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

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Starting at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep

Your child’s early stages of the learning journey

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 ‘Stay and Play’ sessions prior to your child’s start and every other interaction we have with you, is aimed at welcoming you to our community.  Our children depend on us working in partnership, not only for academic success but to ensure that you have a sense of belonging and of our shared values.  We strive to ensure that we nurture happy, secure and confident children.  At this young age our children are dependent on us working together to achieve this. 

We know that settling in to a new school can be daunting for both parents and children as we build new relationships and get used to a new environment.  Therefore, we offer visits in the term prior to entry, in order to help you and your child to get to know our team and to explore the school environment. 

Our ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for children due to start our Stepping Stones Nursery are an opportunity for the children to play, to familiarise themselves with the setting and to meet our Nursery staff.  it is also a good opportunity for parents to meet each other and to start to feel part of our school family. 

 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.  For parents, with your agreement, we share your details with our Clas Reps who will contact you and invite you to family events prior to your start so you are able to meet other families. 

Our aim is to ensure a smooth transition for every child (and new parents) 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

The perfect place

If you could imagine the perfect place to go to school, it would be here!  Our school site offers the most amazing setting and our children cannot wait to start their day, every day. 

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.  

Our Walled Garden is designed into different zones allowing for imaginative play, physical play, inquisitive play and so much more.  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 are just some of the facilities.   Our children describe their play time as one of the best parts of day because they have the space to enjoy childhood play in a safe environment. 

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. 

Being outside is increasingly recognised as having a marked impact on our wellbeing and as such we ensure that our children spend quality time outdoors.  Our woods are an integral part of our school allowing for children to experience different learning opportunities, such as designing a den, search for the fairies who regularly leave them messages or to conduct a scientific study of the wildlife. 

Classrooms are 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. 

Our large sports hall provides us with a valuable space 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.  A highlight of the year for most of our children, and their families. 

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 test 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. 

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 from 08:30 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. 

Berkhamsted Pre-Prep is busy, exciting place and we want to capture the children’s imagination by providing a wide range of activities, trips and visits. 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 and trips are used to enhance the curriculum and learning experiences for all the children. 

Nutritious cooked lunches are part of our fees and are provided daily by Aramark, caterers for the Berkhamsted Schools Group.  We provide a balanced rotating menu, with an extensive salad bar and where special dietary requirements are catered for. 

Wrap Around Care

Morning and after school childcare

At Berkhamsted Pre-Prep we understand that there will be times when you may 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 be rest assured that the outstanding provision of Pre-Prep is replicated with our extended child care. 

Our Wrap Around Care (WAC) is a ‘home from home’ experience.  We aim to create a family experience and atmosphere where we recognise that our children thrive if they are cared for and their physical and emotional needs are met by child care that is tuned into their needs.  It is essential that children are given the chance to relax before and after school if they are to flourish and make the most of their busy day. 

Children will have access to a range of activities that promote creativity, imagination, social interactions and relaxation.  Our children often choose to go the WAC because it is like going on a playdate!   A wonderful way to unwind after a busy day of learning and to feel part of our Pre-Prep family. 

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

Please find for your consideration 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 basis (subject to availability). 

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 on the Pre-Prep site and which is suitable for children aged three to five years (Nursery – Reception) 

For older children aged five to 16 years, a number of courses are also 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

Supporting pupil wellbeing and development 

Our House system at Berkhamsted Pre-Prep is a key element of school life.  We aim to use our house system to support each pupil’s wellbeing and development, by providing each child with a sense of belonging.  The weekly house meetings are for all children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 and provides a forum for debate, house talks and opportunities for children to relate to different age groups and to develop their self-confidence. 

Your child will be placed into one of our six Houses from Reception. They stay in their House until they reach the end of Year 6 when they transition to their senior schools and join a Senior School house. 

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 is led by different staff from across our school and who help lead the House in a variety of activities. House Captains are appointed from Year 2 to represent each House and which provides early leadership opportunities for our children. 

Our children enjoy earning House Points for positive work and behaviour, with their efforts recognised every Friday during assembly with the winning house awarded the coveted school House Cup. 

@BerkoPrePrep retweeted

Reception children using subitising skills and collaboration to play a game of Dotty 6. https://t.co/a1JqkoFCrJ

@BerkoPrePrep retweeted

Happy York House Captains @BerkoPrePrep Congratulations to all our York children. https://t.co/k6CzStZ7vv

@BerkoPrePrep retweeted