At Kingswood Prep School, learning is not confined to the classroom. Visiting speakers, poets and authors, as well as educational visits, International Days, Language Days and Enrichment Days feature strongly in our curriculum. Learning must be fun but lifelong learning is our aim. We believe that if you embrace a child's natural curiosity and love of learning, their future will be a bright one.
As well as academic enrichment we have hundreds of places within our Activities Programme which focus on Music, Drama, Sport, Design Technology and Art, but we also offer more diverse activities that we hope may ignite a spark in a child, increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem. The opportunities we offer our children are second to none.
Kingswood Prep School offers an extensive and varied activity programme for its pupils. The programme provides opportunities to try something new, discover a new skill or interest or simply to pursue and develop an existing hobby.
We believe that every child has strengths and many have hidden talents; our challenge as teachers and educators is to unlock and then nurture them. The activity programme is a key vehicle in enabling this process, as well as in helping our children to become more confident and self-motivated.
We are incredibly proud of the wide range of activities on offer to our pupils. There are more than 80 activities available each week, and the choices change on a termly basis. Pupils are able to request activities that are not currently on offer through the School Council; several of the new activities in the programme have been offered in response to these requests.
It is difficult to capture sporting life at Kingswood Prep School in just a few sentences. Through PE lessons, games lessons, matches, activities and after-school clubs, students encounter a wide breadth of opportunity. KPS approaches sport with a child-centred, rather than a results-centred, mindset and provides every child with as many different experiences as possible. The overall aim is to instil an enjoyment of a variety of physical activities that will endure far beyond Year 6.
Physical activity at Kingswood can be broken down into the following activities:
- PE lessons: gymnastics, dance, swimming, athletics
- Games lessons: generic ball skills, hockey, rugby, football, netball, cricket, rounders, tennis
- Inter-school fixtures: hockey, football, rugby, netball, cricket, rounders, cross-country, athletics, aquathon, triathlon, tennis, swimming, judo, fencing, orienteering
- Extracurricular activities: hockey, football, rugby, cricket, netball, rounders, athletics, cross country, aquathon, triathlon, tennis, swimming, judo, fencing, orienteering, golf, kayaking, archery, dance
We have worked to develop a concept of what success looks like in a physical or sporting sense for a KPS student when they leave the school. Some of these elements are as follows:
- The child enjoys being active in various ways and wants to continue being involved in these activities in the future.
- The child has a "can-do" attitude towards sport and physical activity and has an appreciation for having a go, with the knowledge that not succeeding is not a bad thing.
- The child has already started to work out which activities he or she enjoys most, an awareness that has been developed through exposure to a wide range of activities, including team, individual, mainstream and unusual, creative, etc.
- The child has experience playing organised team sport and, within that context, has learned about winning and losing, teamwork, working towards a collective goal and other social skills.
Art at Kingswood is an exploration of the senses. Children's talents are valued and nurtured in a warm and inviting environment. Extra-curricular activities have included ceramics, recycled art, painting and drawing, batik and crafts. The door is always open to those keen to learn even more!
The key elements of art (line, form, space, shape, texture, tone and colour) are addressed in a wide range of ways at the School, through exciting projects such as making papier-mâché parrots, ceramic bookends, Picasso portraits and printed books (illustrated by our Year 4s), to name but a few. Specialist techniques, including printmaking, batik, acrylic painting, metal embossing and digital image-making, are used regularly.
We are proud to have our own kiln in the School, and the children have become familiar with using glazes and oxides to enhance their clay designs. We also run competitions throughout the year; in one, each child designs a greetings card, which is then professionally printed to take home. We have had workshops with local artist Edwina Bridgman and after-school activities for Pre-Prep pupils run by artists from Bath Artists' Studios, in which the children can work towards an Arts Award.
Whether designing elements of the School play or creating exciting displays around the School, the children are at the heart of our creativity, and their artistic ambition is always in abundance.
The teaching of Design and Technology (DT) is a distinctive, creative and logical process that combines intellectual and practical skills through investigative activities, focused practical tasks, modelling, design, constructing and continual evaluation. It encourages pupils to recognise that the world around them has been created by both nature and human intervention.
The study of design technology also prepares students to live and work in an increasingly technological world. DT at KPS is project-based and designed to develop a raft of basic practical skills. Highlights include competitions, such as our recent Bird Box Build, workshops, such as the highly enjoyable Lego Challenge, and regular design-and-make favourites such as glove puppets, wire sculptures and gravity racer models.
No material is wasted in the DT programme, as seen in the Year 6 'upcycling' charity sale, in which products ranged from plastic-bottle bird feeders to pin boards made of combat fabric.
Drama is one of the great forms of human expression. Our drama education at KPS begins in the Early Years through role-play; eventually, it expands to include many elements of theatre.
Pupils have the opportunity to pursue drama and public speaking through a host of activities, from staging a performance to competing in internationally recognised public speaking exams. Every child in the School takes part in a yearly production, from the Nursery Nativity performed onstage in our hall to the Years 5 and 6 show in the Kingswood Theatre.
Poetry is also celebrated within our curriculum. Our Pre-Prep Poetry Festival and Prep 'Poetry Out Loud' competitions are popular and widely attended.
Extra-curricular drama opportunities include preparing for LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) acting and mime exams and ESB (English Speaking Board) public speaking exams; competing in speech and drama classes at the Mid-Somerset Festival; performing Shakespeare in a local theatre as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival; preparing a short play in French and, of course, the weekly fun and games experienced in drama club.
Alongside trips to the theatre, we enjoy visits from poets, stunt performers, mime artists and travelling theatre companies. All of these elements combine to develop confidence, encourage creativity and help students make sense of the world.
Everyone at KPS is involved in music in some context, in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities. Class music lessons begin in Reception, and most of our pupils also learn one or two instruments on an individual basis; many join various musical clubs.
In class, students learn essential music skills through singing, playing, listening, notating, composing and performing. Children can learn to play any string, woodwind or brass instrument, the piano, the drums, the harp or the guitar, and can also have singing lessons. We run choirs, orchestral ensembles, a music technology club and a performing arts group.
Students regularly give concerts, whether informally in a small group for grandparents on a Friday afternoon or for larger audiences in the School Chapel or theatre. Older pupils also enjoy the unique experience of singing at the O2 Arena in London. Every year, our most advanced musicians gain scholarships to Kingswood School and other local senior schools.
At Kingswood, we believe that music is for everyone. Everyone can delight in music and learn to be involved at their own level, whether simply for enjoyment or within the context of a lifelong passion.