Aims and Ethos
This is our Mission Statement for The Oratory Preparatory School
To respect each child as an individual and give each child the confidence and self esteem to develop his or her talents to the full.
"Vertical" tutor groups including pupils from Years 6-8 help to break down barriers between year groups and create opportunities for peer mentoring and modelling of confident yet thoughtful behaviour by older pupils.
Small class sizes create many opportunities for personal development through participation
Opportunities for self-expression, participation and performance in Department assemblies, plays, public speaking events such as English Speaking Board assessments. Many opportunities to represent the School in sports fixtures, thus developing teamwork, leadership and self-esteem.
To develop the whole child: Intellectually, morally, socially, spiritually, aesthetically and physically.
A wide range of academic subjects, including Latin, taught expertly by specialists and with excellent facilities.
Personal and Social Education lessons cover key moral issues for young people. A rich and rigorous Religious Education programme ensures that children are both well-informed about the Catholic and other faiths, and develop as enquiring philosophical thinkers.
A vibrant music department, with lots of opportunities for performance and enjoyment of others’ talents. A strong art department, with an enviable record of scholarships. Many and varied opportunities for participation in dramatic performances, from a comedy nativity play or a piece about St Thomas a Beckett in a history assembly to a part in Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat or Othello!
PE lessons develop core physical skills for all. A full programme of matches in a wide variety of sports enables children to express themselves physically in a carefully controlled competitive environment.
To develop and effective three-way partnership between children, parents and school.
Good relationships mean that pupils communicate with staff easily and naturally. The annually elected School Council, which includes pupils from Year 3 to Year 8, represents the views of the pupils to the Headmaster and senior staff. Small tutor groups (10-12 pupils) create a relaxed forum for discussion and healthy debate. Prefects, especially the Head and Deputy Head Prefects) represent the views of the pupils to the Headmaster and the Deputy Head (School Management).
The school communicates with parents through weekly Newsletters, regular emailed updates, 3-weekly report cards which are emailed home, and good lines of communication between tutors and parents, whose children, if they have more than one, normally have the same tutor. The Headmaster hosts regular coffee mornings with parents from a year group or two, at which concerns can be raised, as well as annual “Open Forums”, which are open to all parents. Of course, the Headmaster is always happy to meet with parents to discuss issues of concern.
As a Catholic School, to offer the experience of living in a Christian community and to encourage a personal relationship with God through prayer and participation in worship.
Father Kenneth Macnab is our School Chaplain, a role he also carries out at The Oratory School. As a priest he is a very visible presence in the lives of the pupils, saying Mass several times a week as well as interacting with the children in innumerable less formal ways, such as on the Year 7 cultural and spiritual trip to Rome. We pray every day, so prayer becomes a normal part of the rhythm of the pupils’ day, and we back this up with “Thought for the Day” spiritual talks by the Headmaster and other staff in Assemblies.