Burys Court School has retained its original character as a traditional co-educational preparatory day school, including Pre-prep Years 1 and 2, up to age 11 (Year 6). However, it has been remodeled to provide specialist teaching for dyslexic children along the lines of Moon Hall School in Holmbury St Mary (our first school)
We take very seriously the importance of having a firm base in literacy and numeracy on which to build further academic achievement, and the importance of acquiring the skills needed for a happy and successful life. This approach has also proved beneficial to pupils who are not dyslexic and who benefit from having the individual attention we can give.
We teach to the child’s ability, not to his or her chronological age.
Although the Prep School shares the same building as Moon Hall College it is mostly on different floors and the timetabling separates the pupils. There are separate break and lunch times.
Our school hours are 8:20 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. but there are optional clubs afterwards on most days that continue to 5:30 or later.
We believe all children should be given the opportunity and support needed to learn to read with understanding especially if they have fallen behind. For reading and spelling we use a phonics system, Phono-Graphix, which we have now used for many years both at Burys Court and at Moon Hall School with considerable success. The programme enables children to learn to decode words efficiently and is very successful with the children, including those who join the school through Little Berries when it can avoid failure in reading. We give talks to parents to explain the system.
In Years 4, 5 and 6 all children in the class learn to play either the violin or the clarinet. The instruments are provided by us for the purpose. In this way all children receive three years of tuition in one or other instrument. This is done in class rotation and while not every child keeps it up afterwards it is good experience for them and many do continue with their music.
It is important to maintain a good balance between work and play. The environment we occupy, with its lovely grounds of woods, lawns and sports fields in which to play and exercise, to make dens and even climb trees where permitted and supervised, ensures that our pupils have an exceptionally happy time here.