We recognise that the transition from Reception to Year 1 needs to be smooth, to provide continuity and consistency for the children.
Teachers spend time in both phases during key points in the year, to ensure that your child will be well prepared and ready to embark on the next phase of their learning. Our close, nurturing environment across the School ensures that teachers know your child well before they join them in the later years.
All Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms have a full-time teacher and teaching assistant. Our small class sizes ensure that every child is treated as an individual and receives personalised learning tailored to their own individual needs through an exciting connected curriculum. Half-termly topics connect the children’s learning in English, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Art, Computing, PSHE and RE. Specialist teachers teach PE, French, Music and Forest School across the week.
Maths lessons are a key feature of each day at Shrewsbury House Pre- Preparatory School, with a variety of techniques and methods used including mental maths, problem-solving, and practical work. We aim to develop your child’s confidence in Maths and to help them reach their full mathematical potential by developing their understanding of their maths studies.
In class, we use a variety of practical resources to help your child develop their mathematical understanding. Once your child has demonstrated a secure understanding of the concepts taught, they are then challenged to answer more advanced questions. These questions may often require two or more processes to be used in order to formulate an answer. Teaching methods and techniques are tailored to individual needs, with differentiated work across the classes.
We encourage children to develop their mathematical fluency, providing them with tools to apply what they have learned to non-routine mathematical problems.
A variety of Maths tests and challenges are carried out over the year to help prepare your child for the 7+ assessments and introduce them to different styles of questioning.
Across Year 1 and Year 2 we teach:
• Place value
• Addition and subtraction
• Multiplication and division
• Properties of shape
• Position and direction
• Mass, capacity and temperature
English is a central feature of everyday lessons. We want your child to develop excellent reading, writing and speaking skills and to foster a love of different aspects of English. Our exciting connected curriculum enables this to happen by setting the learning opportunities in real-life contexts.
Developing good reading skills supports all areas of the curriculum. Children read individually with an adult several times a week, looking at a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts, progressing through our own reading scheme.
Encouraging a love of reading is recognised as a working partnership between home and school. Children are expected to read daily at home and encouraged to read a wide range of texts.
Your child will develop their ability to share books and stories in Nursery and Reception by taking home story sacks and library books each week. Through a structured approach to the early systematic teaching of phonics, children are able to segment and blend words, decoding the texts they are reading. Once early skills, such as decoding and understanding are developed, emphasis shifts to use of expression, predicting skills and inference. Your child will be encouraged to talk about the texts they are reading, further developing speaking skills and comprehension.
Developing Speaking and listening skills begins before a child joins Year 1. In Nursery, children are given opportunities to develop further their listening and speaking skills when working in small groups and with adults. Speaking clearly and confidently is an essential life skill, promoted in all aspects of school life. All children take part in school performances to further develop their ability to speak confidently and with conviction. Children in Years 1 and 2 take part in LAMDA examinations once each year. They also have many opportunities to perform to an audience through drama, concerts and plays throughout the year.
The children join us in Nursery with a wide variety of writing abilities, and tailored teaching of early writing skills is given according to each individual child’s needs. Time is spent working on recognising phonics and embedding early pre-writing skills such as gross and fine motor control. This continues through the Early Years Foundation Stage, to help develop excellent early writing outcomes. Children in Year 1 and 2 gain skills to write in a variety of different genres such as story writing, poetry, letters, information texts and diary extracts. Writing creatively for a purpose is supported by our connected curriculum and high standards of written English are encouraged across all areas of learning.
Developing good Handwriting and writing habits begin with our youngest children. Solid foundations begin by developing good posture through strong gross motor skills and having regular opportunities to develop fine motor control. In Reception, Year 1 and 2 children regularly practise their handwriting skills by learning the different letter families and how these join with horizontal, vertical and diagonal strokes. Children in Years 1 and 2 develop a good cursive script and high standards of presentation are expected across the curriculum.
Your child will learn to spell through a variety of teaching methods. Spelling tests take place weekly in Years 1 and 2, with the words sent home beforehand. The key focus is on high-frequency words and phonic spelling patterns.
Good grammar and punctuation skills are consolidated across all areas of work. They are taught both as a part of more general lessons as well as in more specific, direct ways.
The children complete formal written Comprehension regularly as part of English lessons, and when reading to an adult their comprehension of a text is continually assessed through differentiated questioning. Comprehension and Verbal and non- verbal reasoning skills are developed in line with the expectations set for the 7+ assessment process.
During our weekly Science lessons, we build on prior knowledge and develop scientific thinking, questioning and vocabulary to explain and give reasons for our findings.
We aim to make all Science learning as practical as possible, allowing your child to investigate topics through the use of resources and experimentation.
