Specialist Subjects

Art

Art

Art at Holy Cross Prep is taught by a specialist art teacher in a dedicated art space. Pupils in years 1 – 6 have an hour-long lesson in the art room each week, with pre-prep classes supported by their teaching assistants. Reception art is integral to the EYFS curriculum and, as such, is part of the girls’ daily learning experience in their classrooms.

The subject naturally forms strong cross-curricular links with digital drawing in computing lessons, as well as topic-based projects on the Romans and the Egyptians, which are explored during pupils’ history lessons.

A wide range of materials and techniques are introduced to the girls during their lessons, including oil and chalk pastels, pen and pencil, collage, painting, printing, textiles and mixed media. Pupils also experience 3D materials with junk modelling, clay and mod-roc. Topics are very broad with direct links to artists, as well as arts and crafts from around the world, providing a critical context for making. The curriculum is extended by inviting artists, illustrators and makers in to talk to our pupils, as well as specialist trips.

There are countless ways for pupils to become engaged in art throughout the year, from our weekly after-school art club, to creative poster campaigns for our varied programme of events. The girls are also given an annual opportunity to design Christmas cards, which can then be ordered and printed for their family and friends to enjoy. Our spacious hall becomes the setting for our biennial ‘Whole School Art Exhibition’ – a piece of artwork created by every pupil is professionally mounted, displayed and available to purchase; a true celebration of talent and creativity.

The aim of art at Holy Cross is to nurture a love for the subject, regardless of experience, level or ability. It aims to encourage strong and confident expression in a variety of media, to communicate ideas, feelings and experiences. In art there is no ‘wrong answer’ – we want our pupils to have fun exploring their creativity, whilst learning at the same time.

Computing

Computing

Information Technology is an integral part of our everyday lives, and also forms an exciting, interactive and motivating aspect of education at Holy Cross Prep; it engages all learners, irrespective of ability – challenging thinking and taking learning a step further.

The school is very well resourced for computing lessons and classroom-based IT learning. A secure computer network allows shared learning resources across the school with fast wireless connectivity. Junior pupils have their own log-on details and are provided with an internal email account; all pupils have digital folders for storing their work electronically. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard and projector, desktop computers and a teacher’s iPad, all of which have access to a wide variety of cross-curricular and age-appropriate software. A bank of 22 iPads and mini-notebooks can be secured for classroom activities, alongside digital cameras and science monitoring equipment.

Pupils enjoy a dedicated computing lesson each week with a specialist teacher in the ICT suite, allowing them to work individually on a desktop computer, with audio and recording facilities. Our year 6 pupils are allocated their own iPad to enrich their learning. These function alongside the usual text and exercise books used both at home and in school. A signed contract also promotes safe digital learning and good practice.

A high quality computing education equips our pupils with the tools they need to use computational thinking and creativity when interpreting and understanding the changing world. Computing provides insights into both natural and artificial systems, and has deep links with mathematics and science, as well as art, and design and technology. A core part of this subject is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that all our pupils become digitally literate as active participants in an increasingly digital world, at a level suitable for the future workplace; they are able to use, express themselves through and develop ideas about information and communication technology.

Computing and class IT topics cover coding, desktop publishing, graphics, data handling, modelling, control, multimedia, animation, website design and safe use of the internet. E-safety is regularly addressed as an integral part of the subject, not only through curriculum content, but also within the responsibilities that our year 6 Digital Leaders (our safety ambassadors in school) take on board. Safer Internet Day is recognised and participated in annually, parent workshops are held in school and weekly advice is disseminated through the Friday Update newsletter, which is received by the whole school community. You can read more about our e-safety procedures here.

Technologies are always moving forward and, as a school, we pride ourselves on our proactive approach as we continue to take learning to the next level.

Art

Art at Holy Cross Prep is taught by a specialist art teacher in a dedicated art space. Pupils in years 1 – 6 have an hour-long lesson in the art room each week, with pre-prep classes supported by their teaching assistants. Reception art is integral to the EYFS curriculum and, as such, is part of the girls’ daily learning experience in their classrooms.

The subject naturally forms strong cross-curricular links with digital drawing in computing lessons, as well as topic-based projects on the Romans and the Egyptians, which are explored during pupils’ history lessons.

