Prep School is a happy and encouraging community where the care of the children is our priority. Children are far more likely to excel at school if they are happy and feel cared for and we take our pastoral responsibilities very seriously. The children know there is always someone they can turn to or talk to, beginning with their class teacher who has primary responsibility for the children in their care and quickly gets to know every child and helps them in their academic and social progress. We also have a full time school counsellor.
The children themselves also understand the importance of caring for one another. Central to our ethos is ‘The Barney Way’, a set of values that are taught to the children from the outset. The Barney Way values are evident around school and reinforced in assemblies and Chapel gatherings to help the children remember and understand what is expected of them. In PSHE lessons the children learn to develop their social skills, expected behaviours and how to care for others.
Support for new pupils
We are proud of our family atmosphere in school and this begins when new children join us and continues as they move through the school. As well as new children being able to attend a taster day before they start, new families are invited to join our afternoon tea on the Sunday before the new academic year begins to meet their teachers and the other new children in their class.
Towards the end of Trinity Term we hold ‘Move Up’ afternoon, which is the first stage of induction for the next academic year for all our children, including those moving up to Senior School. Children joining the school in September are also invited to join this experience before they start. Residentials away from school begin in Year 4 so towards the end of the Trinity term, children in Year 3 have an exciting opportunity to join the Big Sleepover when they stay overnight together in the school hall and enjoy tea and breakfast as a taster of staying away from home with their friends.
Bridging the Gap
We aim to make the transition to Senior School as smooth as possible for Year 6 children. They benefit from visiting Senior School on a regular basis throughout their time in Prep School and, once in Year 6, are taught some subjects by Senior School teachers. Our Bridging the Gap events in November and December allow children in their final year of Prep School, and those from other schools, to experience Senior School for a morning.
Contact with home
We encourage parents to establish close contact with school to maintain the teacher/parent child link. Our formal methods of communication include:
A weekly newsletter to keep parents informed about the children’s experiences in school, awards, events and important dates in the calendar;
Two formal parent/teacher meetings during the year;
A formal report at the end of each term.
Additional meetings with teachers can be arranged at any time to discuss any matters.
For parents interested in meeting socially with other parents, the Prep School Barney Friends meet once a month and organise a range of family events throughout the school year. All parents are welcome to join or contribute ideas at any time.