Our pupils are immersed in a curriculum that is diverse and centred around building core transferable skills that are related to everyday experiences. It is essential that young children are exposed to breadth and the opportunities to explore what makes our world fascinating. Our curriculum is interconnected where subjects are naturally able to be linked by common themes and we love to delve deeper into ‘windows of opportunity’ to heighten a child’s curiosity.
A learning journey is age appropriate and tiered in a fashion that builds skills and confidence as they progress through each step. Prep learning enriches the lives of our pupils, and we believe in a strong partnership with home which is enhanced further via our home learning and use of 1 to 1 devices where necessary. Thy key is teaching our pupils not what to think , but how to think.
Pupils enter our friendly Reception classes in the September before they are five and are instantly embraced by the Columban learning ethos of resilience, teamwork and a positive growth mindset.
Learning through play in a structured programme of indoor and outdoor stimulus, pupils move swiftly from their own individual baselines, achieving excellent progress and growth.
Here at St Columba’s, we know that a happy child is a good learner and that children thrive best when they are the focus of a warm and engaged collaboration between school and family. We work closely with families and use our Tapestry programme to exchange daily pictures, information and learning opportunities with home.
I couldn’t do the half past. Mrs Muncer helped me, and my friend Thomas. We did it together.
In our Reception classrooms, you will meet enthusiastic and experienced teachers and learning assistants who skilfully plan, teach and assess an interactive curriculum which covers the Early Learning Goals and a great deal beyond. Daily phonics sessions, individual reading and rigorous Maths mastery challenges go hand in hand with creative opportunities, a strong emphasis on personal and moral development and a wide range of specialist-taught enrichment opportunities such as PE, Music and French.
We learned that you have to be kind. Then you get friends.
Each week the pupils enjoy ‘Forest Friday’ where they spend some time in our small forest area, learning and playing. We plan a wide range of activities for outdoor learning, including den-making and creating art sculptures from natural materials. They love to be active and explore the natural world and it opens up a whole world of interesting questions.
After a great start in Reception, our pupils really take off in the Lower Prep. Ready for more structured learning and a carefully individualized programme of study, pupils begin to develop as independent learners and bold thinkers.
Through engaging topic work and exciting challenges, our younger pupils are taught to question with thought and hypothesise with confidence. In small, expertly-staffed classes, they hone the vital academic and social skills that will help them flourish throughout their school days and beyond.
We learned about Aboriginal art and made animal pictures with earth colours and dots. That was my best art this year.
We assess each pupil’s attainment with care, ensuring that they are both stretched and supported, working hard at an appropriate level for them. Interactive whiteboards, specialist Art and Science teaching and a host of trips, workshops and visits help to enliven the serious business of learning while strong values and professional classroom practice ensure a high level of success and excellent standards. The use of Tapestry continues in Prep One, allowing for interaction and exchange between home and school.
I made a colourful poster about Bengal tigers. It was full of facts that I learned and Mrs Lorman helped me display them. I’m proud of my poster.
As they move on from a flying start in the Lower Prep School, our pupils are encouraged to develop their own interests and learning styles, taking responsibility for themselves and developing the collaborative thinking that allows them to support others.
Divided into two and latterly three classes with a maximum size of twenty-two, pupils continue to enjoy high quality teaching from a dedicated staff who know each student intimately, develop their strengths and help them overcome any difficulties. They are taught with rigour and encouraged to demand of themselves the very highest standards. We develop pupils’ Growth Mindset to enable them to overcome setbacks and strive for their own best standard, learning to cope with carefully selected home learning tasks and the challenge of exams.
Today we had fun teaching the Prep Ones how to measure their jumps in the forest. We’re going to take the data and use it to learn about averages in our lesson this afternoon.
Pupils learn about inspiring topics through discovery and adventure; pond-dipping, book-binding, drama and songs all contribute to an energetic and exciting curriculum that broadens the mind and deepens the ability to question. In academic classroom learning too, our teaching incorporates humour, challenge and a wide range of stimuli to ensure excellent core knowledge and skills. In the Upper Prep, expert specialist teaching in Music, Sports, Science, Art, Religious Education, Computing and IT and Modern Languages gives the pupils a rich preparation for the Senior School, while instrumental lessons and a wide range of clubs enhance their creativity and enjoyment.
I loved learning about the Celts, and I wrote my own adventure story about them.
When our Upper Prep leave us, they are hungry to learn, ready to shoulder new responsibilities and confident to question and explore.