5 things to do today at Sherborne Preparatory School

Founded in 1858, Sherborne Prep is traditional yet presents a global outlook. A vibrant co-educational experience for pupils aged 3-13 who seize the myriad of opportunities available to them to move onto notable senior schools including the nearby Sherborne schools with whom Sherborne Prep has strong relationships. Superb sport, music, creative arts accompany academic stretch. Sherborne Prep really does prepare its pupils for future pathways.

Sherborne Prep offers an extensive variety of activities for its pupils. Here are five things that you can do if you attend the School in Sherborne, Dorset.  Here are five things to do whilst studying at the School.

1. Sing in the glorious fan vaulting in Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Prep’s choristers sing in the Abbey under the Abbey’s Choir Master, also Director of Music at Sherborne School, the quite superb Jamie Henderson. Sherborne Prep pupils enjoy the ambiance and spirituality of this wonderful church, which Simone Jenkins described in his book, England’s Thousand Best Churches as ‘I would pit Sherborne’s roof against any contemporary work of the Italian Renaissance’.  Pupils experience the magical Abbey throughout their educational journey – the School uses the Abbey for significant occasions including the magical Christmas carol service where the descant to ‘Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing’ fills the cavernous Abbey.  Situated at the heart of Sherborne’s vibrant local community, the Abbey was built in about 1140 following a Romanesque style. The beauty of its architecture provides an inspirational backdrop whether you are performing or listening, worshipping, or just enjoying a few moments of private contemplation.

2. Enjoy the town location and local community in a rural setting.

Sherborne Prep pupils have the enviable educational environment on a twelve-acre site.  They also enjoy outdoor learning lessons at a 22-acre site on the nearby Sherborne Castle Estates.  Given the proximity of both Sherborne senior schools, they also benefit from use of the excellent Sherborne School and Sherborne Girls’ facilities to add provision to the School’s extensive co-curricular programme. Sherborne Prep has a sense of space, yet it considers itself a town school embedded within the local community. Pupils are actively involved in community action work, supporting local care homes and the local community kitchen whilst forging links with the Sherborne community. Pupils in the older years and boarders enjoy the proximity to the local amenities and the sense of freedom this allows.

3. Boarding.

With options for full, flexi and weekly boarding, the co-educational community feel of the boarding house is family-orientated with the Housemaster’s own three young children levelling a sense of normality.  Within the House, the School’s values are the handrail – kindness and inclusivity with the older children supporting younger boarders.  With a full and varied boarding package throughout the week, weekends are filled with a whole school busy Saturday activity programme and trips to explore the South West.  Sherborne Prep boarding truly is a ‘home from home’ with many pupils enjoying the flexi-boarding option to have a couple of nights at a home away from home experience with their boarding buddies. 

4. Sherborne School Chapel.

Sherborne Prep pupils are privileged to enjoy the historic splendour of the Sherborne School chapel for worship and School occasions. Access to the chapel is via a short walk up the war memorial staircase past the names of 460 Shirburnians who died in the two World Wars.  Some, past pupils of the Prep school.  Completed in silence, Sherborne Prep pupils take a moment to reflect upon the impact of these two conflicts whilst the carved pulpit, choir stalls and chancel screens completed in 1929 encourages pupils to reflect upon the strength of character and commitment shown by those who gave their lives. The Sherborne Prep motto ‘Non Nobis Solum’ meaning ‘not for ourselves alone,’ is truly reinforced.

5. Get involved in the Saturday morning programme.

Many schools offer activities on a Saturday, however pupils at Sherborne Prep really do have incredible opportunity at their fingertips. Saturdays are a merry-go-round of creative activities such as junk modelling and origami, drama and music lessons alongside community and environmental activities we well as an extensive sporting programme. Although entirely voluntary over 90% of Sherborne Prep pupils attend and choose from the three one hour activities which vary each term.  Sherborne Prep us all about educating the whole child

It is no wonder that Sherborne Prep describes itself as a thriving School.   Despite being non-selective, the academics are designed to stretch without being a ‘hot house’, as the familiar words heard by parents, staff and pupils alike, is that Sherborne Prep is a school where children can be children.  Clearly, a haven where every child is nurtured, supported, and prepared to be ready for the world.

Where staff are invested in the community and care about their relationships with parents, pupils and each other; and importantly, the relationships between the pupils.  Making time to interact, communicate, and to nurture, they gently guide, cajole and support reflection on the good and the bad.  For the greatest time for a child to learn is reflecting on their mistakes, as even the best of characters can get it wrong – a view that Barack Obama wholly subscribes to. It is here that Sherborne Prep’s teaching staff are at their very best, aiding their charges to look inwards, to understand the consequences of their decisions and actions, and gently supporting them to understand how to become a better citizen of good character.