Early Years/Reception and Pre-Prep (Years 1&2)
Girls start Reception in the September following their fourth birthday. The girls quickly settle into the rhythm of a school environment and become confident with numbers, writing and reading as well as communicating, working with others and aware of the world around them. The seven areas of the Foundation Stage are woven into activities, projects and topics that capture the excitement and interest of four year-olds.
Maths is a combination of practical, mental and written activities that encourage problem solving and reasoning skills. Girls practise reading, phonics and handwriting daily and we introduce parents to the approaches used so they can support their daughter’s learning. Girls are soon confidently participating in the weekly Newstime, Show and Tell and Celebratory Assembly events and, as their communication skills develop, French is added to the curriculum.
Building confidence and self-esteem
At this young age girls develop different skills at different times so teachers regularly and unobtrusively assess the development of each child every day and set tasks according to their level of progress; not only does this mean that girls are able to develop at their own pace but it also creates that sense of ‘look what I did today’ that helps build their confidence and self-esteem.
Keeping parents in the loop
A weekly newsletter keeps parents abreast of what is happening in the classroom and the Reception class teachers are in the playground after school every day to discuss progress, suggest ways of addressing any stumbling blocks and, of course, highlight achievements. Pupil planners are exchanged between home and school to keep track of progress and parents are welcomed into the classroom each week to see what has been happening during the week.
Ready for Key Stage 1
By the end of Reception, not only are the girls able to complete their reading and writing exercises, they have also learnt how to concentrate, to communicate and to participate in school life – skills that are fundamental to their progress in Key Stage 1.
|Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning|
|Communication & Langauge Physical Development Personal, Social & Emotional Development Literacy Mathematics Understanding the WorldExpressive Arts & Design|
Pre-prep (Year 1 and Year 2, ages 5-6)
Teaching in Key Stage 1 develops both the core skills and the enquiring minds that will prepare pupils for the introduction of the increasingly academic curriculum of Key Stage 2 (age 7).
Reading, phonics, maths and writing remain the core of the Key Stage 1 curriculum. Girls start to read independently and progress to chapter books. Cursive writing is introduced with girls beginning to write fluently in sentences.
Through Key Stage 1 we introduce subject-based lessons to expand girls’ horizons as they learn about people and places in the outside world. These are not simply fact-based lessons; they are also designed to encourage girls to ask questions, to actively think, to make connections and to find solutions to problems – skills that are essential to developing the mental capabilities of an independent learner.
Observation is still an important form of assessment and simple tests are introduced to help teachers and pupils understand individual progress in spelling, maths and English.
Parental involvement is maintained through the weekly newsletter and informal contact with teachers after school as well as formal reporting on progress and attainment each term.
The Connect approach
Humanities, religious studies, art, DT and some strands of science are taught both separately and in linked through our CONNECT curriculum. Interest and fun are the touchstones for learning with children at this age. Each term a topic web is created that interweaves the humanities, arts and sciences to introduce the facts and concepts related to each subject.
|Key Stage One Curriculum|
Art and design
Personal, social, health and citizenship