Years 3 – 8

Years 3 - 8

Year 3

This is the transition point when children move from Pre-Prep to the Prep Department, in the Main School buildings on Deangate. It is also the exciting point when our original intake is joined by a number of new pupils from other schools who have been accepted as probationer-choristers in York Minster Choir. 

This year brings many new experiences. The majority of teaching is still class-based which helps with the transition from the Red House to the Main School. However, a number of lessons are now taught by specialist teachers in subjects including Geography and Sports. Pupils rapidly develop in terms of ability to organise themselves and taking greater responsibilities for their own daily routines. There is a focus on laying the foundations for their future in Prep school but time is still made for fun learning. The curriculum is enriched by educational visits and cross-curricular themes, such as ‘Life in Ancient Egypt’ and ‘Childhood During WWII’.


Year 4

Young people arrive in Year 4 more confident about their position in the school, a year in. Many lessons – English, Mathematics, History, Religious Education and PSHE – take place in their form base with their class teacher. This secure classroom base is combined with increasing movement around school to other subject teachers, helping to develop the organisational skills needed for the more peripatetic pattern of year 5.

Literacy and numeracy skills are consolidated and developed alongside a varied curriculum of Science, French, Humanities, Art, Design Technology, Computing, Drama and Physical Education, all delivered by subject specialists. A diverse range of visitors, educational outings and re-enactments, such as Victorian and Greek Days, in costume, help bring an added dimension – and humour – to learning. Over the year, pupils become more independent learners, taking greater responsibility for classwork and homework, or prep. Fluent reading skills and a firm grasp of times tables, is consolidated. Team sports play a larger role, and this is the final year of weekly swimming lessons which culminate in learning life-saving techniques. 

For the young probationer members of the choir, the academic year begins with their Reading In at York Minster which marks the magical moment when they assume full duties as choristers.


Years 5 to 8

These crucial years are where our young people grow exponentially in terms of independence, resilience and intellect.

By now they know their way around every part of the school, and are leading members of it, buddying younger children, running charitable events and making decisions through the School Council.

Their studies are targeted and rigorous, bespoke to each, with differentiated work and focused activities to strengthen key areas whether they are aiming for a scholarship or not. Here, young adults – with clear voices and opinions – are emerging so that lively debate and discussion can flourish in the classrooms, with tutorial-like environments introduced for older pupils, prior to heading to senior education.

For Years 5, 6, 7 and 8, daily life and curriculum is outlined in more detail in the curriculum area, subject by subject.


For specific information on Years 5, 6, 7 and 8, daily life and curriculum is outlined in the curriculum area, subject by subject.