At South Lee School, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning. Literacy enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas. Literacy is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development and it has an essential role across the curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive. Teachers aim to promote a love and understanding of literacy through stimulating and exciting lessons, creating enthusiasm in every child and a real desire to learn independently whether at home or at school. We provide a wide variety of genres to engage all readers. Throughout the school day there are many opportunities provided to read and write for pleasure.
Our aims in the Pre-Prep
To encourage children to:
• be effective, competent communicators and good listeners;
• express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction using appropriate technical vocabulary;
• foster an interest in words and their meanings, and to develop a growing vocabulary in both spoken and written form;
• enjoy and engage with and understand a range of text types and genres;
• be able to write in a variety of styles and forms showing awareness of audience and purpose;
• develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness in all areas of literacy;
• use grammar and punctuation accurately;
• understand spelling conventions;
• produce effective, well-presented written work.
By the time children leave pre-prep, we expect them to communicate through speaking and listening, reading and writing, with confidence, fluency and understanding in a range of situations. We want every child to take pleasure in reading across a range of genres and to be motivated to read and write for a variety of purposes.
In Pre Prep, the emphasis is to make Maths both fun and accessible for everyone within a framework which consists of Number, Shape and Space, Units of Measurement, Data Handling, and Problem Solving. A combination of traditional and new maths is taught with the syllabus being based on the attainment targets of the National Curriculum with most of our pupils working at even higher level.
‘Number’; learning about place value, understanding sequences and patterns and recognising different types of numbers such as fractions. Mental strategies such as learning number bonds and times tables are taught throughout Pre Prep.
‘Shape and Space’ is another key area of Maths in which the children learn about the properties of 2D and 3D objects.
When exploring ‘Units of Measurement’; the children learn to make choices about the unit they would use to measure an item. Under this heading, the children also learn about time as a unit of measurement.
Within ‘Data Handling’ the children learn to collect simple data in the form of tally charts and, as they move up through the years learn different ways to present this data from pictograms to bar charts. They also learn to interpret the data and form conclusions about the information they have collected.
Problem Solving’ is an essential part of the curriculum in which the children apply their knowledge and basic skills to either complete an investigation or solve a more complex problem.
Throughout Pre Prep Maths is appropriately differentiated by the teachers according to the needs and strengths of the children.
A great emphasis is placed upon thorough knowledge of tables, number bonds and mental arithmetic and its use of solving problems. In pre prep we use the ICT programme called Mathletics which the children can also use at home. In Year 3, the children are introduced to the Schofield and Sims mental arithmetic workbooks which helps to provide rich and varied practice to develop pupils’ essential maths skills.
It is our aim that all our children leave Pre Prep ready to move onto the next phase of their education, confident and enquiring mathematicians.
“Year 3 maths is always fun and has been a great help in developing my mathematical skills for the future.”
Oliver Hutchison Year 3
At South Lee School we aim to encourage our pupils to assimilate scientific knowledge and skills through an active learning programme. We hope to capture our pupil’s natural curiosity about the world around them and foster a genuine interest in Science. We place a strong emphasis on investigative work from an early age. The pupils learn how to conduct an investigation through observations, questioning and reasoning. They learn how to handle simple equipment with confidence and how to record their findings in a variety of ways. We hope to develop independent learners and confident problem solvers. Science lessons are practically based and use a variety of resources including interactive whiteboards. We aim to use our outdoor learning areas as much as possible. Our lessons are enhanced by visiting speakers and trips to Bradfield Woods, the coast, local farms and Lackford Lakes.
In Pre-Prep, we aim to develop the pupils’ understanding of their immediate and wider surroundings. We look at both physical and human geography through a variety of location studies and the impact they have on the world around them. Our geography curriculum is enhanced through fieldwork and trips and we aim to teach pupils how to care for their environment. The acquisition of geographical skills is also an integral part of the programme and we work on compass directions to help the pupils read and design simple maps.
The aim of Pre Prep History is to develop an understanding of the past and its relevance to the present day. Our curriculum is designed to foster curiosity and questioning. The pupils are encouraged to explore their interests within the subject. We hope to develop an enthusiasm for the subject that will remain with them. We learn how to find out about the past using a wide range of resources. We aim to foster the necessary skills to investigate the past and to present their findings. The curriculum is enriched with visits to museums and local sites of historical interest. We also have themed activity days where we can explore the subject and enjoy creative links with other subjects. In Year 1 we explore history in the near past including toys and life in Great Grandma’s time. In Year 2 and 3 we begin to develop a chronological overview so that the children can put their learning into context. Year 2 study early man, Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks. We follow this in Year 3 with Romans, Anglo Saxons and Vikings. We hope by the end of Pre Prep that the children with begin to develop a clear understanding of the chronology of events.
