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Prep curriculum

We want every child to feel relaxed, happy and at home at school. We value the individual above all else and we hope that all pupils will learn to be proud of themselves and their abilities and respectful and tolerant of the individuality and abilities of others.

Childhood is precious and we want all children to have plenty of time for play, fun and laughter. With children remaining with us until they are 13, they are able to enjoy the fun of childhood in a child centred environment into their early teenage years.

Knowledge, Enlightenment and Discovery: The KED Curriculum

How it Started

The need for a new curriculum was identified early on; our gradual withdrawal of Humanities from ISEB Common Entrance testing at 13+ led to the idea that all subjects could be withdrawn, and an alternative and worthy curriculum devised to replace it.

The name of our curriculum – KED – comes from Knowledge, Enlightenment and Discovery, the name we already used for our programme of careers talks for Year 7 and Year 8.

Learning Dispositions

The learning dispositions underpin the KED curriculum.  A learning disposition defines the way a learner goes about their learning; we believe how you learn is as important as what you learn.

There are core dispositions for each year group, which we grow and build over time; for example, in Nursery, Observation and Imagination; in Year 6, Method and Resilience and in their final year, for Year 8, Self-knowledge and Evaluation.

A full list of learning dispositions for each year group is available on request.

What You Will See in the Classroom

Our classrooms look like most others and our pupils learn across the range of curriculum subjects.  Subjects are specialist taught from very early – IT, Art and Music from Year 1, for example.  In Year 5, Science is taught by a specialist and pupils have the added benefit of lessons in the Science Lab. 

All pupils learn French, adding a further language – Latin or Spanish -in Year 6.  What sets our classrooms apart is the dialogue between staff and learners.  Expect to hear pupils use the language of the learning dispositions and for lessons to actively demonstrate them.

Benefits of the KED Curriculum

Growing the learning dispositions with care, over time we develop in our pupils the concepts which allow them to meet the demands of their current and future learning, confidently.

Importantly, we are not only preparing pupils for their transition to senior school, but we are also preparing them for transitions throughout their whole lives.

Subject Areas 

Junior Years - Year 3 (B3)
Religious Studies

Learning Support


Pupils gain entry to a wide range of senior schools through pre-testing (usually in Year 7), Common Entrance at 13+, scholarship or the school’s own entrance exams. We are expert and experienced at preparing the children for the individual schools they go onto. We work hard with parents choosing the right senior school for the children so aspirations align with the abilities and development of the pupils.

The testing landscape to gain entry to senior schools changes all the time. A more recent development has seen an increase of pre-testing in Year 7, usually in the Autumn term, with tests in English, Maths and a Reasoning paper along with an interview with the Head or senior member of staff. Children will secure their place based on their pre-test.

The increase in pre-testing is one of the reasons why Bryanston Prep is moving away from Common Entrance at 13+ as we develop our own KED Curriculum. We see the last two years at Bryanston Prep as an opportunity to develop the educational experience for the pupils unshackled by not having to take Common Entrance exams. The summer of 2019 will be the last time children here sit Common Entrance papers as we embark on a new curriculum based on Knowledge, Enlightenment and Discovery (KED).

Where do our pupils go on to at 13+?

Our pupils go on to single sex and/or co-educational senior schools as well as day and/or boarding schools.

Over the past 7 years our pupils have gained entry to the following schools:

Destination school Number of pupils Scholarships
The Blandford School 1  
Bournemouth Collegiate School 1 1
Bruton School for girls 1 1
Bryanston 20 7
Canford 6 4
Clayesmore 3 2
Cranleigh 2  
Godolphin 1 3
The Gryphon School 2  
The Thomas Hardye School 3  
King’s Bruton 1  
Leweston School 6 4
Marlborough 4  

Milton Abbey School

Oundle 1  
Parkstone Grammar School 1  
Prior’s Field School 1 1
Queen Elizabeth’s School 2  
Queen Anne’s School 1  
Sherborne Girls 11 8
South Wilts Grammar 3  
St Mary’s Calne 5 2
St Mary’s Shaftesbury 14 7
St Peter’s York 1

Personal Enrichment Programme or ‘PEP’ 

PEP stands for ‘Personal Enrichment Programme’; our enrichment programme has been put together:

  • to give children the opportunity to try new activities
  • to explore aspects of things they may already do at school, but in greater detail or from a different point of view
  • to ensure children are prepared for 21stcentury life and learning

Our enrichment programme encourages children to ‘have a go’ and we hope that can-do attitude will stand them in good stead, in exam taking and their lives beyond.  Opportunities to be ‘in the community’, such as engaging with residents in a residential care home, turns children's thoughts outward and gives perspective to their lives.

PEPs are divided into three categories; the three categories are:

Academic Enrichment
Academic Enrichment expands on your learning in ways that differ from the methods used during the school day.  Activities will be fun but will impart knowledge or bring to light new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Movement/Sport Enrichment
Movement/Sport Enrichment expands on your learning in ways that differ from the methods used during the school day.  There may be opportunities to learn sports other than those on the curriculum at Bryanston Prep, to try different approaches to sports you know well and finally, to simply have fun with sport and movement.

Art/Craft Enrichment
Art/Craft Enrichment expands on your learning in ways that differ from the methods used during the school day.  Art/Craft enrichment may include the opportunity to try new crafts and to study Art History.

A few examples of our PEPs are as follows:

  • Early morning fitness
  • Interior design
  • Running club
  • Sketchbook enrichment
  • Art club
  • Public speaking
  • Plogging
  • Writing workshop
  • Animal care
  • Ancient Greek
  • Shooting practice
  • Current affairs
  • Defibrillator training
  • Chess
  • Cross-country
  • Dance sessions
  • Spelling workout
  • Dance display
  • Read & relax
  • Competitive Swimming
  • STEM
  • Spy skills
  • Pebble painting
  • Paper craft
  • Cricket
  • Drama
  • Cross stitch
  • Our planet
  • Track athletics
  • Cycling
  • Throwing
  • Polo
  • PET study (EAL)
  • Millbrook House visits
  • Track fitness
  • Rounders
  • Stop animation
  • Board games
  • Boisson et Bavardage
  • Swimming
  • Long Jump
  • Riding clinic

Teaching the Individual 

With our small class sizes, we know our pupils as individuals, recognising their strengths and weaknesses and so being able to tailor our teaching to suit them. Equally, through our learning disposition programme, we encourage pupils to recognise how they as individuals go about the process of learning and how to apply this knowledge to get the best out of the classroom.  Knowing that a child finds ‘being wrong’ extremely difficult, means helping that individual use mistake making as a positive route into new learning.  For those who see curiosity in the classroom as the slow route to the right answer, we encourage them to ‘tinker’, to generate new ideas from thinking and ‘playing’.

The value of a child being in a ‘smallish’ class (of say no more than 12) cannot be underestimated in terms of the individual attention given to each child every lesson. Over a week, a month, a term and a year the cumulative one-to-one attention from teachers adds up to provide a significant advantage for our children.

Teachers at Bryanston Prep genuinely know every child they teach; their strengths, their weaknesses and their action plan to improve. We think this is invaluable.