The philosophy behind the Prep School curriculum is to provide a balanced programme which gives a thorough grounding in the core subjects while offering the children a broad spectrum of experience in Language, Art and Design, Music and Drama, and Sports. We want our pupils to have a love of learning and a thirst for finding out new things.
Our academic standards and expectations are high, based to a large extent on the National Curriculum. There are some adaptations consistent with our independent status in the hope that all pupils will be able to broaden and deepen their studies beyond the National Curriculum guidelines. The curriculum is supported by a programme of educational visits directly linked to the courses, and by voluntary participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities.
Those who join our Nursery and Reception classes benefit from broad and enriching experiences related to the world around them. Their busy ‘hands-on’ days are filled with learning activities, outings and visiting experts, together with the all-important opportunities for play and developing friendships. The foundations for literacy and numeracy are laid and creativity is encouraged.
The curriculum for the Under 5’s centres around the seven areas of learning. These are made up of three prime areas which are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development and the four specific areas: literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive art and design. The well-planned activities covering all these areas ensure that pupils make very good progress in a happy well-balanced way. We use ‘Tapestry’, an online learning journal which is shared with parents.
Subjects studied in years 1-6
An artist requires inspiration and opportunity. The Art Department in the Prep School provides both. The Art Atrium, where Upper Prep lessons take place, provides a light, spacious, stimulating space where pupils can fully engage in drawing, painting, sculpture, clay, printmaking and textiles.
In Computing, pupils enjoy access to ICT suites containing PCs as well as laptops, iPads and VR headsets. Pupils progress through a structured scheme of work and are taught by a specialist Computing teacher from Year 1 upwards.
Design & Technology
Design & Technology at Wellingborough allows pupils to be creative, encouraging the development of new skills and knowledge through practical activities. Pupils embark upon a series of projects from Year 1 through to Year 6 using a wide variety of materials and processes. From Year 4 upwards, pupils study in the exciting and vibrant environment of the Gent Centre, the same well-resourced specialist facility used by the Senior School.
English & Drama
We wish to inspire every child to use English, now and in their future lives, to the best of their abilities. Pupils are given the tools with which to analyse what they read (identifying elements of the author’s craft), to persuade others of their views, compare texts, inform readers and argue points.
Reading is central to all pupils’ progress; in the Upper Prep, we use the Accelerated Reader programme to incentivise through rewards and successful achieving of targets, raised standardised scores and vocabulary levels, the inter-Club trophy and prizes. Our Library is a hugely attractive environment; the Librarian and all English staff are always at hand to advise about book choices.
Above all, pupils are encouraged to enjoy themselves so that they can step confidently into the future, making their mark through the spoken and written word.
We are passionate about Geography and about our pupils becoming active and engaged citizens of the world. We want them to learn and understand key concepts, terms and processes, but also to think about the relevance of the subject to our everyday lives and their possible future careers. We encourage pupils to think creatively, yet critically.
In the Prep school, we aim to create inquisitive and enthusiastic historians. We investigate not only British history, but also the history of the wider world. Children see a diversity of human experience so that they may understand more about themselves as individuals and as members of a society.
What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values. In History, children find evidence, examine and evaluate in order to reach their own conclusions. To do this, they need ability to research, sift through evidence and argue a point of view – skills that are prized for adult life.
Our approach to teaching Mathematics is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical concepts at a rate suitable to each individual. We aim to make pupils confident in their ability, enjoy the challenge of solving mathematical problems and at the same time, helping them to realise that Mathematics can be a lot of fun!
Modern Foreign Languages (including French and Spanish)
Studying languages in the Prep School is an enriching and exciting experience. Whilst pupils in Reception and Year 1 learn Spanish, and French runs as a consistent strand from Year 2 to Year 6, we also seek to offer pupils a broad and varied understanding of the world of language study and cultural difference.
All lessons are delivered by a specialist subject teacher, bringing knowledge and passion for the wider world to the classroom, encouraging pupils to express themselves, use languages creatively and participate in authentic situations, whilst naturally developing their acquisition and grammar skills in a fun environment.
The Music Department is an exciting and creative place to be. We provide enthusiastic, energetic and expert musical training throughout the Prep School, combining our music making at all age ranges.
The thriving department is lucky to have 16 visiting professional orchestral and jazz musicians offering one to one tuition. Pupils are strongly encouraged to ‘get involved’; play an instrument, join a choir or engage themselves in music production or contemporary music making right from the start.
We are proud of our strong sporting tradition and our sporting ethos, ‘Sport For All’, challenges pupils of all abilities to work towards realistic goals, achieving true potential.
Physical education develops pupils’ physical competence and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a wide range of activities. Physical education provides opportunities for pupils to be creative, competitive and to gain experiences and different challenges as individuals and in teams.
Religious Studies provides pupils with the opportunity to consider the importance of the main religious traditions in shaping our values and attitudes as individuals, neighbours and citizens.
As they progress through the School, pupils become aware of the distinctive characteristics of the different world faiths and are challenged to consider their own responses to important contemporary issues and to spiritual and cultural identities.
In the Prep School, we aim to fire pupils’ curiosity about phenomena in the world around them and offer opportunities to find explanations. Experimentation and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought.
The pupils learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of societies and the future of the world. In the Upper Prep, pupils have access to a fully equipped Science laboratory for lessons.
Our Learning Development Team provides support and guidance to nurture pupils who experience difficulties in any aspect of their learning and helps build their confidence and self-esteem, and through appropriate support, enables them to realise their full potential. Pupils may receive support in class, in small groups or on a one to one basis as required. Specialist support staff and subject teachers work together to ensure the support is targeted and specific, and Learning Development also keep parents up to date on the progress being made and encourage communication and the sharing of ideas through meetings, email and telephone contact.