theatrical productions.

The accomplishments of our pupils are considerable.

Sport

Developing character and resilience – good for the mind, body and spirit 

As well as the physical health benefits of Sport, we see our children benefiting from competition, problem-solving and improved wellbeing through participation in Sport.

Sport encourages our children to become ambitious and driven, yet also tempered with compassion as we guide them to think about their opposition, teammates and how to win or lose gracefully. In the supportive environment that we create losing encourages learning.

We offer a diverse and challenging Sports programme. From the core skills of Rugby, Football, Netball, Swimming, Lacrosse and Cricket, to Eton Fives, Cross Country and Athletics, we seek to challenge our pupils both physically and mentally as they aim high to achieve their best.

Sports Events and Fixtures

Healthy competition provides our pupils with motivation and ambition, teaching children to aim high with integrity  on the sporting field and in the classroom. This competition also boosts their self-esteem and engagement, allowing them to address their own strengths and weaknesses.

Friendly competition also nurtures an inquisitive and innovative mind, with our children practising to find a solution. In turn, this builds persistence and resilience.

We are fortunate to compete in many sporting events, ranging from Inter-House competitions to Regional and National finals. Our games programme allows our pupils to participate in their first competitive matches within games session, which then progresses onto fixtures against other schools.

More details on our Sports fixtures and results can be found below:

Berkhamsted Sport

Every  pupil is provided with three opportunities per term to participate in our extremely popular Inter-House sporting events. In taking part in these Sports events the children benefit from team spirit and teamwork experience in their Houses and the events are supported by both staff and parents.

Although we encourage competition, we still remain clear with our primary aim for our pupils – participation and enjoyment comes first. Pupils will only participate in fixtures if we feel they are able to do so and that it will impact positively on their development.

Weekly Clubs

Exploring new interests and skills in an engaging, fun environment 

Our programme of Weekly Clubs has been designed as a recreational opportunity for the children, playing a part in academic learning and also providing a more relaxed and informal environment to that experienced during the school day.

By sampling activities that are often outside the core academic curriculum, we hope our pupils will discover a passion for something they might choose to pursue further outside school.

Developing and succeeding in new activities helps to build character and confidence and enhance strong leadership skills. Realising they are good at something can also boost the children’s enthusiasm and motivation in the classroom.

There are a number of after school activities offered through the Weekly Clubs that your child might like to attend.

The majority of activities within the Weekly Clubs programme are offered free of charge and are run by school staff. Where we don’t have the ‘in-house’ capacity to offer a particular activity at Berkhamsted Prep, we seek to engage outside services, which may be chargeable to parents.

Trips and Outings

Stimulating learning beyond the classroom and gain new perspectives of the world 

We offer a busy schedule of trips and outings, designed to enrich, inspire and fortify our students’ learning of the curriculum outside of the classroom.

These school trips and outings are linked to pupils’ studies in a variety of subjects including History, Geography, RE and Art.

Recent examples of trips and outings undertaken at Berkhamsted Prep include:

  • The Roald Dahl Gallery (Year 3)
  • The Living Rainforest and Verulamium Museum (Year 4)
  • Hampton Court Palace (Year 5)
  • The British Schools Museum (Year 6)

In addition to these trips and outings, a variety of speakers come in to talk to our children about topics that enrich their academic learnings. The most popular are our history themed days!

We believe that residential trips add great value to learning, helping our children to memorise information and serving to broaden their horizons. The opportunity to try new things also improves their resilience, sense of adventure, wellbeing and self-confidence.

Residential trips get our pupils out into the real world to learn and age-appropriate trips are increased gradually, to include:

  • Year 3 – an overnight camp at an activity centre
  • Year 4 – a three-day multi-activity pursuits trip
  • Year 5 – a five-day trip to an outward bound centre in North Devon to experience a range of outdoor pursuits
  • Year 6 – a five-day trip to France, combining language skills with French history

These trips offer a valuable learning experience both academically and socially and the children love their first experiences of time spent away from home.

An optional Easter holiday ski trip for children in Year 5 and Year 6 completes a challenging and exciting programme of residential excursions for our pupils.