Wellington Prep School has a rich and varied English curriculum that caters for children of all ages and abilities. Our aim is to inspire children to read widely and with enthusiasm, as well as master the core English skills that will enable them to flourish across the whole curriculum. English lessons are often centred around a fantastic book or text, with the learning of each literacy skill broken down into bite-sized chunks, which are then extended for all children of all abilities. This enables the children to make exceptional progress and for personalised learning to happen in every classroom. Children start learning their phonics at an early age, which then gives them the confidence to grow their vocabulary through stars of the classroom such as Granny Fantastic! The school invests heavily in a range of exciting English resources, such as Mighty Writer, which has the ability to transform your child’s writing overnight.
Throughout the year we also enjoy plenty of opportunities to engage the children in a number of fun English-related events. Our Book World Cup promotes reading for pleasure whilst our Writing Retreats create unique writing opportunities that unlock a child’s imagination. So far, we’ve ventured to Neverland to help Peter Pan defeat Captain Hook and travelled through time to unlock the past; however, our writing adventures are not over yet, are you ready to join in on the next one?
Wellington Prep School is a nationally accredited school for its Mastery Maths teaching.
· It’s an evidence based teaching approach, stemming from high performing nations like Singapore, that helps pupils develop a deep, long term and adaptable understanding of maths.
· It embraces the idea that everyone can do well, regardless of prior attainment.
· It is also inclusive whereby all pupils develop their mathematical fluency by learning to think mathematically rather than a reliance on rote learning and reciting formulas.
We work closely with Maths – No Problem!, an award winning primary mathematics education programme that is the Department of Education’s recommended resource for schools on the government’s Mastery Programme.
The framework for progressing pupils involves a CPA approach. The process begins with pupils exploring problems via concrete objects. Pupils then progress to drawing pictorial diagrams, and then to abstract algorithms and notations (such as the +, -, x and / symbols).
Bar modelling allows pupils to draw and visualise different mathematical concepts to solve word problems. The lasting power of this approach is that pupils can easily use bar models year after year across many maths topics such as ratio, fractions, volume and more.
Reception children uses Maths No Problem’s Foundations programme. It immerses our youngest pupils into maths, with practical activities alongside using workbook journals and picture books.
The MNP primary series covers Years 1-6 through high quality textbooks and workbooks which is supported by a digital platform of support materials. The curriculum is ‘spiral’ in that subjects are revisited at intervals and at more sophisticated levels. Lessons lead meaningfully to the next. The difficulty builds gradually, providing scope, challenge and rigour for all attainment levels.
Maths No Problem! Assessment papers are taken twice yearly and provide practical data across all the different areas of maths as well as breaking down a pupil’s achievement by their cognitive domains.
It is maths how you wish you’d been taught when you were at school.
From the start of their Wellington journey children are encouraged to explore, hypothesise and investigate. The ‘Awe and Wonder Lab’ provides a space for collaboration and discovery. In Key Stage 1 the curriculum allows for seamless transition between subjects (such as history, geography, science) in what we call ‘Topic’. In Years 3 and 4 children continue to use the WPS Lab using an IDEAS approach (Introduce, Demonstrate, Explain, Activity repeat of D and E as appropriate and Summary).
In Years 5&6, when the number of specialist teachers grows again the children experience the full Wellington School Campus provision, using the Senior School Science labs with their full range of equipment. Children are coached on how to operate within a science lab environment using a range of equipment, not usually available until senior school, including: Bunsen burners, heart rate monitors, light boxes, light meters, etc. These opportunities allow the children to, not only, develop skills and knowledge, but to have the confidence to solve problems using scientific enquiry skills.
Their Scientific journey takes the children from identifying animals to the idea of evolution, forces to Earth and space and properties of materials to reversible and irreversible changes.
In WPS we value modern foreign languages as we recognise the importance of fostering curiosity about the wider world. We aim to create enjoyable, exciting lessons which explore not only the languages, but also the cultures of other countries.
Prep school children begin their modern foreign languages journey in Year 1, where they explore French through games and songs in their half hour lesson each week. Highlights include the French fruit shop, puppet’s birthday party, Sur le Pont d’Avignon dancing and a French picnic.
In Year 2, children begin to see more of the written word, reading simple texts together as a class. They explore simple geography of France, understanding a little more about the culture. Highlights include the Eiffel Tower building challenge, dressing up in French clothes and playing weather games.
In Year 3, children begin to write simple words and phrases in French. Highlights include playing the French version of ‘The Price is Right’, making a French fortune teller, playing ‘Happy Families’ and creating their own versions of a simple French story – ‘Je Veux Ma banane’.
In Year 4, the children begin to read more stories in French, learning to pronounce the written word and beginning to understand gender. In the summer term, the children are introduced to Italian, exploring the similarities between French and Italian.
