Preparatory School Curriculum

The Ryleys School works with specialist teaching from the start of your child’s education, resulting in exceptionally high quality teaching in all areas of their education. Our goal is to provide every opportunity to learn through inspiring and creative teaching, allowing your child to find and develop their own strengths.

Pupils are provided with an exciting and cohesive curriculum. Classes are taught following the main principles of the national curriculum; pupils’ learning is then extended with each year group building on the previous years learning.

Pupil in class working on a computer at The Ryleys School, a private prep school in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

We have small class sizes and high staff to pupil ratios which enables the curriculum to be tailored to the individual and class needs.

Maths and English are taught by the class teacher and specialist teachers lead French, P.E., music and art, while a professional dance and drama teacher works with the children each week to develop and enhance the children’s learning. This continuation of familiar teachers throughout the school ensures a smooth transition for the children through the year groups.

Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard which is used daily to help deliver the curriculum in an engaging and stimulating way, ensuring that all types of learning is catered for.

Older pupils are offered the opportunity to volunteer for key roles such as Head Girl, Head Boy, Prefects, and to become members of the School Council. These coveted positions give pupils a chance to develop personal traits of responsibility and leadership skills.

Preparation for the 11+ examinations is always a crucial element of any creditable prep school, and at The Ryleys School we have vast experience in successfully preparing and navigating pupils through the 11+ procedure. There is a rigorous system in place to ensure that pupils are thoroughly equipped to confidently tackle all elements of the examinations, including interview practice and mock examinations.

Homework is regularly set in all key subjects and plays an important role in helping pupils to consolidate and extend their learning, as well as providing an opportunity for independent study and research. In Year 3 and 4, the average time for homework is 40 minutes, increasing to 1 hour by Year 6. In all year groups, our aim is to ensure that each year the children feel confident and inspired to learn.

Examples of typical timetables

Year 2 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30: Form Form/PSHE Assembly Form Assembly
9:00: English Maths English Music English
10:00: Break Break Break Break Break
10:30: Topic English Maths English Art & Design
11:45: Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
13:00: PE PE French Computing Science
14:10: Break Break Break Break Break
14:30: Maths Beliefs & Values Drama Maths Topic/Golden Time
15:30: Clubs Clubs Clubs Clubs  


Year 5 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:30: Form Form Assembly Form Assembly
9:00: Maths Science Global Perspectives Computing Maths
10:00: Break Break Break Break Break
10:30: English PE English Maths Music
11:30: Science Maths Maths English English
12:30: Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
13:30: Verbal Reasoning PSHE Games Drama Global Perspectives
14:30: Art & Design French Games Italian Games
15:30: Clubs Clubs Clubs Clubs  



Maths – Using White Rose Maths, a full and comprehensive maths curriculum is taught using inspirational interactive teaching methods supported by highly qualified maths teachers and teaching assistants.

English – An inspiring curriculum with a varied selection of interesting texts studied throughout the school.  Reading lists are provided to each year group as well as strong foundations in grammar and spelling being taught daily.

Science – Our state of the art Science Laboratory ensures all pupils have the chance to learn the foundations of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in an inspiring and engaging manner.  Pupils gain valuable laboratory etiquette and safety skills throughout their time at school, providing a head start for their senior school science lessons.

Modern Foreign Languages – French is taught throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6. In Year 6, Italian is also taught.  At the younger end of the school, songs and games are used to improve comprehension.

Art and Design – With two dedicated art spaces, our Art and Design curriculum is detailed and advanced.  A purpose built DT studio allows pupils the chance to do woodwork and our Art Studio, enables a wide range of art skills to be built from textiles, watercolours, modelling and sketching.

PSHE – Ensuring a healthy understanding of relationships and health is critical and our detailed PSHE ensures the best foundation for our pupils.  

Drama – Weekly Drama lessons help build confidence with public speaking, presenting, projection and of course acting.  School performances are scheduled each year including a Nativity and Summer Performance.

Global Perspectives – Combining Geography with Religious Studies provides a tremendous opportunity for our pupils to better understand the world around us and appreciate the huge diversity. 

Beliefs and Values - An early introduction to philosophy, religion and ethical issues taught in a creative and interactive manner.

Computing – Our IT Suite is fully equipped with up to date laptops for all age groups.  Coding and Internet Safety lessons are taught to all. 

Music – With two onsite dedicated music teachers and a range of peripatetic experts, we offer all our pupils a fantastic music curriculum.  Our school has chamber choir, junior choir, percussion groups, piano, string groups, brass groups and the ability to learn virtually any instrument that inspires.

PE – We teach a huge range of sports within our PE curriculum.  Gymnastics, swimming, hockey, football, touch rugby, badminton, netball, rounders and athletics to name a few.   Our dedicated pitches, gymnasium and onsite swimming pool ensure our pupils learn in the very best setting.

Games – As part of a strong community of local independent schools, we plan a full calendar of sporting fixtures.  Teams are chosen on a weekly basis to ensure a wide range of pupils get the opportunity to represent the school.


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