The teaching and learning of Science in Year 1 and 2 provides your child with the opportunity to explore and investigate the world around them through the use of different scientific skills and techniques including:
• The use of scientific equipment
• Identification and classification
• Gathering and interpreting evidence
• Data collection and analysis
Our Science topics through Years 1 and 2 include: Materials, Animals, The Human Body, Habitats, Electricity, Changing State and Plants.
French is taught once a week to all children, right from Nursery to Year 2.
Lessons include plenty of movement and fun through games, songs, dances and puppetry.
Initially, pupils are introduced to basic topics such as colours, numbers, animals and days of the week. As they move into Year 1 children will explore further vocabulary, and have the chance to practise it with one another.
Our French Café day gives the children the opportunity to use the French they have acquired through their lessons.
Humanities is a weekly part of the children’s education through integrated history and geography studies. These subjects are taught throughout our topic work and linked to key areas of study. Children enjoy learning about the world around them and how it has changed. A practical, hands-on approach is pursued, often through handling real artefacts and creating experience workshops to bring the subject to life for the child. Their enthusiasm is also stimulated through external visits and school trips.
Starting in Nursery and Reception, your child will learn about who they are and where they come from as they begin to discover the world around them. They make meaningful connections between their experiences and those of others, celebrating similarities and the differences they encounter. As your child moves into Year 1, humanities is taught both explicitly, as stand-alone lessons, and interwoven into topic work.
Children begin to research different time periods and ways of living, exploring both their local environment and the wider world around them. Topics draw upon different cultures, allowing the children to understand that people have different beliefs, attitudes, customs and traditions, encouraging understanding and tolerance of other people and their environments.
Humanities is planned to give your child the best understanding of our world, past, present and future, and to allow each child to think about their environment and the world in which they live.
We aim to develop your child’s understanding of Christianity and of other world faiths, while encouraging them to begin to develop their own world view.
In EYFS, much of our RE learning is taught through the experiences of those in the school community and we welcome visitors in to share about their home celebrations and significant religious events.
In Years 1 and 2 we spend time learning about world faiths, focusing on Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
All of our RE topics start by asking a Big Question, before we embark on a journey together to explore the answers. Our Big Questions might be Who am I? or Where do I belong? or Why is Jesus important? Through these big questions the children learn information about world religions while also making links to their own lives.
At Shrewsbury Pre-Preparatory School, we are proud to be a pastorally strong team who aim to develop each child as a whole person. We nurture and develop confident and kind children with the skills necessary to deal with the world around us. Our PSHE programme is embedded within the curriculum, with our values underlying everything that we do. Positive modelling of behaviours and mind-sets is evident, with all members of our school community working together to create the best environment for personal growth. These skills and attributes help children to stay safe; have an awareness and empathy for others; make good choices (online, health-wise, eating, relationships etc.) and prepare them for broader life. PSHE will help your child to achieve their academic potential as well as to be responsible, engaged citizens.
Interacting with and understanding information technology is an important part of the world our children are growing up in. Consequently, Computing is taught from Reception to Year 2 both
through stand-alone lessons and as part of the general curriculum. The children use a range of hardware and software to support their learning in all curriculum areas, with both laptops and iPads available.
Our staff are trained in the use of digital technology to support learning, including interactive whiteboards in every classroom, visualisers, digital cameras and electronic programmable toys, such as Bee-Bots and recordable talking clipboards.
Nursery and Reception children are taught to understand the basic concept of various technological tools such as computers, whiteboards and cameras and to use touchscreen technology to operate toys or apps. They are encouraged to interact with a simple program, with the support of an adult.
As your child moves up to Years 1 and 2 they hone further IT skills such as: using a search engine to find a specific resource; gathering information from a variety of sources, creating and deleting items in files, while developing their vocabulary and understanding of computer systems and technology.
There are exciting opportunities to work on STEM projects where children can further develop their interest in Computing and explore how it will have an impact on them today and in the future.
IT and Internet Safety is a key element of our Computing studies, with Safer Internet Day an annual whole-school feature.
The art curriculum provides a creative, inspiring, and hugely enjoyable learning environment where your child can develop their imaginative and artistic skills as part of the connected curriculum. Through art and craft, children develop self-confidence, creative and critical thinking, visual sensitivity and art appreciation as well as increased dexterity and fine motor skills.
Learning is largely topic-based and your child will have the opportunity to look at the work of famous artists, designers and sculptors from different countries and cultures. There are regular art focus days and visits into school from artists and illustrators as sources of inspiration. Trips out include visits to both local and national art galleries in London. Your child will have the opportunity to enter art competitions and have their work displayed in the local community. Teaching is skills-based and we explore a vast range of materials and processes, which includes:
• Sculpting (clay work)
• Working with textiles
From Nursery through to Year 2, your child will have access to the School Library, interactive whiteboards and computers to aid them in their research and design. iPads are also available for pupils to develop their art projects further. The display of artwork created in lessons and activities is highly valued and is displayed around the school. Your child will work both individually and co-operatively as groups to create collaborative whole-school artworks.