Schools operational times
Lower Prep 9am-
Upper Prep 9am-
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That runs during the school holidays
The School aims for high academic standards and encourages every child’s enthusiasm for learning, good manners, self-
We provide an educational environment where every member of staff strives to offer all children the chance to obtain the best academic results, whilst giving them the confidence to grow and develop as an individual.
The School offers a stretching, challenging approach to learning following a Montessori ethos which is embedded in the early years and emphasises achievement and builds confidence. We aim to lay the foundations for a future of opportunity, enterprise and responsibility.
When the children reach the age of 4 1/2 they attend full time. During the child's time at the school a great deal of emphasis is placed on laying down a firm foundation in the basic skills of Language, Reading and Writing, Mathematics and Science. Teaching is carefully differentiated to ensure that a high level of fluency in reading and competency in numeracy is achieved. Small classes ensure that the children have almost one to one teaching.
Although we implement our own curriculum, this is clearly laid out with reference
to the government's attainment targets, schemes of work and key stages. We encourage
the children to use Montessori materials which will stimulate senses and imagination.
Our children will be offered the opportunity to sit SATs tests (read our assessment
policy online). Please note that the National Curriculum is currently being revised
so we will follow the previous guidelines set out by the Department for Education
in their schemes of work.
The Pierhead Prep School follows the traditional Montessori approach of age grouping.
The curriculum is interdisciplinary, allowing the child to satisfy natural curiosities in related activities. The pre-
The Montessori cosmic approach fosters an appreciation of all living things through the study of language/ literacy, history, social studies, geography and the sciences. These cultural subjects are incorporated into the lower prep curriculum (ages 4-
In the upper prep and elementary classes we will continue the philosophy of educating the whole child with an increasingly teacher directed approach, whilst recognising the unique emotional, social and academic needs of the pre adolescent. The goal is to provide a solid academic bridge from childhood to adolescence as we lay the foundations for developing responsible citizens.
The English curriculum develops competent and enthusiastic readers, writers, speakers and communicators. We place particular emphasis upon extending children’s reading abilities, analytical skills and oral and written vocabulary.
Speaking and Listening
All children are encouraged to participate actively in discussions and to regularly
contribute to circle time in the pre-
Our curriculum uses the Oxford Reading scheme from pre-
In lower prep, the children are involved in guided reading sessions. Guided reading
is a strategy that helps students become good readers. The teacher provides support
for small groups of readers as they learn to use various reading strategies (context
clues, letter and sound relationships, word structure, and so forth). In upper prep
your child must read widely from a variety of fiction and non-
Through reading, children become aware that writing is a purposeful and meaningful
method of communication. Children have frequent opportunities to develop their writing
skills. From the early scribbles to more complex sentences children are praised constructively.
(Montessori materials encourage writing). All children are encouraged to say sounds
when trying to write a word. They then develop sentence structure and begin to use
simple punctuation. Children write in a variety of fiction and non-
During lower prep, children should be positively encouraged when trying to spell
words. It is important at this early stage to just ‘have a go’. It is an approach
where the individual learns the sounds represented by letters and then letter combinations.
The child then attempts to blend these sounds to pronounce small words. As the child
develops, the blending becomes more complex (see Montessori literary programme in
The children concentrate on learning the correct starting point of each of the lower
case letters from pre-
Aims of Mathematics
Through mathematics it is our aim to:
provide children with a positive attitude towards mathematics
develop inquisitive minds, encouraging the ability to question
encourage children to become independent when tackling mathematical problems
heighten awareness of mathematics in our society
promote a high level of children's numerical skills
match learning experiences to the abilities, needs and expectations of the children
build a framework from which we can ensure continuity and progression throughout the school
develop children's understanding that mathematics can be used as a form of communication
have a sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system
know by heart number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves
use what they know by heart to figure out numbers mentally
calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in pencil and paper methods, drawing on a range of calculation strategies
recognise when it is appropriate to use a calculator and be able to do so effectively
make sense of number problems, including non-
explain their methods and reasoning using correct mathematical terms
judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary
suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurements
explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables
develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2-
Provision of Mathematics
Children are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop and extend their mathematical skills through group work, paired work and individual work. Children engage in the development of mental strategies, written methods, practical work, investigational work, problem-
The main aims of drama at The Pier Head Prep are:
To engage with a variety of performance art forms
To explore values, attitudes, feelings and meanings through drama, music and dance
To develop the ability to create, appreciate and make critical judgements about the performing arts
To work independently and in teams; to share arts experiences and present artworks to others
To increase active and independent involvement in opportunities to engage in the performing arts
To provide opportunities to develop self-
The aim of science is for children to explore and interact with their physical environment using first hand experiences. Children will be encouraged to observe, classify, raise questions, plan, measure, and interpret data. They are encouraged to observe, predict and investigate. Children naturally explore the world around them from a very early age. Topics are developed that relate to their interests and every day experiences so that curiosity is stimulated and pupils are motivated to understand and interpret the world around them. Science is an important medium for developing and promoting other areas of the curriculum. Science stimulates language development by providing opportunities for oral and written responses. It is a motivator for practising and developing reading skills and encourages the purposeful use of mathematical skills and concepts. It promotes creativity and inventiveness and allows children to develop their independent thinking skills.
