Pre-Prep


St Margaret’s Pre-Prep offers an exciting and nurturing environment for our younger children to thrive and develop their love of school and learning.

It is here that we really start to encourage a ‘have a go’ attitude which is central to the St Margaret’s ethos and the children are supported to persevere and take risks in a safe environment. The children begin to learn the importance of celebrating each other’s efforts, together with an understanding of the rights that all children should enjoy.
 
The combination of new challenges, individualised teaching and rich learning opportunities provides an engaging and stimulating experience to start to ‘Inspire Excellence’ in our younger children as they continue their magical journey towards life in the Prep Department.
 
Juliette Heal
Head of Kindergarten & Pre-Prep 

"The pupils display very high levels of self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-confidence and resilience at all ages."

ISI Inspection Report

FAMILY-FOCUSED APPROACH

Our primary aim is to cultivate a positive home-school relationship that is established for the entire time your child is with us.

Adopting a holistic, family-focused approach to understand the whole child is embraced not just by our class teachers, but by each staff member at the school who will interact with your child. This approach allows us a to work with ‘Parents as Partners’ to truly understand each child and to ensure they feel understood and secure, and confident with their new surroundings and routines. 

During the year, we strengthen our relationship with parents by ensuring we have regular, open dialogue and can chat to parents at drop-off and pick-up. We hold liaison and transition meetings at the start and end of the academic year to provide parents with information about their child’s learning journey for the year ahead. In addition to the traditional school reports and Parents’ Evenings, we organise a number of events throughout the year that gives our parents and extended family the opportunity to see their child in their learning environment. Parents are invited to join in songs with their children at the beginning and end of each week in Reception and we also invite family members to an Open Swim session (from the poolside!) so they can see their child’s progression. In Reception and Year 1 our Open House allows parents to be actively involved in their child’s learning during the afternoon on a chosen day, and the whole of Pre-Prep come together to celebrate Grandparent’s Day! 

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Reception

Children enter full-time education in our Reception class in the September after their 4th birthday.

The majority of children move up from our Kindergarten, but others may join us from local nurseries. For these children, towards the end of the summer term, teachers visit each child in their nursery setting to get to know them and to speak to their key person. This helps our teachers to gain a fuller understanding of each individual child. If this is not possible, for example if a child is new to the area, a home visit is offered.

We continue to develop the children’s love of learning in a large, bright classroom with two distinct teaching areas. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum is still followed at this stage and the children extend their ability in learning to live and work together. Emphasis at this stage is on providing even more opportunities for them to discover new passions and to start to learn about themselves as individuals.

Every child is encouraged and supported in their literacy development through a robust programme of phonics, which takes the form of a Letters & Sounds session every morning. This is then consolidated through both practical activities and also individual and group reading. Once a child has built the foundations, we link with phonics to begin their writing journey. They are encouraged to ‘have a go’ at writing less familiar words by applying their phonic knowledge, which enables them to make essential links between their reading and writing skills.

With numeracy, the children are introduced to strategies for performing simple calculations and use both every day and mathematical language to talk about concepts such as size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. Practical approaches are employed to teach the children and resources such as Numicon, help them see the connections between numbers.

The specialist subject teachers continue to deliver weekly Swimming, Music, Games, Computing and French lessons and the Eco Outdoor Learning (EcoOL) programme ensures that our children access our wonderful grounds to enhance their learning across the curriculum.

To support with the transition from Reception to Year 1, children are allocated buddies in Year 5 to provide reassurance and a friendly face.

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Years 1 & 2

Playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically all remain of vital importance, however, once in Years 1 and 2, the children start to broadly follow the Primary National Curriculum. 

We continue to develop literacy and numeracy skills and subjects such as Science, Design & Technology, Humanities and Art are taught using a seamless, topic-based approach. This encourages the children to make links between the various subject areas which ultimately deepens their understanding.
 
The topic-based timetable is then enhanced with a range of lessons taught by specialist teachers that is continued from Reception – Swimming, Games, Computing, French and Music.  
 
Where possible, we try to tailor the curriculum to foster individual interests, for example, linking in with families or members of staff within the school to reflect their backgrounds and experiences.

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Curriculum Map

Click here to view our curriculum map.