Senior Prep Curriculum

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From Year 1 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 Carol Singing 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, filmmaking 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. In summer term, pupils film and edit their own movies. 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. We have a Performing Arts Scholarship Programme which gives students the chance work with professional theatre companies.

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


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.


At Sherfield, geography students are encouraged to develop a real interest in their world. 

Pupils learn to care for their environment and to understand the physical landscape. 

Years 3 to 6 cover foundation skills such as sketching, planning, symbols and reading four-figure grid references. 

Exciting topics include A Village in India, Global Responsibility and North America with a focus on the Silicon Valley and its recycling issues. 

Pupils undertake project work from Year 3. They learn research, inquiry skills and independent study. 

Interactive technology such as Digimaps for School is popular. 

Year 7 pupils study map skills. They produce a storyboard for an advert encouraging people to come to Britain.

They also investigate:

Africa and Kenya. Students explore the physical and human aspects of life in Kenya
Use of Natural Resources: Children learn about the pressures humans place on the world.
Urbanisation: Pupils study the rapid movement of people into towns and cities
Glaciation, Coasts and Hydrology: Student investigate physical geography processes.

Year 8 pupils focus on:

Asia and India: Children explore the physical and human aspects of life in India
Ecosystems: Pupils identify methods of sustainably managing the rainforest
Economic Activity: Pupils consider the impacts of tourism with a trip to Lyndhurst
Weather and Climate: Students learn about British weather patterns
Population: Pupils imagine they are immigrants and plan a route from Mexico to the USA

Pupils are assessed with topic tests and end of year exams. Summative assessment is also an important indicator.

Geography trips and activities 

Trips and experiences outside the classroom are key.

Year 3 pupils visit a village to study land use. Year 4 children participate in a Skype session with a school in India.

Years 5 and 6 take part in a residential trip which includes a detailed river study.

In Year 7, pupils visit Lulworth Cove in Dorset for coastal processes study.

In Year 8, students visit the Lyndhurst - A Honey Pot site in the New Forest as part of their work on tourism.

Children also join in competitions, such as the Interhouse Geography Quiz and the Inter-School Geography Bee. 

The Prep Geography News Club keeps children updated with current affairs.


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

Language study is very popular at Sherfield prep school. 

We prepare pupils for the best academic results in languages. Students learn an appreciation of languages and cultures.

Sherfield modern languages pupils are well-prepared for life as global citizens. They study and work around the world. 

Year 3 to Year 6 students learn French and Spanish for one lesson a week per language. 

Pupils build on foundations built in Pre-Prep. They develop reading and writing skills to complement speaking and listening confidence. 

Intensive learning focuses on written language, broadening vocabulary skills with dictionaries and online resources, and support with developed sentences.

Year 7 and 8 students have three French lessons a week. They study either Spanish or Latin as a second language with two lessons a week. 

Pupils continue studying two languages to the end of Year 9. 

They are taught by senior school language specialists.

We have an after-school Spanish club for students who study Latin and would like to take up Spanish for GCSE in Year 10.   

Extra curricular language activities

Sherfield has popular lunchtime clubs for prep school language students.

Clubs include Beginners’ Italian, French Conversation, Spanish Conversation, Spanish Language Club and French Jewellery club. 

French and Spanish theatre companies perform plays at the school.


Pupils play a variety of classroom instruments during class lessons and they can also play their own instruments. From this, they get a sense of achievement and learning of theoretical knowledge. The knowledge of music theory provides further opportunity to internalise the ‘scaffolding’ of music; to understand how the notes fit together. They are encouraged to improvise on a regular basis as part of the lesson and this is only possible due to the instrumental skills that they have developed.

As pupils progress through the Prep School, they learn keyboard skills and ukulele in class to enhance their understanding of harmony and chords as building blocks of music.  They are taught to recognise complex rhythmic notation and to perform two and three part music and to write their own compositions for percussion. 
In years 6, 7 and 8, students engage in a variety of practical group-compositional tasks, computer-based activities, listening topics and singing.  These lessons are intended to develop creativity and to foster enjoyment of music but also to form the basis for moving on to KS4 Music as many of the topics we cover in KS3 Music is repeated in more depth later on.

Choir, Instrumental lessons, and Events

There are many opportunities for performance.  All pupils are expected to sing in the Prep Choir and can also join the Chamber Choir and Sherfield Singers, who perform at additional events. Highlights of the year are Harvest Festival, Carol singing, the annual Prep and Senior Musical Productions and celebration assemblies. We also run termly general or themed music concerts in which students have the opportunity to perform to an audience in one of our many beautiful concert venues.

When students have reached a good level of playing, they can join the “Sherberts” Wind Ensemble, Brass Group, Chamber Ensemble or String Group and they can also join various rock bands. There are lots of opportunities for students to perform in evening and lunchtime concerts or during assemblies at Sherfield.  Additional tuition is available on a variety of instruments and this program runs throughout the school day.

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.

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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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