Senior Prep Curriculum

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Senior Prep pupils are taught Art by teachers who are themselves working Artists and understand the design process from conception to completion both in Fine Art and Commercial Art.


Art history is studied through researching traditional and contemporary Artists from countries worldwide covering many disciplines including, drawing, painting, printing, textiles, sculpture, mosaics and ceramics.


Art enables the children to create something that was previously only imagined, helping them to communicate ideas, feelings and develop solutions to problems working both independently and in groups.


We teach Prep School art in a large bright studio where pupils learn in a spacious, well equipped environment. They develop and share ideas through drawing, painting and sculpture and learn about colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. Pupils study a range of inspiring artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh, George Seurat, Andy Goldsworthy, Niki de Saint Phalle and David Hockney.


We compare past artists and craftspeople from different cultures to teach pupils about art’s diversity and impact. Pupils use sketchbooks and are encouraged to research and record ideas for finished proposals.

Final pieces use media such as pencil, charcoal, pastel, watercolour, acrylic, batik, clay, wire and willow. Children also learn Papier-mâché, silk painting, mosaic, mono-printing and etching. Drawing from observation and imagination is encouraged. We take regular trips to galleries and sculpture parks.


In Years 3 to 6 children develop their computing thinking and become even more comfortable with ICT.

They extend their knowledge programming with Discovery Coding and Logo. Pupils create a wide range of exciting apps and games. They learn how to use computers to create simulations and to model solutions to problems.

Units on word processing, databases, spreadsheets and computer graphics help children develop skills which support learning across the curriculum.

Year 7 to 8 pupils enjoy dedicated Computing lessons where they develop knowledge and skills to a very high standard.  

Pupils at this level cover Computers in detail which includes some of the following theory topics:

  • Ethical, Environmental and Legal issues surrounding the industry
  • Programming using LOGO and Small Basic
  • Utility and Application software, and their differences
  • Networks and their topologies
  • Boolean Logic

All children are encouraged to be confident, independent users of modern technology and use the well-equipped ICT suite in Buckfield.

Children with computing ability can act as Peer Tutors. They have extra opportunities to extend their skills in lessons and in Computing club. They build confidence and develop team working and leadership skills.

Design & Technology

Practical projects are central to Design Technology at Sherfield Prep. 

Pupils learn problem solving, design and construction. 

They design products and individual responses to project briefs.  

Design and Technology is taught on rotation with art. Each year group has one double lesson a week.

In Year 2, students explore materials and structures with projects based on bridges, moving toys and textile decorations.

Years 3 to 6 learn about materials. They learn practical and design skills. Pupils cover topics such as mechanisms, cooking and nutrition, and technical developments. 

In Design and Make, students make a product they have designed. 

Projects range from no-sew-cushions in Year 3 to designing chocolate bars in Year 6.

Year 7 and 8 students use Design and Make to learn about materials and processes. 

Projects include making trinket boxes and 3D printing robots using computer aided design. 

Pupils can take part in the STEM club for budding engineers. They compete in local technology competitions.

We ensure continuity of course content and structure from Prep to Senior school.


Sherfield School drama lessons are very popular.


Annual production highlights for children and proud parents include the Harvest Festival, the Christmas Carol Concert, Speech day and the Prep School production.


Prep children build on their Pre Prep performing arts confidence. They learn stagecraft with performances, lessons and extra-curricular activities. Creativity and imagination are key. Pupils explore theatrical styles, genres and techniques and learn a deep appreciation of the performing arts.


Theatre and drama clubs

At Prep level, children explore vocal and physical expression. They learn complex narrative and presentation skills with storytelling, vocal performance, storyboarding and puppetry.

Pupils also learn theatre tech skills such as lighting, props, costume, sound and stage management. They develop critical skills by commenting on work including their own.

Prep pupils can also join our thriving extra-curricular drama clubs.  They take part in school productions and trips to see professional productions. 


Exams and scholarships

Sherfield Students can take graded LAMDA exams to work with directors and prepare speeches to a high standard.

Our links with Stagecoach Theatre Arts School gives pupils exposure to the local theatre scene and the chance to work with talented teachers and students.


For more information please click here to visit the Sherfield School Performing Arts Website.


Our outstanding Prep School English curriculum and teachers give pupils the skills they need for all-round academic and career success.

Ensuring our pupils develop strong reading, writing, speaking and listening skills is key. We use drama, discussions and oral presentations to enhance language and confidence. Prep School pupils participate in drama productions and regularly lead assemblies.

Spelling, handwriting and grammar are at the heart of lessons. Each pupil has regular spelling practice. Grammar is integrated into daily teaching. Pupils learn to write with a cursive script. Prep School pupils have daily English lessons. They work in ability-level and mixed ability groups.

Reading programmes, events and library sessions

Regular reading is actively promoted in the classroom and with national events such as Book Week.

Pupils are encouraged to take books home and to use our well-stocked library. Children have a dedicated library session each week. Special events bring English lessons to life. Children enjoy visits to exciting displays such as the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery and theatre trips.

