IAPS School in the Spotlight

This week, the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) has chosen Lancing Prep Worthing for its School in the Spotlight! You can view the post on our social media, and below are the answers we gave to the questions they asked. 

What does IAPS mean to you and your school? 

It is extremely important for us as a school to be a member of IAPS because it is one of the world’s most prestigious associations and is a kite mark of quality for our school, demonstrating the highest standard of education. It gives us a national voice and provides us with advice, CPD, information, and support on educational and school matters.

What was the school’s highlight of the past year? 

Mrs Francesca Milling moved up from her role as Lancing College Prep Worthing’s Deputy Head to Head Mistress this September. The whole school community are thrilled; she possesses a first-rate skillset and was instrumental in achieving the outcome of the outstanding ISI Inspection report from June 2022 where the school received the highest possible gradings of ‘excellent’ across all assessment criteria.  Francesca has and continues to work closely with IAPS as their PSHEE Subject Advisor for the 663 schools that are part of the association. 

Francesca believes that every child can and should, ‘Love Learning, Be Kind and Go out into the World and do Good,’ and that using these aims as a framework for life leads to future success and happiness.

The success of our Year 8 leavers has been outstanding again this year, with our pupils earning the top three Academic Scholarships to Lancing College.  Alongside these were another three Academic Scholarships, two Drama Scholarships, five Sports Scholarships, two Head Master’s Awards, and one All Rounder Scholarship. These results reflect our pupils’ love of learning and our dedicated, highly qualified and experienced teachers. 

A key focus over the past year has been to provide more targeted wellbeing and mental health support for pupils, and we have implemented several initiatives to ensure this is a priority going forward. One of the most exciting initiatives has been the creation of ‘The Hive’. A truly safe place for pupils to express their feelings, with the wellbeing team to support them.

With cuts to the number of hours state schools spend doing physical education, at Lancing Prep Worthing we have continued with our dedicated focus on sports. Last year saw our first mixed-sex U13 and U11 cricket teams. We will look to expand on this going forward, with the support of the pupils.

Drama has had an outstanding year with our annual school production of ‘Matilda the Musical’ and our fantastic set of LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art) results, with 100% of our pupils passing with either merit or distinction.

We continue to work hard on expanding our already vast co-curricular and enrichment programme, complementing the academic focus within the classroom, coupled with our pastoral care, to reinforce our whole-pupil approach to learning. This year we have introduced The LPW Aspire Programme. Aspire is an extra-curricular programme that raises ambitions across the school with the aspiration to help every child succeed.

Are there any innovations you want to highlight? 

At Lancing Prep Worthing, we inspire our pupils with a passion for learning and enthusiasm for the subjects in which they excel. Each subject area works collaboratively with the school’s Keen, Able, Gifted and Talented coordinator to provide opportunities and experiences that will challenge and raise the attainment of pupils.

The launch of the Aspire Programme, aimed at raising ambitions across the school, means that children can participate in a variety of activities, all of which are designed to help them become articulate, informed, and curious intellectuals. The programme includes access to competitions as well as talks from academics and professionals in a wide range of exciting fields, giving pupils access to knowledge and ideas that they do not meet in their lessons.

Does your school have any wellbeing initiatives? 

We are committed to promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing for all pupils, their families, members of staff, and governors. Our open culture allows pupils’ voices to be heard, and through the use of effective policies, procedures, and initiatives, we ensure a safe and supportive environment for all.

This year we have introduced a proactive whole-school approach to increasing students’ emotional literacy and improving individual emotional regulation, understanding, and resilience, The Zones of Regulation. This aims to provide our children with the vocabulary, understanding, and confidence to express their emotions and to use strategies to help them regulate.

We have a wellbeing room called The Hive, which is a safe space for the children to use. The Hive has an open-door policy, and the children can come at morning break and lunch time to talk with a trusted adult about anything that they are struggling with or to have a moment to regulate and rebalance if they are feeling overwhelmed and need some time. We offer children individual, tailored ELSA programmes by a trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), whose role is to support children in school who are struggling to understand and regulate their own emotions and to help them understand their feelings and those of others around them.

Across the curriculum, we have a strong focus on wellbeing woven into all subjects. Subjects like art, drama, PSHEE and music are useful to help children process their feelings and experiences. Our LPW Learning Powers are intrinsically linked within all our subjects and taught to our pupils through their learn-to-learn lessons. In a positive and supportive environment, pupils are provided with varied opportunities to exercise the traits needed to become successful, lifelong learners. The pupils learn about their own growth in resilience, reflection, their ability to relate, and being resourceful. These four powers are referred to in all lessons and aim to grow their confidence and self-esteem.

Our PSHEE curriculum is a timetabled subject taught throughout all key stages, including the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Many elements of the programme are supported through a whole-school approach using activities such as whole-school assemblies, visiting speakers, and drop-down days. The programme is of a spiral nature, which introduces new and more challenging learning while building on what has gone before and reflecting and meeting the personal developmental needs of the children and young people. It is designed to prepare the children physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, and intellectually for the future.

Through our extra-curricular programme, we offer wellbeing clubs and activities such as yoga, mindfulness clubs, imagination clubs, Lego therapy clubs, and various sports and hobby clubs.

As a school, we acknowledge local, regional, and national events and recognise wellbeing and mental health days, for example, World Mental Health Day and Children’s Mental Health Week, Time to Talk Day, and Random Acts of Kindness Day.

We publish our Wellbeing Newsletter every half term, which has been hugely popular with the children, parents, and staff. This includes top tips, local events, mindfulness activities, recipes, the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.

This year two new Guinea pigs joined our school community. The children are on a rota for Guinea pig responsibilities, taking turns to care for and look after them. Guinea pigs are particularly good pets for children and can be effective for improving social skills, emotional regulation, and development for all children.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

At Lancing Prep Worthing, we understand that every child is unique, and they develop and learn in different ways. We develop positive relationships with each pupil and our staff work with each child individually, and in groups, to bring out the very best in every pupil. Excellent pastoral care is central to our work and all children are known and valued as individuals.

In our most recent ISI inspection, we achieved excellent, the highest possible grading, in all 16 categories. Here are just some of the things the inspectors said:

"This feeling of oneness between pupils and teachers informs the effective, mutually supportive learning environment promoted by leaders and staff".

"Pupils across the school show a high level of self-understanding and enthusiastically assume responsibility for their own learning."

"Pupils are able to distinguish right from wrong. They're able to take responsibility for their own behaviour, having highly positive relationships with each other and with staff."