Hemdean House Min

Middle Prep Welcome

Dear Parents

The Middle Prep department is made up of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Years 3 and 4 have their own building, the St Thomas More Centre with Years 5 and 6 based in Great Roke. The combination of excellent caring class teachers and subject specialists gives the children a fantastic experience.

In Year 3 and 4 children are taught by the form teacher, with some specialist teaching. Children at this age begin to discover their talents and it is important, therefore, that we recognise this and nurture their development. Music, drama, art, DT and games feature alongside the traditional academic subjects in a broad and stimulating curriculum.

Children from Year 5 upwards move between specialist classrooms and teachers. This is useful preparation for the system which children will encounter in their senior schools. It significantly raises the levels of independence and organisational skills which are required of them.

As Head of Middle Prep, my aim is to ensure that there is an excellent relationship between school and home and that children are prepared for greater things in all areas of school life. Please do contact me or your child’s form teacher with any questions.

Kind regards

Amber Tyrrell
Head of Prep and Deputy DSL

Form Teachers and Key Staff

Year 3
Mr Tom O’Kelly, Form Teacher Year 3G tok@barrowhills.org
Mrs Emmah Klein, Form Teacher Year 3R erk@barrowhills.org

Year 4
Mrs Blanche Wallace, Form Teacher Year 4G baw@barrowhills.org
Mrs Kathryn James, Form Teacher Year 4R kmj@barrowhills.org

Year 5
Mr Aidan Mullins, Form Teacher Year 5G and Teacher of ICT and Sport amm@barrowhills.org
Mrs Jackie Campbell-John, Form Teacher 5R and Teacher of English and Drama jcj@barrowhills.org
Madame Karine Early, Form Teacher 5R and Head of MFL, Head of PHSE kve@barrowhills.org

Year 6
Mr Anton Pretorius, Form Teacher Year 6G and Head of Maths adp@barrowhills.org
Mr Anthony King, Form Teacher Year 6R and Head of Humanities ajk@barrowhills.org

Mrs Pippa Goedkoop, Head of Learning Support and Extension pmg@barrowhills.org

Senior Team
Miss Amber Tyrrell (Head of Prep and Deputy DSL) alt@barrowhills.org
Mr Paul Crisell (Designated Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Head) pdc@barrowhills.org
Mr John Towers (Head) Heads PA jls@barrowhills.org or jft@barrowhills.org

Teaching Staff
Mr Thomas Behan Head of Science, Year 8 Form Teacher tjb@barrowhills.org
Mrs Madelon Burnett Director of Sport, Teacher of French mkb@barrowhills.org
Miss Emily Campbell Teacher of Latin ecc@barrowhills.org
Mr James Clarke Teacher of DT and Sports Coach jcl@barrowhills.org
Mrs Sarah Clarke Prep Teaching Assistant, Teacher of DT and Sports Coach slg@barrowhills.org
Mr Theodore Frazer Assistant Director of Music tfr@barrowhills.org
Mrs Stacey Hobbs Teacher of Classics and Teaching Assistant for SEN snh@barrowhills.org
Mrs Luisa Mason Head of Upper Prep, Head of English and Drama, Year 8 Form Teacher ljm@barrowhills.org
Miss Elizabeth Overman Teaching Assistant ove@barrowhills.org
Rev James Radcliffe Chaplain and Teacher of Latin jra@barrowhills.org
Mr Ian Richardson Teacher of Music igr@barrowhills.org
Mr Stanislaw Sliwka Director of Music sms@barrowhills.org
Mr Ben Smith Year 7 Form Teacher and Sport Teacher and Form Teacher bas@barrowhills.org
Mr Jo Unwin Trainee Teacher jun@barrowhills.org
Mrs Ruth Wheeler Art Teacher rsw@barrowhills.org

Stationery List

All children will be required to have the following items at school with them each day. Form teachers will run spot checks to ensure that pencil cases are fully equipped.

  • A pencil case
  • Several HB lead pencils
  • Blue fountain pen and eraser
  • Blue handwriting pens
  • Coloured pencils including non-blendable ones in blue, red, yellow, green, purple and brown
  • Highlighter pen and green biro
  • An eraser, a ruler (30 cm), scissors and a pencil sharpener
  • Glue stick (Pritt Stick or similar)
  • A protractor (from Year 5)
  • A simple solar-powered calculator (from Year 4, however this may be a scientific calculator in preparation for Year 6 (Casio FX – 85GTX)
  • A homework folder
  • A named water bottle
  • Pair of headphones
  • School issue rucksack
  • Pocket dictionary


From Years 3 -6 children are taught as form groups classes for all subjects except for English and maths, which are set by pace. We monitor the children’s progress closely, looking to support and extend each individual child. The children are involved in their own target setting, regularly reviewing their progress and looking to challenge themselves. The English and maths sets are not static and are constantly reviewed with children moving between groups at all times of the year.

Presentation of Work

All Barrow Hills children are expected to take pride in their work and present it to the best of their ability. In Year 3, children will work towards their pen licence, and once achieved will be expected to write in fountain pen or blue handwriting pen. Years 4, 5 and 6 are also expected to write in a blue fountain pen or blue handwriting pen, as instructed by their teacher. Maths is completed in pencil. Diagrams should be drawn in pencil, as should label lines, and dates and headings should be underlined with a ruler. Children are expected to keep their books, folders and Chromebook cases free from graffiti and stickers.

Use of IT Devices

Each child in Years 3 and 4 is provided with a Chromebook which remains in School and will be used as and when the teacher requires them. Children should remember that the School regularly monitors the user history of each device and tablets will be withdrawn if it is felt they are being used inappropriately. All children and parents will be required to sign a pupil and parent agreement which will clearly state the acceptable use of the Chromebook. Emails to and from children are restricted and can only be sent and received from the Barrow Hills domain.

Each child in Years 5 to 8 is provided with a Chromebook during term time to support their learning and to help them with their organisation. They will be required to look after their Chromebook and take them home each day with them. They must come to school each day with a full charge on their Chromebook and their charging cable. They are able to access their timetables, calendars and team sheets. Teachers may share learning resources electronically with children via Google Classroom.

Children should remember that the chromebooks are registered on our Google admin console and that the School regularly monitors the user history of each device and chromebooks will be withdrawn if it is felt they are being used inappropriately. Parents need to control wifi access at home.


Children are expected to complete their homework as a priority each evening. Each subject is set according to the Prep Timetable and children are encouraged to spend no longer than 20 minutes on each subject. Homework may take different forms: children may be asked to finish classwork or to complete an activity that tests their understanding of a particular topic; they may be asked to prepare for a future lesson by conducting research or watching a short film clip; they may be asked to edit and improve an existing piece of work. In Years 3 and 4, homework will be communicated via a homework diary and will be issued on a Tuesday and Friday evening to coincide with the 3.30pm study period. From Year 5 upwards, homework instructions and resources will be shared with children in Google Classroom. We encourage children to read aloud to a parent or adult at home at least three times a week and for this reading to be recorded in their reading record book. We also encourage children to practise their spelling lists each evening in preparation for their weekly spelling assessment.

Testing and Assessment

Teachers will use a variety of informal assessment methods to ensure that their teaching is focused on children’s learning needs. These may include observation, questioning and the marking of written work. More formal assessment takes place at the end of the year, with tests in English and maths in Year 3 and 4. By Year 5, children are formally assessed in all academic subjects. These tests not only give us information on children’s learning but also provide them with the opportunities to begin developing important revision and examination skills. In addition to this, the children will sit Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT4). These are in the Autumn Term for Years 4, 5 and 6 and in the Spring Term for Year 3.

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