Hodder House, Prep and Elements

In Hodder House, the children are taught to read and write using synthetic phonics. By the end of the Reception class (FS2) most children are able to read and write sentences. Right from the start, we encourage good use of punctuation and vocabulary, whilst making learning relevant by embedding teaching in creative and exciting themes.

As the children move through St Mary’s Hall, they continue to write creatively whilst gradually building the skills to be proficient writers. Our children consistently perform above the national average in end of key stage assessments, whilst developing a love of literature.

In Pre-Prep we build on the work in the foundation stage with pupils continuing to follow a topic-lead curriculum with their class teacher.  For example, we may spend a term looking at stories with historical settings and learn to identify clues which tell when the story takes place, or focus on developing characters and on planning a story.

We aim to develop a love of reading for pleasure as well as information.  Pupils practise reading at their own level and we read to them to expand their understanding and vocabulary.

Pupils learn to follow and write instructions, research and write factual texts, listen and respond to stories and write stories and poems of their own, all while learning about spelling and grammar.

As students progress through Upper Prep, they learn to use dictionaries and thesauri with increasing accuracy and learn to use appropriate information resources and annotate texts.  They learn to write connected prose and edit written work.  Pupils look at the use of language in poems and at the different styles and features of poems.

In Elements we lay the foundations for success at Key Stage 3 with students learning to write for a specific audience and purpose by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar.  Students also have the opportunity to develop their spoken language in performance and debate.