Children in the Preparatory Department are taught by subject specialists, rather than having one teacher who takes the same class all week. Our teachers demonstrate excellent subject knowledge and specialist teaching skills.
A message from our subject teachers:
English lessons in the Prep Department are planned to be exciting and creative, full of speaking, presenting, drama, writing and drawing. We read marvelous books and texts together, and have lively presentation folders for our work. Reading is important to all our learning, and we celebrate reading in and out of lessons, listening to the children read aloud and encouraging them to read a big range of books and other texts like newspapers as often as possible. Sometimes we have trips to the theatre and have theatre companies in school to entertain us. There are opportunities to enter competitions like our popular House Poetry Competition.
“Why do we need to learn maths? We have calculators for that.”
Maths is so much more than just adding up and taking away, it is a way of explaining how things work and using numbers to help us.Think of maths as a foreign language that as you learn to speak, you will start to understand and the more you practice, the easier it will become. You might make mistakes, but as Alfred said to Batman, “Why do we fall Master Wayne?” to which Batman replied, “So we can learn to pick ourselves up again!” Mathematics is an adventure… there are always new things to discover and learn. It will never cease to amaze you how neatly and beautifully it all fits together. Most of the fun is in the learning of new things, mastering new methods and solving new puzzles.
From the moment you step into the science lab, you become a scientist. Our aim is to explore different topics and use our investigation skills to answer questions or explore different science theory. The children will look at different apparatus such as the Bunsen burner and the microscope. There will be plenty of opportunities to carry out investigations in groups and individually. Asking how and why questions and using key vocabulary will help them to understand the world around us. An important part of our science lessons will be to learn how to write up investigations; considering what makes an investigation fair. Analysing data and plotting graphs on the computer are a great way of showing our understanding! The children will also look at a variety of scientists and explore why they are famous. They may even get to use inventions they have created and look at how ideas can change over time such as why people used to think the earth was flat!
In History, prepare to think as a historian as we delve into the lives and lifestyles of people from the past. The children will be magically transported back to various periods such as, Ancient Egypt, the Romans, the time of the terrible Tudors and Victorian Britain. Through asking questions, finding clues and looking closely at evidence, they will gain the skills to become super history detectives.
Our learning in Geography will help us to learn about the local area and compare it to other places in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Raging rivers, violent volcanoes and magnificent mountains are just a few areas we will look at in geography.
While learning about different faiths and cultures, Religious Education helps us you reflect on the multicultural nature of our school. Across history, geography and R.E, local visits and field trips provide excellent learning opportunities and will enable the children to apply their knowledge.
In the Prep Department we learn French. We learn all about France, the French customs and culture, and how to understand, speak and read French.
Computing and Technology Studies
Welcome to Computing and Technology Studies (or CTS for short)! In CTS the children learn how technology has developed through the years and how to program on-screen characters. They look at all the different computer ‘jargon’ and learn the essential computer skills required throughout life. Each year group undertakes a special project, such as stop-motion animation or a fully acted out movie trailer. Our iLab has 20 of the latest Apple iMacs, together with laptops and iPads for use in other subjects.
In Art, the children enjoy lots of exciting activities including clay, printmaking, charcoal drawing, painting, 3D design, watercolours, pastels, fabric design and sculpture. They are encouraged to be creative and use your imagination while having fun. There are opportunities to experiment with different tools and explore new materials.
The children are encouraged to bring their creativity to D&T lessons and we work with them to gain the necessary skills to put those super ideas into working models. We cover a wide range of topics and use a large variety of materials. We develop the children’s skills with card, scissors and glue and work with wood and fabric using tools such as screwdrivers and needles & thread. They will also learn to use saws, drills, hammers, wood files, sand paper and more. We have a motto – “Let’s be SENSIBLE, to be SAFE, so we can have FUN!”
PE is a great chance to get out of the classroom and run around! During the year, we learn a different sport each half term … cartwheels in gymnastics, lay-ups in basketball, volleys in tennis, jumps in athletics – we teach them all. In the Sports Hall or on the Astro, the children will work in small groups to develop their skills.
Boys’ games offer our boys the opportunity to develop their skills in four important sports: rugby, hockey, football and cricket. They will have the chance to tackle, to attack and defend, to bat, bowl and field, to run with the ball, to pass, to dribble, to play in goal, to develop their teamwork and communication, to learn how to outwit their opponents, to counter attack with pace, to shoot with accuracy, to build a scrum and use the ball effectively from a breakdown and many other sport specific skills. All the boys in the Prep Department will have the opportunity to represent the school in sports fixtures.
In girls’ games lessons, the girls will learn how to play hockey, netball and cricket – no prior knowledge or experience necessary!
They play each sport for one term a year; learning skills in small groups and applying them in small-sided games. Once they have mastered the basic skills, they will get the chance to represent the school in matches and learn how to play the sport as part of a team. We play matches at home and away.
Every week we have Environmental Studies in the Spinney. We explore living things under the stones and logs, always mindful not to disturb the natural habitat. We do planting and cultivating, research and weather studies.