Meet The School
We are a pre-prep school with four classrooms - Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
In Nursery, we combine the Montessori ethos and activities along with the seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our small class sizes really enable us to spend a lot of time working with the children individually. The children can work at their own paces and we can support and extend each child to have their own individual education plan. We also regularly do cooking with the children. This introduces concepts such as measurements. We actively encourage the children to be independent, things like putting on their coats, doing up their zips and buttons by themselves. We have a snack every day and children and encouraged and supported to pour their own drinks. We have a strong emphasis on social skills when they come in. By the time they finish nursery they are working harmoniously together, and they are prepared in regard to their phonics and their numeracy for Reception.
In Reception, the children learn to work as part of a team. We make use of a lot of modern technology, the interactive board, they use the laptops and iPads, and choose websites and activities they would like to play and work on. For literacy, we approach things phonics and we do lots of tricky words, sentences and creative writing. In numeracy, we do hands-on activities with measuring and time, 2D and 3D shapes, adding and taking away, being more independent and taking more responsibility, then having the option to make decisions for themselves, it helps them with their transition from Reception to Year 1.
In Year 1, we adopt a theme-based approach to learning which enables us to make lots of cross-curricular links between various subjects. This also enables the children to see how different areas of the world relate to each other and helps the transition from Reception which is a more play-based curriculum to the more formal based curriculum we have in year 1. We use a lot of kinaesthetic, visual and oral aides to scaffold their learning in preparation for the learning they will have in year 2. And because of the great staff ratio that we have we are able to help those who need extra support and those who need that challenge and need to be extended. we find it much easier to give that to them as well.
In Year 2 the goal is to make them independent and confident to take the 7+ entrance exams. In the autumn term we focus on their academic skills, we encourage them to practice their test skills, so they can do well in the exams, as well as being confident enough to sit in a group or take an interview. The children do presentations to one another and to the class, and they might in community time in front of the whole school and parents. They are more confident to take on responsibilities, look after the little ones and some are made prefects. By the end of the year, they are all prefects. We hear from the parents of the children who have just left, or from the schools about how well our children have settled in. That they are confident, that their academic skills are at least as good as the children that are going to the skills often better. And that they are self-assured and independent which is exactly what we are hoping for.