Our families value the fact that their daughters can explore the world through a wealth of cultural and creative opportunities. Pre School, Reception and Year 1 pupils join together every December for the much-loved Christmas production, whilst the older pupils take part in a Celebration of Christmas. The summer term is usually rounded off in style with a musical play/performance.
We make excellent use of our proximity to London. Pupils enjoy education trips which include the Horniman Museum, Kew Gardens and the Great Fire of London. Further afield, and to encourage that first taste of independence, we offer residential trips to Carroty Wood and Flatford Mill.
Learning for Life is fundamental to the aims of Old Palace and is an important and necessary part of all students’ education.
There is a Whole School planned programme of learning through which pupils acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives and thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. We use Learning for Life to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students and to provide guidance on religious education, financial education, careers education, sex and relationship education, physical and mental health, study skills, work-related learning, citizenship, current affairs, decision making and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle. In the main, the Learning for Life programme follows the PSHE Association Programme of Study with additional aspects relevant to the girls at Old Palace. Where possible, this subject is taught simultaneously across the School, by form and class teachers, in order to allow maximum flexibility for across year events, activities, speakers and debates. All students from Years 1 -13 have timetabled, fortnightly lessons. These include:
Health and Wellbeing
Living in the Wider World
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children study PSHE as part of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, which is one of the ‘prime’ areas of development within the Foundation Stage Curriculum.
Note: Relationships and health aspects of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools from September 2020 but we have already been teaching this at Old Palace for a number of years.
Old Palace has a distinguished reputation for music and offers scholarships and exhibitions in Year 3 (we currently offer Choral Scholarships to musical girls who are able to fulfil the commitments required). All Preparatory pupils en joy a weekly music lesson as part of the curriculum.
This is enhanced by a wide variety of lunchtime and after school music clubs and choirs. Performing opportunities abound with regular recitals and concerts, both at the Preparatory School and jointly with Senior School choirs at Croydon Minster. We have also enjoyed considerable success at local music competitions.
Whether it’s scoring a goal for your team or learning a forward roll in gymnastics, our Physical Education programme has something for everyone. Our specialist sports, swimming and dance teachers truly understand that, first and foremost, Physical Education is about having fun, so it’s not hard to get Old Palace pupils developing their sporting skills, cultivating team spirit or keeping fit! With regular fixtures against other local schools, Sport at the Preparatory School is the springboard that can propel many of our children into joining outside clubs.
We also believe in the importance of competition. Sport should be competitive and we ensure that our pupils have opportunities to compete in a range of sports against other schools. Regular fixtures in Netball, Rounders, Athletics, Tennis, Cross Country, Swimming, Gymnastics and many more ensure all our pupils have the opportunity to take part.
All pupils are encouraged to come along to the sports clubs at lunchtimes and we often put out A, B and C teams for Netball and Rounders. Girls will play in at least one fixture for Rounders and Netball throughout the year and places are never set within the team. As a pupil makes progress and skills develop, they may move between the B and A team and vice versa.
Our pupils also have the opportunity to attend sports festivals and larger competitions such as the Croydon Schools Sports events. We have recently teamed up with pupils from Elmhurst School to field mixed tennis teams at local tournaments – with considerable success!
Prospective families are always surprised to discover that we have a modern, 25m swimming pool tucked away behind the Senior School. Here, every pupil from Reception upwards, enjoys regular swimming lessons.
Term Time Plus
This is our extremely popular holiday club, which is run by Old Palace staff on selected days/weeks during half terms and holidays. Further details/dates/prices can be obtained from the Preparatory School office.
“Pupils of all ages display confidence in and out of the classroom, supported by the personal, social, health, economic and educational (PSHE) programme in the Preparatory School and Learning for Life in the Senior School.”ISI Report 2016