Spirit and Ethos
The benefits of a co-educational prep school with a strong disciplinary and pastoral framework are immense. Full participation, enthusiasm for all aspects of school life, and opportunity for all are maxims central to our ethos.
We do not run a university for small children, nor do we attempt to accelerate their ageing. Children normally spend about ten years here – it cannot be shortened! The key to success is to organise things so that there is a steady and high expectation of achievement in all areas without excessive pressure.
The size of the school means we know all the children well – along with all their personalities, and their little foibles. Do not pick this school if you want your children submerged in a crowd, or standing in a queue behind brighter lights. We look after them all.
Peer relationships are the key to happiness at school. There is a simple but rigorously reinforced code of behaviour, based on the word respect – for you yourself, for others, for personal space, for property. Good traditional stuff – and it works.
A school of about 300 children is not exactly small, but we do limit the school's size to forty children in a year, twenty in a class, in two-forms (thirty-six, eighteen per class in Little Court) entry, and this in an area of the country where three, four or five classes of well-over twenty in a year group is not uncommon in some schools. As a result we know the children well, and all children have the chance to participate. At Ripley Court, you will see your child in the scrum, not on the touchline.
We feel this is much more normal and natural, particularly at this age. We are very co-ed (150 boys, 130 girls at last update of this site.)
We keep it broad but simple – with tuition in English, Maths, French, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Latin, Computers, Art, Food Technology, Design Technology, Music, Games, Physical Education and Swimming. There are also other opportunities to explore other interests during the Hobbies sessions or in after-hours activities.
About half the tuition time is devoted to the four core subjects (English, Maths, French and Science), over five hours a week to physical activities, and the rest to the other subjects.