School Life

At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, building every child’s confidence and self-esteem is our priority. We provide numerous opportunities to allow your child’s personal qualities to shine through

scroll down

Starting at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep

We understand that starting Berkhamsted Pre-Prep may be your child’s first formal educational setting, or equally the continuation of their learning journey from a previous setting.

Our aim is that the years your child will spend with us at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep are the start of what we hope is an exceptional educational journey.

We strive to ensure that we nurture happy, secure and confident children, who have the skills to be increasingly independent, resilient and prepared to succeed in the next stage of their education.

We know that settling in to a new school can be daunting as children build new relationships and get used to their new environment. We offer a number of visits in the term prior to entry, enabling children to get to know our staff and teachers and to explore the environment and their new classroom.

Children who are due to start at our Stepping Stones Nursery are able to attend ‘Stay and Play’ sessions with their parents in Trinity term, where they are able to play, familiarise themselves with the setting and meet our Nursery staff.

There are often other children visiting who will be starting school in September and therefore this is a good opportunity for parents to meet new people too. For children who join us in other years – and for Year 2 in particular – we hold a ‘Meet a Friend’ day where your child will spend a day with the children who will make up the year group they will be joining.

Our priority is to ensure a smooth transition for every child joining our school. We will work closely with you to ensure that your child feels comfortable and excited about joining us at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep.

Facilities

Students flourish at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, with facilities which cater exclusively to Key Stage One education, sharing our Haresfoot site with our co-educational Day Nursery for Early Years education.

Our Walled Garden is the perfect place for break time and is designed into different zones allowing for imaginative play, physical play, inquisitive play and so much more.

Our learning equipment includes built-in musical instruments with a stage area for budding performers, a pirate ship and a mud kitchen for exploration and physical play and gardening beds for our gardening club to grow plants and vegetables.

Our outdoor classroom and small playhouses are the ideal area for children to gather with their friends to enjoy each other’s company, to talk and develop their imaginations with games.

Beyond our garden, the grounds of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep expand into our own woods, which are used by the whole school and feature a challenging and adventurous High Ropes course for our older pupils, starting from Year 2 onwards.

Children can spend time in our woods designing a den, search for the fairies who regularly leave them messages or conduct a scientific study of the wildlife.

Each of our classrooms is well-equipped to ensure that learning is exciting, purposeful and supportive of the high expectations we have for a modern education.

Our library is a cosy environment that promotes reading for pleasure with a wide range of reading material available to catch the interest and spark the imagination of every pupil.

The children have access to a range of technology from technological toys for those in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to suites of iPads and a dedicated IT room which promote cross-curricular use of IT, supporting the development of the key skills pupils require to use technology effectively for learning.

We are fortunate to have a large sports hall that is not only used for PE but is also used for whole school assemblies and performances. A large stage with sound and lighting gives the children their first taste of performance, with all year groups presenting a range of productions to their parents over the course of the year.

Moving up to Berkhamsted Prep

Once your child has completed their Key Stage One education at the end of Year 2, they will transfer from Berkhamsted Pre-Prep to Berkhamsted Prep for Key Stage Two.

While there is no formal assessment for entry, we continue to assess our pupils throughout Key Stage One to ensure they are making the necessary progress to cope with the demands and pace of the Key Stage Two curriculum. We support every child to ensure they are equipped to succeed.

Berkhamsted Prep has four-form entry from Year 3, which allows children to work at a rate that is appropriate to their ability.

The School Day

Children (from three years of age) can join our Breakfast Club from 07.30 each morning in Jubilee Hall which is run by our own team who know the children and their needs.

Morning drop-off is from 08.30 at the gate to the Walled Garden, for children in Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2). Children in Reception go to their classrooms at 08.40 where they are met by the teaching staff, who will welcome them into school. Children in Stepping Stones, our Nursery class, may be brought to their classrooms between 08.40-09.00, allowing a flexible start for our youngest children.

Daily assemblies are an excellent opportunity for the children to come together as a Pre-Prep family. Monday starts the week with a moral focus that encourages the children to think about others. Children nominate each other for our Act of Kindness award in recognition of their actions to serve others. Our Friday Assembly is a celebration, recognising achievements from both within and outside school. Throughout the year each class will prepare an assembly for the other children to watch (parents are invited), and all parents are invited to our special end of term assemblies.

