The Pre-Prep School offers a broad, balanced, relevant curriculum which includes coverage of the seven areas of Learning and Development in the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Years 1 to 3, Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2.
It is suited to all pupils across the full age and ability range and contributes effectively to children’s intellectual, physical and personal attainment and development, thereby preparing them well for the next stage of their education, when they move across to the Prep School.
We acknowledge the importance of a sound and thorough grounding in literacy and numeracy and consequently these areas receive appropriate emphasis throughout the Pre-Prep. We follow the Read Write Inc phonics programme (having been a model school) and follow on to use the Literacy and Language programme, Get Spelling and Project X Reading to the end of Year 3. Our Numeracy uses the Collin’s Busy Ants maths scheme supplemented by work with number bonds, tables, and investigations. There are policies and detailed schemes of work for each curriculum area which means curriculum progression is planned carefully and interesting cross-curricular learning is well organised.
The other curriculum areas are taught through themes in Reception and Year 1, gradually becoming a little more formal in approach and becoming stand alone subjects through Years 2 and 3. We benefit from specialist teachers in a variety of subjects as shown below.
Computing: In Years 2 and 3 Computing is taught by the Head of Computing, Mr Holmes, along with the class teacher in the Apple Room weekly. In addition the Pre-Prep has its own suite of iPads for use across the curriculum and the Reception class use a variety of software on their classroom computers as well. The use of other resources such as programmable lego, cameras, recording equipment and bee-bots etc. is all planned into the themes.
Music & Drama: All the Pre-Prep children receive music lessons from the Director of Music, Ms Forbes. There is a Hymn Practice weekly. Individual tuition is available in cello, piano, violin, percussion, drums, guitar, brass, woodwind and singing from the peripatetic staff. The children become accustomed to performing in front of an audience as each class takes turns to produce an assembly. There are also various events during the school year to which parents, grandparents and friends are invited including Harvest and Easter Services, the Nativity and End of Year Concert.
French: French is taught in a very interactive and inclusive way for children from Reception to Year 2 using Linguascope and songs and games. In Year 3 the French is a little more formal and includes spoken and written activities often in a topic format. Mrs Huxtable and Miss Hill teach all the Pre-Prep classes, both are specialist modern language teachers.
Physical Education: P.E. and Games sessions are taught by specialist teachers within the school. Weekly tuition is also available in Ballet, Yoga and Short Tennis at an additional charge. In Year 2 and 3 Judo is also offered. In Year 3 children are all encouraged to take part in matches against other schools, as well as inter-house competitions, an experience they love.
High expectations of behaviour are promoted and pupils have a real sense of belonging to a community. Assemblies are broadly Christian in nature and develop a sense of ‘togetherness’; and they are a key area in promoting self esteem, morality and spirituality. Our Learning for Life Programme and assembly structure are centred around ‘The Witham Way’, which was developed by the pupils and staff.
Every child matters: our structure and small class sizes allow every child to be developed as an individual to ‘be their best self’. We strive to ensure they are happy and safe, understand right from wrong, are confident within themselves and with others, have pride in their achievements and those of others, trust in their peers and their teachers and know that their voice is heard. We are very proud of the pupils and all that we do in the Pre-Prep.