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What is the difference between a prep school and a state primary?

Unlike primary schools, prep schools are designed to help pupils prepare for entrance exams. In contrast to this, primary schools often have a policy of not helping pupils to prepare for entrance exams because they want to create a Utopia situation.

Of course, the main difference between prep schools and state primaries is that prep schools charge fees.

The cohort of pupils will be different in a prep school as there will be a smaller variety of backgrounds. This is because parents traditionally only send their children to a prep school if they attended one themselves. Other parents might not even consider it, either because they don’t know they exist or because of the large fees that accompany sending the child there.

The amount of extra-curricular activities offered at prep schools is often much larger than at state primaries. This is because they have more money to be able to provide activities with. Examples of these activities include music lessons, sports sessions and a wider variety of languages taught. The assortment of instruments taught or sports engaged in will be much larger in a prep school.

Children who attend a prep school should feel inspired to go on and achieve well in their education. This is a mindset that is pushed more in prep schools than in primary schools.

Children at prep schools are often given more opportunities for residential trips and trips abroad than those in primary schools. This helps children to have more cultural capital; in some cases it can help children to become more inquisitive of their surroundings and accepting of others.

Another option to consider is boarding school. This is generally available for children between the ages of 8 -13. This offers the same benefits as boarding school, but the pupil stays at the school overnight through term time.

Overall, it can be argued that prep schools give a more all-rounded education, as they provide more extra-curricular activities and a more thorough preparation for entrance exams, pre-assessments and pre-tests.

In determining whether a prep or primary school is more appropriate for your child, you will want to bear in mind the cost, the extra-curricular activities that are offered at the school, and the atmosphere of the schools when you visit them.

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