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Departments and Subjects

Departments and Subjects
in Preschool, Pre-Prep & Prep

Preparing girls in a stimulating and scholarly environment.


Our preschool accepts girls and boys after their third birthday, and children are welcomed into reception in the September following their fourth birthday. Preschool and reception make up our early years’ foundation stage (EYFS)


The pre-prep department comprises preschool and reception (EYFS) together with year 1 and year 2 (key stage 1). Girls join reception from our preschool or join straight into school at this entry point.


Our prep department comprises year 3, year 4, year 5 and year 6 (key stage 2). Girls are prepared for 11+ entrance examinations, including Common Entrance, to a variety of independent senior schools including St Swithun’s.

Throughout the school we maintain small class sizes of approximately 18 pupils.


Preschool and reception

Children in preschool and reception learn through participating in a wide variety of well-planned, stimulating and enjoyable activities. Child-initiated planning enables them to influence topics and allows the teachers to respond to the children’s interests and creativity. Continuous assessment ensures that each individual is supported and extended as appropriate.

The curriculum in the preschool and reception years is based on seven areas of learning:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Communication and Language
  3. Physical Development
  4. Literacy
  5. Mathematics
  6. Understanding the World
  7. Expressive Arts and Design

OFSTED graded the early years’ foundation stage as ‘outstanding’ and in our last ISI inspection the EYFS was also graded ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’.

Year 1 and Year 2

As children progress to year 1 and year 2 their literacy and numeracy skills are consolidated. Their curriculum includes the core curriculum subjects English, mathematics and science as well as art, design and technology, information and communication technology (ICT), religious education, music, drama, personal social and health education, history, geography, physical education and a wide range of creative activities. Spanish is specialist-taught from nursery to year 2.

All pupils have reading books to share at home. Year 1 children take home spelling activities and an interactive maths game, and Year 2 children take home mathematics and literacy activities.

Year 3 to year 6

A structured programme increases the amount of formal work as children move through the preparatory department. The girls develop a desire to learn as well as the beginnings of the means to become independent students. They accept more responsibility for their own learning and begin to manage their time. They are encouraged to read regularly and widely.

Specialist Teaching

Performing Arts
Creative Arts
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