Prep Curriculum Subjects
- Computing & ICT
- Design & Technology
- Modern Languages
- Physical Education & Games
- Theology and Philosophy
The Prep Art Department aims to develop creativity and imagination through a multitude of diverse activities. It sets out to build upon already existing skills and thus improve control of materials, tools and techniques. Teaching broadly follows the National Curriculum with key elements being addressed, such as, investigating and making which includes exploring and developing ideas with importance on evaluation in order to gauge ones knowledge and understanding.
The department believes the importance of investigating art, craft and design in a variety of genres, styles and traditions. This is carried out in original and reproduction form, during visits to museums, galleries, Haberdashers' grounds and on the internet. It sets out to explore a range of starting points for practical work for example themselves, their experience, images, stories, drama, natural and made objects and environments. The boys have the opportunity to work on their own and collaboratively, on projects that are two and three dimensional and different scales. They experience a range of materials and processes, including ICT (for example, drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, printmaking, digital media, textiles and sculpture)
In an era of ever emerging technologies, ICT literacy is an essential skill to ensure that boys achieve their future aspirations, whatever they might be. Our broad ICT curriculum encourages the boys to not only apply their understanding practically to a given task, but also to begin to evaluate the ways in which they have done so. Core Microsoft-based skills are taught from Year 1, and boys will all become proficient users of Microsoft packages as they progress through the Pre-Prep and Prep Schools. ICT lessons are taught creatively, both in and out of the classroom, and are used as a means to develop wider transferable skills through the opportunity to deliver presentations; something they will do increasingly as they get older.
Problem-solving and thinking logically are key approaches to learning which run throughout the curriculum. Using software such as Python, Scratch, Logo and Espresso, computer programming is taught in every year group, offering pupils an opportunity to transfer their understanding of algorithms to a range of block-based language. Older pupils also have the opportunity to write their own code using html, make their own animations, and design their own APPs. Collaborative sessions are run with the Girls’ School. Successful whole-school projects, such as ‘An Hour of Code’ week, encourage pupils to explore ICT further at home and share their passion with their peers.
ICT is never used purely for its own sake at Haberdashers'. Rather, it is embedded in many different aspects of the academic curriculum. Each classroom is fitted with an interactive whiteboard and two laptop trolleys afford boys the flexibility to use technology throughout the school. Subscriptions to interactive programs such as Mathletics and Education City also serve to enhance, extend and support learning. The skills learnt within ICT lessons provide boys with the ability to confidently research and document their learning in a way which suits their task most appropriately.
Coding ClubsHaberdashers' boys thrive from overcoming challenges in their ICT work, and particularly enjoy sharing ideas to evaluate a task before considering how to complete it most efficiently. Our Digital Leaders are boys who are selected for their aptitude and enthusiasm during ICT lessons. Many of these boys attend both of the weekly Coding Clubs, which take place in our Senior School ICT suites, and assist boys from Years 3-6 with their computer programming. Those attending have the opportunity to experience new forms of practical code software which allows them to program an object to fulfil a particular task. This is something the boys will continue to develop as they make the transition into the Senior School. The boys transfer their understanding of block coding acquired in class ICT lessons to use software such as 'Microbits', a small screen with a range of LED lights which, when coded, will fulfil a variety small robot-based tasks. Although not compulsory, Coding Club boys enjoy taking their work home and completing aspects of projects in their own time.
E-SafetyE-Safety is an integral component of the ICT and PSHCEE curriculum in every year group. Boys are taught the importance of being safe when using a range of devices, both at home and at school, and learn how to use the internet safely and question the validity of online resources. Communication between boys, parents and the school is crucial. An open dialogue is actively encouraged to enable the boys to feel that they can share their experiences online and, importantly, not be judged for doing so. Using their knowledge of Microsoft software and E-Safety, older boys also have the opportunity to teach younger pupils about the dangers of technology and share their experiences with them. For further information please follow the links below:
Technology is making an increasing contribution to all aspects of life and as such is proving naturally fascinating to children, making a valuable contribution to their understanding of the world around them. The subject requires pupils to combine designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to improve their ability to design and assemble products. Furthermore they should be able to recognise and explore people's needs and wants to be able to develop ideas then produce products to meet those needs.
The aim of our technology teaching is to develop design and making skills, which includes planning and evaluation, to improve knowledge and understanding through a range of activities that ensure a development of ability. As the two main sections of the National Curriculum order are closely related, it is important that pupils are confident which making techniques to apply to a particular material through an understanding of its' working characteristics.
