Playing to the distinct advantages of an all boy school and small class sizes, we take a creative and responsive, hands-on approach to learning in the Pre-Prep. Most of the teaching is delivered by the form teacher, with the addition of subject specialists from the Prep to teach music, French and sport. The department has a Learning Support teacher and each form has a full time teaching assistant.


Our Reception class is intentionally small, with happy little boys who settle easily and grow in confidence. Following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, we place a strong emphasis on learning through play. We have a particular focus on outdoor learning and are a recognised Forest School with accredited Forest School leaders. During lesson time, the boys have free access to a specially designated garden, where many curriculum areas are covered. At break, they join the rest of the Pre-Prep to play in one of our two spacious playgrounds.  Through example and encouragement, the boys learn to take turns and work together, acquiring increasingly more academic skills as they progress through the year.


Year 1 and Year 2

In Years 1 and 2, the curriculum and routines are increasingly formal, reflecting the emerging maturity and independence of the boys. Learning is cross-curricular, which encourages the boys to think laterally and to draw upon their knowledge from several subjects for each task. A history lesson studying transport, space or electricity may draw upon elements of science, English and geography, for example, or an English lesson may use an historical figure as its focus for creative writing. Teaching is built around topic-based activities which are especially tailored to respond to boys and to the current enthusiasms of our boys in particular – dinosaurs, pirates, space and castles are always popular themes!

Numeracy and literacy are maintained as stand alone subjects.

While it is set in its own purpose designed building within one of the quadrangles of the school (the Grid), the Pre-Prep is a department of the whole school and the curriculum is intentionally closely aligned with that of the Junior Department. 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 a significant focus in the Pre-Prep. The boys are encouraged to question and to discuss their learning with others. They are given valuable feedback, which helps them to understand how they can improve their work in the future



Plan, Do, Review

The boys in the Pre-Prep are encouraged to “Plan, Do, Review”, a way of working which helps them to learn from experience, undoubtedly one of the most effective ways 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