Here at St Peter’s Prep, we pride ourselves on being able to provide a quality and supportive educational institution for children, from when they start nursery, all the way through to year eight. It is during this time that children experience one of the most significant time of their lives when it comes to social, educational and psychological growth and development. We think that the last thing any child needs during this crucial time is to be moved from one school to the next, which will uproot them from a place where they have settled, force them to say goodbye to friends before they are ready and start the process all over again.
Here at St Peter’s Prep, we have decided to take a look at the three main areas your child is likely to be affected by when it comes to frequent school changes, and why staying with us until year eight is an ideal option.
Making new friends and socialisation is integral to helping your child fit in at school, and will not only develop lasting friendships but also teach them about healthy relationships for the future. Children tend to get attached to others from a young age, and this can be seen as early as nursery, with friendships leading to regular play-dates throughout the year. The nature of children at this age makes it the perfect time to form lasting bonds with their classmates, and one that can support them through some critical periods of development. By moving school at such a crucial time, they are forced to start these friendships all over again, in an environment where groups have already been formed. Re-starting this process is a big ask for children of such a young age, and the decision to transfer schools is not one that should be taken lightly.
Any teacher can attest that the transition between schools during this time can be one of the most detrimental times in any child’s education. A change in school not only disrupts their routine, but also removes them from an environment they have become accustomed to, and therefore feel safe in. Pupils who start from nursery are familiar with the school site, know where all the toilets are and can find the dining hall, as well as knowing and understanding the school rules. Familiarity helps children feel secure and happy. In addition, children who join nursery get to know the other teachers in the school so may well find themselves moving into a Reception class with a teacher who is already familiar to them.
One of the biggest issues facing pupils who move regularly, or at the beginning of each Key Stage, is a knock to their confidence, which then defies a quick recovery. Those who opt for different schools for infants and juniors are particularly vulnerable, after being the top of what is probably a relatively small school, to being one of the youngest in a school of hundreds. This kind of change is not only unsettling for pupils concerning their social life, but it can also disrupt their performance in education, as they have so many other factors to consider alongside their studies. At what can be a crucial stage of their time at school, the need to make new friends, adjust to a new setting and perform academically is a lot of pressure for children.
At St Peter’s Prep, despite being a non-selective school, thirteen of our year eight students sat the Exeter School entrance exam, and all of them were offered places. Furthermore, twenty-seven Year 8 pupils were offered twenty-three scholarships between them to senior schools including Blundell’s School, Taunton School, Wellington School, Millfield and Stover School. Once your child starts their journey at our pre-prep, Devon, they will be supported until the moment they leave, and beyond. While there are plenty of circumstances that are out of your control, stability is one of the best ways you can ensure your child has an optimum experience throughout their education.