PRE-PREP

In Forms 1 and 2 we see children making real and significant progress in their learning and understanding which parallels their physical growth and development.

Building upon the firm foundations provided in Nursery and Reception, the children quickly adapt to life in the upper half of the Pre-Prep department, becoming more confident and independent learners and relishing all of the opportunities available to them.

The class teacher, supported by the Nursery Nurse, is responsible for the children’s learning across the curriculum, but specialist teaching for Speaking and Listening, French, Music and Physical Education continue to bring an added richness to the children’s educational experience.

The children follow a broad and balanced curriculum which is based on the National Curriculum, but which provides many enrichment activities to further the children’s knowledge, skills and attitudes to learning.

Appropriate support and challenge ensure that all children make the very best progress they can.

All children in Form 2 learn to play the recorder as part of their class music lessons with our Head of Music and all Form 2 children sing and perform on at least two occasions in the year. Form 2 and Form 3 children make up our Junior Choir which introduces the children to a wide variety of musical styles and singing in parts and which performs in our termly concerts. Children may also learn the piano from Form 1 and the violin or cello from Form 2.

The development of a child’s reading ability is vital to their success across the curriculum and as such a high priority is placed on reading and phonics during these two years. The children read regularly in school either to an adult, on their own or with one of the Reading Buddies from our Prep department. They read in class or in our bright and attractive library. Children develop their reading skills through Read, Write Inc phonics sessions. They are then encouraged to think about and discuss what they have read in order to develop their comprehension skills. In this way, the children become confident readers with, hopefully, a love of reading. Parents are crucial partners in this and all parents are asked to read and share books with their child as part of the usual home routine.

In other subject areas, children learn to communicate their ideas clearly in writing, further their mathematical understanding and to find out about the world around them.

Use of Chromebooks intrinsically supports the children in their learning and skills development. From a natural curiosity, children learn to investigate in science and technology and to learn about themselves and others, past and present, through the study of a range of topics. Educational visits to the local area and further afield help to bring the children’s learning alive.

Assessment results at the end of the Pre-Prep are additional evidence of the progress and achievement of the children, but it is their confidence, independence and enthusiasm for learning which means that the children leave Pre-Prep more than equipped to tackle the new challenges they will face in the Prep Department.

The children follow a broad and balanced curriculum which is based on the National Curriculum but which provides many enrichment activities to further the children’s knowledge, skills and attitudes to learning.

In English, pupils cover many aspects of English including phonics, speaking and listening, reading, comprehension, writing, spelling, language, literature and use of the Library. From Form 2, the children also have a weekly Speaking and Listening lesson with Mrs Thomas.

Reading is a key part of learning. The core scheme used in school is the Oxford Reading Tree. The scheme enables children to develop their reading skills at a steady pace and there is breadth to the scheme to allow reinforcement at different levels and to experience different types of text. Your child will be involved in reading activities everyday through working within the curriculum at school. Phonics is taught using the Read, Write Inc programme.

In addition, Readers are heard regularly in a one-to-one session with an adult. It is important that children do not rush through each stage as their comprehension needs to keep apace with the mechanical process of reading. Please support this by reading regularly with your child at home and by being advised by the class teacher of the appropriate level for each individual. All children in Forms 1 and 2 have a weekly Library lesson. From Form 1, children may start to borrow books from the school library to take home for a short while. Additional support can also be given by visiting your local library and from reading from as wide a variety of other genres as possible. Each child has a reading diary to record what they have read and for comments about the progress they are making.

In Maths, pupils cover aspects that include: using and applying mathematics, number, shape, space and measurement. There is an increasing emphasis on mental maths.

In Science, there is an emphasis on experimental and investigative work where pupils are encouraged to make systematic enquiries and to communicate their findings in a variety of ways. In Form 1, specific topics will include Animals, including humans; Everyday Materials; Plants and Seasonal Changes. In Form 2 themes will include life processes, materials and their properties and physical processes, including electricity.

In ICT, pupils make regular use of Chromebooks and they learn to use the equipment with increasing confidence and ability and for greater purpose.

In History, pupils in Form 1 will cover topics about Toys now and then, Houses now and then and Recent Changes in Everyday Life. In Form 2 they will cover topics about the history of everyday objects, sources – focusing on the Victorians, smugglers and the contribution of famous people to our daily lives.

In Geography, pupils in Form 1 will cover topics about the adventures of Barnaby Bear, Katie Morag and the Isle of Struay. In Form 2, they will cover topics about maps and plans, Old Leigh, understanding their address and weather recording.

In RE, pupils in Form 1 look at aspects of Christianity, including creation, incarnation and salvation. Themes for Form 2 include rules for living, places of worship and learning through parables.

In Art, the children investigate a broad range of media and techniques. They look at the work of some classical and contemporary artists. In Design and Technology, they have the opportunity to develop further skills, particularly in 3D activities. They also begin to learn about the design process and the need for evaluation.

Form 1 and 2 receive specialist teaching for French, Music and PE from Monsieur Domenech, Miss Tucker and Mrs Best respectively. In French, almost all of the work is interactive oral work. Activities in music include listening, performing and composing. Form 2 begin to learn how to play the descant Recorder, which is purchased through School. In PE the children cover activities related to games and gym.

All pupils also have time with their class teacher which may be Form Time or Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). This gives the children the opportunity to explore issues regarding behaviour, friendship and change and to develop confidence and self-esteem.