At South Lee School we encourage and value the creative process. The corridors and display boards in the classrooms celebrate the children’s work. Art and Design Technology lessons are an opportunity for creative exploration where pupils can develop their own interests and skills. During their time in Pre Prep pupils will receive a broad grounding in artistic techniques including drawing and painting skills, collage, print making, 3D sculpture and textiles. We look at the work of artists including Monet, Picasso, Paul Klee and Andy Goldsworthy as well as art work from other cultures. In Design Technology we learn how to design and plan a project, how to select appropriate tools and materials as well as how to evaluate a finished piece of work. Projects include puppets, rocking toys, making vehicles and shields, we endeavour to make cross curricular links where possible. During these lessons classrooms become a hive of activity with the pupils fully engaged in the process. We hold termly design competitions which the children embrace with enthusiasm. Recent competitions include making a nativity scene in a shoe box and Easter hats.
In the Pre Prep Religious Study give plenty of opportunity for children to explore and encounter different religions. Asking questions, role-play and conversations on an individual basis as well as within a larger group stimulates thought and each child’s opinion and experience is valued.
In Kindergarten the Chinese New Year, Diwali, Christmas and Easter are celebrated and this is an introduction to the Christian values which children are taught when joining Starting Year 1.
From an educational perspective children need to know about the religion which has most influence in the country in which they are growing up and how Christianity has influenced festivals and customs which we celebrate. There is weekly collective prayer in the Pre Prep and whole school assemblies, and at the end of lunch, as the children are taught to be reflective and appreciative of all they have and enjoy.
Children are introduced to other religions and time is spent in each year group considering the formation and traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism as well as Christianity. As the children progress through Pre Prep they will revisit each Religion learning in more depth about its basis, customs and terminology so that at as children leave Pre Prep they will have an understanding of how different faiths can impact on their lives.
Children in Pre Prep have one lesson of P.S.H.C.E every week and assemblies also involve many topics which are covered throughout the P.S.H.C.E curriculum.
Pupils are encouraged to be sensitive to their environment and to the beliefs and behaviour of others and to develop self-awareness, positive self-esteem and confidence.
Topics included within the curriculum are: issues connected with starting a new school year, personal organisation, feelings and emotions, peer relationships, assertiveness, taking responsibility, E – Safety, worrying and bullying, overcoming obstacles and goal setting.
In computing, the children develop their confidence completing a variety of educational programs. They practise their mouse control, typing and general keyboard skills. They are introduced to word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and databases, and they learn how to save and retrieve their work. They are taught programming concepts and they start to code simple algorithms.
The music at South Lee is an exciting environment for children to explore their potential. Children who have music lessons are invited to showcase their talent at our tea time tunes concerts. These are held throughout the year. This opportunity allows our pupils to gain confidence and explore everything music has to offer. All pupils in Pre-Prep have two music lessons each week as part of the curriculum in which they learn a variety of different skills. The children also take part in a yearly Pre-Prep musical production.
At South Lee we recognise the importance of physical fitness in promoting a healthy mind. Physical Education for the younger ages is devoted to improving coordination and sporting abilities as well as helping pupils learn to strike a balance between competitive instincts and the necessity of working together.
In addition to gymnastics and dance, younger pupils are taught basic ball skills with a view to moving on to rounders, rugby, football, netball, tennis, cricket and hockey.
In Year 3, children will have the opportunity to participate in matches against other local prep schools.
After school, there are opportunities to participate in, football, tennis, cricket, rugby, netball and gymnastics.
In Years 1 and 2 we continue our learning from Nursery and Kindergarten, the emphasis being on having fun whilst speaking and listening to French, extending our knowledge of the basics in a variety of contexts.
We learn through games, songs, rhymes and stories. We watch films of French children and their families going about their daily lives and we copy them in role play situations. We also share our own experiences of visiting other countries, comparing them to our own country and home town.
In Year 3 we begin to match the French sounds to their letters, introducing us to reading and writing French, in preparation for our Prep school French learning.