A wide range of materials and techniques are introduced to the girls during their lessons, including oil and chalk pastels, pen and pencil, collage, painting, printing, textiles and mixed media. Pupils also experience 3D materials with junk modelling, clay and mod-roc. Topics are very broad with direct links to artists, as well as arts and crafts from around the world, providing a critical context for making. The curriculum is extended by inviting artists, illustrators and makers in to talk to our pupils, as well as specialist trips.

There are countless ways for pupils to become engaged in art throughout the year, from our weekly after-school art club, to creative poster campaigns for our varied programme of events. The girls are also given an annual opportunity to design Christmas cards, which can then be ordered and printed for their family and friends to enjoy. Our spacious hall becomes the setting for our biennial ‘Whole School Art Exhibition’ – a piece of artwork created by every pupil is professionally mounted, displayed and available to purchase; a true celebration of talent and creativity.

The aim of art at Holy Cross is to nurture a love for the subject, regardless of experience, level or ability. It aims to encourage strong and confident expression in a variety of media, to communicate ideas, feelings and experiences. In art there is no ‘wrong answer’ – we want our pupils to have fun exploring their creativity, whilst learning at the same time.

Computing

Information Technology is an integral part of our everyday lives, and also forms an exciting, interactive and motivating aspect of education at Holy Cross Prep; it engages all learners, irrespective of ability – challenging thinking and taking learning a step further.

The school is very well resourced for computing lessons and classroom-based IT learning. A secure computer network allows shared learning resources across the school with fast wireless connectivity. Junior pupils have their own log-on details and are provided with an internal email account; all pupils have digital folders for storing their work electronically. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard and projector, desktop computers and a teacher’s iPad, all of which have access to a wide variety of cross-curricular and age-appropriate software. A bank of 22 iPads and mini-notebooks can be secured for classroom activities, alongside digital cameras and science monitoring equipment.

Pupils enjoy a dedicated computing lesson each week with a specialist teacher in the ICT suite, allowing them to work individually on a desktop computer, with audio and recording facilities. Our year 6 pupils are allocated their own iPad to enrich their learning. These function alongside the usual text and exercise books used both at home and in school. A signed contract also promotes safe digital learning and good practice.

A high quality computing education equips our pupils with the tools they need to use computational thinking and creativity when interpreting and understanding the changing world. Computing provides insights into both natural and artificial systems, and has deep links with mathematics and science, as well as art, and design and technology. A core part of this subject is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that all our pupils become digitally literate as active participants in an increasingly digital world, at a level suitable for the future workplace; they are able to use, express themselves through and develop ideas about information and communication technology.

Computing and class IT topics cover coding, desktop publishing, graphics, data handling, modelling, control, multimedia, animation, website design and safe use of the internet. E-safety is regularly addressed as an integral part of the subject, not only through curriculum content, but also within the responsibilities that our year 6 Digital Leaders (our safety ambassadors in school) take on board. Safer Internet Day is recognised and participated in annually, parent workshops are held in school and weekly advice is disseminated through the Friday Update newsletter, which is received by the whole school community. You can read more about our e-safety procedures here.

Technologies are always moving forward and, as a school, we pride ourselves on our proactive approach as we continue to take learning to the next level.

Drama

Drama

The aim of drama at Holy Cross Prep is to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and freedom of expression; all pupils have the opportunity to realise their dramatic potential.

Drama is an integral and enjoyable part of the school curriculum; all pupils have weekly drama lessons with a specialist drama teacher, who cultivates their creativity, imagination, communication and clarity of expression. From reception age, pupils take part in a range of activities to develop different drama skills and techniques such as freeze frame, improvisation and cross cutting.

A wide range of topics are covered during lessons, including Shakespeare, physical theatre, comedy, masks and melodrama. The drama curriculum reflects and enriches English, history and geography topics, from ‘The Great Fire of London’ to ‘Tutankhamun’,

Pupils in years 2 – 6 have the opportunity to participate in LAMDA examinations; those in years 2 & 3 have the option to work towards a choral speaking examination during lesson time. We also run a weekly after-school LAMDA club for pupils in years 4, 5 & 6, as well as a drama club for year 2 pupils to develop performance skills and provide showcase opportunities at the end of each term.

