Children build upon prior experiences of the Foundation Stage by developing skills in:

Speaking and Listening

Speaking with clarity, fluency and confidence to both peers and adults; listening, understanding and responding to others; participating in group discussion and drama.


Building upon phonological awareness, grammatical and contextual understanding through both non-fiction and fiction books. We use a wide variety of reading schemes to encourage a broad reading scope.

Written Skills

Developing correct use of a wide range of punctuation, grammar and comprehension skills, imaginative story writing, factual accounts, spelling strategies, dictation and handwriting skills. All children begin to write in joined-up script from Reception.

The Pre-Preparatory School's core schemes are 'Jolly Grammar' and 'Jolly Phonics'.


Children build upon prior experiences of the Foundation stage by:

Using and Applying Mathematics

Developing their knowledge and understanding through practical activities, exploration and discussion.


Using and applying number through problem solving, communicating and reasoning, exploration of the number system, methods of calculation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), data interpretation, money and mental Math’s activities.

Shape, Space and Measure

Understanding patterns and properties of shapes, position and movement, time, measurement, capacity and weight.

The Pre-Preparatory School's core schemes are “Hamilton Trust” and “Abacus”.

Cross-Curricular Topics

Pre-Prep offer a broad, exciting curriculum taught through a ‘Topic based’ approach, incorporating all elements of science, history, geography, creative arts, PSHE and ICT. Topics include ‘Pirates’ ‘Fantasy and Fact’ and ‘Minibeasts’ in Year One, and ‘Food, Glorious, Food’, ‘Famous People’, ‘Our Wonderful World’ and ‘Making Things Move’ in Year Two.

As topic lessons are child led these topics can be subject to change. Work is recorded in a variety of creative ways and the children produce stunning Topic books that they can share with parents.

The curriculum is brought alive with outings and visitors, making learning fun and interactive. These include Florence Nightingale, Pirate Pete and visits to Chepstow Library, Bristol Zoo, @ Bristol, S.S. Great Britain to name a few. Hands on experiences allow children to apply the skills and knowledge they have acquired, we aim to develop enquiring, investigative minds. The children are encouraged to role play and this develops a range of social skills including speaking and listening activities.


The science curriculum is organised to stimulate children's curiosity through opportunities for investigation, discussion, prediction, practical and written work. Areas covered include Scientific enquiry, life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes (forces, motion, electricity, light and sound).

Art, Design and Technology

Children have opportunities to explore artistic techniques through colour, form, texture and pattern using a variety of different materials and techniques. They learn to evaluate their work and talk about how they could change/improve ideas and designs. Children learn about the work of artists and designers in different times and cultures.


All classes have access to iPads and children use this resource to research information to support and enhance their topic learning and understanding. They have access to suitably chosen apps so they can independently improve key skills including English and Maths. Years One and Two have weekly lessons in a specialist computer suite where they develop keyboard and word-processing skills using a variety of programs. The ICT curriculum is both an independent area of learning and a subject which is integrated into cross-curricular study.

PHSE (Personal, Health and Social Education and Citizenship)

PHSE is fully integrated into the whole curriculum with the “St John’s Way” being at the heart of everything that we do. This helps to give the children the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active responsible citizens. PHSE activities encourage children to:  express feelings, communicate needs and wishes, consider the consequences of actions and take responsibility, consider the similarities and differences between themselves and others and develop responsibility for their own health and safety.

Subject Specialist Teaching

Certain subjects such as Games, PE and Music are taught by subject specialists and the children enjoy this break from the classroom and the opportunity to work with, and learn from other adults. In an informal-yet-structured setting where children are encouraged to develop at their own pace and acquire self-confidence and independence in a stimulating environment.

Physical Education

PE plays a vital role in the education by developing co-ordination, motor control skills, manipulation and movement. Activities offer appropriate physical challenges both indoors and outdoors, using a range of equipment. Children learn to work independently, in pairs and in group activities. The topics covered in PE are; outdoor games, indoor gym, dance, tennis and swimming.


Music teaching offers the opportunity for children to develop their understanding and enjoyment of music. Children have opportunities to play percussion instruments and learn a variety of songs from memory, performing individually and as part of a group. Children design and make instruments, compose simple rhythms, discriminate between sounds, e.g. pitch, tempo and note duration. Year Two pupils all learn to play the violin. Extra-curricular tuition is available for a variety of musical instruments, including vocal.

Please see Co-Curricular section for more information


The children in Year One and Year Two enjoy French activities each week, taught by specialist staff. The lessons are short interactive sessions and include the use of puppets, songs and rhymes. The children follow the ‘Small Talk Learning programme’.


Reading books are changed on a daily basis. The children are encouraged to read each night at home and parents are provided with a home school link book to help record their child’s progress. The children are also given weekly spellings to practice at home help to reinforce key words and spelling patterns. The children are tested once a week.

We do appreciate that children are tired at the end of the day or families have commitments, sometimes preventing any extra reading from being completed.

The children are encouraged to enhance their Topic work by doing their own independent research at home as this helps to engage all the children in class discussions.

And Remember...

Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.

Albert Einstein
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