Eaton House The Manor Pre-Prep
Eaton House The Manor Pre-Prep is a school that feels like a family, taking boys from age 4-8. As we are non-selective at entry, interest is keen and early application is advised, with registration accepted from birth. There may be occasional places further up the school and it is always worth enquiring about these.
The Pre-Prep offers the perfect blend of traditional values and a forward-thinking education. Our open door policy means that parents can feel fully involved, confident in the knowledge that the boys are being treated as unique individuals, stretched to the maximum, and are being taught to be kind, considerate, thoughtful and mannerly as well as to always strive to do their best, both academically and personally. The majority of Pre-Prep boys progress to Eaton House the Manor Prep fully prepared.
We attain high academic results, achieved in a calm and positive manner. Inspiring teachers and excellent resources help to develop a life-long love of learning. Boys are encouraged to take ownership of their own learning and adopt a ‘can do’ attitude. Much of the learning is practical, active and fun, which is suited to boys. A good example is a recent ‘exploding volcano’ lesson in a Pre-Prep science class!
We are a very sporty school, with beautiful Clapham Common on our doorstep. This gives us the perfect place to practice team sports and we really enjoy our matches against other schools. This sports training can prove helpful later, both at the Prep and beyond when it comes to team selection at senior schools.
We believe that sport plays an essential role in the development of character and teamwork, and a specialist sports staff nurtures a love of sport through positive experiences. Drama, art and music help to boost all-round academic performance, and they are all seen as fundamental in developing communication skills and confidence.
Pastoral care is vital in the life of the school. Our exceptional teachers understand and support the boys so that they grow in self-belief. Our ‘Buddy’ system helps to integrate the newest boys into the school right from the beginning. Our House system provides another layer of support and guidance. Teamwork is encouraged, along with a healthy competitive spirit.
This year we introduced ‘learning habits’ that have been very successful in teaching boys how to mindfully adopt the best character traits. Each learning habit is represented by a soft toy character – named by the boys. Kingsley the gorilla represents ‘Empathy’, Lancelot the lion ‘Courage’, Camille the chameleon ‘Open Mindedness’, Hooty the owl ‘Good Judgement’, Trumpet the elephant ‘Collaboration’, Popcorn the unicorn ‘Curiosity’, Dolly the Dolphin ‘Kindness’ and Percy the Fish ‘Perseverance.’
It is crucial that we do our best to prepare our children to flourish in this very competitive, fast-paced, fast-changing world and we believe that these learning habits will ensure that the boys succeed both at Eaton House The Manor Pre-Prep and later, outside of the classroom.
Teachers reinforce these habits and encourage the boys to think about how to use these personal qualities and skills in their lessons and day-to-day interactions. The hope is that they will create an environment with learning experiences that will give the children the best possible opportunity to develop and grow the broadest range of helpful character dispositions.
Every week one boy is nominated to receive one soft toy that represents a certain characteristic. The nominations are read out in assembly and the boys come forward to receive the soft toy which then sits on their desk for the week. The boys absolutely love this and are delighted to be nominated. It is exciting that the boys know and understand the vocabulary related to each learning habit.
The Pre-Prep has a very active School Council which meets on a weekly basis with the Headmistress and the Deputy Headmistress and it has been wonderful to see the boys come up with their own initiatives, such as monitoring the use of plastics and waste within the school, charity ideas, ‘Break the School Rules Day’, adding new clubs to our co-curricular programme and even suggesting a new learning habit. It’s really important to us that even the youngest boys feel as though they have a voice and that their ideas are listened to and acted upon.
The School Council is important in another respect as it is teaching the boys to be mindful with money. We recently gave the School Council a budget and this meant that boys could discuss with their classes how this money might be spent to best effect. The current front-runner is playground equipment that everyone can enjoy!
Learning to help others through charity is an important part of mindfulness in the Pre-Prep. We are proud to say that we have raised almost £17,000 this year so far for our school charities – Beyond Autism and GOSH. Events have included a Christmas Fair, Santa Dash, Art Gallery, Spring Fair, Break the Rules Day, cakes sales and a sponsored walk. All these are events that the children are involved in and can contribute to and we feel that it is very important in building their character.
We have also developed links with the Beyond Autism School in Wandsworth and our boys have collaborated with their pupils to create wonderful pieces of art work for our gallery. These were then sold at auction on our Art Gallery evening.
We aim to develop a life-long love of learning as the ultimate goal and firmly believe that it is no coincidence that boys learn best when they feel happy and secure. We strive to recognise each boy as an individual, understanding what makes him tick, nurturing his talent and supporting him in every way. This ensures that he feels known and valued from the first day.
The boys’ welfare and happiness is our top priority, together with creating exciting lessons that will make learning active and fun for all our pupils. We aim to make our pupils Prep school ready. This means that when the time comes, the transition is easy and smooth and they are fully prepared to continue on their learning adventure.