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Prep and pre-prep very much part of the whole King’s School. They are all part of the strong Christian community with the cathedral at its centre, but all faiths made to feel welcome. Prep and pre-prep are both self-contained but use...

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What the school says...

Boarding is from the age of 11 - Year 7. We educate the boy Choristers of Rochester Cathedral Choir.

What the parents say...

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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

Choir school - substantial scholarships and bursaries usually available for choristers.

Sports

Fencing

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headteachers

Headmaster of the Prep School: Since 2001, Mr Roger Overend BA FTCL ARCM (60s), a musician, educated at Trinity College of Music and previously head of Westminster Abbey Choir School. Married with three children, one of whom is in the prep school. An experienced headmaster who is very well regarded by parents. ‘He has an air of authority – the kids respect him and know where they stand but are not afraid to ask questions’. ‘Open approachable, understanding and thoughtful’. ‘The kids are happy to ask for help – he makes them feel valued’. ‘He’s always there and knows where everyone is.’ ‘He listens to parents and always replies promptly to emails, even over the weekends’. He teaches music theory to the choristers.

Headmistress of Pre-Prep and Nursery: Since 2009 Mrs Sarah Skillern MA BA NPQH (late 30s). She works closely with Mr Overend and both heads sit on the school’s executive board with Mr Jeremy Walker, principal of the senior school, although both heads are largely autonomous.

Entrance

Most join in the nursery at age 3+ and move on to the pre-prep the following year. Places allocated on a first come first served basis. Entry into the prep is via an interview with both parents and the child and a report from the child’s current school – most join at 8+ and 11+ but will take children at any time if there are spaces. Large intake at 11+, particularly from primary schools and independent schools which finish at this age - testing in English, maths and non-verbal reasoning; this also guarantees them a place in the senior school. Will only not offer a place if a child needs more help than the school can offer - mild to moderate dyslexia no problem. Choristers (boys only) admitted via a series of musical and academic tests and join in year 4, and are offered music scholarships worth 30 per cent of fees which can be topped up with a bursary if necessary and 30 per cent off (compulsory) music lessons.

Exit

Most move on to the senior school. About six a year to local grammar schools. Support and help with maths and non-verbal reasoning but do not coach for the Kent Test. Entrance to the senior school is just about automatic but all have to take a set of exams in the summer – mainly for setting purposes.

Our view

Prep and pre-prep very much part of the whole King’s School. They are all part of the strong Christian community with the cathedral at its centre, but all faiths made to feel welcome. Prep and pre-prep are both self-contained but use the senior school facilities including the swimming pool, art and DT room, games pitches and sports centre. Purpose built pre-prep has bright and colourful classrooms and its own play area. Prep school is a cluster of modern buildings surrounding the paddock (used for rugby and cricket) and shares a large hall with the pre-prep. Light and airy with photographs all over the place.

Children streamed from year 6 and setted in some subjects. French introduced in year 5, PSHE taught from year 6 and Latin and DT from year 7. All three sciences taught separately in year 8, and can use the senior school labs. ‘Kids gradually prepared for senior school and are encouraged to take responsibility for themselves’. About a quarter of lessons taught by senior school teachers in the last year, some in the senior school, and top two years can play in the senior school symphony orchestra. German introduced in the nursery via fun-based activities with songs and puppets, and continues into the senior school - taught by a native speaker. Years 7 and 8 do an exchange with a school in Munich every other year. New head of IT ‘very forward thinking’ and IT is integrated into all lessons and taught as a subject throughout the prep school. The library is the centre of the school and younger children are taught how to use it – a bright light space.

Good learning support - one full time and three part time SEN teachers. Offers mostly in-class support, mainly for mild to moderate dyslexia and mild behavioural issues, and has a ‘joined up approach’. Staff often go into English lessons to look for issues. The school no longer has CReSTeD status. Light touch EAL when required.

Boys play rugby, hockey and cricket and some football, girls play netball, hockey and rounders as their main sports, and everyone swims all year round in the school’s own pool. Fields up to four teams per year group so everyone has a chance to play in a match. Strong musical tradition as you would expect with a cathedral school and about 40 per cent learn an instrument – taken out of lessons on a rota basis and most practice done at home. All do class music and singing as well as some theory and composing. Good range of bands and orchestras including wind band, string orchestra and quartet and fiddle groups, with termly concerts in the school hall and a celebration of the performing arts in the summer term. All children in the pre-prep have the chance to perform in a concert. One lavish theatre production each year and plenty of opportunities to perform in public; poetry festival, LAMDA exams and informal concerts as well as visiting theatre groups and drama workshops. Choir trips all over the place and they make recordings for Radio 3. Recent netball and cricket tour to Barbados. Good range of after-school clubs including ballet, Irish dancing and trampolining. Children made aware of the environment and their impact upon it and there is a master in charge of the school's carbon footprint.

Pupils come from a 25 mile radius from as far away as Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Bromley and increasingly from South London. Good network of school buses. A very inclusive school where parents are encouraged to get involved, they ‘feel part of the school and integral' to their child’s education, they 'come from all walks of life and everyone is made to feel they fit in’. All new children have a buddy who contacts them in the holidays and looks after them when they arrive. The school ‘has a very good pastoral feel and you feel you are really listened to as a parent – I only moved my children recently and wish I had done so earlier,’ said a delighted mother. Before and after-school care very helpful for working parents, and anyone who arrives before 8.15am is offered breakfast.

Special Education Needs

Please enter a general description of your SEN provision here.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers
Aspergers Syndrome [archived]
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders [archived]
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Delicate Medical Problems [archived]
Dyscalculia
Dysgraphia
Dyslexia
Dyspraxia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Epilepsy [archived]
Genetic
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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