Shrewsbury’s newest school is officially “outstanding”

Shrewsbury’s newest school has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted just weeks after it welcomed its first pupils.

Shrewsbury Prepatoria opened its doors to pupils in Reception and Year One at the start of September this year with a vision to build on the success that had been achieved by the nursery and pre-school which launched five years beforehand.  It brought with it an entirely new curriculum and radically different approach to Early Years education.

It is highly unusual for an Ofsted inspection to take place so early in a school’s lifecycle and even more so, for a new establishment to receive such high praise.  Jane Smalley, Founder and Principal at Shrewsbury Prepatoria, comments:

“Parental demand for an alternative approach to schooling in the local area was strong, so I felt entirely confident that the principles on which our new Independent School was based, addressed both a real need, whilst being steeped in a deep understanding of how children at this stage learn.

“It was, nonetheless, a shock to be informed that we’d be inspected quite so early on and our two-day inspection was indeed thorough and rigorous.  To, therefore, receive such a glowing report at this stage is an incredible achievement.”

Three Ofsted inspectors spent two full days at Shrewsbury Prepatoria in late October, reviewing systems and processes; observing classroom sessions; and talking with staff.  The lead inspector’s report was positive throughout and drew particular attention to the exceptionally high quality of teaching, learning and assessment; the broad and balanced curriculum; the pupil’s deep love of learning, and the passion and determination of the Principal, Jane, who continues:

“Progressing to full Independent School status was natural after the success that our nursery and pre-school had achieved.  Therefore, to now have our vision with the Prepatoria School validated with such high praise by Ofsted really does make all the hard work that went in to making this a reality, worth it.

“My background in Early Years education, coupled with the desire of our parents to see a different approach to their children’s education, meant the development of an entirely new curriculum was necessary.  Ofsted has now recognised this as being broad and balanced and delivered via a wealth of rich learning experiences and opportunities.  It really is everything I could have hoped for and has been made possible thanks to the hard work on the entire Prepatoria team, as well as all the families who have committed to come on this journey with us.”

Shrewsbury Prepatoria’s unique school curriculum combines the very best principals of Reggio Emilia teaching, Montessori and the Scandinavian model and in stark contrast to the state sector, and most independent schools, it is the only school in the UK to open for 48 weeks of the year.  This allows teaching to take place at a steadier pace and with a truly child centred approach, as well as offering far greater flexibility also for busy families too.  Jane concludes:

“It is still early days in the life of the Prepatoria School and our radically different approach to Early Years education is something that we will continue to refine and develop as we grow in the coming years.  This report has been a fabulous start to our journey, but we will not allow its glow and excitement to detract from the delivery of a first-class experience for families across Shropshire.”

Further information on the School’s unique offering, along with details on how to enrol and the school’s next open day can be found by visiting or call Jane Smalley on 01743 460 199.