Sherfield pupils enter a range of writing competitions, such as the BBC 500 Words, ISA Essay competitions and the Rebus Poetry competition.


Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’ Michael Palin

The Geography Department at Sherfield encourages all pupils to develop an awareness of, and interest in, the world around them. Through a variety of teaching methods pupils learn about the physical processes at work on the Earth and how people influence and interact with them.

The study of Geography as a specialist subject from Year R to Year 13, allows pupils to develop an acute awareness and understanding of the world in which they live. They are taught not to accept things at face value, but to ask questions to broaden their horizons and develop their own opinions about world issues.

Geography is truly a cross-curricular subject and pupils develop a wide range of skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and analysing data, understanding and drawing maps at a range of scales, and using ICT to communicate and develop ideas.

In year 5&6, pupils study Geography in a thematic format linking subjects in each theme.

In year 5 the themes are:

  • Explorers, Invaders and Settlers (what makes the best settlement site and why?)
  • Frozen Kingdom (exploring the frozen worlds of the Arctic and Antarctica)
  • Mysteries (how to geological features today tell us about past geographical events?)
  • Tropical Adventures (a journey along the Amazon River)

In year 6 the themes are:

  • Behind Enemy Lines (a study of Europe today in comparison with war time)
  • The Victorians (the development of trade and economic development)
  • Wild Wild West (a study of North America)
  • Impossible Journeys (what causes people to migrate and what impacts does it have?)

In Year 7 pupils study;

  • Map Skills – learn all the skills required to use an OS map with confidence
  • Africa and Kenya – a country study to explore the physical and human aspects of life in Kenya
  • Globalisation – part of the Project Based Learning programme
  • Global Biomes – a comparison of biomes around the world
  • Rivers & Coasts – an understanding physical geography processes


In Year 8 pupils study;

  • Tectonic Hazards – how does the Earth’s structure trigger natural hazards?
  • Natural Resources – the ongoing battle between renewable and non-renewable resources
  • Economic Activity – pupils consider the impacts of tourism with a trip to Lyndhurst
  • The Geography of Russia – what is it really like in the largest country in the world?


Fieldwork is an integral part of Geography and the Department runs a selection of fieldtrips for most year groups. Fieldwork skills are developed to consolidate concepts introduced in the classroom. All expeditions are undertaken in accordance with the schools outdoor visits / risk assessment procedures and the safety of adults and children is paramount.


Current fieldtrips in the Prep school include:


Year 7 – Lulworth Cove, Dorset (summer term)

Year 8 – Lyndhurst, A Honey Pot site in the New Forest (spring term)


At Sherfield, we know an exciting study of history encourages curiosity about the past. 

Pupils are encouraged to think about how the past influences the present and how beliefs and cultures influence actions.  

Children learn to use evidence and research to make their own conclusions. 

History degrees lead to wide range of careers in areas such as the media, law, accountancy, business and finance.

At Sherfield, pupils experience a range of historical activities and skills.

Year 3 children study Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. They use role play and archaeological evidence to develop enquiry skills. They visit the British Museum in London.

Year 4 children learn about Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greeks and Famous People. They are taught to make deductions about artefacts. They learn to classify information.

They accompany Year 3 pupils to the British Museum.

Year 5 pupils study the Tudors and Stuarts. They focus on Henry VIII, lifestyles and Tudor exploration. They visit Hampton Court Palace.

Year 6 pupils focus on the Victorians and What Life Was Like For a Child in World War 2. 

They visit the Victorian school room in Reading to learn more about education and child labour.

Years 7 to 8 students gain a chronological understanding of Britain’s history and the world from 1066 to the mid-eighteenth century. They learn source analysis and interpretation skills. 

Year 8 students consider subjects such as Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and the Spanish Armada, James I and the Gunpowder Plot, Charles I and the English Civil War and Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector.


The Sherfield mathematics curriculum has a strong practical emphasis. 

We nurture curiosity while preparing pupils for academic success. Maths is taught in an enthusiastic way.

We use examples of maths in the real world. 

Practical work ranges from graphical and measurement exercises to designing and calculating business costs. 

Children focus on new concepts, investigation and problem solving.

As they progress, pupils develop economic awareness with broader project work involving pricing and budgeting.

Talented mathematicians work on complex real life problems.

We use the Abacus Evolve maths scheme to develop core skills from Years 3 to 6 supported by online interactive programmes.

Years 7 and 8 pupils begin the process of preparing for GCSE. 

Students develop skills for set programmes of study. They also learn to think outside boundaries. 

Ability groups

Sherfield has three ability sets in Year 7 and 8. 

We follow the MyMaths Programme, which encompasses the tougher Key Stage Three curriculum and the real life application of maths topics. 

The scheme focuses on problem-solving. This is an important component of GCSE. 

Maths activities and challenges

Year 7 and 8 students enjoy a range of exciting activities.

They celebrate Pi Day and take part in maths clinics and drop in sessions.

Talented students participate in UK Mathematics Trust Challenges. Sherfield also runs internal maths competitions.

Modern Foreign Languages

 If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.  Nelson Mandela


Sherfield modern language pupils are well-prepared for life as global citizens.