Based on the National Curriculum Requirements for Key Stages 1 and 2, the attainment targets help to ensure planned progression and the monitoring of individual pupils. Assignments are chosen in which pupils design and make products using a range of materials and components. They would cover several sub sections on knowledge and understanding within the National Curriculum. To focus on practical tasks, emphasising particular skills and knowledge encouragement is given to investigate, disassemble and evaluate simple products. Through topic planning we can ensure that technology contains cross curricular links and is not an isolated activity. Careful consideration of topic coverage within the School as a whole, allows for schemes of work within year groups and guarantees continuity of learning experiences. Teaching methods encourage first hand experiences, discussion and application of the learning, enabling children to make sense of these situations
The scheme of Drama follows an eclectic mix of skills: mime, movement, debating, improvisation, devising stage fights and characterisation. Teaching Drama is rewarding when we see the emerging acting talent and the increase in the boys’ confidence as they progress through the Pre-Prep and Prep.
The Year 6 production offers the boys the opportunity to come together as a team, working towards the same goal within a very tight time schedule (6 days). It is rewarding for the boys, who have not had the opportunities to excel in sports to be given some artistic recognition and we enjoy observing how the production contributes to the overall community experience of the school
Teachers of English have a truly fantastic job! We have the absolute pleasure of guiding young minds through the complexities of correct grammar and its application in a wide range of creative writing exercises as well as exploring the worlds of poetry and children’s literature. It is our intention to encourage pupils to appreciate that grammar and punctuation should not be viewed as English subjects on their own, but that the acquisition of grammar knowledge enhances all creative work and should be considered within all written exercises across the curriculum.
All children need to communicate orally in a way that is appropriate to the audience and the purpose. They need to develop skills to listen to and respond to literature, to debates, to reason and to give advice and receive instructions. Good communication skills are essential throughout life and we aim to encourage children to be confident in their oral work.
Geography teaching In the Prep is concerned with stimulating the boys’ natural curiosity, interest in their surroundings, the human and physical conditions on the Earth’s surface. Geographical investigations enable the boys to become more aware of their environment and foster their sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them. By becoming engaged in geographical and environmental activities, they should develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat, enhancing their sense of responsibility for the care of the Earth and its people.
Geography lessons, taking place twice a week, encourage the boys to develop their geographical skills, knowledge and understanding relating to people, places and the environment at different scales in the United Kingdom and overseas whilst fostering an appreciation of how places relate to each other in the wider world.
The overall and most important aim of History teachers in the Prep is to foster a love of History and an interest in the subject which will inspire the children to want to know more, in terms of both breadth and depth of subjects being studied. At the top of the school we aim to send boys on to the Senior school full of curiosity and enthusiasm to know more about the past and its significance for today and tomorrow.
History is given a high profile in the Preparatory school, linking as closely as it does with boys’ cultural and academic development. All pupils receive History lessons at least twice a week.
It is important that pupils find History to be an interesting subject, and that they see its relevance to their own lives. Our aim is to make History fun and memorable, whilst laying the foundations for a thorough background knowledge upon which to build in other subjects and in further studies as pupils progress through the school.
All boys in Year 6 study either French, German or Spanish.
The overall aim of language teachers in the Prep school is to make language learning fun so that pupils approach the Senior School language lessons with greater enthusiasm and anticipation.
Boys are very receptive to learning a new language. They also gain a great sense of accomplishment from learning to say something in a foreign language. This nurtures their self-esteem, self-confidence and develops strong interpersonal skills.
We strongly believe that learning a foreign language can help one understand one’s own language. International studies have shown that those who learn a foreign language do better on both verbal and maths tests. Grammatical concepts in English also become clearer. It also broadens one’s horizons. Learning about festivals and traditions from countries where the language is spoken helps them appreciate other cultures.
It is important that our pupils realise that, as the world becomes more global, businesses and public organisations will need more people who can communicate in other languages.
Mathematics lessons throughout the Prep School teach the boys how to reason, question, identify problems, hypothesise, estimate and extend.
The boys learn how to use a wide range of Mathematics to discuss mathematical ideas and then to undertake investigations. They discover how to communicate information, discuss difficulties and ask appropriate questions.
Classes are taught with a variety of styles, according to the topic, the teacher’s preference and the needs of the children. Whole class teaching is commonly used, though pupils are placed in pairs or larger groups for practical work. Ideas and methods are discussed within these groups or with the whole class in order to focus upon the mathematics covered in the task. Whenever possible, the Mathematics is placed in the context of the real world with links to topics taught in Science, Geography and History.
