Winterfold’s outstanding Pre-Prep department is full of life and fun activity, providing a gentle and purposeful introduction to the world of formal education. Everybody takes a special interest in the well-being of our youngest children, who are helped to settle in by staff and older children alike.
Opened in 1992, the Pre-Prep is now well-established and flourishing in purpose-built classrooms. The children have their own adventure playground, plus supervised access to the main school facilities such as the heated swimming-pool, sports hall and theatre and to the 40 acres of grounds, including our very own Forest School. For all that we like our children to be busy in the classroom, we do not forget that childhood is a precious time in young lives, and passes all too quickly. A full curriculum should thus be balanced by time to enjoy their childhood.
At the start of the academic year in which they turn 3, your child will move into the Kindergarten in our Pre-Prep. A superb refurbishment took place in 2020 and our facilities are second to none, with a purpose-built unit at the heart of the Pre-Prep. There is a more structured routine whilst retaining the nurturing feel of the School. A cooked lunch at midday is sometimes followed by a rest, although many children have dropped their nap by this stage. Following Kindergarten, pupils stay within the Pre-Prep department, moving into Reception, followed by Year 1 and Year 2.
Classes are small with a low pupil/teacher ratio, so that we can give the children as much individual attention as possible. We aim for an early grasp of the fundamentals of verbal expression, reading, writing and mathematics, following the National Curriculum to Key Stage 1. Boys and girls learn to care for others and to communicate their own feelings and ideas with confidence. Their natural sense of curiosity is encouraged and nurtured by interactive teaching and fun learning games in a secure and happy environment.
Key Stage 1 children use the IT suites to ensure that high level IT skills are developed at an early age. The Early Years computers are in classrooms and children use these on a regular basis to support their learning. Art, craft and drama are an integral part of school life, as well as music, dancing, gym and sport. Violin, horse riding, tennis, golf, football, judo and fencing are also offered as optional extras for the older Pre-Prep children.
The School day starts at 8.40am, although some children take advantage of our pre-school care service and arrive as early as 8.00am. The morning session lasts until 12 noon when the children have lunch. Afternoon work starts again at 1.15 and lasts until 3.15. After-school care is available until 6.00pm if required.