Protected: Aim Higher

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Aim Higher (Prep)

How can The Marist help my child reach for the stars?

At the Marist School, we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to reach for the stars, to find their feet and to flourish, no matter what their skills and talents. In the Prep phase, we encourage all pupils to broaden their interests through a diverse co-curricular programme of clubs, through private instrumental lessons and LAMDA lessons, and through our bespoke curriculum which is designed to pique children’s curiosity and deepen their thinking. Whether that’s working with research students from Royal Holloway in our extensive woodland, putting on breath-taking musical productions, or competing in sporting tournaments at country and national level.

Our lessons are carefully planned to extend the thinking of even our most able pupils, whilst putting scaffolding in place that allows pupils of all abilities access to the rich opportunities provided by such lessons.



All pupils across Years 3 to 6 can gain an appreciation of rich, heritage texts, gaining exposure to Frances Hodgson Burnett and Charles Dickens, Lord Tennyson and Bram Stoker to name but a few. These texts serve to develop pupils’ linguistic prowess, exposing them to high-level vocabulary, punctuation, and sentence constructions, giving them the opportunity to puzzle through archaic language forms and unusual turns of phrase that are little used these days.

Although these texts can be challenging, we are experts at hooking pupils’ interest using intriguing images and mysterious puzzles. By carefully selecting phrases from the text before revealing the complete extract, our pupils engage and built a deeper understanding of the text.


The gender gap between boys and girls in Maths and Science classes continues to be in the spotlight. To encourage girls into STEM careers, it is so important to choose a school that sets girls up for success in the future.


The chance to engage with ‘productive struggle’ within Maths lessons equips our pupils with a variety of skills for life. Lessons are designed to develop fluency in key, the ability to use such knowledge to solve problems, and reasoning skills to make generalisations before testing these hypotheses. Throughout Prep and Pre-Prep, open-ended investigations are used to encourage the use of both logic and resilience, giving pupils the opportunity to spot connections and make predictions, as well as discover the joy of just ‘playing’ with numbers.

High standards are expected regarding pupils’ knowledge of number facts, and all pupils are given the chance to apply their understanding in a variety of ways, in both familiar and unfamiliar circumstances.


Science is taught by a specialist teacher with hands-on experiments throughout each topic, whether that’s witnessing the explosion method of seed dispersal with balloons and sequins, investigating which drinks are most harmful for our teeth using eggshells as a substitute for our tooth enamel, or dissecting flowers to examine how plants reproduce.

Coding is forefront of our ICT curriculum, engaging pupils with real-world technology in the form of Micro:bits. Projects such as programming step-counters, creating a digital compass to navigate the outdoors, or tracking changes in temperature, provide opportunities for pupils to see practical applications for their coding skills. Games and animations are used to further hone these programming skills.

Beyond the classroom

Our out-of-term enrichment projects give pupils an opportunity to shine in their learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. These projects are designed to help pupils contemplate the qualities of a good learner, selecting a skill they wish to learn and reflecting on the process they go through: How will they learn this skill? How often will they practise? What will they do if they get stuck?  We have welcomed a diverse range of projects over the last few years, including using power tools safely and effectively, learning to skateboard, sew an item of clothing, and how to break codes.


In addition to the opportunities offered by our rich curriculum, we also regularly enter challenges and competitions both internally and externally.

    • Maths – First Maths Challenge, Primary Maths Challenge, Junior Maths Challenge, The Marist Year 5 Maths Challenge
    • English – District 10 Debating Competition, BBC 500 Words, Rotary Young Writer
    • Science – House STEAM Competition
    • Art – Royal Ascot and Knights of Columbia art competitions
    • Drama – Whole school productions, such as Annie, Frozen Jr, Beauty and the Beast (Year 4 upwards), Year 6 end of year production, for example The Wizard of Oz and A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • ICT – Bebras Computing Challenge
    • PE – Matches and tournaments against local schools, including football, netball, hockey, athletics, and swimming. House Dance competition, national competitions such as IAPS netball tournament
    • Music – Woodley Music Festival, our annual House Singing Competition, and internal concerts throughout the school year
    • Additional Opportunities – House General Knowledge Quiz, First Lego League competition, RHS Campaign for School Gardening awards