Outside of the Classroom Co-Curricular
Life Outside of the Classroom
Time well spent outside of the classroom is just as important as the time inside the classroom. At The Prep there are many activities that students can take part in to enrich their learning experience.
These include Art, Drama, Clubs & Activities, Music and a range of Sports.
During their time at The Prep your child will explore art and their artistic skills in an environment that enables their creativity to blossom. They will also be able to take their skills and interests further outside the classroom, with our Art Studio open during lunchtimes for children to come and create.
Our bright, purpose-built Art Studio is the focus for art at The Prep and contains all of the tools your child will need to nurture the creative soul within them. Throughout the curriculum, your child will explore a wide variety of media, steadily trying and learning new skills, and creating art that makes them feel good about themselves but which also demands that they take notice of the world around them. We have numerous opportunities to display pupils’ artwork, often in contexts that parents, visitors and even the public can view.
Outside the classroom, your child can choose to take part in a weekly Art Club where they can focus on something that inspires them or extend a technique they are learning in class to further develop their talent. In Upper School, we also offer an Art Advanced Club. This activity is designed to nurture and support those children who feel compelled to create or who have the potential to try for an Art Scholarship.
Drama has much to offer in children’s personal development and your child will have plenty of opportunities to practise their skills during their time at The Prep, both in and out of the classroom.
From the very youngest age, our pupils are encouraged to perform in shows to audiences in our specialist performing venues with professional lights and sound. In Lower and Middle School, Drama lessons focus on acting skills and performance techniques. In Upper School, the focus switches to productions where anyone who would like to participate gets a part. The department regularly works with visiting professional actors and theatre companies to provide workshops and experiences for pupils, ranging from theatrical make-up through to stage fighting.
The Prep also has a flourishing LAMDA (Speech & Drama exams) department, where children may have individual or paired lessons working through a structured grade/exam system.
Aside from Drama clubs and lessons, your child will also be able to play a part in one of the many performances that each area of The Prep holds throughout the year. These include nativity plays, informal reviews, pantomimes, Scholars’ plays, Shakespeare performances and an annual stage production that alternates between a play and a musical. In recent years, these have included ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Private Peaceful’, ‘Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’.
Clubs & Activities
The clubs and activities programme at The Prep is a fundamental part of school life and the pupils all enjoy the scale and variety of the offering.
Pupils are provided with an unrivalled wealth of opportunities, to discover new hobbies, explore new interests and to take their existing interests to higher heights.
Creativity and mindfulness are nurtured through clubs including, baking, art enthusiasts, art scholars, card making and even niche interests like fly-tying.
Those with an interest in the technical are kept reaching for the stars with clubs including, STEM, coding, computing and DT.
Pupils with a love of the outdoors will be pleased to be a part of The Prep’s own Scout troop, based on site since 1914. Its popularity is timeless and has inspired hundreds of Prep pupils in a lifelong love of adventure.
The clubs and activities programme also covers a wide range of sports that extend way beyond the school’s core games. Examples of the new experiences offered include Archery, Fencing, Squash, Skiing and Equestrian.
Pupils who love the performing arts will discover many avenues to express themselves. Drama takes centre stage on Friday evenings at The Prep, where the programme of stage rehearsals and film making is never ending. There is always a soundtrack of musical rehearsals and performances playing around the school all week long, but Tuesday is music night where no less than 10 different music groups, choirs and orchestras comprising musicians of all ages get together in Lake House.
Discover Activities at The Prep
Music is an important part of life at The Prep both in the classroom and outside it, with private one to one tuition available to any pupil. This focus is reflected in the numbers of pupils who join national ensembles and orchestras and gain Music Scholarships after they leave The Prep.
Music lessons are part of life at all levels at The Prep, from discovering instruments, rhythms and songs in Nursery to musical theory and music-making through the rest of school.
Much of the musical activity takes place in Lake House, which has a fully equipped music technology suite of Apple iMacs and digital keyboards, 10 individual practice rooms, instrument storage and a music library.
Private tuition is available if your child would like to learn one or more musical instruments. Learning a musical instrument is an excellent way to develop self-esteem, patience and confidence as well as to nurture a talent. Over 75% of pupils at The Prep take this opportunity to enhance their skills.
Your child can also take part in lots of different musical groups. The Prep has seven choirs/vocal groups across the age groups, an orchestra, string ensembles, wind and brass groups, string quartets, percussion ensembles and a number of ad hoc chamber groups that practice during break times and after school.
Performance is a vital part of musical learning and Cheltenham College offers outstanding performance spaces. The Assembly Hall has specialist lighting, sound and seating for 250 people. The theatre, Big Classical, the chandelier-lit recital room, Thirlestaine Long Gallery in Thirlestaine House and our stunning 19th century Chapel are all also available for our pupils to regularly perform within.
Cheltenham Prep has a strong reputation for success on the sports fields, however ‘sport for all’ is the ethos at The Prep. Whether it is the first team, or the U8C team, we aim to give the same opportunities to all children and strike the balance of ensuring their continued athletic development with the importance of making fun the key goal of every session.
The teachers and coaches at The Prep are all experts in their sports. Many, such as the Director of Rugby, Olly Morgan and the Director of Netball, Sam Cook, are ex-elite sports stars, and regularly take sessions with all teams. Over 45 staff are out on the pitches on a Wednesday afternoon during term time.
In Years 3 through to Year 8 all children will enjoy two Games lessons, two sports fixtures and a PE or Swimming lesson every week. This can then be built upon with sports clubs every day after school if they wish. In the Pre-Prep all children enjoy a PE lesson, a Swim lesson and a Games lesson, all led by specialist sports staff.
Everyone has access to the outstanding sports facilities on offer include two full size Astro Turf pitches, a six lane, 25m swimming pool, a fully equipped Sports Hall which includes a fitness suite and performance gymnasium, Squash courts, Tennis courts and three separate grass field sites.
Your child will play a range of team sports throughout each year, beginning with boys’ Rugby and girls’ Hockey in the Autumn Term. In the Spring Term the girls will move to Netball, whilst the boys will play Hockey with a number of Football matches. In the Summer Term the main game for both boys and girls is Cricket, with plenty of opportunities for Tennis and Athletics. This is supplemented by our Physical Education programme and Clubs and Activities programme that gives the everyone the chance to experience a wide range of activities.