Frequently asked questions
Please select a question to show the answer.
What happens if my child can't cope with three languages?
Learning to speak is a natural development for most children. Learning to speak 2 or more languages at a young age is something most children will just take in their stride – unlike music or sport, where children have a talent, being educated multilingually is a natural step in communication as the young brain is programmed to deal with language acquisition. Some pupils may have issues with reading and writing in more than one language – in these cases we will work with our ALNCo and parents to put in place an appropriate individual timetable – this may well include accessing the three spoken languages but limiting the reading and writing to just English. There is no reason why a child with learning difficulties cannot still become fluent in other languages.
Can we just opt for just English or Welsh/English or Spanish/English?
All three languages are taught throughout the school but not at the expense of a solid foundation in English. (See below)
Will English standards be sacrificed if three languages are being taught not just one?
Whilst it is our intention that children be confident communicators in three languages, we appreciate that English and literacy skills CANNOT be allowed to suffer because of this emphasis. Our Prep staff working closely with our senior school English Department to ensure that, on leaving the Prep, English skills are as good (if not better) than similar aged monoglots.
What happens after year 6?
Our senior school accommodates pupils coming up through the Prep and they are offered a curriculum which embraces and encourages their language skills. It is fully expected pupils who have attended our Prep will be able to sit early GCSEs in Spanish and Welsh and possibly AS levels. There are many opportunities within the school day to use the different languages thereby keeping them ‘alive’. For children not staying on in Year 7, we would suggest exposure to Welsh and Spanish be continued and will be more than happy to assist families in accessing private language lessons if required.
Will other subjects in the curriculum still be taught?
All areas of the curriculum are studied in line with recommendations from WAG and ESTYN.
What if my child is dyslexic?
Many children with a diagnosis of dyslexia find speaking another language as easy as other children and therefore we would expect to see normal progression with the spoken language aspects of their education – writing and reading would be assessed and discussed on an individual basis.
My child is in year 4, has not done any Spanish and only very basic Welsh - will they catch up?
The way we embed Spanish and Welsh in the school day means children pick up the languages at their own pace – one to one sessions ensure that they get the right help at the appropriate level. Fast track sessions at additional cost are available but are by no means essential.
My child has been to a Welsh medium school and is not yet reading in English whereas his peers in the Englsh stream are well ahead. Will he get further behind at your school?
Children all learn at different paces but frequently when one or two additionallanguages are introduced initially learning might seem to slow down. This is generally followed by huge leaps forward as the child processes the different tongues and gets to grips with each.
Is it only more able and talented children that thrive in multilingual education?
Learning languages from an early age is based on exposure and not ability. This means any child in main stream can access our multilingual approach. It offers all pupils the opportunity to gain life long skills that will enhance their education and employability. Our varied curriculum, which also embraces outdoor learning and creative thinking, lends itself to all learners. Please do not think that children have to be more able and talented to thrive in a multilingual environment – it is just not true.
What sports do you do at the prep school?
Over the course of the school year pupils cover a full programme of team sports and individual sports, have swimming lessons (life saving for competent swimmers) and have access to after school sports clubs. We have our own facilities while some activities take place at the Bloomfield Centre in Narberth including tennis and badminton. Musical movement and dance are incorporated in the curriculum.
What is ASC?
Adventure Service Challenge is a pre-curser to the very popular Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme that we encourage when pupils reach KS4. Our KS2 pupils will take part in the ASC which will give them opportunities to camp, volunteer and take up a new hobby. They will learn valuable skills such as cooking, road awareness and first aid. ASC will take place on the Outdoor Schools Day.
Is there transport to the school?
We run minibuses covering all the main routes in the county and beyond. Please ask our admin office for further details and costs.
Do the prep and senior school mix?
Yes – we are very keen that our younger years benefit from the older pupils who provide excellent role models. In turn, mixing with younger children teaches tolerance and kindness. KS2 have at least half a day a week at the senior school using the laboratories and seeing how life in a secondary school works. This provides excellent transition experiences.
My child has learning difficulties. Can you support these?
We have a very experienced ALNco within the school who will meet with any parents to discuss any additional learning needs you feel your child may have.
Is uniform compulsory?
Yes. When we opened we offered parents the choice of not having a uniform – without exception people were in favour of a fairly formal uniform with robust uniform policy. We have a more casual dress code for outdoor events.
Are there lots of additional costs?
We try to keep costs to a minimum but also balance this with additional opportunities. Some events may be offered at an additional cost – theatre trips, activity trips etc. We endeavour to keep charges as low as possible without compromising the quality of the experience. Where possible we organise our own trips to minimise the expense of ‘middle men’.