There are many opportunities for pupils to perform to an audience during the school year, and pupils take part in school productions with energy and enthusiasm. All girls participate in a Christmas nativity which is thoroughly enjoyed by pupils, parents and staff alike. In year 4 pupils take part in ‘play in a day’, which involves working on a physical theatre piece and performing their work to an audience at the end of the day. In the summer term, our year 6 girls present a musical production on a grand scale to mark their passage of time at Holy Cross; recent productions include ‘Dragon Days’ and ‘Mystery at Magpie Manor’.

Our drama curriculum is supported and reinforced by many co-curricular experiences throughout the year; every Christmas the whole school enjoys a visit to a local theatre, and a series of in-house workshops provide our pupils with the opportunity to work with specialist practitioners.

French

French

At Holy Cross Prep we treasure and nurture the gift of speaking another language. French is taught as part of our curriculum throughout the school, but we also make constant reference to the many other languages our pupils speak; we enjoy and celebrate our rich, international diversity.

Children’s innate curiosity and enthusiasm for language learning is captured from the very beginning at Holy Cross, and all pupils have timetabled French lessons from reception. At this young age they are receptive to language and involved in a programme of lively listening and singing activities, which develop a love of learning and embed authentic pronunciation and intonation.

As our girls progress through the school into Key Stage 2, the learning of basic spoken language skills is repeated and developed with an increasing emphasis on reading and writing. Pupils use French with growing confidence and competence in order to express themselves in all forms of the language and in meaningful exchanges. This positive foundation forms a sound basis for further study at senior school level and beyond, as well as for travel to French-speaking countries.

A stimulating, language learning environment in school is promoted through a series of language-themed events during each year, as well as a bespoke French classroom. Year 6 ‘host’ a French breakfast for their ‘little girls’ in reception, enjoying pain au chocolat and jus-d’orange! All pupils perform songs and plays in French, which consolidates and embeds vocabulary and meaningful utterances.

A highlight for our year 6 pupils is the annual residential trip to the French region of Burgundy, during which they are able to meet their French pen pals. The trip enhances the girls’ cultural awareness and provides the perfect opportunity to develop their language skills in an immersive programme.

Drama

The aim of drama at Holy Cross Prep is to develop self-confidence, self-esteem and freedom of expression; all pupils have the opportunity to realise their dramatic potential.

Drama is an integral and enjoyable part of the school curriculum; all pupils have weekly drama lessons with a specialist drama teacher, who cultivates their creativity, imagination, communication and clarity of expression. From reception age, pupils take part in a range of activities to develop different drama skills and techniques such as freeze frame, improvisation and cross cutting.

A wide range of topics are covered during lessons, including Shakespeare, physical theatre, comedy, masks and melodrama. The drama curriculum reflects and enriches English, history and geography topics, from ‘The Great Fire of London’ to ‘Tutankhamun’,

Pupils in years 2 – 6 have the opportunity to participate in LAMDA examinations; those in years 2 & 3 have the option to work towards a choral speaking examination during lesson time. We also run a weekly after-school LAMDA club for pupils in years 4, 5 & 6, as well as a drama club for year 2 pupils to develop performance skills and provide showcase opportunities at the end of each term.

There are many opportunities for pupils to perform to an audience during the school year, and pupils take part in school productions with energy and enthusiasm. All girls participate in a Christmas nativity which is thoroughly enjoyed by pupils, parents and staff alike. In year 4 pupils take part in ‘play in a day’, which involves working on a physical theatre piece and performing their work to an audience at the end of the day. In the summer term, our year 6 girls present a musical production on a grand scale to mark their passage of time at Holy Cross; recent productions include ‘Dragon Days’ and ‘Mystery at Magpie Manor’.

Our drama curriculum is supported and reinforced by many co-curricular experiences throughout the year; every Christmas the whole school enjoys a visit to a local theatre, and a series of in-house workshops provide our pupils with the opportunity to work with specialist practitioners.

