Prep School Settling In & Daily Routine

7 to 9 YEAR OLDS (SHELL Years 3 and 4)

Starting in Shell is a new experience for all the children, whether they are moving up from the College Pre-Prep, or, like several children each year, joining from another school. Great emphasis is placed on helping all the children to settle in. An Induction Day is held towards the end of the Summer term to begin this process.

9 to 13 YEAR OLDS (Years 5 to 8)

Several children join the Prep School's upper year groups, especially in Form 2 (Year 6) and Lower Third (Year 7) and great emphasis is placed on helping these new pupils to settle in.

An Induction Day is held towards the end of the Summer term to begin this process and every new pupil is given a shadow at the start of term to ensure that he or she gets to the right place at the right time and is properly equipped!

Our experience is that after two weeks, new children no longer need a shadow and are moving confidently around the College.

“Pupils' attitudes to learning are exemplary. They approach their work and play with good humour, are highly enthusiastic and motivate themselves and their peeris in their learning.” ISI Inspection 2017


Breadth and balance is integral to the education we offer. Our broad curriculum reflects this, with sport, music, drama and art being essential ingredients.

Academic organisation

Our academic structure is designed to enable us to cater for the social and academic needs of each child.

7 to 9 YEAR OLDS (SHELL Years 3 and 4)

The Shell curriculum is varied and encourages pupils to enjoy learning whilst discovering and developing their knowledge and understanding.  The following subjects are taught by the class teachers: Design Technology, English (including at least one session in the library), Geography, History, Mathematics, Science and Personal, Social & Health Education.

The broader curriculum of Art, Music, Drama, Sport and RE are taught by specialist teachers. ICT is taught by the Lower Shell teachers; in Upper Shell it is taught as a specialist subject.

Learning Support

Shell has two Teaching Assistants who support the Class Teachers to deliver the curriculum to pupils. They work within the classroom as well as with small groups or individuals. The Teaching Assistants also have a vital role in providing daily learning support for pupils with specific needs; this could be areas of difficulty such as spelling, comprehension, handwriting or delivering challenging tasks for more able individuals or groups.

The Teaching Assistants work in close partnership with the Class Teachers and Learning Support Teachers, Mrs Bridle, Mrs Gearing and Mrs Miller. In addition, Shell has Classroom Helpers who hear readers daily and support class teachers.

9 to 13 YEAR OLDS (Years 5 to 8)

Form 1 (Year 5) 3 forms
Form 2 (Year 6) 4 forms
Lower 3rd (Year 7) 5 forms
Upper 3rd (Year 8) 5 forms

All these year groups are streamed on general ability with sets for Mathematics.

Subjects: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Design & Technology, English, French, Geography, History, ICT, Latin, Mathematics, Music, PE, Physics, Religious Education. In Lower 3rd and Upper 3rd also German and Spanish.

From Form 1 onwards, pupils have specialist teachers for every subject.

Shell Daily Routine

7 to 9 YEAR OLDS (SHELL Years 3 and 4)

Shell pupils enjoy the security of being taught for most of each day by their Form Tutor in their own classroom. They also enjoy the expertise of specialist teachers for PE, Games, Music and Art which helps to develop a growing sense of independence. Pupils are allocated to a League which nurtures a sense of healthy competition each term.


7.55am-8.10am Boarders breakfast
8.10am Children may arrive in the Shell playground from this time
8.20am Registration
8.30am Assembly
8.55am Lessons begin
10.50am  Morning break
12.20pm Lunch in the College Dining Hall
1.25pm Lunch break ends
3.20pm Home time for day pupils*
3.20-5.00pm Optional ‘late stay’
5.00pm Boarders return to House
5.30pm Dinner for boarders

*On Saturdays, Shell pupils finish at 12.30pm

On Wednesdays, Shell pupils may finish after lunch at 1.30pm. However, most pupils stay on to take part in a series of activities

Prep School Routine

9 to 13 YEAR OLDS (Years 5 to 8)

The daily timetable is designed to give breadth and balance to the week.

Following School Assembly, House Assemblies or Tutor Assemblies there are five teaching periods each morning (Monday to Saturday). 

After lunch, Period 6 involves priority time for some activities, opportunities for personal and social education, completion of outstanding work and discussion time.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday afternoons: team games, with representative matches played against other schools on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons: Activities sessions.


7.55am-8.10am Boarders breakfast
8.10am All pupils may arrive in class from this time
8.20am Registration
8.35am Assembly
8.55am Lessons begin
10.50am Morning break
12.30pm Lunch in the College Dining Hall
1:25pm Lunch break ends
3:20pm Afternoon break
5.00pm Home time for day pupils*
5.30pm Dinner for boarders
6.00pm Supervised prep for boarders
7.30pm End of prep time

* On Saturdays, school finishes at 3.00pm. On Wednesdays, our 9 to 12 year olds finish at 4.00pm, after games, if not involved in a representative match, and on Fridays school finishes at 4:30pm.