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Academic studies at Woodbridge Pre-Prep

Woodbridge Pre-Prep nurtures pupils through their first steps in numeracy, literacy, history, geography and the wonder of the sciences. At every step, our staff inspire pupils to develop their curiosity, gain knowledge and improve their talents, leading with enthusiasm and excitement.

Inspiring our youngest pupils

Everything we do at Woodbridge School Pre-Prep is underpinned by our commitment to five key objectives:

  • Putting numeracy and literacy at the heart of our learning programme
  • Encouraging a love of learning
  • Developing a child’s imagination, creativity and sensitivity
  • Fostering self-esteem, self-discipline and self-confidence
  • Helping each child to become self-aware and, through this awareness, to work easily with others.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which leads into the National Curriculum, which – together with the wider curriculum – offers a broad, balanced education to our early years and younger pupils. To achieve all of this, we have small classes and a team of skilled Early Years Practitioners and Key Stage One specialists who understand how young children learn.

Reception – managing the transition into school

Children entering Reception often come from a variety of different nursery settings. The teachers will visit each pupil at their nursery before they join Reception to talk to nursery staff and the children to ensure a smooth transition.

An afternoon in the summer term is dedicated to new pupils and their families. Here, parents have the opportunity to meet one another before their child starts school, while the children are able to spend the afternoon with their teacher in the classroom. Pupils will also be invited to social occasions such as theatre performances, Mini Sports Day and Summer Concerts.

The children are taught by experienced Early Years staff who value each unique child. Classes are kept small to ensure pupils are well nurtured, with individual needs being met. Focused teaching and observations ensure that good progress is made by all children across the Early Years curriculum. Children are taught by specialist teachers in Spanish, PE, Drama and Music.

Year 1 – topic-based learning

Topic-based learning is an exciting and fun way for children to learn about new subjects across the curriculum, giving them the opportunity to learn in a hands-on, more memorable way for greater depth. For example, the topic ‘In the Garden’ allows children to build mini-beast homes in our extensive school grounds and visit the local ‘Foxburrow Farm’ for a day of pond-dipping and mini-beast hunting. Meanwhile, in Art, the children look at the work of wildlife artists, and create beautiful 3D mini-beasts in DT.

Throughout Year 1, the children enjoy daily phonic sessions where they are taught to word build, decode and sight-read a wide range of vocabulary. This is then applied in spelling and all forms of written work. The focus is to ensure the children use the correct letter formation, and they are taught daily how to join letters and develop a fluid handwriting style.

The children are taught maths in a fun, practical way using the outside environment whenever possible. Maths is taught daily and within some lessons the children will use laptops or the interactive board to reinforce and extend their learning.

Year 2 – continuing to build on their skills

Topic based-learning continues, with topics such as fire, earth and water presenting exciting opportunities to learn about the planet, rain forests and endangered species, and even the chance to make our own volcanoes in the classroom! We also cover the Great Fire of London, with the children taking part in a special fancy dress “Fire of London” day to experience a slice of 1666 life.

Pupils receive two music lessons a week. Other than any private lessons within School, this will be their first taste of playing and practising an instrument. Parents are invited to a small concert to showcase these early performance skills.

Children have many more opportunities to build confidence in Year 2, as parts in school performances become bigger and public speaking in class is more frequent. This means children are already able to stand up in front of an audience possessing key performance and delivery skills as they enter Prep.

Year 2 pupils are encouraged to become more responsible and are all given prefect roles. From playground monitors to manning the water fountain they really enjoy rising to this challenge. Children also start to understand the independence and self-motivation encouraged in the Prep and Senior School, with older pupils inspiring the Pre-Prep pupils to do their best.

Supported by creativity, sports and real life experiences

A broad curriculum, underpinned by literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills, also provides opportunities to develop the child’s creativity and self-expression. Art, music, poetry, drama, sport, Forest School and Spanish all feature within the school day, as well as a range of after school activities including chess, ballet, tennis and singing.

Trips and events

Throughout their time in Pre-Prep, children get to see many visitors to school and trips to see new places. These have included the Owl Visit, theatre companies, artists, pond dipping activities, the Science Rocket Factory, dedicated book/art days, the Fire Service, Police, dental hygienist and the Aldeburgh Lifeboat. These valuable experiences are an important part of the children’s learning and provide a better understanding of the world around them.

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