In Year 5, children extend their learning with hour-long lessons each week. The year begins with the excitement of the French fashion show. This is a highlight of their learning and a culmination of much of the language work that precedes it. As well as learning how to use a French dictionary, the children also follow a discrete phonics programme to improve their pronunciation when reading French. They also learn more about French culture, exploring the works on Monet and attempting to reproduce one of his paintings.
During the course of Year 5, the children also follow an eight-week introduction to Spanish course, learning basic vocabulary as well as absorbing some of the culture of the country.
In Year 6, children revise some of the simple vocabulary already covered and extend their learning. They continue to develop their phonic skills, looking at rhyming words. Simple common verbs are explored using songs and games. They create a family tree, including the names of members of their family. They learn to follow a French recipe and create their own pizza designs, subsequently creating their own delicacies. Another highlight is our link with a school in Caen. The children write letters to their pen-friends and there is always great excitement when the replies arrive!
The journey through history at Wellington Prep School is designed to provide the children with an experience that is both engaging and stimulating.
It is one which enables them to gain an understanding of the past, with relation to themselves, their families, their communities and the wider world, as appropriate to age, ability and aptitude.
In addition, it encourages a lively and questioning approach to History which enables children to enjoy what they do and develops an awareness that, though there are worthwhile links between History and other subject areas, the study of the past is, in itself, a separate and important discipline.
We begin in Year One with a focus on learning about the past through a study of toys, before moving onto an exploration of significant historical figures, including the Duke of Wellington and Queen Elizabeth II.
In Year Two, the children study a range of famous historical events, such as the Great Fire of London and the Gunpowder Plot, as well as learning about the life of explorers Christopher Columbus, Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart and Ibn Battuta. Highlights include workshops at Taunton Museum.
As we enter years three and four, the focus shifts to the Iron, Bronze and Stone Ages, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Tudors and two topics which encompass thousands of years of history, based upon studies of clothing and also crime and punishment. Visiting workshops from the South West Heritage Trust add to the opportunities to learn, along with themed days on the Stone Age and Ancient Greece.
In Year Five, we concentrate upon invaders and settlers in Britain. We begin by exploring the impact and legacy of the Roman Empire on our island, before exploring the Anglo-Saxon period and the impact of the Vikings. Events of note are specialised Roman and Viking themed days, including visiting re-enactors, workshops and a Zoom session with a Viking from the Jorvik Centre, in York. Year 5 also visit the exciting Roman Baths complex in Bath.
Finally, we come to Year Six. At this point, we enter the realm of ‘modern’ history. There is a detailed exploration of key events and famous people in Britain and Europe in the 1930s, with the rise of Fascism an ever present threat. We then move onto a study of World War Two, before concluding in the summer term with an examination of cultural, social and political events in Britain and parts of Europe during the post war decades.
In Geography, pupils learn to understand a locality and how and where people fit into its overall structure. It allows the children to explore the relationship between the Earth and its people by studying place, space and environment. Learning to use maps, charts, and other geographical data efficiently prepares our children for travelling and working in different cities and countries worldwide. Our ambition is for the children to be sustainably minded, environmentally conscious people. Therefore, we join in with National Days and Initiatives, e.g. for Cop 26, every child from Nursery to Year 6, put an environmental pledge leaf on our tree.
Years 1 and 2
In Years 1 and 2, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom and abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom; Forest School is a fantastic resource for this. They ask geographical questions about people, places and environments and begin to use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs.
Middle and Prep Years
As children progress through school, they investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Pupils carry out geographical enquiries inside and outside the classroom. They ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT. Children develop geographical enquiry skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and recording information and identifying different views. They will acquire the appropriate practical skills associated with Geography, including using suitable vocabulary, fieldwork techniques and maps, plans and atlases. Pupils will use secondary sources of information with accuracy, for example, aerial photographs, satellite images and Google Earth.
A selection of topics include:
Tourism and its effects – The Caribbean
Rivers and the Water Cycle
Wellington Prep-school’s Religious Studies curriculum aims to promote inquisitive minds, respect, tolerance and understanding for all those around them including themselves. The intent is to ensure children understand the relevance of RS in today’s modern world and how it affects our lives.
Our RS lessons are intended to offer a broad and rich curriculum and cover topics such as Nature and God, Pilgrimages, Justice and Freedom, allowing children to explore different religions, their community and personal development as well as ensuring opportunities for children to develop positive attitudes and values and to reflect on and relate their learning in RS to their own experiences.
Within each topic, children will learn about a range of religious and world views. We encourage questioning, discussion and investigation to develop their knowledge and understanding of the main religions including; Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism. The lessons teach children the key vocabulary, explanations of different beliefs, as well as their rules, rituals and important celebrations. As a whole school, we celebrate important religious festivals, for example Easter, Diwali through cross-curricular activities, for example; religious and cultural art work, food, drama and craft. Our aim is for children to develop respectful understanding of differing viewpoints and the skills to be able to identify, investigate and respond to a variety of religious and ethical issues.
