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Pre-Prep at St Margaret’s comprises four year groups and six classes – Kindergarten (3-4 years), Reception (4-5 years), Year 1 (5-6 years) and Year 2 (6-7 years) - with approximately 80 children in total.
Kindergarten and Reception classes are referred to as the Early Years Foundation Stage and follow the EYFS Curriculum, whereas children in Years 1 and 2 broadly follow the Primary National Curriculum, which has been enhanced with a range of additional specialist taught lessons.
Within the Kindergarten, our Early Years staff follow the EYFS Curriculum to ensure that children enjoy learning through play. It is at this important stage of development that our focus is very much based on nurturing and building each child’s confidence, to make the move into the Reception class and full time education the following year far less daunting. An excellent staff/pupil ratio contributes to this, ensuring that the children receive a high level of individual attention.
The Kindergarten aims to be as flexible as possible to fit in with parents, family and work requirements. It is open from 8.15am until 4.00pm, Monday to Friday, with an early morning drop off facility from 8.00am. Wrap around care is available until 6.00pm at an additional cost.
In order to benefit from the activities organised in the Kindergarten and to assist with settling in and confidence building, we recommend four or five sessions per week, which can be booked on a full or half day basis. Structured play and activities provide the foundation for reading, writing and number work. Creative skills are nurtured and encouraged through painting, drama and musical activity. There are also plenty of opportunities to swim, dance, play games and just have fun!
For the purpose of claiming hourly funding, session times are as follows:
As an example, a child staying for 5 morning sessions would attend for 20 hours per week, a child staying for 2 and a half days would attend for 19 hours per week.
Children enter full-time education in our Reception classes in the September after their fourth birthday. We continue with the EYFS Curriculum and the children extend their ability in learning to live and work together and begin to acquire skills in literacy and numeracy. The emphasis at this stage is on variety and the children are taught by subject specialists in French, ICT, Sport and Music, which gives them an exciting start to their learning programme.
Increasingly in Pre-Prep, the children start to enjoy a more subject specific timetable. They continue to develop literacy and numeracy skills and are introduced to a more structured approach to learning, incorporating subjects such as Science, Design & technology, History, Geography and Art. Throughout Early Years they will have developed an understanding of the characteristics of effective learning. As such, playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically all remain of vital importance. A ‘have a go’ attitude is central to the St Margaret’s ethos and the children are supported to persevere and take risks in a safe environment. Celebration of each other’s’ efforts, together with an understanding of the rights that all children should enjoy, are key priorities.