Reception to Year 2
Reception (ages 4-5)
Children can enter our Reception classes in the September following their 4th birthday. Our class sizes are small, enabling us to provide a supportive, stimulating and creative learning environment and the children have constant access out onto their own secure outdoor play area.
In these years boys and girls begin their education in a caring, creative and challenging environment. There are two classes, each with a qualified teacher plus a teaching assistant.
|Belinda is our Early Years Lead at an exciting time for Gresham’s Pre-Prep with the introduction of our nursery for two-year olds. She graduated with a B.Ed (Hons) in Primary Education from the University of Wales and later studied whilst at Oswestry School to gain her Early Years Professional Status. Inspired by the training, she regularly supports current students at the beginning of their teaching careers. Belinda is an experienced pair of hands, with a career spanning over 16 years, teaching Reception and Year One children in Kent, Shropshire and Norfolk.|
|Susanna completed a BA (Hons) degree in Music with Qualified Teacher Status at the University College of Ripon and York St. John. She then took her first position in Somerset working with nursery children before taking up a Primary teaching post in Nairobi, Kenya. Since then within the UK Susanna has worked at The Downs Prep school in Bristol and St. Edwards Prep School in Reading. A wealth of teaching experience has also been gained from working in leading British International schools; Dulwich International College in Phuket and The British School Muscat in Oman. Susanna came to Gresham’s Pre-Prep with twenty years experience across the Primary year groups in both state and private school settings, which has included leadership roles of Pod Leader and Literacy Co-ordinator.
|Hannah completed a degree in Zoology and Genetics at Sheffield University, and then studied Physiotherapy at Kings College London. She qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2004, then worked in hospitals in London and Leicestershire before having a career break in 2015 to spend time with her three young children. She started volunteering at Gresham’s Pre-Prep last year, when her family relocated to the area, and discovered a real passion for working with children. Hannah is currently studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education, while working part-time as a teaching assistant in Reception.
“Relationships between teachers and pupils are exceptionally strong.”
Independent schools inspectorate report 2016
Curriculum – Years 1 and 2
In Key Stage 1 we endeavour to create an environment in which all children can blossom and thrive. We encourage and build upon their self-confidence, independence and responsibility in all activities, from unpacking their bags in the morning, making choices at lunchtime and accessing the right equipment to support their learning.
We follow the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1 in English, maths, science and reading. This ensures children are taught a breadth of skills and knowledge, which are in line with their peers. We enrich this learning though our topic-based approach to planning. This encourages children to explore and make connections between different subjects and gives the children a rich, dynamic learning experience. Basic skills are taught in numeracy and literacy lessons, following the National Curriculum.
Our children move into Years 1 and 2 excited and ready to learn after a solid start to their educational journey in the Early Years. Our provision for children in Years 1 and 2 builds on the EYFS curriculum and follows key elements of the National Curriculum. It is an enhanced and creative programme and includes additional specialist activities and lessons.
Teaching and learning opportunities promote active engagement, depth of learning and motivation. In addition, small class sizes are hugely effective in providing a high level of focused teacher involvement with each child. Our dedicated teachers offer rich and exciting experiences with regular trips, visitors and plenty of opportunities for hands-on investigation and problem solving. Pupils continue to build upon and benefit from the specialist teaching lessons introduced during the Early Years.
Year 1 (ages 5-6)
In Year 1 the children are placed in two mixed-ability classes with a maximum of 16 in each class.
Our curriculum follows the guidelines of the National Curriculum, yet remains flexible to allow us to embrace the unexpected. Fun activities reflect our ethos of learning through enjoyment, enquiry and discovery. Our curriculum is a broad and balanced one, giving our pupils the very best opportunities to study a wide range of subjects, including a variety of sports, whilst our outstanding drama and musical productions give the children the opportunity to perform and develop their creativity.
