Written pieces by the children: Activities

The activities at the modern preparatory school go far beyond the lessons:

Musical Anthem

(Tune: The National Anthem)

Presto, Sforzando,
Tempo, pianissimo,
Non troppo, piano,
Legato, spirito,
Mezzo forte.

- Justin Gibbs, Fanfare (Mount House), Autumn 1988.

Music Lessons

Irritation is having a music lesson as the same time as a match.
Frustration is when there is only one person who can swap.
Agitation is when you can't find them.
Desperation is when they say "No!"

- Sarah Wolferstan, Junior Wyvern (Queen's College Junior School), 1987-88

Boy: What is your favorite instrument, sir?
Music teacher: The harp, of course!
Boy: But, why sir?
Music teacher: Because so few boys play it!

Father: Listen, I don't mind paying for your basoon lesson as long as you practice at school, I won't have the neighbors complaining again.

I Would Like To Paint

I would like to paint a boy's feelings when he's been
separated from his parents.
I would like to paint a fox's fear when he hears the
hunt coming toward him.
I would like to paint a person so happy that they
are dancing.
I would like to paint a nightmare that's about to
I would like to paint a picture that is alive.
I would like to paint a soldier thinking about his
I would like to paint a ship shining in the sun.
I would like to paint a boy standing in the corridor
and the thoughts in his head.
I would like to paint a cat being stroked.
I would like to paint a person who has lost his

- Elliot Bambrough, aged 10, Florilegium (Felsted), 1988.

Carpentry Club

At the beginning of the Summer term, the juniors turned up to join the club with some pretty wild ideas. I overheard one boy's thought, and that was to build a full-scale yacht. Needless to say, he had to modify his ambitions. The juniors tend to make simple things like boxes which look extremely good, while the seniors like making chairs and bedside lockers which they are proud to take home to their parents -- who may not always be as impressed as they ought to be.

- John Duxbury, Hordle House Magazine, 1982.

The Chess Match

On a rainy day in early November, something unusual was going to happen. A feeling of expectancy loomed over us. The bell went. It was 3.30 p.m. Our team of eight was formed in the homely warmth of the Library. Black and white squares numbering sixty four appeared upon the shiny surface of the tables and Kings and Queens were placed, then all the army. King faces King with black death-like stares, army facing army. We chattered excitedly, wondering if the defeat of 7 - 0 the year before would be repeated. We slid silently down the passage to meet our foes face-to-face. We saw a white van appear. We thought, "Yes", then "No". It was the Riding School van. Five more minutes passed and then a white mini-bus lurched through the gate. "They are here!" Back to the Library we walked with our foes behinds us. We sat down and began, the match was on. At 4.55 their bus arrived. Afterwards we said, "Its only 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 to them, better than last time." We look forward to having our revenge next time."
- Paul Plant, aged 12, Surge (Beeston Hall), Christmas 1979.

Traditional British prep schools were boarding schools, but day schools in recent years have become increasingly important.

Boys' Preparatory Schools
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