An education at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep is varied, exciting and aimed at ‘tricking children into learning’! While we have a focus on ensuring our pupils achieve well and do their best in academic subjects, we strongly believe in encouraging every child to develop other interests. With the belief that we are unlikely to find our passion until we are older, we aim to provide a wide variety of co-curricular activities and weekly after-school clubs that will encourage our children to try something new.
We aim to motivate and inspire our children to challenge their own expectations of what they can achieve, even at a young age and an approach that recognises that young child at times needs reassurance and guidance.
Our children leave us to move onto Berkhamsted Prep with confidence, resilience and ambition to be their best self.
Children have energy to burn and in our large outdoor spaces and modern sports hall they can run freely and exercise, come rain or shine.
Pupils at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep have the opportunity to participate in a variety of co-curricular subjects including Sport, Music, Drama and Dance, which stimulate their growth, encourage their learning and help them to develop an adventurous nature.
Our pupils also enjoy attending after-school clubs and activities, plus trips and outings to enhance their academic learning.
Sparking a sense of adventure and developing long-lasting friendships
Throughout your child’s time at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, they will enjoy a variety of opportunities to engage in outdoor education, developing their self-confidence, leadership and teamwork skills through a series of different fun and challenging ventures.
Our pupils benefit from a range of outdoor adventure experiences through the core curriculum and the extracurricular activities on offer throughout their time with us.
We are fortunate enough to have an exceptional outdoor environment for our children to enjoy and we also follow the principles of Forest School, which offers every child an innovative, hands-on learning experience in natural woodland.
Forest School is led by our qualified Forest School staff who lead and develop our outdoor curriculum.
Confidently performing on stage and developing technical and design skills
Drama provides a wealth of opportunities and benefits for our pupils. We believe the subject boosts children’s self-confidence, developing their emotional intelligence and compassion.
Drama also teaches pupils how to concentrate and cooperate, as well as how to articulate and express themselves, which is especially beneficial at this young age.
At Pre-Prep, Drama focuses on developing pupils’ role-play, imagination and language skills, giving the children a growing confidence in themselves as performers and also for performing to an audience.
The Drama department enjoys working with our other academic teachers in a cross-curricular way in order to develop these skills and interests in young children.
There are many opportunities for children to participate in Drama at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, from the Stepping Stones Christmas Songs performance to class assemblies, whole school assemblies and whole year group productions.
In addition, we have developed ‘Write Dance’, a programme for Stepping Stones Nursery and Reception children which uses movement and drama to develop the gross and fine motor skills required for physical development and early handwriting skills.
‘Write Dance’ is delivered by taking a theme such as the seaside and integrating learning movements around the chosen theme. These movements are then linked to handwriting that children then transcribe to large sheets of paper. The programme has been successful in developing not only the children’s fine and gross motor skills, but also their imagination.
As pupils progress to Year 1 and 2 they take part in their first LAMDA exam. They perform in small groups to learn and recite a short poem together. The emphasis is on gaining confidence in public speaking and collaborating together to produce a performance. Most importantly it is about having fun.
Promotes craftsmanship and intellectual curiosity while building confidence
The benefits of learning Music speak for themselves, improving pupils’ academic and social ability and encouraging discipline and patience. Music also helps to cultivate creative and innovative learners.
At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, our main objective is to give each child an enjoyable musical experience from a very young age. We aim to provide a musical education that will nurture a lifetime appreciation of music as they continue through their school years and into adulthood.
We recognise music is fundamental to a child’s development and therefore we have dedicated music classes from the time children start at our Stepping Stones Nursery.
These lessons introduce and embed the musical elements through listening activities, music and movement, singing and playing instruments. The overall focus of these lessons is to encourage children to listen to music critically, perform music according to their ability and inclination and enable them to create their own music.
We aim to give our children a wide variety of opportunities to learn music in different ways and through a diverse mix of genres with regular opportunities to perform at school. After school clubs include African drumming, recorder lessons and Pre-Prep Sings Disney.
We believe the power of singing collectively can be extremely beneficial to our pupils and can be used as a tool to increase enjoyment and participation in a number of different subject areas. All children in Key Stage One participate in a weekly Singing Assembly, while each Year 2 class also takes part in a dedicated Choir rehearsal each week.
In addition to their curriculum lessons and choir practice, Year 2 children also receive violin lessons in smaller groups. The purpose of these lessons is to pique the children’s interest in playing an instrument and to lay the foundations of reading musical notation, but most importantly to deliver an understanding of the enjoyment of playing together and to celebrate in any achievements they will realise through persevering in practice.
When they move onto Berkhamsted Prep, they are then able to explore further musical instruments through the bespoke music project and individual lessons with peripatetic music teachers.
Developing character and resilience – good for the mind, body and spirit
Our philosophy to teaching Sport at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep is based on fostering an enjoyment of sports and physical activity in each child that will lead to a healthy lifestyle and continued participation in sports, throughout their time at our school and beyond into their adult life.
Sport encourages a resilient, motivated and adventurous spirit and when these qualities are practised on the sports field, we see this mentality reflected in the classroom.
Our approach to teaching physical education is centered around the ABC approach, teaching the children the basics of agility, balance and coordination. We aim to give our pupils the foundations of physical literacy and development using specialist PE teaching which begins in our Stepping Stones Nursery class.
Children take part in a variety of activities which promote their agility, balance and coordination from ball skills and Gymnastics to Dance, Athletics and Swimming (in Year 1 and 2).
Parents are invited to attend our annual Sports Activity Day towards the end of the year when the children compete in their House teams for the prized Pre-Prep Sports Day House cup.
Exploring new interests and skills in an engaging, fun environment
We are mindful that young children are unlikely to have a fixed idea of what they enjoy and are yet to discover their passion, whether that lies on the sports pitch or on the stage.
Our weekly after-school clubs are designed to stimulate our pupils’ interests, offering a wide variety of experiences. They are not intended to be an extension of their learning day, rather somewhere they can try something new or extend an existing interest.
Our aim is to encourage children’s curiosity, provide hands-on practical learning opportunities and most of all a sense of enjoyment.
An after-school club is the ideal way for children to socialise with their friends and make new friends from across the School.
The clubs we offer differ each term and are often changed according to what the children have asked for.
Lego Club is very popular with other creative clubs always on the list, as well as physical development, wellbeing and musical clubs.
Children are able to sign up for clubs from Lent term of Reception.
Stimulating learning beyond the classroom and gain new perspectives of the world
We believe that trips and outings add to an enriched education, giving each child a personal stimulus and challenge each term, with the motivation to succeed.
We plan trips and visits that enhance the curriculum, providing children with an additional, innovative learning opportunity. Themed days which enable the children to immerse themselves in a topic are popular, providing the children with high levels of creativity and imagination.
Stepping Stones Nursery children often visit a farm as part of their topic in the Trinity term once they have secure levels of independence and confidence.
From Reception there is a regular programme of trips such as to College Lakes and in Key Stage One children may travel further afield, with Windsor Castle providing the perfect visit for Year 2’s Castle topic.