S. Anselm's

A full boarding and day school for boys and girls from Nursery to 16

Academics

Literacy

In the Pre-Prep children’s natural love of stories is fostered from the outset. They are encouraged to develop creativity in their writing, maturing into confident independent writers. As their writing develops we help the children to balance creativity with accuracy.

We place an emphasis on developing each child’s reading ability. Our aim is to instil a love of reading and an enjoyment of books for life. We hear each child read every day, either to their Form Teacher or a Teaching Assistant.

Poetry and drama are used to help language development and enrich the literacy curriculum. Children learn and develop their handwriting style, grammar, spelling and punctuation skills throughout the Pre-Prep.

Numeracy

At S. Anselm’s mathematical concepts are developed through practical, fun filled activities. A “hands–on” approach creates an understanding of concepts on which all future learning is based. The children explore numbers, patterns and sequences, and are encouraged to make observations and give suggestions.

Each child will develop at his or her own pace, and lessons are planned and delivered accordingly. In the Pre-Prep we like to ensure all activities are selected to challenge, stimulate and develop a positive mathematical experience.

Our aim is to fulfil every child’s mathematical potential!

ICT

Our children live in a rapidly changing technological age where Information and Communication Technology is an important part of everyday life. Every child has regular access to networked computers within their classroom and a weekly ICT lesson in our Prep school ICT suite. We also have a number of interactive whiteboards in the department which help to enhance learning in other areas of the curriculum, whilst reinforcing skills covered in ICT.

The ICT curriculum is further enhanced by a wide range of other technologies including digital cameras, floor robots and mini video recorders. Our varied scheme of work ensures that our children leave the Pre-Prep able to confidently use a range of ICT skills.

PSHE

Personal, Social and Health Education aims to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to lead confident, healthy and independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. We consider social and moral dilemmas, right and wrong behaviour including bullying. PSHE is taught through circle time and other subjects. Pre-prep assemblies are also used to reinforce school rules and acceptable behaviour.

We have a weekly award assembly where children are given stickers for effort, kindness, good manners etc. which builds confidence and a positive feeling about themselves and their peers.

Children work throughout the week to earn their right to Golden Time, by keeping the class Golden Rules. During this time children sometimes bring toys or games from home or fun activities are planned for either in or outside of the classroom.

Religious Studies

All children in the Pre-Prep gain an insight into Christianity and other world religions. Children have a weekly R.E. lesson and often listen to religious stories during the Pre-prep assemblies. We aim for the children to become reflective and feel that they can safely ask thought provoking questions as well as learning respect for and understanding of all religions.

Science

Throughout the Pre-Prep, the children will explore a range of scientific themes, such as, Forces, Light and Dark, Plants and Animals, Electricity and Materials. The children’s scientific ideas are communicated through drawings, diagrams, tables, ICT, speech and writing. The children are encouraged to discover and learn through hands on investigations in and out of the classroom.

Children are always encouraged to ask “why” and put their theories to the test!

Geography and History

The children in Years 1 and 2 explore a range of topics with geographical and historical content. The children are encouraged to develop a range of skills, to enable them to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live. These topics are taught usually in blocks of lessons over 2 to 3 weeks. This enables the themes to be a taught in a more cross-curricular manner, often being incorporated in Literacy, Art and Design Technology lessons.

Topics explored in Year 1 include Homes, Toys, School Environment and Weather.

In Year 2 the children study the Seaside, Kenya, Bakewell and Famous People and Events.

French

A weekly French lesson is taught by a specialist teacher throughout the Pre-prep department. The children follow the very popular La Jolie Ronde scheme of work. The emphasis is on spoken language and learning to communicate confidently. Children learn that acquiring the skills of another language can be fun and exciting.

Music

S. Anselm’s Pre-Prep corridors are often ringing with the sound of children’s voices. We aim to foster a love of singing and participating in musical activities.

Each class has a weekly music lesson with a specialist teacher, where they play a range of percussion instruments and create group performances and compositions. As the children’s musical sense develops they learn to change speed, dynamics and characterisation.

Children sing daily in Assemblies and regular singing practice. At Christmas their musical skills are showcased in our now legendary Christmas plays.

We have enjoyed visits from travelling artists, which have previously included a Samba workshop and learning a Chinese Lion Dance. The choir and older Pre-Prep children are taken Carol Singing to raise money for charity.

The children have the opportunity to learn to play the piano, recorder, guitar and drums, with specialist teachers.

Children leave the Pre-Prep as confident musicians with a huge repertoire of songs up their sleeves!

Sports

Pre-Prep Sport is about developing a child’s co-ordination skill, improving their levels of fitness, through appropriate physical challenges, and simply having fun! Activities take place both indoors, in the school’s Sports Hall and outdoors, on the extensive playing fields. The school is blessed with an impressive amount of equipment and apparatus which the children love to use.

The Head of Girls and Boys Sport in the Prep school teach the children in Years 1 and 2 for a weekly Games & PE lesson. The children experience a range of different ball games, developing their skills in sports such as netball, hockey, football and tennis, and also a range of dance and gymnastic activities. All of the children also have a swimming lesson each week in the school’s indoor pool.

We aim to explore, encourage and extend each child’s natural physical abilities and health related knowledge, in order to foster a positive attitude to sport. We hope to achieve a balance between aesthetic and practical, individual, partner and team work, to give each child a sound and broad base from which to achieve success and develop a lifelong love of sport.