The children start their artistic journey by honing their motor control skills by using simple hand tools, exploring colour mixing and drawing observational sketches. The children use famous artists, such as Matisse, to gain inspiration and use a variety of textures and media to design and make. Through cross-curricular study with Science and Geography the children will consider art in our environment, focusing on texture, pattern and form. Children up-cycle design projects to include design briefs and work to specifications. As they enter Key Stage 2 they work from both observation and imagination, documenting ideas and experiences in a journal. They are encouraged to become independent artists by exploring a theme of their choice within a structured framework. In Years 5 and 6 pupils will have their Art lessons in the Senior School design studios and be supervised by subject specialists, which is a real opportunity for them and one they thoroughly enjoy.
Take One Picture is a project in conjunction with the National Gallery. Children's work has been displayed nationwide as well as in there National Gallery itself. Details of the yearly project can be found following this link.
Year 6 pupils are introduced to Design Technology as part of the Friday afternoon outreach from the Senior School. The pupils look at a variety of design technology skills including graphics, zen tangling, computer aided design and manufacture and working with resistant materials. This results in the pupils designing and making their own name tag in wood and acrylic plastic.
The national curriculum for computing in England was introduced by the Department of Education in 2014. The computing curriculum at Wellington Prep School aims to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to thrive in the digital world of today and the future. The curriculum is initially broken down into 3 strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy, with further specific strands on data handling, word processing and content design.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure all pupils:
· can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation (Computer science)
· can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems (Computer science)
· can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems (Information technology)
· are responsible, safe, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. (Digital literacy)
Computing skills, particularly the Information Technology strand, is often embedded naturally across the curriculum, allowing children to understand that technology is a key element throughout their learning journey, and it can be applied across any subject. We also timetable discreet (weekly) Computing lessons for opportunities to tinker with apps, hardware and software, as well as work on a detailed project within computer science.
Enrichment opportunities within computing include:
· Bebras Challenge
· Code Club UK
· Touch Typing
· Online gaming
· Hour of Code
At Wellington Prep School we understand that each child is unique and we welcome all pupils who can make the most of the ambitious education that we offer. We want our pupils to reach their full potential and we provide lots of opportunities for them to succeed. We also understand that some children need different or extra support and we are committed to meeting the needs of all our pupils, including those with special educational needs and learning differences.
Most children at Wellington Prep School thrive in our mainstream classes where the classroom teacher is responsible for their progress. We are passionate about removing barriers to learning and our Head of LS, Dr Celia Dillow, works closely with the teachers, offering help, advice and strategies so that every child can feel happy and supported at school. Dr Dillow also observes classes, assesses pupils, communicates with parents and liaises with local authorities and external professionals as appropriate.
All pupils are screened for dyslexia in Year 1 and again in Year 4. If difficulties are identified, we are able to arrange a more detailed assessment which identifies strengths, weaknesses and learning styles so that every child can be given what they need to flourish. Effective communication keeps staff and parents informed of any changes to a pupil’s learning profile.
For those children who need a little extra help, our Learning Success Department is staffed by qualified specialist teachers and learning support practitioners who work alongside children with difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, language processing, ADHD and some autism spectrum differences. Most support is by way of small, targeted intervention groups which take place outside of core curriculum lesson time. In these groups we go over key learning at a slower pace and explore multi-sensory ways to access the curriculum. There is no charge for our SEN provision however, we do not have the facilities or capacity to offer highly specialised and intensive one-to-one programmes for more complex learning difficulties.
PSHE - (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education)
PSHE education is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. PSHE education aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team working and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing). These three core themes are taught throughout the academic year. PSHEE is also taught within other subjects where cross-curricular links are relevant.
In specific year groups PSHE education is promoted by being involved in projects such as the Archie Project in Year Four, where children learn how to support adults living with Dementia. In Year Six, children are given positions of responsibility, such as prefects and monitors.
PSHE education permeates the curriculum across the school. Many topics are covered on a daily basis as they may arise, such as dealing with friendships and relationships. Other cross curricular links are made, where relevant, in specific subjects, e.g. topics encountered when reading a class story. Whole school themes are delivered through whole school and section assemblies.
PSHE education is also taught as a separate subject, where whole classes have the time to discuss issues sensitively and with guidance. In Early Years and Key Stage One these lessons are delivered using circle time and whole class ideas are recorded in the PSHE floor book.
In Key Stage Two whole class discussions allow children to tackle important issues with understanding of each other’s views and ideas in a safe and respectable manner. Any relevant ideas are then recorded in individual books. Throughout Key Stage Two all children take part in a residential where they are away from home, promoting resilience and building relationships.
The Prep School use the 3D PSHE Programme from Dimensions Curriculum. RSE content is delivered either as part of the PSHEE programme, within academic Science lessons or when the opportunity arises during the course of a typical day.