First impressions are very important, especially to children. In Pre Prep, our passionate team of staff provide a nurturing environment for our youngest pupils right from the start. Our aim is to deliver a wide range of activities to motivate and inspire the children in both the spacious classrooms and also in specially designed outdoor areas. The Pre Prep classes have sole use of the ground floor of one of our two houses comprising three large, airy rooms and modern facilities. They also have access to a large playground, an enclosed garden area, the school hall, as well as an adobe outdoor classroom.
The children work towards the statutory Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage throughout the year, with a particular focus on Reading, Writing and Maths. They are encouraged to develop their independence, thinking about how to tackle problems and to have a go even if they aren’t sure of the outcome. Children progress to Year 1 in the September following their fifth birthday.
We believe that happy children are at the heart of successful learning so children are carefully supported by their fully qualified teachers and teaching assistants to transition into Key Stage One with its more formal learning style. In Years 1 and 2 the children are taught following the main principles of the National Curriculum extending beyond the Key Stage 1 Curriculum Framework. Particular attention is given to numeracy and all aspects of literacy – phonics, reading, grammar, handwriting and comprehension. Essential oral, listening and questioning skills are also developed. These are fostered across the whole curriculum.
Pupils have the same class teacher for the majority of lessons. We have expert specialist teachers who teach the children in Lower School for Music, French, Drama and PE/Games. The timetable also includes Science, History, Geography, as well as more interactive subjects such as Computing, Art and Design Technology. Early diagnosis of any special learning difficulty brings help, where appropriate, from a range of Special Educational Needs interventions and strategies.
The children have many opportunities to showcase their learning during their time in the Lower School. Over the year, each class performs an assembly where parents are invited to watch and the Christmas Shows are always exciting events which encourage children to show off their acting, singing and dancing skills. To conclude the summer term in the Lower School, a Summer Production is presented to families and friends.