Children are encouraged to turn suggested concepts and their own ideas into a form that can be investigated. With teacher support, pupils will learn to plan these investigations. Upper prep pupils are encouraged to select suitable equipment to use for experiments with only limited teacher guidance. They are encouraged to recognise the need for fair tests and to decide what evidence should be collected. Pupils will learn to make a series of observations and measurements and learn to plot clear tables and graphs.
Information and Communication Technology
Computers are used as tools to handle information and communicate. It is vital that all students gain confidence and competence in using ICT to prepare them for present and later life. The use of ICT can also enhance and extend a child’s learning across all curriculum areas. When students use ICT they are obtaining a set of skills that are required for the routines of life and work and for pleasure and creativity in the future. ICT allows children to:
Draft and redraft their work with less effort than with pencil and paper
Combine words and images to produce a professional looking piece of work
Test out ideas and present them in different ways to various audiences
Investigate and make changes in computer models and see what happens as a result
Store and handle large amounts of information in different ways
Do things quickly and easily that would have been time consuming and tedious if done by hand
Experience, through simulations, things that would be difficult or dangerous for them to attempt in real life
Communicate with others over a distance via email or the internet
The ICT curriculum is organised by teaching new skills which progressively build
upon each other each week. The predominant mode of working in IT is whole class teaching
in the class. Paired and individual work is used where appropriate in the classroom.
From lower prep upwards, the children all receive one ICT lesson per week. The children
are encouraged to become independent users. They develop skills in mouse control.
In upper prep, the children are all strongly encouraged to touch-
At The Pier Head Prep, children benefit from being introduced to French at an early age. They begin in lower prep, continuing to study the language as they progress through the school.
The aims of teaching French at The Pier Head Prep School are as follows:
To teach children to recognise and understand French in the spoken and the written form of the language
To teach children to communicate in French using the spoken and the written form of the language
To give children a thorough linguistic training that will aid them in learning other foreign languages
To increase children’s cultural awareness through learning about the history, geography, arts and popular culture of France and other Francophone countries.
To stimulate the natural intellectual curiosity of children and to encourage them to become independent learners
To foster positive attitudes towards foreign cultures and to support the multi-
In upper prep, children start developing their reading skills and they start learning French grammar and cultural facts. From elementary, children begin studying written French more closely and being to learn spellings and simple grammatical constructions.
‘If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.’ Ludwig Wittgenstein
At The Pier Head Preparatory School, we teach personal, social and health education
(PSHE) and citizenship, as it enables children to become healthy, independent and
responsible members of society. We encourage our pupils to play a positive role in
contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In so doing, we help
develop their sense of self-
The aims of personal, social and health education and citizenship are to:
Enable the children to know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
Be aware of safety issues
Understand what makes for good relationships with others
Have respect for others
Be independent and responsible members of the school community
Be positive and active members of a democratic society
Develop good relationships with other members of the school and the wider community
History develops an awareness of the past and present and ways in which these change.
Our aims are:
To introduce children to the past
To establish a sense of time
To encourage the investigation of change and continuity
To understand cause and effect
To foster an empathy with people and events of the past
To develop an appreciation of human achievements, aspirations and values
To develop the use of historical sources
To develop understanding of interpretations of history
To provide opportunities for first hand experience through fieldwork, role-
To communicate clearly, employing a wide range of media
To provide children with a framework in which to place major issues and events in the history of the world
Through art in the curriculum we aim to encourage children to look critically at
their world -
It is an aim that all children will take part in extra-
Physical health and fitness are addressed through the active participation in a weekly organised programme. Children will also be encouraged to take part in extra-
Music is introduced in the pre-
We provide the children to learn tennis, developing life long skills
Children are given the opportunity to learn Spanish, Dr. Maria Montessori believed that every child has an absorbant mind, so the best time to learn a new language is before the age of 6
The Pier Head Preparatory School was established in May 2009.
Initially opening as a Montessori Pre-
The School provides a happy and stimulating environment our Primary School curriculum has been devised following the National Curriculum fused with Montessori Methods and Materials.
Our Children are offered Music lessons, Tennis Lessons, Swimming lessons, Dance, Drama and also French and Spanish lessons.
Zoology & Botany
Science & Information Technology
Physical Education – Swimming and Tennis