In Pre-Prep, we concentrate on building very strong foundations in the core literacy and numeracy skills, meanwhile engaging and exciting children in the whole process of learning.

It is at this point we introduce subjects such as History, Geography, Computing, Science, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), RS (Religious Studies), Spanish and Welsh into the curriculum and balanced with Art, Music, Forest School, Swimming, PE and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) we hope to develop both children’s inquisitive and creative side.

And let’s not forget we also have Wondertime and Assembly in our timetable!

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Literacy

Children in Pre-Prep follow a rich and comprehensive English curriculum that gives them the vital early literacy skills to build on once they enter the Prep Department.

Reading is integral to everything, and children have daily opportunities to read through our guided reading sessions; excellent classroom support for one-to-one reading; and whole-class text work.

In addition to this, the school follows the Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics programme which teaches children how to sound out letters before blending them together to make words and we have recently launched another reading initiative, Accelerated Reading, which supports our assessments and target setting and enables classroom teachers to monitor progress rigorously whilst allowing children even further opportunities to read and take comprehension quizzes on their latest books.

As you would expect, in the Pre-Prep Department, there is a strong emphasis on handwriting and the basics of sentence construction and punctuation.

Children are encouraged to write with a neat cursive handwriting style from an early age and have time set aside each week to write extensively.

The curriculum allows teachers to plan writing tasks around exciting topics such as the Great Fire of London which captivates the pupils and helps to give meaning and purpose to their work. Oracy and drama activities are often utilised to bring a book to life and develop ideas for writing too.

Mathematical Development

Mathematical development is a core subject which is taught to the children in several different ways.

Firstly it is taught in a very practical way by linking it to topic areas studied in the Foundation Phase. So for example, if the topic being covered is “toys” and a toy shop is developed, maths will be taught through the discussion of money and sales and even profits made.

We also follow a programme called the “Abacus” maths scheme, which matches the Primary National Strategy. This scheme covers counting, partitioning, calculating, securing number facts, understanding shapes and processing, presenting and interpreting data and measures.

Children work through the maths programme with a series of work books which enable them to work at their own pace and for children who finish the course early they are moved on to more advanced work, which they would normally cover in Year 3 or Year 4.

We have great facilities to complement the teaching of maths including IT provision and interactive whiteboards in each classroom.

To keep the subject very dynamic in Pre-prep various maths based initiatives are held throughout the year. These include the visit of Mathemagicians and also a Maths Puzzle and Games day.

Homework

Homework forms an important link in the reinforcement of work carried out during the school day as well as assisting the children to develop the important habit of independent learning.

The setting aside of a specific time and place for this homework study will help to foster a routine which is beneficial to the educational development of your child. Teachers are grateful for the parental support of the School’s homework expectations.

Homework generally takes the form of reading, reading related exercises, spellings, number work and project-linked activities. Parents will be advised as to how they can support their child’s learning at home. Children are given a Reading Record Book which is used to record reading, notes about homework tasks and any messages between home and school.

We aim to ensure that your child has a reasonable balance in order that he/she can access and enjoy the range of extra-curricular activities the school has to offer, whilst having time to complete the homework.