Hello my name is Natasha Doran, Head of Thorpe House Pre-Prep and I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all visitors to the Pre-Prep area of the website.
The Pre-Prep is a vibrant, inclusive and very happy school, where small classes ensure a high level of care and attention to every boy, and where boys are encouraged to embrace the values of friendship and respect, alongside perseverance and a love of learning. We are dedicated to individual learning and guide the boys to become confident, capable and polite individuals, willing to take a risk and discover more about themselves in the process. Being a through school, we enjoy continuity and shared human and physical resources with the main site – including use of the swimming pool - whilst being housed in our own attractive, purpose-built accommodation.
The Pre-Prep journey
The Pre-Prep journey begins with Nursery, where our youngest boys join at age three. In spacious accommodation, with access to their dedicated garden and adventure playground, they are nurtured in a gentle yet stimulating environment. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and learning is developed through a balance of child-initiated and teacher-led activities.
Boys in Reception continue to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, learning phonic sounds and taking their first exciting steps in independent writing. In mathematics, they learn to recognise, count, read and write numbers. Topic work runs through their learning, reinforcing their skills in literacy and numeracy, and helping them to understand more about the world around them.
Boys in Year 1 and Year 2 follow the National Curriculum. Throughout both the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and Key Stage 1, standards are high and teaching styles vary to create a positive and enabling learning environment. Boys are encouraged to be independent in their learning and to ask questions about the topics they cover; project weeks help to facilitate such a learning style. The curriculum covers Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Topic Work, Art and Design Technology, ICT and Physical Education, which includes seasonal rugby, football and cricket, and swimming from April to October in our outdoor pool. Reading, knowledge of number bonds and the times tables are of paramount importance.
Making learning fun!
A good variety of enrichment opportunities are available to the boys and include Judo, French, Art, Mini Tennis and ‘Mouse Wizard Masters’! The boys enjoy participating in workshops throughout the year, including Drama, Lego, Cookery and Sport. Visitors to the school include speakers from charities, such as the NSPCC, and local ‘people who help us’ such as the Fire Brigade, or Police Officers. Trips are organised to venues including the Tower of London, London Zoo, Legoland, and closer to home, the Chiltern Open Air Museum, the Elgiva Theatre, Wooburn Safari Park and the Roald Dahl Museum. We aim to enliven learning for the boys and to make it fun, hands-on and memorable.
The Prep-Prep day
The pattern of the day enables great focus on the core areas of the curriculum in the morning, and topic based learning in the afternoon. Curriculum leaders, among the teaching staff, manage progression throughout the schemes of work and, as a team, we are committed to furthering and sharing our knowledge about curriculum matters and pedagogy.
The boys are delighted to walk the short distance to the main site for lunch and they make sensible choices about healthy eating.
The school is well-equipped with interactive white boards and the boys make good use of the bank of mini laptops too.
The description above only begins to describe life at Pre-Prep; I urge you to come and visit us, so that I may show you around myself and introduce you to the wonderful team of teachers and to the boys we are so proud of.