Nursery - Year 2 (Pre-Prep)
Welcoming children from the age of three, Hodder House is the purpose-built Pre-Prep at St Mary’s Hall. Following a very successful ISI inspection it was noted that, “The outstanding development of the pupils is a clear indication of how the school prepares both spiritually and emotionally.” By beginning your child’s education in the Pre-Prep, Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall offers a seamless transition from 3-13 and beyond to Stonyhurst College.
Our Pre-Prep is set in glorious woodland and equipped with exceptional facilities. This wonderful location, coupled with inspirational teaching and a child-centred approach, creates the ideal environment for young children to flourish.
Children work in small classes under the care and guidance of highly skilled and experienced teachers.
Our exciting curriculum gives the opportunity to explore cross-curricular themes linked to history, geography, science, art and ICT. In addition to English and maths, from the age of three, children study French, swim each week, learn to express themselves creatively, enjoy PE and can take part in our extensive after school activities programme until 18:00.
The Pre-Prep uses the facilities that Stonyhurst provides and also benefits from the specialist teachers. Pre-Prep children often take part in the activities and special events of St Mary’s Hall, and it is very much part of the wider Stonyhurst Community.
Learning in the Pre-Prep
Our aim at Pre-Prep is to tap into children’s natural curiosity and eagerness to learn. Small class sizes and experienced teachers ensure that every child is given individual care and attention.
Our experienced Early Years Foundation Stage (FS1 and FS2 classes) and Key Stage 1 (PP1 and PP2 classes) teams combine a careful blend of maths and literacy with a wide range of other subjects, as well as a varied selection of extra-curricular activities.
Our curriculum offers the core subjects of English and maths, with science, humanities, French and creative arts being an important part of the programme. From Reception (FS2) pupils can join individual peripatetic music and LAMDA (Speech and language) lessons.
In the Nursery, our youngest children enjoy a safe, stimulating and inspiring environment where they are gently introduced to a routine for learning through play and child-led activities, helping them to grow in independence.
The youngest children in our Nursery, joining us in the term in which they turn three, are known as FS1. The children are gently introduced to the school routine and are gradually encouraged to become more independent.
In addition to weekly woodland classroom time, much learning takes place out of doors, so wellies are a must! Every child has the opportunity to enjoy a weekly swimming lesson in our heated indoor pool, a dance class in the Stonyhurst dance studio and a French session. We are often found roaming the extensive Stonyhurst campus and have access to the school minibuses for local trips linking in with the children’s favourite topics.
We encourage open communication with our parents and share special memories and learning milestones through our online journals.
Joining Reception is an exciting time and, during this year, children build their confidence in learning phonics and begin to develop their problem-solving skills. There are also lots of opportunities to explore their creative side through painting and crafts. Weekly swimming, dance and French lessons continue in FS2.
We are so fortunate to have beautiful surroundings to explore and as much of FS2’s learning as possible is delivered using our campus facilities. We continue our visits to the local area, linking our trips to the Foundation Stage Curriculum and the children’s interests.
Children are gently introduced to studies (homework) when they bring home their phonics work and reading books and diary for parents to help record their progress.
In Reception, children start to access our after-school activities programme with a variety of different activities on offer.
Communication is important to us and we have an open-door policy, inviting parents to come and speak to us every day. We also continue to report on the children’s progress via our online portal where parents can also share exciting information about their child.
During Year 1, children move into Key Stage 1, which provides a wide and varied framework for learning. Children enjoy exploring a range of topics that develop their literacy and maths skills as well as weekly French, swimming and games lessons with access to our woodland area and extensive campus. As they move into Year 2 (PP2), children are encouraged to become increasingly independent. They enjoy their role as school monitors, looking after the younger children and being good role models for their peers.
Children continue to extend their studies (homework) when they bring home their reading books and diary for parents to help record their progress, with weekly spellings introduced throughout the year. Links to other subject areas are also introduced.
There are a wide variety of activities for children to choose from, including creative subjects such as pottery and woodwork to active sessions in football, tennis and other ways to use up their boundless energy!
Communication with our parents is important and there are plenty of opportunities to discuss children’s progress throughout the year. There are many activities that children can choose to take part in after school, including free sport and creative clubs and other specialist clubs, taking advantage of our location at the Prep School and their expert coaches.
Before and after school care is a valuable service for our busy parents. Early drop-off from 8:00am, before the 8:20am registration, and later collection up to 6:00pm is built into the school day. Children who stay until 6:00pm join teatime club and enjoy a full meal in the Refectory.
In addition, Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall offers a 'St Mary's Hall Holiday Club' which provides quality care to children aged 3-11. The Holiday Club provides an exciting and interactive programme of activities, including arts and crafts; baking; swimming; tennis and exploring the countryside.
To find out more about our Holiday Club click here.
The outstanding development of the pupils is a clear indication of how the school prepares both spiritually and emotionally. ISI