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Academic

At Weston Green, we believe in providing a high quality education that prepares children for the next stage of their educational journey into their future schools.  We inspire our children to develop a love of learning and a genuine enthusiasm for a wide range of subjects.  Our rigorous academic curriculum covers the National Curriculum including English, Maths, Science, Humanities and Languages but we have the flexibility to go beyond it and offer our children exciting and challenging opportunities to explore their individual interests and talents.

We pride ourselves on our high quality teaching staff who are passionate about their subjects and pedagogy and firmly believe this is what sets our prep school apart.

English

At Weston Green School, we value reading as a key life long skill. Our approach is to develop confident readers, who read a wide range of materials, and enjoy regularly reading for pleasure.

VIPERS

Our readers use the VIPERS approach to develop their reading comprehension skills to build their vocabulary, make inferences and use direct retrieval to delve deeper into texts as well as developing the essential explanational skills to articulate their understanding. Our children are able to recommend books to their peers and read a wide range of genres, including non-fiction and poetry. English lessons are based on book studies and the children delve into evaluating an author’s main purpose, use of illustration, use of language and its effect upon its audience. The books we study as part of our thematic curriculum are diverse to reflect wider society.

Enrichment

Each half term, the children focus on a book to develop writing skills across a wide range of genres through creative writing tasks. To embed our passion for books we have a number of reading enrichment activities, including:

  • Celebrations for World Book Day
  • Dedicated library time
  • A focus of reading a class book 
  • Book fairs
  • Older children reading to younger children
  • Reading book corners in classrooms

Our approach to developing creative writing skills is through their immersion into books studies, Power of Reading, as this empower the children to write in role and use a selection of literary devices and techniques. Children work towards their own target to improve their writing and use a wide range of scaffolded resources to inspire them. Embedding our passion for creative writing we offer:

  • A creative writing after school club
  • Extended writing opportunities (Island Project and autobiographical writing)
  • A focus on developing an understanding of genres and their features
  • Using high quality examples of good writing
  • ISA Writing Competition
  • ISA Poetry Competition
  • ISA Handwriting Competition

The recent development of school symbol marking policy underpins the culture of proofreading and responding positively to constructive feedback. This aids the children’s ability to reflect and respond to their misconceptions with a view to gaining a deeper understanding and improving their writing skills. 

Maths

At Weston Green School, we all learn to become ‘masters’ in maths. A pedagogical style that ensures all children possess a thorough understanding of core concepts and skills that then builds the confidence to apply these to ever more complex and varied problems in maths and across the curriculum.

From Pre Prep to Year 6, this approach brings huge success, our children consistently achieving around 30% greater than their age group and ensuring through preparation for 11+ and beyond.

A confident start

Early maths skills are learned through play and continuous daily exposure to maths in 6 key areas:

  1. Cardinality and counting: understanding the value of a number and its “howmanyness”    
  2. Comparison: understanding that the values of numbers can be more or less.
  3. Composition: understanding that one number can be made up from combining others.
  4. Pattern: looking for similarities and differences and relationships.
  5. Shape and space: understanding what happens when shapes move or combine.
  6. Measures: comparing aspects such as length, weight and volume.

These early skills continue to be used throughout Weston Green School, but are studied in a more formal way as the child progresses through the school.

Becoming a ‘master’ at maths is achieved through a consistent 3 step approach: 

Concrete, pictorial and abstract

The children get to make the numbers (Concrete), draw them (Pictoral) and write them down (Abstract), so they have an understanding of the fact that a number can be made in different ways and is not just an abstract symbol (linked directly to the earlier skills of cardinality and counting and composition).

 

All lessons also incorporate the following elements:

Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving

Fluency: Becoming Fluent

Fluency in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

Children are given opportunities to develop this daily.  We further support this with our rapid fire “Fluent in 5” programme.

Reasoning: The ability to reason 

Children can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry.

Conjecturing relationships and generalisations and developing an argument, so that a child can give justification or proof using mathematical language.

Problem solving: The ability to solve mathematical problems 

By applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 

The successful impact of this approach

Children across the school  achieve around 30% more than their age group peers nationally.

We have found that children have a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and are therefore more confident to problem solve independently.

Children demonstrate a strong sense of mathematical fluency and internal assessment and  data analysis details significant improvements in both progress and attainment for all children.

Science

Enquiry, exploration and experimentation are key principles in all we do in our pre-prep. Children are encouraged to explore the world around them through structured play. The thematic based curriculum encourages children to explore topics to a deeper level.

