Prep Enrichment Weeks

For one week in the academic year the School has a particular theme, normally reflecting the story of one of the School’s major drama productions. The children explore a topic with visiting speakers, artists, themed events, lunches and activities. In recent years the children have enjoyed Revolting Roald Dahl Week, What the Dickens Week and Dare to be different week.

Throughout Revolting Roald Dahl Week pupils enjoyed a wide range of organised activities all inspired by the Roald Dahl’s famous stories and poems. With Wonka bars up for grabs for the best costumes there was a fabulous parade of Roald Dahl characters at School, including several foxes, a golden ticket, a peach and even a blueberry. Pupils tested their knowledge of his famous stories by following a literature trail displayed around School and towards the end of the week savoured a nose-wrinkling lunch of plushnuggets, Hansel and Gretel spare-ribs and finishing with a plate of soil with engine oil; all legitimate recipes from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes.

Years 3 and 4 welcomed professional story teller, Lucy Walters, to the library where pupils listened to Roald Dahl’s versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Jack and the Beanstalk. Finally, illustrator Patrick Benson, famous for creating the beautiful pictures in Roald Dahl’s the Minpins, led an inspirational drawing masterclass.

Funds raised throughout the week will go to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist, which the Senior Forms were performing an adaptation of for their annual School play, the School spent an entire week going Dickens mad, with a ‘What the Dickens’ week. Dedicating a whole week to one of Britain’s most celebrated authors, pupils, through a wide range of Dickensian activities,  learnt about some of the stories he wrote and the characters he created.

Every morning pupils were greeted by a different Charles Dickens’ character, such as Mr Bumble and Scrooge. Parents, pupils and staff had great fun, guessing who the characters were.

Located at the School entrance behind an authentic bay window the School created its very own ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ which was open for business all week. Pupils enjoyed searching through the dusty objects on an old Welsh dresser to uncover a variety of Victoriana and guessing its purpose.

During ‘What the Dickens’ week pupils were thrilled when the original Oliver, Mark Lester, visited the Prep School. Star of the 1968 film, came into School to talk to the cast of  the Christmas performance, Oliver! The Musical.

Dean Close pupil Cameron Stephens, who played Oliver in the School production said: “Meeting Mark was thrilling. He signed my cap and gave me some useful ideas about the interpretation of my character. I am really looking forward to performing along with the rest of the cast who are brilliant.”

Throughout the week the School chose to support one of Britain’s oldest Victorian children’s charities – Barnardo’s, by collecting coppers and small change. Barnardo’s was founded in 1866 to care for vulnerable children and young people.

Lunch was transformed into a Victorian feast as pupils dined on Victorian favourites such as game pie, delicious plum duff and baked apple dumplings.

Finally, the School’s archive department created a fabulous display of photographs and artefacts from the School’s first days for pupils and staff to learn what school might have been like 130 years ago, when the school first opened in 1886.



talks@ is a new initiative aimed at introducing our senior pupils to individuals, concepts and ideas from all walks of life. By introducing them to a wide range of topics and ideas we hope to broaden their horizons, expand their minds and inspire and motivate them in their daily lives.

Once a term, the School invites an external speaker to come and present to our Years 6, 7 and 8s about their work, ideas or achievements.  Topics are wide-ranging, from science to history, philosophy to sport, and many more, with pupils given the opportunity to ask questions.

Parents are also very welcome to join us and enjoy a cup of coffee with staff afterwards.

Previous talks@

Alex Hibbert, Polar Explorer

Alex spoke to parents, staff and children about one of his expeditions that just didn’t go at all to plan – But when facing adversity, Alex made the best of his situation, which resulted in his team and him having their best experience in the Arctic yet!


Life as a World War 1 Soldier and Nurse

As part of an extensive programme to commemorate the end of WW1, the School  invited Sergeant George Riley (Tony Davies) and Nurse Henrietta Hall (CJ) to talk about the War from a soldier’s and a nurse’s perspective. The children learnt all about the uniform a newly recruited WW1 soldier would have worn, how WW1 started, the contribution women made to the war effort and how the aftermath of the war is still felt in areas of France where 1000s of unexploded shells still remain.


Aspiring astronaut and Flight Lieutenant Kerry Bennett

To demonstrate the themes of dream big, work hard and don’t give up when things don’t go to plan, Kerry spoke to parents, staff and children about her journey to becoming an RAF Pilot and the challenges she faced on the BBC Two television series, ‘Astronauts. Do you have what it takes?’

Educating girls in the DRC

Humanitarian and philanthropist, Noella Coursaris Munsunka, gave a moving talk to pupils about how girls in the DRC, a country where there are 70 million people and 7 million children don’t go to school, are being educated by Malaika, the school she founded 10 years ago.

The Life of a Palaeontologist!

Pupils learned that although many children are attracted to palaeontology because they love dinosaurs, in fact palaeontologists study all kinds of ancient life, from fossil bacteria to fossil humans. Dr Treatman-Clark shared her own journey from a dinosaur loving 4-year-old to professional palaeoprimatologist who has studied living and fossil lemurs in Madagascar.

Olympic Hockey Gold-Medallist Alex Danson

Pupils were thrilled to welcome Team GB Olympic Women’s Hockey Gold-Medallist, Alex Danson, to School. Alex gave the pupils an inspirational presentation about setting personal goals before signing hockey sticks, hockey balls and trainers; she even signed one pupil’s cast! Pupils from the Girls’ 1st and 2nd Hockey Team then had the privilege of a hockey masterclass with Alex on one of the astroturf pitches.

  • Pyemont brothers – The Gunpowder Plot
  • Dr Treatman-Clark – The life of a palaeontologist
  • Alex Danson – Olympic hockey player
  • Noella Coursaris Munsunka – Educating girls in the DRC
  • John Willis – Lawyer and founder of the charity Power2inspire
  • Amy – an NCSC (National Computer Security Center) Technical Specialist, promoting Computer Science
  • Flight Lieutenant Kerry Bennett – Contestant on the BBC Two series ‘Astronauts: do you have what it takes?’
  • World War 1 soldier (Tony Davies) and nurse Henrietta Hall (CJ) – World War 1 from a soldier’s and a nurse’s perspective.



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