French

At Holy Cross Prep we treasure and nurture the gift of speaking another language. French is taught as part of our curriculum throughout the school, but we also make constant reference to the many other languages our pupils speak; we enjoy and celebrate our rich, international diversity.

Children’s innate curiosity and enthusiasm for language learning is captured from the very beginning at Holy Cross, and all pupils have timetabled French lessons from reception. At this young age they are receptive to language and involved in a programme of lively listening and singing activities, which develop a love of learning and embed authentic pronunciation and intonation.

As our girls progress through the school into Key Stage 2, the learning of basic spoken language skills is repeated and developed with an increasing emphasis on reading and writing. Pupils use French with growing confidence and competence in order to express themselves in all forms of the language and in meaningful exchanges. This positive foundation forms a sound basis for further study at senior school level and beyond, as well as for travel to French-speaking countries.

A stimulating, language learning environment in school is promoted through a series of language-themed events during each year, as well as a bespoke French classroom. Year 6 ‘host’ a French breakfast for their ‘little girls’ in reception, enjoying pain au chocolat and jus-d’orange! All pupils perform songs and plays in French, which consolidates and embeds vocabulary and meaningful utterances.

A highlight for our year 6 pupils is the annual residential trip to the French region of Burgundy, during which they are able to meet their French pen pals. The trip enhances the girls’ cultural awareness and provides the perfect opportunity to develop their language skills in an immersive programme.

Music

Music

Music is an integral part of life at Holy Cross; all pupils are given the opportunity to learn an instrument and take part in a wide variety of musical activities.

Class activities focus on performance, listening skills and composition. Our pre-prep pupils have two lessons per week, which include singing and learning to play instruments. In year 2, one of these lessons takes the form of a class recorder session, to teach pupils how to read musical notation as they develop their instrument playing skills.

Junior pupils have one lesson a week, with a variety of optional extra-curricular lunchtime clubs available:

  • Orchestra
  • Choir
  • String ensemble
  • Flute group
  • Guitar group
  • Clarinet ensemble
  • Singing ensemble (smaller groups)

All pupils perform to a live audience during our Christmas Nativity plays and we also host an annual musical during the summer term, performed by the year 6. There are also many other opportunities to perform; pupils demonstrate their skills in class, assembly, Mass and concerts, either in groups or as solo performers.

The various ensembles, which change according to requirements, are run by the Director of Music, Mrs Petersons, as well as the visiting instrumental and singing teachers who teach the following instruments:

  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Classical Guitar
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • French Horn
  • Euphonium
  • Trombone
  • Cornet
  • Singing

Over half of our pupils benefit from these peripatetic lessons at school, arranged on a rota basis. All visiting teachers run informal summer concerts for parents to enjoy, and we are proud to host an ‘Evening of Music’ each spring, which features performances from our ensemble groups and soloists of the highest standard.

Many of our pupils take part in Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) external music exams for various different instruments, as well as singing. For many years, our girls have been successful in winning music scholarships to first-rate senior schools, including Lady Eleanor Holles, Surbiton High, Guildford High, Wimbledon High, Claremont Fan Court, Kingston Grammar, Wycombe Abbey, St Mary’s Ascot and St John’s.

Music is always taught in an interactive and very practical way, with enjoyment of the subject emphasised as a primary objective of each lesson; Holy Cross pupils love to make music – a passion that will stay with them for life.

PE & Games

PE & Games

At Holy Cross Prep, we nurture physical skills and fitness, as well as collaborative team effort and spirit, alongside the development of individuals’ ability.

A balanced programme promotes the development of the skills required to play all sports. As pupils progress through the school, emphasis is placed on netball, hockey and cricket, with athletics, cross country, gymnastics and dance lessons in place to complete our well-rounded curriculum. Year 2 pupils take part in a focussed 10-week programme of swimming at a local leisure centre.

Specialist teachers, or coaches, teach PE across all year groups. All pre-prep pupils have two PE lessons each week and year 2 have an extended hour-long games session. Years 3 and 4 have one PE lesson alongside a full games afternoon, and years 5 and 6 have a single lesson, plus a double games session (extended to a full afternoon on match days).

