Playing to the advantages of an all-boys school with small class sizes, the Pre-Prep takes a creative, hands-on approach to learning. Most teaching is delivered by form teachers, but subject specialists from the Prep School teach music, French and sport. Each form has a full-time teaching assistant, and the department has a designated Learning Support team.


Our Reception class is deliberately small, and you will find that your son will easily settle in to his new school routine, making new friends and growing in confidence with each passing day. Following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, we place a strong emphasis on learning through play and we have a particular focus on outdoor learning - we are a recognised Forest School with an accredited Forest School Leader. All of the boys spend time outside each day, in a combination of playtime and outdoor learning. The boys in Reception have access to their own garden throughout the whole day. At break, they play with the rest of the Pre-Prep in one of our two spacious playgrounds.  Through example and encouragement, the boys learn how to take turns, to share and to work together.


Year 1 and Year 2

In Years 1 and 2, curriculum and routines reflect the emerging maturity and independence of the boys - but learning through play remains a key element. Cross-curricular learning encourages lateral-thinking and the use of wider knowledge. A history lesson studying transport, space or electricity may draw upon science, English and geography, for example; an English lesson may use an historical figure as its focus for creative writing. Teaching is built around topic-based activities that enthuse boys – dinosaurs, pirates, space and castles are always popular themes!

Numeracy and literacy are stand alone, core subjects and are taught in small groups tailored carefully to the needs and abilities of each boy.

Although it is in its own purpose-designed building, the Pre-Prep is a department within The Pilgrims' School, and its curriculum is closely aligned with that of the Junior Years. More information about the Pre-Prep curriculum, including sport and music, can be found throughout the specific subject areas of this website.

Assessment for Learning (AfL) is an important focus in the Pre-Prep. Boys are encouraged to question and discuss their learning. Feedback helps them to understand how they can improve their work.



Plan, Do, Review

The boys in the Pre-Prep are encouraged to “Plan, Do, Review” - your son will develop a way of working which will help him to learn from experience, perhaps the most effective way of learning.  Using the challenge to build a cargo ship as an example, each of our boys was asked to:

  • Take charge of deciding what sort of cargo ship he will make
  • Carry out the research necessary to design the ship
  • Create the design
  • Build the ship!
  • Assess how closely his ship resembled the original design
  • Consider any improvements for a future design