Year 1 staff
|Nicola was appointed Deputy Head of Gresham’s Pre-Prep in September 2017. She began her career after completing a four-year BEd teacher training degree in Plymouth, specialising in children aged 3-7 years. Nicola has held teaching positions in many parts of the UK including Kent, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire before she moved to Norfolk in 2011. Prior to becoming Deputy Head, Nicola was Key Stage 1 Lead and has a wide range of experience across nursery and Key Stage 1, having taught all year groups.
|Kate studied for a 3 year BSc (Hons) degree in Biology at Birmingham University. She then went on to complete a Primary PGCE course at Homerton College, Cambridge before beginning her teaching career at St Cedd’s School in Chelmsford. Kate then taught at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Elstree at the Prep School. Kate began teaching at Gresham’s Pre-Prep School in a reception class. In the last few years she has taught in every year group at the Pre-Prep.
|After leaving School, Linda studied Community and Family care at Norwich City College for two years. Placements included working with profoundly handicapped children, working with reception class and working with the elderly. After caring and nursing the elderly in a care home for a few years, I decided it was time for a change in direction and worked with children. Believing that children are our future, my jobs included being a crossing patrol officer, midday supervisor, cook and teaching assistant. While my children were growing up I was chairperson of the fundraising committee for the first Holt Scout Group and a volunteer helper with the Beavers. I started work at Gresham’s in 1995 and have completed my City and Guilds Level 2 in Learning Support, Introduction to Counselling Level 2 and Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 3.|
|After qualifying as a Nursery Nurse in 1989 Lorna moved to Canada where she worked for a year. On returning to Britain she worked with children in hospital and studied to become a Hospital Play Specialist where she won the National Hospital Play Specialist award for 1993. She specialised in children with head injuries, using play and music to help children relearn skills that they had lost such as speech and mobility. Later, Lorna moved to Norfolk where she set-up and managed a crèche for children whose parents were studying basic skills and English as a second language. After having her family, Lorna studied with the Pre-School Music Association and later studied the Delcroze Method of teaching music. She worked with the music charity from 2009 bringing music into the community. In 2011 she launched Fledgeling Music where she continues to teach music in the community for family groups, nurseries and schools. She joined the Greshams Pre-Prep ‘family’ in September and is absolutely delighted to be part of an inspiring team.|
Year 2 (ages 6-7)
In Year 2 the teaching day is extended to 4.00pm. The children are taught in mixed-ability classes with a maximum of 16 pupils in each.
Our curriculum is a broad and balanced one, giving our pupils the very best opportunities to study a wide range of subjects, including a variety of sports, whilst our outstanding drama and musical productions give the children the opportunity to perform and develop their creativity.
Our children are encouraged to become more independent at this stage and many of them take on roles of responsibility through our successful House System and Pre-Prep School Council.
Year 2 staff
|Lucy achieved a First Class Master’s degree in Environmental Geoscience MSci (Hons) at the University of Birmingham. She spent a year of this degree studying at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, which gave Lucy the “travelling bug”. Lucy completed her Primary PGCE at the University of East Anglia and began her teaching career at Gresham’s Pre-Prep in September 2016.|
|Elizabeth completed her BEd (Hons) degree at Exeter University, specialising in English and Drama. Her first teaching job was at the Dragon School in Oxford. There she taught in Year 3 and was a junior house tutor, before being involved in the set-up of the new Dragon Pre-Prep, where she taught across the year groups and was PE and Games Co-ordinator. She left the Dragon to spend 2 years at Harrow International School in Bangkok, teaching in the Prep department and leading outdoor learning trips. On her return from Thailand, Elizabeth did some supply teaching in Oxfordshire before returning to the Dragon Pre-Prep to teach in Years 2 and 3, and Art to all year groups. Elizabeth has been teaching at Gresham’s Pre-Prep since 2010. She loves her current role in Year 2, guiding and supporting the children in becoming independent learners in the vibrant and exciting environment of the Nursery and Pre-Prep and preparing them for their move on to Key Stage 2.|
|Louise is our Learning Enrichment Lead and has been working in both state and independent schools for over 20 years as a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and SEN Tutor. She has a passion for understanding how children learn and strives to give each child the focused support and intervention they need to fulfil their learning potential. Louise was also part of a pioneering dyslexia research team with St Bartholmew’s hospital, London, for over ten years.|
“Pupils’ learning experiences are enhanced as a result of the school continually seeking to improve and add breadth to the learning programme.”
Independent schools inspectorate 2016