Our outstanding sports facilities include three all-weather netball courts, a floodlit 7-aside 3G hockey pitch, an artificial grass sports field for cricket and games, as well as a tailor-made cross country track. A purpose-built sports hall provides indoor space for netball matches, games lessons and gymnastics, and our dedicated sports pavilion hosts those all-important match teas.

Holy Cross Prep is renowned for excellence in netball, hockey, cross country and cricket. Every junior pupil represents the school in matches, with up to six teams per year group. Matches are played against local schools, with some of our teams competing in a number of tournaments each year. These tournaments include local and county competitions, as well as IAPS regional and national events in netball, hockey and cricket.

Music

Music is an integral part of life at Holy Cross; all pupils are given the opportunity to learn an instrument and take part in a wide variety of musical activities.

Class activities focus on performance, listening skills and composition. Our pre-prep pupils have two lessons per week, which include singing and learning to play instruments. In year 2, one of these lessons takes the form of a class recorder session, to teach pupils how to read musical notation as they develop their instrument playing skills.

Junior pupils have one lesson a week, with a variety of optional extra-curricular lunchtime clubs available:

  • Orchestra
  • Choir
  • String ensemble
  • Flute group
  • Guitar group
  • Clarinet ensemble
  • Singing ensemble (smaller groups)

All pupils perform to a live audience during our Christmas Nativity plays and we also host an annual musical during the summer term, performed by the year 6. There are also many other opportunities to perform; pupils demonstrate their skills in class, assembly, Mass and concerts, either in groups or as solo performers.

The various ensembles, which change according to requirements, are run by the Director of Music, Mrs Petersons, as well as the visiting instrumental and singing teachers who teach the following instruments:

  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Classical Guitar
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • French Horn
  • Euphonium
  • Trombone
  • Cornet
  • Singing

Over half of our pupils benefit from these peripatetic lessons at school, arranged on a rota basis. All visiting teachers run informal summer concerts for parents to enjoy, and we are proud to host an ‘Evening of Music’ each spring, which features performances from our ensemble groups and soloists of the highest standard.

Many of our pupils take part in Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) external music exams for various different instruments, as well as singing. For many years, our girls have been successful in winning music scholarships to first-rate senior schools, including Lady Eleanor Holles, Surbiton High, Guildford High, Wimbledon High, Claremont Fan Court, Kingston Grammar, Wycombe Abbey, St Mary’s Ascot and St John’s.

Music is always taught in an interactive and very practical way, with enjoyment of the subject emphasised as a primary objective of each lesson; Holy Cross pupils love to make music – a passion that will stay with them for life.

PE & Games

At Holy Cross Prep, we nurture physical skills and fitness, as well as collaborative team effort and spirit, alongside the development of individuals’ ability.

A balanced programme promotes the development of the skills required to play all sports. As pupils progress through the school, emphasis is placed on netball, hockey and cricket, with athletics, cross country, gymnastics and dance lessons in place to complete our well-rounded curriculum. Year 2 pupils take part in a focussed 10-week programme of swimming at a local leisure centre.

Specialist teachers, or coaches, teach PE across all year groups. All pre-prep pupils have two PE lessons each week and year 2 have an extended hour-long games session. Years 3 and 4 have one PE lesson alongside a full games afternoon, and years 5 and 6 have a single lesson, plus a double games session (extended to a full afternoon on match days).

Our outstanding sports facilities include three all-weather netball courts, a floodlit 7-aside 3G hockey pitch, an artificial grass sports field for cricket and games, as well as a tailor-made cross country track. A purpose-built sports hall provides indoor space for netball matches, games lessons and gymnastics, and our dedicated sports pavilion hosts those all-important match teas.

Holy Cross Prep is renowned for excellence in netball, hockey, cross country and cricket. Every junior pupil represents the school in matches, with up to six teams per year group. Matches are played against local schools, with some of our teams competing in a number of tournaments each year. These tournaments include local and county competitions, as well as IAPS regional and national events in netball, hockey and cricket.

Holy Cross Prep School

Welcome to Holy Cross Prep

Places are available in reception and through school for autumn 2020.

Please visit our Admissions page or contact admissions@holycrossprep.com for further information.

Click here to read our ISI Report (2019)

‘Pupils develop excellent levels of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline and resilience.’