In Y5-6, pupils have 1 period a week, study both French and Spanish and build on foundations taught in Pre-Prep. They develop reading and writing skills to complement speaking and listening confidence. Pupils are taught by language specialists.

In Y7-8, pupils have 3 period a fortnight of each language and learning focuses equally on the four skills, Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Subject specialists deliver all language lessons and have high expectations, inspiring pupils to learn, question and achieve their best. At the end of Y8, pupils will choose their options. Languages are not compulsory at GCSE level, however we strongly advise pupils to take up one or two languages.


Extra-Curricular activities

The languages department run popular language clubs such as French and Spanish conversations or film club.  

Trips provide a first-hand encounter with the language and culture. We currently have an annual and reciprocal educational trip to Normandy and Paris in partnership with another GEMS school Ecole Des Roches (EDR) in France. Other tips have included a visit to Brussels, Lille and a language study trip to Cadiz.

Visiting theatre companies also perform plays in French and Spanish at the school.


Music plays an important role throughout Sherfield School, whether pupils are learning as part of their day to day curriculum or whether they take up instruments or join in with the many choirs, bands and ensembles, both traditional and contemporary. All pupils in Senior Prep take part in a weekly choir session with the chance to perform in school events and productions, including our annual trip to perform in Young Voices.


In Senior Prep pupils enjoy learning about a range of topics including Jazz & Blues, African Drumming, Ukulele, Writing A Pop Song, Indian Music and Film Music with a strong focus on practical performance and composition based outcomes, as well as the holistic development of listening and appraisal skills.

Music lessons with peripatetic teachers are currently available for piano, electric and acoustic guitar, voice, drums, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and tenor horn.


If your child would like to take up a different instrument please contact the Music Department through Main Reception 01256 884 800.

Physical Education

Sherfield School has a thriving Physical Education curriculum. Our facilities and extensive grounds are outstanding. Each pupil learns health and fitness.

Many Sherfield pupils achieve top sports results at regional and national level. Senior school students have one PE lesson and one games afternoon a week. They also enjoy regular fixtures with other schools.

Sports played at Sherfield include football, netball, rugby, cricket, badminton, tennis, cross country running, athletics, basketball, hockey, judo, golf, gymnastics, swimming, skiing, dance, and outdoor adventure activities which include orienteering and caving.

Many Sherfield School pupils complete a Duke of Edinburgh Award in outdoor adventure activities. Our sports teams play competitively at junior and senior level. Sherfield School cricket players often represent county teams. Sherfield School hosts the ISA Cross Country London West Championships every year. We also have a strong partnerships programme with local sports organisations.

To find out more, email


Personal, Social and Health Education is the core of Sherfield teaching and learning. Our Prep School PSHE programmes encourage our students to positively influence society.

We teach children to become confident, healthy, independent and responsible individuals. In PSHE, students solve problems with role-play, brainstorming, discussion, drama, and debate.

Sherfield pupils learn to contribute by building on confidence and self-esteem.

Children are taught to stand up and be heard.

Religious Education

Years 3 to 6 children study Religious Education in depth. They explore Christianity, Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam. 

Pupils learn to:

Develop knowledge and respond to principal world faiths
Explore different issues in faiths to learn understanding and respect
Understand different religions, beliefs, values and traditions
Understand religion’s influence on individuals, societies, communities and cultures
Develop their sense of identity and belonging
Reflect on their beliefs, values and practices

Years 7 and 8 pupils learn tolerance of different beliefs. They focus on liberty and mutual respect. 

Children study the origins of the six main faiths. They examine places of worship and religious symbols. 

Pupils give a presentation based on their own research of places of worship in the UK. 

Year 8 students consider the debate between science and the bible on evolution and creation. 

Ideas such as human rights, punishment, the existence of God and protecting the planet are examined.

Religious Education is a lively, active subject. Children take part in discussion and drama. They use artefacts, pictures and stories. They learn to reflect.


At Sherfield School, science lessons stimulate children’s curiosity and enthusiasm in their world.

Our generous science timetable is enhanced by specialised science teachers. Lessons extend beyond revised Key stage 2 National Curriculum requirements. Sherfield’s new Prep laboratory is ideal for practical science tasks enjoyed by Year 3 to Year 6 pupils. All pupils from Year 3 have weekly access to this dedicated facility.

The school’s grounds offer a wealth of habitats from ponds to woodland. Children have fantastic opportunities to learn first-hand out of the classroom.

Pupils have regular educational visits. Ecological and environmental studies form a large part of the annual Year 5 and 6 Dartmoor residential trip.

In Years 7 and 8, science is taught as separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics subjects.

The Senior School Science Department teaches in the main school laboratories.

Pupils have an excellent platform for GCSE studies and beyond.


Sports play an important and very enjoyable part in the lives of many Sherfield pupils. Sport is part of the curriculum. We have teams and events for all levels.

Fixtures with other schools feature regularly on the school calendar.

Sports at Sherfield include:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Horse-riding
  • Netball
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Swimming

Matches against other schools are a regular feature from Year 3 upwards.

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