Despite the fact that the curriculum becomes a little more formal in Year 1 and 2, with perhaps a little less play and a little more ‘working’ time, there is no less fun, creativity, laughter and enjoyment. As with every other year group in the Pre-prep, the learning is tailored to meet the needs of each individual child, to ensure that every child is supported, encouraged and stretched to meet their potential.
The children continue to build on the literacy skills they have developed in Reception. They now write with more independence using their knowledge of spelling patterns and sentence structure to help them. They are introduced to cursive writing using a joined script. By Year 2, the children have explored and extended their creative writing skills, writing Autumn poetry, and creating heroes and villains for their adventure stories. Reading remains at the heart of all we do and every child reads with the teacher, every day.
Maths remains an integral part of the school day and children are now taught in streamed ability groups. This allows support and time to consolidate learning for those who need it and the opportunity to extend those who are ready. Future success in Maths is dependent on building firm foundations of understanding of number and we work hard in the Pre-prep to ensure this is the case with every child.
Each day begins with a class assembly usually based around a story from the bible. This supports the child’s main lesson of R.S., where they learn about the Christian world through festivals and bible stories. Through studying celebrations such as Diwali, they also gain an appreciation of different faiths and religious beliefs.
The children in Year 1 carry out topic work throughout the year, visiting the fire station and library as part of their topic ‘People who help us’ and love looking for minibeasts in the grounds and pond dipping in the lake in the Summer Term. The Year 2 children thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to study science, geography, history and RS as discreet subjects. The activities are broad and varied, encouraging their independent enquiry and collaborative working skills. Trips are a large part of the learning experience for Year 2; they visit Ludlow Castle and Blists Hill as part of their history topics and these experiences bring the learning alive for the children. One of the most memorable days in Year 2 is when the children and staff dress up for their Victorian School Day; it is very strict and very silent and they love every minute of it!
The quality of art work in the Pre-prep is amazing. Colour, pattern and form make the classrooms bright and vibrant with displays of work from comfy cushions, sewn with name letters and bead decorations, to scary sea monsters decorated with colourful paper swirls, concertinas and spirals!
Throughout the Pre-prep the children continue to develop their French language skills with practical activities, games and songs. Children begin by developing their conversational skills and by Year 2 they are beginning to read and write ‘en Francais!’.
Year 1 and 2 children gain much from the facilities and specialist staff of the Prep School. The children love visiting the DT room for woodwork where they make bird houses, wooden cars and moving toys. They create ceramic pots, fish and funny faces in the art room and swim in the warm months in our indoor heated swimming pool. In Year 1 and 2 the children are taught team games skills for rugby, hockey, football, netball, cricket and rounders, by specialist coaches. Many children begin individual peripatetic tuition, in an instrument such as piano, violin or guitar, Speech and Drama or tennis. Taekwondo, ballet and Fawns club (Woodland School) are also hugely popular.
Through a gradual process of developing the children’s independence and confidence, they leave Year 2 ready for the move to Year 3 and all of the exciting adventures that being in the Prep School will bring.