The Pre-Prep day is busy and exciting!  See below for details of what the boys and girls get up to.

Reception (Wildcats and Tigers)

At this stage, the emphasis for our boys and girls is on learning through play.

There is generally a two class intake each year - the brand new Reception classrooms are brightly decorated with examples of the children' s own work, and provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the start to the school day.

With high staff: pupil ratios, individual needs are central to a pro-active approach from staff.  We recognise that each child develops at their own individual pace, and explores new challenges in different ways, with varying emotional needs.  Our teachers are dedicated to helping identify those individual needs and ensuring that they are met through a supportive and caring approach.

In Reception, we follow the statutory guidance set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and in Every Child Matters, with pupils working towards their Early Learning Goals before moving onto Key Stage 1.

The three Prime Areas of Learning for EYFS are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The four Specific Areas of Learning for EYFS are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

In addition, children receive specialist lessons in Music, ICT and PE throughout the Pre-Prep, as well as weekly visits to Forest School.  

Parents are encouraged to contribute throughout the year on learning and skill development to help complete a full picture of each child’s learning profile.

Year 1 (Pumas and Panthers Class)

Teaching gradually becomes more formalised with the transition to Key Stage 1.

Year 1 teaching continues to focus on ensuring all goals and targets are met, while at the same time keeping learning fun and interesting with work becoming more topic-based.  Children are gradually extended in independent working and concentration levels in preparation for Year 2.

Reading, writing and mathematical skills are progressed through topic work as well as specific subject sessions, alongside daily phonics and reading sessions.  For example, children may find themselves working on art activities as part of their History lessons.

Specialist lessons in Music, ICT and PE continue, as well as weekly Judo lessons and visits to Forest School and swimming on a half termly rotation. Some specialist lessons and activities take place on the Prep School site, such as ICT and Parkour, giving children the opportunity to get to know and explore the broader school community.

The children have spelling pattern homework set each week and may also have some other Mathematics and Literacy tasks sent home as appropriate.  The children aim to read to a grown up at home every day.  They also take turns to present items of interest in weekly Show and Tell sessions.

For our girls, Moulsford will be on hand to advise and guide parents on ‘onward’ schools from the moment they arrive at Moulsford. However, we anticipate that the formal process of advice will start when girls are in Year 1, so that parents and girls have plenty of time to think through all aspects of their education from Year 3 onwards. The school already has strong relationships with many of the girls’ ‘onward’ schools, and will be seeking to develop even closer links. Moulsford will be on hand to advise parents at any stage.

Year 2 (Lions and Leopards Class)

In Year 2, there is more of a distinction between subjects, but the children will do some cross-curricular learning too.  For example, they may need to employ their learning in Statistics or use a digital camera in Geography lessons, or use word-processed information or computer generated illustrations as part of Religious Education.

There is a high level of teacher directed lessons, with a mixture of whole class learning, guided learning in groups, paired peer learning and independent learning.

Specialist lessons in Music, ICT and PE continue, as well as weekly Judo lessons, Art, Modern Foreign Languages and visits to Forest School and swimming on a half termly rotation.

The Leopards and Lions have spelling pattern homework set each week and may also have some other Mathematics, Literacy or topic tasks sent home as appropriate.  

Transition from Pre-Prep to Prep

Boys and girls are well prepared for the transition to Year 3 with dialogue ongoing with the staff in the Prep School to ensure an easy transition.

The Year 2 children visit their Prep classes on Move Up Day, where they spend the whole day with the staff who will be their new teachers in Year 3.  They meet new classmates too and experience both academic and sports lessons together. 

All children going into Year 3 have a basic assessment to ensure they will be able to progress smoothly to the Prep School, particularly in English and Mathematics, and this usually happens in the November before their transition.  Their skills in Sport, Art and Music are also taken into account.

Forest School

Learning outside in the woods is huge fun and wonderfully stimulating, and all children in Reception visit Forest School on a weekly basis, with Years 1 and 2 rotating visits with swimming on a half-termly basis.

Forest School helps the children build their skills in cooperation, communication, problem solving, assessed risk taking and leadership.  The activities they pursue foster self-confidence, resilience and persistence at a task.  They are able to see the changes of the seasons and pick up some very useful life skills along the way. 

Den building, knot tying, wood cutting and whittling, fire making, fruit gathering and plant identification are just a few of them.  Having fun and pursuing child initiated activities is also very much part of the experience.

Music and Drama

Music and drama offer endless opportunities for children to develop skills and talents that can support learning in other subject areas.  Development of concentration levels, listening and creative skills are all encouraged through the music and drama programme.

In the weekly timetabled music lessons, the children begin learning basic musical skills; how to follow a conductor; how to play percussion instruments and how to sing in unison, a round or two parts and in different styles.  Pupils can begin to learn an instrument, and usually start with the piano or guitar.

Lyrics are learned by heart for their Christmas Nativity (performed for the whole school and again for parents) and for their Awards Assembly (performed in front of their parents at the end of the Summer term).  The House Music Competition involves all pupils across the school and is hotly contested. 

Basic stagecraft is learnt in their preparation for the Nativity too, but the children also get involved in Drama as part of their Literacy lessons and during special workshops arranged by the English Department.  The children all have regular opportunities to present information to classmates in Show and Tell sessions over the course of each term.  They also prepare and present a year group Assembly to the whole school and their parents in the Spring and Summer terms.


Sport is an essential part of a child’s development: as well as being enormous fun - skills for life are learnt from this early age. 

Through the PE and Playball programme, children thrive in our fun-filled, high-quality sport lessons. Creating a learning environment which boosts confidence and self-esteem is paramount.  Boys and girls will be coached to engage confidently in a wide range of sport skills, preparing them for years of positive competent sport participation. We promote the development of gross motor skills and co-ordination, with children gaining self-confidence as they gain control over their own bodies and movements.  We also teach the importance of having an active and healthy lifestyle, and the benefits of looking after ourselves physically.

All children in our co-educational Pre-Prep school have two PE sessions per week, taught by our Playball specialist sports teacher using the school’s extensive facilities.  As part of their timetabled lessons, the variety of activities includes:

PlayballGymBall Skills
SwimmingFootballTag Rugby
Judo (Year 1 & 2)AthleticsTennis

The whole of the Pre-Prep takes part in House activities including Sports Day.

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