The curriculum in Pre-Prep develops and responds to children’s needs and abilities, offering the support and challenge they need to help them to work to their individual strengths and to achieve their best.
In Kindergarten and Reception, children new to school deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and to each other. This interactive, play-based learning also develops healthy mindsets, which prepare our youngest children for life beyond Pre-Prep.
The 'Moor Park Mindsets' celebrate independence, curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, resilience and confidence. In Pre-Prep we use the friendly characters of the Independent Iguana, Resilient Rabbit, Confident Camel, Curious Cat, Creative Crocodile and the Critical Thinking Crab and we enjoy spotting these traits everyday as the children challenge themselves and grow.
Our Pre-Prep children benefit from the fabulous facilities and teaching expertise of the Prep School as well as from specialist external providers. Our youngest children develop confidence through performance, taking part in both Christmas and Spring seasonal performances as well as termly class assemblies. Year 1 and above are invited to attend our Headmaster's Assembly on Friday mornings, at which efforts, accomplishments and prizes are announced - and celebrated with a handshake and applause.
For those children who may require extra support in their learning, we have both an internal SEN department and external specialists who come into school.
Extra-curricular activities are available in Prep-Prep and include tennis, speech and drama, singing and ballet.
Learning happens through a balanced provision of child-initiated free choice play and adult led activities. Our Kindergarten class is taught by a qualified teacher and is a rich, stimulating and fun-filled environment.
The greatest learning happens outside of the classroom and we use every opportunity to take the children into our wonderful grounds. As well as walks in the woods or down to the lake, the children make regular visits to our wonderful Woodland School site, where they can play and explore.
Our Kindergarten also has access to their own, secure, all-weather playground that offers a variety of ever-changing activities and invitations to play. These might include tools and materials for construction projects, growing vegetables, a sandpit, dinosaur small-world play, a potion-making tough tray or tyres and boards for an obstacle course. There are also quiet, creative areas, indoors and out, for those who want to draw, weave or look at a book.
The Reception classroom follows the principles laid out in the EYFS and is very much still a play based environment. Even though we are increasing the children’s capacity to listen and focus on learning tasks, at this age, they still learn most effectively through play. The room is open plan with the aim of allowing them to choose how and where they play and develop their ideas. The aim is to create learning opportunities from the children’s play and so we design mathematical challenges for the children to solve and encourage writing to be an integrated element in their play.
Time is dedicated to developing the children’s numeracy and literacy skills. Lessons are fun, lively and practical, ensuring that all children make progress, at their own level and at their own pace. The most important thing is that they develop the confidence to have a go; to use their phonic knowledge to sound out words, to write plausible and phonetically accurate sentences, to have a bank of strategies to solve a number puzzle.
The curriculum is varied and designed to give pupils a first glimpse at a range of new and exciting experiences. French lessons begin using song and rhyme, and the class is introduced to the specialist C&IT, DT and Art rooms.
YEARS 1 & 2
The children continue to build on the literacy skills they have developed in Reception, and write with more independence using their knowledge of spelling patterns and sentence structure. 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.
Numeracy too is taught at every stage of the Pre-Prep curriculum, teaching children how to make sense of the world around them in an engaging and interactive way. We encourage each child’s enjoyment of this subject by allowing time for investigation and exploration and by demonstrating the role of maths in our everyday lives.
Through practical activities the children explore features of shape and space, develop measuring skills and an understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented.
Outside of literacy and numeracy, in Years 1 and 2 children are introduced to as many different experiences as possible and they are always encouraged to try something out, even if they find the activity challenging.
The children in Year 1 carry out topic work throughout the year with day trips to complement their learning (a trip to the Fire Station and a visit from the Police are two favourites during the 'people who help us' topic).
The Year 2 children enjoy the opportunity to study science, geography, history and RS as discrete subjects. Trips are a large part of the learning experience for Year 2; they visit Ludlow Castle and Blist's Hill as part of their history topics bringing their learning alive.
Throughout the Pre-Prep the children continue to develop their French language skills with practical activities, games and songs, by Year 2 they are beginning to read and write ‘en Francais’.
The children in Year 3 are on the cusp of their move to Prep School, with their last year in Pre-Prep allowing them to flex their wings in a safe, familiar and age-appropriate environment.
Lessons in subject classrooms are introduced outside of just the DT and Art Laboratories. The Year 3 day remains at Pre-Prep length, with a formal lesson finish at 3.45pm, however the timetable begins to look far more akin to the Prep School, smoothing the transition upwards at the end of the year. After-school activities and supper are included within the day-school fee for Year 3 children, for more information about after-school care, click here.
The fun of inter-school competitive sport begins in the last year of Pre-Prep, making up U8 teams in rugby and hockey (Michaelmas Term), football and netball (Lent Term) and cricket (Summer Term). There is also the chance to compete in inter-school Cross Country races, with running practice each Thursday during the Michaelmas and Lent Terms.
Finally, the big change for our Year 3s is the introduction of boarding. The children have an opportunity to trial the experience at the end of the previous year in a whole-class 'sleepover'. Year 3s are able to board on a full-time basis, but often choose to flexi-board, choosing nights offering a particularly tempting activity or simply when their friends will be staying. Our Houseparents take special care of our new recruits, who quickly become a part of our boarding family, reaping the rewards of a growth in confidence and inter-personal skills.