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The prep school has its own separate identity from the senior school and is still known locally as Dovercourt; almost all go on to the senior school. ‘We concentrate on the traditional subjects,’ says the headmaster, but girls are encouraged to ask questions and the aim is to develop their independence, resilience, collaboration and grit. Everyone knows everyone and all make time to listen. ‘You can talk to anyone you want to if you are worried,’ said a pupil...

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What the school says...

This is a school where intellectual curiosity is developed and where girls enjoy learning through range of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. There is a strong element of phonics and numeracy in the Early Years daily routine and an emphasis on outdoor learning enhanced by a new Outdoor Learning Classroom. Mathematics is taught daily and dedicated and well-qualified staff are supported by specialist teachers including in languages. The sense of belonging and familiarity with the whole school helps prepare the girls for what lies ahead ensuring a smooth transition as they leave the Prep School and progress to the Senior School. ...Read more

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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.

What The Good Schools Guide says

Headmaster

Since 2014 Paul Marshallsay BA Ed. He studied PE at St Luke’s, now part of Exeter University, and started his career as a PE teacher at Victoria College in Jersey. He then moved to Burgoyne Middle School in Bedfordshire as head of PE, and then on to become deputy head of Yorston Lodge in Cheshire, followed by head of geography at Shrewsbury High Prep. Has taught all age groups and many subjects including maths, geography and computing. He joined Portsmouth High Prep as deputy head in 2011, became acting head in 2013 and head in 2014.

He is married to Felicity, who runs the Duke of Edinburgh Award at the senior school, and they have one daughter who is an academic scholar at the senior school. He is a keen...

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