In Prep, our curriculum offers a broad, well balanced and forward-thinking educational experience. We ensure that every child gets the opportunity to excel and foster a genuine passion for learning. Core subjects like English and maths are timetabled early in the day and science is taught in a purpose-built laboratory, ideal for carrying out experiments and investigations. We prepare each pupil for the senior school of their choice and work together with families to achieve the best.
All subjects are delivered by subject specialists and teachers bring their lessons alive using state of the art technology. The curriculum is designed to challenge, support and ignite a curiosity for learning. Creativity is celebrated at Upton and is developed through art, design, drama, music and music technology. All children are involved in the annual musical theatre school production at the end of the summer term and also take the LAMDA exam. Individual music lessons with visiting instrumental and singing teachers are available and the children enjoy participating in choirs, ensembles, musical soirees and many out of school events. A wide range of modern foreign languages: French, Mandarin and Spanish as well as classical Latin are taught in lessons and extended in clubs.
Lessons are not restricted to the classrooms and learning outside is actively encouraged in all weathers. We also offer a strong residential and trips programme. On these residentials, children get a chance to do geo caching, hiking, water sports, team building activities, first aid and campcraft.
Weekly Wellbeing lessons
Wellbeing plays a key role in Upton House. We have weekly wellbeing lessons and assemblies which teach our pupils variety of mindful activities. Pupils’ form teachers look after their social and personal development and help deliver the PSHE curriculum alongside a specialist teacher. All of our staff nurture, support and encourage our children, helping them to develop the confidence to embrace new opportunities, making links in their learning and become curious about the world around them, which is at the very heart of how our pupils learn. Our well-balanced curriculum opens their intellectual curiosities and encourages pupils to step out of their comfort zones and take risks. This enables our pupils to leave Upton inspired, motivated, and ready for a journey of lifelong learning.
Pupils with additional learning needs and with English as an Additional Language are well-supported in and out of the classroom by specialist teachers and experienced teaching assistants to ensure they are able to fully access the curriculum. We also provide a personalised education to more able children. Upton was accredited with the NACE Challenge Award in 2020. The award is given in recognition of school-wide commitment to high-quality provision for more able learners, within the context of challenge for all.
Although Upton is non-selective at entrance, we are an academic school and have high expectations for each child. We prepare each pupil for the senior school of their choice and work together with families to achieve the best. This year we have had 45 offers for 18 pupils and 100% acceptance. A total of 15 scholarships have been awarded including three academic scholarships.
Technology is integrated into all areas of the curriculum and pupils have access to iPads to use within the classroom. They get the opportunity to develop their coding skills and also enjoy making use of the green screen for digital projects. Our new state of the art recording studio is also available for use during weekly Music Tech lessons. We aim to create as many cross-curricular links as possible to give children ample time to consolidate their subject knowledge so they can truly achieve their full potential. Design Technology is also offered at Upton and the children get the chance to plan, design, develop and create a variety of functioning objects built for a particular purpose.
Love of books
The Prep library is well-resourced and our huge selection of books appeal to all tastes. Author visits are also encouraged throughout the year. We have recently had visits from Blue Peter award winning author Guy Bass, Maz Evans (runner up for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book of the Year) and Piers Torday; a multi award winning children’s author described by the Times as ‘The new master of books for children’.
At the end of the school day we cater for the children until 6pm. In addition to a range of extra-curricular activities which end at 5pm, your child can remain in school for an additional hour and use this time to complete homework tasks in our homework club. Teachers supervise homework in the hour-long Prep session after tea each day. Our varied range of clubs include Spanish, food tech, coding, dance and sports clubs. We also have a senior choir, flute choir and string ensemble.
Sport is key
Sport plays an important part in the Prep Department and we value the importance of keeping pupils fit and healthy. Every day our children have the opportunity to take part in a PE activity led by specialist teachers or coaches and one afternoon they have games at the York Club (Windsor Great Park) for various sporting events and fixtures against other schools. Swimming is also very important. Each class swims once a week and the school have a swim squad that trains one afternoon per week.
An external coach is in charge of the football squad and ex New Zealand All Blacks rugby player ZinZan Brooke is in charge of the rugby at Upton. Before and after school, and lunchtime clubs include running, netball, gymnastics, dance, judo and fencing which offer our pupils even more sporting opportunity throughout the week. Playtimes on the school’s all-weather garden and all-weather court gives pupils a chance to run around and play with their friends between lessons.