In Main School lessons are planned and marked with the express aim of detecting any gaps in the children's understanding. We monitor the children's progress daily to identify any need for consolidation or extension work.
Children must have a firm and comprehensive foundation to accelerate their future learning. We are devoted to achieving academic excellence and all subjects are taught by specialist graduate teachers. Some children may experience "blocks" in their understanding or require extension work to challenge them. In such cases, our Special Educational Needs teacher provides help in the quiet of our Education Support room. Our school is not only about academia, we provide plenty of opportunity and support for creative, musical and sporting talents.
We’ve developed our curriculum over the years, based solidly on the three core subjects: Maths, English and Science . Other subjects include History, Geography, French, Latin, Religious Education, Music, Drama and Art.
In the Early Years, English is taught by their class teacher, this allows for continuous opportunities to reinforce skills and share our love of books and words. Written work is aided by constant opportunity to develop speaking skills. Even at a young age, our children start to develop confidence through Drama, social interaction and cross curricular lessons which support verbalising children's understanding.
As children move into Year 3 and beyond they will be taught English by subject specialists. The children develop a knowledge and understanding of a range of fiction and factual texts, as well as poetry. Skills in reading, spelling, handwriting and the correct use of grammar and punctuation are continually reinforced. Every child in the School has regular access to the well-stocked library and having the opportunity to read every day helps foster a passion for reading.
Class lessons present these concepts in different formats, gradually becoming more and more complex. We test weekly to ensure that our children understand each concept introduced.
The children develop a sense of excitement through practical exposure to investigations. This also allows them to predict how things will behave and analyse the causes, as well as understanding how science can be used to provide explanations for everyday phenomena. Cross-curricular links are made across other STEM areas at every opportunity.
The Juniors use the dedicated Science Room to carry out practical experiments and investigations.
The Children also use computers to access information in many of their subjects. The interactive whiteboards in every classroom are a key teaching tool. Our dedicated computing suite has a network of computers and other equipment.
History at Stratford Preparatory School provides a balance between developing historical enquiry skills and acquiring important historical knowledge. We cover a range of topics in British, European and World History, and wherever possible create links with other subjects in the curriculum.
We teach history to:
Inspire pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world
Encourage thinking about how the past influences the present
Help students develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people
Foster a sense of identity and an increased understanding of pupils' own position in their own community and the world
Develop a range of skills and abilities - particularly those related to finding out about the past, explaining what happened and what people then and now think about what happened.
We aim to ensure students develop a historical perspective, placing their growing knowledge into different contexts and understanding connections.
Geography at Stratford Preparatory School aims to enhance the curiosity of the world in which we live.
Geography is taught by a subject specialist from Year 3 upwards. Children are encouraged to consider how people interact with their environment at a range of levels, from local to global. There is an equal balance between the three main areas of geography – human, physical and environmental.
The children are taught a range of geographical skills such as map skills, photograph interpretation, field sketching, data collection and computing skills. The syllabus covers topics such as rivers, volcanoes, weather and climate, contrasting localities, sustainability and settlements. There is a cross-curricular approach providing lessons which integrate the knowledge and skills learnt in Science, English, Mathematics and ICT. The school grounds, trips into town and a nearby village, as well as a river study trip, provide the opportunity for fieldwork activities.
French is introduced in the Montessori Nursery from the age of 2 and is taught throughout the school by our specialist language teacher. In the Early Years, French is taught primarily through action songs, games and stories. Key vocabulary related to the children’s personal interests and experiences as well as their class topics are introduced gradually and are regularly revisited to help consolidate understanding.
In the Infant School, language learning continues to focus primarily on listening, responding and speaking. The children sing, chant, play games and are also given plenty of opportunities to practise and repeat newly acquired language by using it in real everyday scenarios and role plays.
In Infant 2 and 3 children work through a carefully structured programme which follows the adventures of 7 colourful toy characters. This comes with an accompanying workbook which provides reinforcement and practice and encourages the children to begin to recognise simple words in French.
In the Junior School, the children continue to develop their oral skills and begin to record written work more formally. The children follow detailed schemes of work which cover a wide range of cross-curricular topics and introduce the rules of spelling and grammar necessary for reading and writing in French. A range of resources such as books, photographs, videos, audio recordings and interactive ICT games are also regularly used to support and enhance teaching and learning.
To complement our French lessons and bring the language to life, the school takes part in a French Day every year in which all pupils and staff participate. Themes in the past years have included: A visit to a French Market, a trip to Paris and life in a French school. We also introduce Spanish, Latin, Mandarin and Japanese to the Juniors.
Design & Technology
Our objective is to help children identify design and technology challenges, then plan, present and evaluate their solutions. They complete a progressive series of tasks leading up to Junior 4, where they develop technical design skills.
Art & Design
Our children use a wide range of media and techniques, both 2D & 3D, to develop their observational and imaginative skills. We look at the work of designers, artists and craftsmen to develop ideas and to understand the role of visual arts, both historic & contemporary.
The majority of our children join the choir or play in the orchestra. Many children receive individual music lessons from a team of specailist teachers including violin, guitar, piano, music theory, singing, flute, cello and trumpet.
The school encourages an understanding of British Values and tolerance of all religions. Our regular assemblies explore themes that children can relate to their own lives. We hold termly services at Holy Trinity Church.
Personal, Social & Health Education
Our children are provided with many opportunities to reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, whilst tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
A regular time is set aside for PSHE in the week to ensure the scheme of work is able to be properly delivered, but, of course, it is developed through activities and whole School events. Children are given a voice not only in day to day interactions with their teachers and other children, but also through the formal structure of a School Council. This body has representatives from each class and they meet regularly with the Headmaster to discuss School matters.
We offer a residential visit to Year 6 where there is a particular focus on developing pupils’ self-esteem and giving them opportunities to develop leadership and co-operation skills. These traits are also central in our programme of Sailing offered to all children as part of our curriculum from Year 3.
Visits and special days in School provide opportunities for children to plan and work together, and develop and maintain relationships under different circumstances. They can discover new qualities and characteristics through volunteering, participating and reflecting on new experiences.
Occasionally some of our children need a little extra support or indeed an extra challenge. It can be the case that children experience "blocks" in their understanding. We provide extra tuition to help overcome obstacles and make sure they have a firm foundation to continue learning.
We also have a register of Able, Gifted and Talented children who are offered additional specialised education.
Our Education Support Room is devoted to this important function.
One sports activity we particularly emphasize is sailing. It is a character-building experience that really helps to develop leadership skills and a sense of responsibility. For this reason, we organise sailing courses throughout the year at Upton Warren Sailing Club with specialist instructors. Most of our children pass the Royal Yachting Association level 3 or 4 during their time at school.
Children compete against other local schools in a variety of sports including tournaments.
Sports Day for Reception upwards takes place on a Saturday morning in June to enable as many family and friends as possible to support the children. Nursery sports day takes place on the Friday morning, immediately before the Saturday sports day. In addition the Junior children get to showcase their progress in swimming at our annual swimming gala, which is held at the local leisure centre.
Every year Junior 4 pupils go on a one-week residential trip where they can enjoy outdoor activities and improve their computer skills.