Discover a love of learning
Our Prep School education is specifically designed to build strong foundations where pupils master the core knowledge and depth of understanding they need for later learning. We want the children to learn well, harnessing their natural curiosity and drive, so that they have secure roots across the curriculum.
Our pupils are bright and we ensure that their lively minds are stretched and stimulated. However, we do not rush ahead of national expectations if your child is not ready for the challenge. We focus on depth of understanding so that they have the best tools for future success.
The children learn Mathematics with their well-qualified form teacher, who adapts learning for each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses. In Pre-Prep the children use physical resources to support their understanding, moving smoothly between concrete, pictorial and abstract representations of numbers to ensure a depth of understanding. As your child progresses through the Prep, they will continue to focus on mathematical fluency, ensuring they can manipulate knowledge and apply this to practical and problem-solving situations. We provide different levels of challenge within each lesson, appropriate to your child’s ability and level of confidence, as well as extension and support groups from Year 1 upwards.
The children learn Science through a mixture of practical and investigative tasks and taught knowledge. Simple experiments allow the pupils to discover principles of fair testing and provide structure to help them find out for themselves. From Year 3, the children learn in our purpose-built laboratory and they are taught by our science specialist from Year 4. By the end of their time at the Prep, the pupils’ inquisitive minds and strong desire to develop their knowledge means they are working well above national expectations, enabling them to compete successfully in external competitions, normally accessed by secondary pupils, such as the Eastern Region Big Bang Fair.
All pupils are taught Computing by a subject specialist in our state-of-the-art computing suite. They learn principles of coding using Cubelets, Ozobots, Lego WeDo sets and mini Dot and Dash robots. As they progress through Prep, they learn to code our EdBots, as well as using the Intelligent EV3 Brick, a compact and powerful programmable computer that makes it possible to control motors and collect sensor feedback using intuitive icon-based programming and data logging software. By Year 6, the pupils are beginning to explore CAD (computer assisted design) programmes. In addition, pupils from Year 2 use their own individual iPads to support their learning across the curriculum.
As well as learning skills essential for the virtual and digital world, it is important for pupils to gain a good understanding of what can be physically made, engaging in concepts around design, function and creativity. Throughout their time at the Prep, the children complete a variety of Design and Technology projects through construction, textile and food projects. In Years 5 and 6, the pupils follow an Engineering scheme of work, enabling them to find the solution to problems, from the design stage through modelling to evaluation and refinement.
English and Drama
We help the children develop a love of reading from their earliest years through stories, poetry and non-fiction. Our well-stocked library provides a stimulating environment and a great resource for avid and reluctant readers alike. The pupils quickly learn to read using synthetic phonics techniques within small groups, allowing each child to progress at their own individual pace. We use the rich resource of the Literary Curriculum to share exciting and relevant texts with the children. There are many opportunities to read aloud, write both factually and creatively, and debate ideas. Ensuring that every child feels confident in speaking in front of others is an essential component of our drama curriculum, where emotions are explored as well as performance skills honed, resulting in each child performing in their own class play annually, a highlight for children and parents alike.
Our Humanities programme enables the children to develop an understanding of the past and their place in history as well as the world around them. Through a combination of research and instruction, children learn to question, understand, gain insights into other cultures and religions, reflect on ideas and debate issues. Our humanities teaching is enhanced though our outdoor learning programme, as well as visits to places of special interest and theme days.
The children learn French from Reception and Mandarin from Year 4. Lessons in the earliest days focus on song and rhyme, moving onto simple vocabulary acquisition. Later the children start to converse in simple sentences, using common vocabulary. In Mandarin, the pupils learn characters through the Pinyin method and enjoy the challenge of the Chinese alphabet and pronunciation. They also enjoy cultural experiences, helping them to develop a more global outlook. The Year 6 pupils spend five days in France where they practice their language skills at the market, the bakery, the goat farm and the confectioners.
Music is taught by our specialist teachers and the children reach high levels in creating and performing music. A rich co-curricular offering, supported by our links with our Senior School, provides children with extensive opportunities to develop their talent. Art lessons provide opportunities for the pupils to develop their own creativity as well as learn about the styles of different artists.
Our PE team provides exciting opportunities for children of all abilities, supporting children less naturally skilled in PE with activities they enjoy, as well as developing and stretching the most able. Our core curriculum covers gym, dance, yoga, swimming, netball, football, touch rugby, lacrosse, tennis, rounders, cricket, athletics, cross country and orienteering. We have a strong co-curricular programme that allows each child to develop their own interests and find the sports that suit them.