Joining the Pre-Prep
In keeping with Witham’s commitment to a holistic education, the Pre-Prep offers a breadth of opportunity in one setting. We provide a solid scholastic foundation complemented by opportunities and experiences that will develop children’s talents, interests and confidence. Please see each year group below to better understand what is on offer at each stage.
The majority of our pupils start in Reception class and benefit from having a fully-qualified, experienced teacher and a full-time teaching assistant for a class size between 12 and 18 pupils. While we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, we are also able to enrich the children’s learning with specialised teaching and additions, such as Outdoor Learning in our Wilderness area. Throughout the year, parents are partners in their child’s learning, accessing and adding to their child’s learning journey through the digital Tapestry journal. Maths and Communication and Language with Literacy and are taught a little more formally, but the majority of learning is through topics and a balance of child-led and teacher-initiated activities.
The Year 1 team work closely with the Reception team to ensure that every pupil’s transition to Key Stage 1 is smooth and at the right time for them, continuing to focus on numeracy and literacy. During the year there is a move to more formal learning in the classroom, but teaching is enhanced by continued topic work with visits and visitors always high on the agenda. Their topics range from Castles and Fairytales, Space and Brilliant Britain to Pirates, Under the Sea and Superheroes — teaching is planned to provide a variety that will capture every child’s interest and engage their imagination.
When moving into Year 2, teachers encourage more independence and the timetable is planned so that subjects become more clearly defined. The firm foundations gained in the two previous years are essential. Maths and English are taught every day and remain the backbone of our curriculum, but the teaching maintains width and depth, encouraging every pupil to enjoy their learning, experience success and build confidence.
The pupils in Year 3 enjoy being the oldest in the Pre-Prep. Whilst they undoubtedly have to work hard academically, they enjoy the responsibilities and independence that come with being in the top year of the Pre-Prep. The timetable incorporates increased games teaching and pupils start to have matches with local schools. Year 3 pupils are instrumental in helping with younger pupils at lunchtime, playtimes and after school, and they hold many monitor roles encouraging the leadership and responsibility that will be valuable later in their school life. In the Trinity Term we prepare for the transition to the Prep School, when we proudly watch the children move on with confidence and excitement, knowing they have built the academic and social foundations on which they will thrive.