The curriculum provides for pupils of all ages, abilities and needs. It supports the College's aim of developing the whole person and is supported by a wide range of extra-curricular activities and links with the wider community. ISI Report, January 2015
In Prep 1 and 2, there are two parallel classes, each with approximately sixteen pupils (the maximum number remains at eighteen).
In Prep 1 (five to six year olds), children move into a new Key Stage. The end of Foundation Stage assessment provides a clear benchmark of each child’s attainment. The assessment profile, together with ongoing teacher assessment, informs planning and teaching across the broader curriculum. The profile also enables teachers to identify children's performance and progress and helps them plan how to address any gaps in learning.
Prep 2 (six to seven year olds) takes children through to the end of Key Stage 1 and is the time when most children secure many of their early key skills as learners. Specialist teaching continues throughout the Lower Prep, with specialist Science and ADT teaching added in Prep 2.
Throughout the Lower Prep, all staff recognise that each child deserves the very best at the start of their education and they ensure experiences are stimulating, enjoyable and appropriate to each child's needs; thus building confidence, competence and self-esteem among all learners. Our excellent teachers help boys to recognise their progress, which in turn maintains their enthusiasm and motivation. Furthermore, our cross-curricular approach to learning inspires boys, links out-of-school experiences with other daily activities, and helps them to appreciate the role that these aspects of learning play in their everyday lives. Supported by strong home-school links with clear lines of communication, this results in all the boys in the Lower Prep enjoying school and beginning to flourish.
All boys are born with an adventurous spirit – we all learn and grow by trying new things. For children to really thrive at school, it is essential that they learn in an environment which encourages adventure, presents new challenges as positive opportunities and, by supporting them with kindness, allows them to overcome any obstacle. At St Columba’s, we do exactly this. A strong, nurturing ethos underpins a challenging, adventurous curriculum, which has the boys fizzing with excitement long after they have arrived home from school.
Whether it is investigating weights and measures in the outdoor area, using coding to design computer games or learning about life cycles by watching chickens hatch, our teaching staff will always look for the most memorable and exciting way of developing knowledge and understanding in pupils.