There is always that little bit extra happening at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep to capture the children’s imagination. There are special visitors (for example, firemen, authors, charity representatives), special days (for example, World Book Day, French Day) activities and workshops aimed at inspiring children such as our Lent term ‘Hatching Chicks’ projects. Outings are used to enhance the curriculum and learning experiences for all the children.

Nutritious cooked lunches are provided daily by Aramark, caterers for the Berkhamsted Schools Group, with an extensive salad bar and special dietary requirements catered for. Children in Reception and Key Stage One play together at break times in our large walled garden. Stepping Stones also have their own play area accessible directly from the classrooms. Being a small school, all the children often do things together and this helps to build the genuine family atmosphere that pervades Berkhamsted Pre-Prep.

Wrap Around Care

At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep we understand that there will be times when you need childcare flexibility. We offer Wrap Around Care from 07:30 to 18:30 for children at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep during term time.

If your working hours or other commitments mean you need your child to be cared for beyond the school day, you can rest assured that they are well taken care of either before school, after school or both with our Wrap Around Care facility

We aim to create a family experience before and after the standard school day with Wrap Around Care. Our pupils lead busy lives and we believe it is very important that they have the chance to relax before and after school.

Providing a ‘home at school’ experience which is much enjoyed by those who attend, activities are chosen by the children, with some doing their homework and others playing games, drawing or working on a creative activity. If they prefer, they can simply watch television.

Each Wrap Around Care session is charged by a credit which can vary, depending if your child attends an after school club.

Credits are purchased as bundles to allow for a discounted rate for large bookings and are priced at:

  • Up to 50 credits – £5.00 per credit
  • 51-100 credits – £4.75 per credit
  • 101 plus credits – £4.50 per credit

Here is an example of session credits and costs per week at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep:

  • Breakfast Care (07:30-08:40) – 2 credits and After School Care (15:20-18:30) – 3 credits.
  • 5 x breakfast care sessions (full sessions) plus 5 x after school care sessions (full sessions) = 5 credits per day / 25 credits per week
  • £25 per day / £125 per week

Bookings can be made on a termly, weekly or late booking (subject to availability) basis.

BASECAMP

During the school holidays you can book your children on to a number of activity camps run at BASECAMP.

MiniBASECAMP offers a multi-activity camp suitable for children aged three to five years. For older children aged four to 16 years, a number of courses are available.

Wrap Around Care is also available at BASECAMP, running from 08:00 to 18:00.

For more information or to book a camp, please visit:

berkhamstedbasecamp.co.uk

The House System

We believe our House system at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep is an important element of school life which supports each pupil’s wellbeing and development, providing each child with a sense of belonging, developing their self-confidence.

When they join us in Reception, your child will be placed into one of our six Houses. They stay in their House until they reach the end of Year 6 when they transition to their senior schools.

Our House System provides the opportunity for children of different ages to come together and celebrate each other’s achievements. It helps to develop a real understanding of our school’s aims and objectives and promote a healthy spirit of competition.

The names of our Houses at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep are taken from historical figures relating to the history of Berkhamsted Castle.

Each House at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep has a number of staff attached to it who help lead the House in a variety of activities. House Captains are appointed from Year 2 to represent each House, who perform duties that help support the running of the school and the House.

House Points are awarded for positive work and behaviour and there is a competition to see which is the most successful House. Each week the results of the House Point competition are read out in assembly every Friday.

Our Houses also provide an environment for cooperation and competition, with Inter-House competitions, music, sport, and activities taking place throughout the year.

@BerkoPrePrep retweeted

On the first day of Spring, Stepping Stones explored the woods for signs of growth taking photos of what they found. https://t.co/cWAgkiB3FJ

@BerkoPrePrep retweeted

Well done to everyone in Becket for achieving the most house points and winning this week’s house cup. https://t.co/GyDgS9Q1IA

@BerkoPrePrep retweeted

Pre-Prep enjoyed monitoring the eggs as they hatched. They said hello to the new chicks this week! https://t.co/gRykdi6tJt