The Prep Mathematics curriculum is delivered by class teachers from Years 1 to 4 but in Years 5 and 6 pupils are taught in smaller groups by specialist teachers.
All the boys in Years 5 and 6 sit the Primary Maths Challenge and the boys in Year 6 go on to participate in the Junior Maths Challenge, intended for Years 7 and 8.
The Mathematics Department prepare and deliver engaging lessons and are committed to making lessons exciting, believing the boys learn through enjoyment and stimulation.
Music plays a significant part in the lives of Habs' Prep boys. As well as two class music sessions a week, there are numerous co-curricular opportunities – three choirs, orchestra, Premier Strings, wind band, two recorder ensembles and several chamber ensembles. The Taylor Music School is a cutting edge faculty with a state of the art, purpose built concert hall. All boys have a weekly hymn practice in this imposing space. There are plenty of performance opportunities – the Christmas and Summer concerts, various key assemblies and the annual musical. Every few years, the School puts on a concert in the world famous Barbican Hall. Prep boys are very much a part of this memorable occasion.
In class, boys take part in diverse performance, listening and composition opportunities. They are given the space to develop their own understanding and appreciation of music, in whatever form this may take. On average, 80% of boys learn an instrument, and that figure increases to 100% in Year 5 when all boys learn an orchestral instrument in the place of one of their weekly class lessons. Many boys choose to refine these skills beyond the scheme; this in part explains the teeming and hugely popular co-curricular scene in the Senior School.
Haberdashers’ has marvellous sports facilities. The P.E and Games department is well resourced offering a variety of equipment appropriate to the age of the pupil to assist the early stages of skill development. The Prep school is situated on the same site as the Senior school and benefits from the use of the extensive playing fields and indoor facilities. There are numerous rugby pitches and cricket wickets catering for all prep ages, an all-weather athletics area for sprinting and hurdling, jumping and throwing and the varied terrain within the grounds enables the boys to run Cross Country without leaving the school premises. There are two astro turf areas, one floodlit, providing for Hockey and wet weather training areas in the winter and for Tennis in the summer.
The Physical Education programme is delivered by qualified specialist teachers throughout the School and the extensive Games programme is supported by coaches and teachers who have recognised coaching awards and a wealth of experience and expertise in coaching to various ages and ability levels.
Physical Education and Games in the Prep School aims to allow pupils to enjoy and enthuse about physical activity. The individual’s physical, creative and social development is nurtured. Each and every boy is given the opportunity to acquire and develop their competence and understanding across a broad range of activities. Some of these are team based and some individual, but all boys are offered chances to display their talents in competitive situations.
Almost all aspects of modern life have some sort of scientific input, from the natural world or man-made sources. Children have a natural curiosity and are fascinated by everything in the world around them. An appreciation and understanding of scientific principles plays an important role in helping them make sense of their surroundings and environment making a valuable contribution to their overall learning.
AIMS OF OUR SCIENCE TEACHING
- To teach the children practical scientific skills
- To teach the children scientific knowledge and principles which they can use to explain observed phenomena and to solve problems
- To build on children's natural curiosity, stimulating them to investigate and question
In Theology & Philosophy at Haberdashers' Prep, the aim is to encourage every boy to think about their own ‘Worldview’ and to consider how they might answer the fundamental questions of human existence.
We prepare the Prep for the Senior school and dip into the same ultimate questions of life: Where am I from? (Origin) Who am I? (Significance) Why is the world in a mess? (Evil) Is there a future? (Purpose) How should I live? (Morality) Is there a God? (Reality) How can I know? (Epistemology).
In pursuit of this aim, the world’s major religions are studied. In Year 3 there’s lots of comparison work investigating Prayer, Places of Worship, Festivals and traditions. As they go up through the Prep school the boys will study Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Throughout the teaching of Theology, Philosophy 4 Children lessons (P4C) are taught. During the P4C lessons boys are challenged not only to learn but also think. Particular focus is given on getting the boys to be caring, collaborative, critical and creative in their thinking and group work. Regular time for reflection and self-evaluation ensures that the boys are involved and leading the discussion and learning from each other. These skills are developed in order to prepare boys for the intellectual demands of the Senior school and beyond.
Most P4C lessons will link to the World religion lessons. For example, in Judaism we learn about King David and his abuse of power which leads to a P4C lesson exploring the concept of Power and Responsibility. Many religions have accounts of miracles, again this provides an excellent topic for P4C. In year 6 we study the Creation account and think about how this fits in with today’s understanding of Science. In addition to this, Ethics, Law and Human rights are explored.
For those students who enjoy this subject a Thinking Skill and P4C clubs are offered to the older and younger students.