We believe learning outside the classroom is an essential part of a good education. An appropriate, well-managed prep programme helps our pupils to develop the skills and attitudes they need for successful lifelong learning.

By practicing the tasks covered in class and engaging in independent study, pupils consolidate the learning which takes place in College. This is vital not only to allow young people to realise their academic potential and achieve success in examinations, but also to develop independence, creativity and organisational skills vital for success in higher education and the workplace. All pupils are issued with prep timetables and are encouraged to complete tasks at the earliest possible opportunity. Failure to complete prep on time is treated very seriously and invariably results in disciplinary sanctions to encourage pupils to develop a stronger work ethic.

Prep Guidelines 

At Shiplake, teachers set prep appropriate for the age and ability of the pupils in their class. This is adjusted for any special educational needs and/or gifted and talented pupils within the group. Prep is continually monitored by the Head of Department to ensure that demands are consistent across all subject staff. Tutors and Housemasters also keep an eye on individuals’ workload to ensure they do not become overburdened.

Recommended Prep Times

Subject teachers are issued with guidelines to ensure pupils receive an appropriate and reasonable amount of work to aid their academic development outside of class. Boarders are allocated specific times during the day and evening to complete prep tasks, and whilst day pupils can often complete some tasks at school, parents should expect them to bring prep home on a daily basis.

This naturally increases as pupils progress through the College into upper year groups, where classroom time is not sufficient to fully prepare pupils for external examinations.

A suitable learning environment should be available to pupils at home to complete their work.

The recommended prep times for each year group are displayed below. Please note these are approximate and can often vary slightly on a weekly basis:

Years 7-9 

No more than an hour per subject per week. 

Years 10-11

Pupils should expect to receive at least an hour per week of prep in each subject, although depending on progress made in class more work outside the classroom may be necessary. Additional prep is most often set in core subjects English, Mathematics and Science.

Years 12-13

The amount of prep set for each subject should approximately equate to the amount of allocated curriculum time (between 4 and 5 hours per week per subject). Prep can be completed at home, in House or in timetabled study periods distributed throughout the week. 

The setting and due dates for prep tasks are mutually agreed by the subject teacher and the set of pupils. Independent learning, consolidation of knowledge and revision will increase this time requirement as the academic year progresses.

Prep Timetables 2018-2019

Learning outside the classroom is an integral part of a good education