At the Prep, we pride ourselves on providing a nurturing and challenging academic curriculum that develops pupils’ confidence; encouraging them to take risks, think independently, and question the world around them.

The curriculum is broad-based in order to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and promote enjoyment in learning.

The Prep is split into three sections: Lower Prep for Years 3 and 4, Middle Prep for Years 5 and 6 and Upper Prep for Years 7 and 8.

The Lower Prep works closely with the Pre-Prep to continue to follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC); teaching Science, History, RS and Geography thematically through appropriate and stimulating projects.  This is delivered by the form teachers, providing pupils with excellent continuity in the core academic subjects, taught by teachers trained in the pedagogy of young pupils in a nurturing and caring developmental environment.  Pupils also take lessons from specialist teachers for Music, Art, Design Technology (DT), Information Communication Technology (ICT), Physical Education (PE) and French, finding links to the IPC where appropriate.   

The Middle Prep forms the central, pivotal years in the Prep at Mount Kelly.  Pupils are now increasingly taught by specialist teachers: English, Maths, Science, French, History, Geography, Religious Studies (RS), Art, DT and Music. This requires greater autonomy on the part of pupils as they find their way around the Prep campus, however, the role of the Form Tutor is not diminished and the registration room remains a base for all pupils at morning and afternoon registration periods.

In the Upper Prep, pupils continue to experience a rigorous and varied curriculum.  As they approach the end of their time at the Prep, and prepare for entrance exams to senior schools via Common Entrance, Academic and non-Academic Scholarships, our pupils become increasingly confident. They learn to maintain a healthy balance between academia and other areas of Prep school life, alongside roles of individual responsibility such as becoming a Prefect, Head of House or even Head Boy or Head Girl.

Through engaging academic work, sports, music, drama, Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC) and our Shackleton Programmes, all Mount Kelly pupils are guided on the road for lifelong learning, empathy and personal resilience. Our Form Tutor system, in tandem with wrap-around Pastoral care, ensures that all pupils are cared for throughout their time at the Prep. Our overriding aim is to offer a broad and balanced curriculum allowing all pupils to be both stimulated and challenged to reach their full potential; in achieving this we ask our pupils to adopt a growth mind-set. Our appealing and current curriculum provides many varied opportunities for real-life learning to ensure that our pupils are fully prepared to move on to the senior school of their choice at the end of Year 8. We are a non-selective school, and yet achieve a 100% pass rate at Common Entrance to the College at Mount Kelly and a broad range of other Public Schools including, in recent years, Marlborough College, Bryanston, Sherborne Boys and Sherborne Girls, Winchester College and Eton. Additionally many of our Year 8 pupils win academic and other scholarships to a similar range of schools.


In Years 1 to 4 we use the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) to deliver our Science, History, Geography, RS, Art, DT, PE and Music topics through engaging and creative thematic units.  The units within the IPC are interesting, modern and relevant to the pupils’ lives, whilst retaining the rigour of each subject. Each unit starts with an exciting Entry Point, before the pupils explore the big themes and share their prior learning through a Knowledge Harvest. The pupils then visit the topic through each subject lens; being scientists, then geographers, then historians and so on. Each unit comes to an end with an engaging Exit Point, which is assessed by the pupils themselves, their peers and teachers. During this assessment, the pupils share their learning and experiences with their peers and other visitors to the classroom – recent such events have included a ‘What’s on the Menu?’ feast and a Victorian Afternoon (including of course Victoria sponge!). In this way, the IPC captures the imagination of all pupils in Years 1 – 4, ensuring school is engaging, stimulating and relevant to real life. Whilst literacy and numeracy skills are still taught separately, the IPC magnifies and develops all cross-curricular links. Links are made with other schools internationally where pupils are studying the same topics; the breadth and depth of this genuinely 21st century curriculum is something of which we are very proud advocates.