Spotlight on: Pre-prep

Spotlight on: Pre-prep

Our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 teachers on Pre-prep activities this term

Year 2 – Mrs Kerry Owens

This week I told my class they had a new name: ‘Year 2 and 3/4’, because they are so nearly Year 3 pupils! This half term is all about getting ready to move into Acton House in September. Children often worry that suddenly they will need to know, and be able to do, everything, asking, “what will happen if we don’t know one of the joins for our handwriting?”, for example. The answer is “you are all still learning and the learning will carry on, just as it has done all year”. Looking back through their workbooks from last September really helps the girls to appreciate just how far they’ve come. They sometimes laugh at their early attempts at writing and I remind them that teaching and learning is all about improving. It is also about building confidence and independence too and as I write reports it is satisfying to be able to write “you are ready for the new challenges to come in Year 3”!

We began this half term in a burst of creativity with a Claude Monet Art day. Having watched original film footage of the great Impressionist at work and looked at his water paintings, the girls emulated his style – but with a twist. They used oil pastels and glue-thickened paints to blend colours, and then used some tissue paper collage to bring out particular features. Come and see the water lily gallery – it rivals Paris’ Musée de l'Orangerie!

Year 1 – Mrs Carol Kew

Year 1 pupils have been continuing their topic on clothes and have been looking at mediaeval fashion, including the long pointed shoes worn by the men and the very tall headdresses called henins worn by the ladies. The girls painted portraits of mediaeval ladies wearing their henins.

Every Tuesday after school Year 1 and Year 2 pupils have art & craft club, and they have recently been learning the art of quilling, which entails rolling, gluing and shaping strips of paper to make flower pictures. They have also made papier mâché bowls, and are now designing noughts and crosses boards. 

In STEM lessons the group has been looking at different materials, and pictured you can see Tilly and Zara using the knitting machine they made. It took a while before anything happened and then great excitement as the knitting ‘appeared’ through the end of the machine. We are also making woven bracelets and a hat and scarf for 'piglet' (our class mascot) using a loom. This week the girls will be felting – a very messy process involving rolling pins and lots of water!

In Science lessons Year 1 pupils have been testing materials to find out if they are waterproof and suitable for making an umbrella – an appropriate topic considering this week’s wet weather. Having read a story featuring Chinese silk umbrellas, it didn't take long for the girls to realise that the pretty paper umbrellas they were testing would be totally unsuitable.

There are lots more exciting things planned for the last weeks of the Summer Term, including designing and making a Victorian necklace, learning all about quilts and reading the story of The Quiltmaker’s Gift, by Jeff Brumbeau.

Reception – Miss Natalie Shale

The Reception class is continuing with its ‘Marvellous Magic’ and ‘Dinosaurs’ topics from last half term, and this week we have been mixing the two topics together. The girls have been very enthusiastic investigators and have found out lots of information about dinosaurs. They have used this knowledge and their own imagination to help them do some magic and create their very own dinosaurs! They thought about whether their dinosaurs would have sharp or flat teeth, scales, short or long tails, and plates, spikes or crests. Some of the new names for the dinosaurs are Ligeasaurus, Terolasaurus and Rainbosaurus.

Once the girls had drawn their dinosaurs they mixed the colours they wanted to use with watercolour paints and painted their designs. Some details were added on in pencil or crayon and these amazing creations will soon be on display in the Reception classroom. The girls also helped to make some trees and an erupting volcano for the display.