Moving into lower prep, children have a timetabled weekly science lesson. Again higher order thinking and problem solving form a large part of the curriculum. Where the curriculum allows, children problem solve carrying out investigations following the principles of what constitutes a fair test.

 

 

In upper prep, science is taught by a specialist science teacher in a designated science laboratory. The children have 2 weekly timetabled science lessons, this allows them to really delve deeply using scientific enquiry to problem solve. Children are encouraged to design and carry out investigations independently. Then evaluate and present their findings. 

Outside of the classroom children have the opportunity to further extend their passion for science 

  • Pre-Prep STEM club
  • Lower Prep STEM club
  • Upper Prep Science Club
  • Bellevue STEM competitions

French

At Weston Green School, our students start learning French at a very young age.  Their exposure starts at Pre Prep (Kindergarten) and goes all the way up to Year 6 where they complete their prep school journey, fully equipped for French in senior school.

Language Skills

The time they get exposed to the French Language increases exponentially as the students get older. All year groups have French lessons on a weekly basis: in Pre Prep, they are have 20-minute lessons, in Reception and Year 1 for 30 minutes, in Year 2 for 45 minutes and in Year Groups 3-6 for 60 minutes. Having the benefit of being taught the French Language at a young age, our students can build on prior knowledge in all 4 Language skills (listening, speaking, comprehension and writing)

Their Learning Journey

The children start their French language journey in Pre Prep, with a short weekly session designed to develop a love of language with a strong emphasis on enjoyment, for example through the use of French-speaking puppets. Songs and rhymes help to encourage participation and repetition of basic vocabulary such as numbers and colours. In Reception revision builds confidence in speaking, with practical activities and new topics added in. During the course of Year 1, the children start to build simple phrases as they become ready and to apply their vocabulary across a range of topics such as pets, toys and food, with the emphasis still firmly on engagement and enjoyment. Simple written activities are also introduced, so that by Year 2 they have a strong foundation and the confidence to tackle an increasing vocabulary both orally and in writing.

Layered Learning

When students are in Year 2 and as they go up, we want them all to get appropriately challenged in their French learning, hence all lessons (verbal or writing) include Layered Learning activities. This gives the students the opportunity to add extra levels of challenge in their learning and progress at the maximum capacity according to their individual abilities as well as to help them improve, practise and work on any identified areas for improvement, as and when needed.

At Weston Green, we give real emphasis to the academic excellence that our students can achieve through learning French and we use a variety of tools to achieve this. We want to develop our students’ critical thinking, which is why we include in every lesson a “Killer Question”. This question could be either on grammar, vocabulary or cultural understanding. To some of the Killer Questions students may have the answer straight away using their Long Term memory from previous lessons (lessons are sequenced), but for others they may need to get to the answer by putting together the information from that day’s lesson. Another way to help our students deepen their knowledge and understanding in French is through reading more advanced texts and answering questions in Upper Prep, an activity similar to reading comprehension in the French Language.

Finally, we want our students to become independent learners. To help them with this, we encourage them to practise the French Language outside of the classroom environment by offering them a variety of websites to practise the topics they feel they need more support. By doing this, the students not only take responsibility for their own learning, but they also get exposed to French more frequently which is very beneficial to their progression. Additionally, we share with them the Learning Journey at the beginning of each half-term which informs them of their learning for the following weeks. This ensures the students are aware of which topics they can practise either prior to the French lessons or once lessons are completed.

Drama

At Weston Green School, we believe that drama and performing arts are essential for developing the creativity, confidence and communication skills of all our children. We offer a range of opportunities for pupils to explore their talents and express themselves through music, drama and dance.

Our curriculum covers various aspects of performing arts, such as singing, acting, improvisation, script writing, prop design, and choreography. We also encourage children to appreciate different genres and styles of performance, from Shakespeare to musical theatre.

We have a dedicated Music and Drama suite with two individual practice rooms, together with our school hall where pupils can rehearse and perform in a professional environment.

We are proud of our strong links with LAMDA, providing high-quality classes for children in singing, dancing and drama. Our pupils can benefit from the expertise and guidance of our passionate and experienced teaching staff, as well as external professionals who visit our school to deliver workshops and masterclasses.

We showcase our pupils’ achievements in drama and performing arts through regular performances, teatime concerts and events. Our pupils have the opportunity to perform on stage in front of an audience of parents, staff and the local community.  Our high quality productions include Mystery at Magpie Manor and this year’s The Amazing Adventures of Super Stan!

Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning

At Weston Green School, Verbal Reasoning & Non- Verbal Reasoning (VR & NVR) is part of the school curriculum. Our approach is to help the children develop a certain level of understanding of Maths and English to springboard their learning of VR & NVR skills.

Resources

Our bespoke curriculum makes the learning effective and engaging for our pupils. We offer focused weekly sessions using a range of adaptive resources such as Planet BOFA and Atom alongside specific resources, videos and past papers.

Our programme helps the children retain the concepts for longer and in detail and arms the children with an understanding, the knowledge and the application of a wide range of reasoning skills required for the 11+ exams.

Music

At Weston Green School, our pupils have a weekly music lesson with a specialist music teacher, in which musical activities integrate performing, composing and listening together with an understanding of notation and music theory. There are continuing opportunities to play tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments. Singing continues to form an important part of the music curriculum and pupils have a weekly singing lesson.

Individual Lessons

Peripatetic teachers visit the school to teach individual lessons in piano, guitar, violin, drums and singing. 

Performances

There are many performance opportunities for Lower Prep and Upper Prep pupils including:

  • Upper Prep choir
  • Harvest Service at All Saints Church
  • Christmas Celebration in the Hall
  • Informal concert for parents in the spring
  • Bellevue Music Festival
  • Teatime concerts
  • End of year show in the summer

In preparation for the end of year production, all pupils are involved with an art day to prepare props and scenery.

Art

Art and Design at Weston Green is centred around a positive classroom mindset where all children are encouraged to discover and celebrate their individual strengths and abilities. Through the experience of a specialist art teacher, engaging projects in both 2D and 3D work are planned to inspire and challenge children. Experimenting and problem-solving are part of the active process, whilst getting messy and adapting to unexpected mistakes are promoted as a positive point of learning.

The elements and principles of art are explored through techniques and media (such as painting, drawing, printing, sewing, weaving, photography and sculpting.) Artists and designers (both historic and contemporary, British and international) are also explored throughout year groups, which provide a real breadth and depth across the Art and Design curriculum.

Children enjoy making cross-curricular links with other subjects and are encouraged to reflect, develop and share their thoughts and ideas routinely. Art and Design lessons are shaped to complement every child’s natural curiosity and spark a love for creating.

Computing

We recognise that Computing prepares pupils for life in a rapidly changing world. At Weston Green, Computing is used to explore, analyse, exchange and present information creatively and teaches pupils to use their initiative, whilst promoting independent thinking and learning. Pupils enjoy using Computing throughout our school.

Computing teaching is twofold; firstly to teach and extend knowledge of Computing and secondly to support the curriculum.

We are a Chromebook school. All staff and children have been trained to use Google Tools to support them. Each classroom is equipped with a new screen and a Chromecast and children are encouraged to cast their work on the main screen so we can share and explore the task collaboratively.

We have a range of Computing tools that we use on a regular basis:

Google Classroom

The children access homework through Google Classroom and use word publishing programmes to write in an arrangement of different genres such as newspaper reports, facts files and leaflets. The children use the Stream to publish their own work and to receive peer feedback.

Kami

Kami is an online document annotation and markup tool. You can highlight, underline, and strikethrough text in PDF and other document formats. You can also add text boxes, shapes and images. Kami is used by teachers to model and share good practice. The children enjoy using Kami as part of their homework to annotate pdf documents.

Planet BOFA

Planet BOFA is used in Upper Prep (Y5 and Y6) for 11 Plus preparation. This personalised, adaptive, online tutoring system delivers bespoke, dynamic learning that individually guides each student to 11 Plus success.

Purple Mash

Purple Mash is a creative online space aimed at primary school teachers and pupils, which aims to inspire creative learning both at school and at home.

Times Tables Rock Stars

Times Tables Rock Stars (TT Rock Stars) is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised every third week or so. This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 16,000 schools – both primary and secondary – worldwide. TT Rock Stars is used to reinforce children’s knowledge of timetables facts, set both in the classroom and as part of their homework.

Watch this short video to see a Glimpse into Computing at Weston Green School:

Humanities

Our thematic curriculum really comes to life across humanities subjects at Weston Green School. The topics we cover allow a truly integrated approach to teaching and learning, enabling our pupils to make links and see connections between different disciplines. Take the theme of ‘Victorious’ in Upper Prep for example, where a history lesson on the Victorians, will be cross-referenced with geography lessons about the Industrial Revolution, providing pupils with a more comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the subject, and enabling a more holistic picture of the world to build in young minds.

 

Similarly, in Lower Prep, a topic on Amazing Ancients, will take the study of ancient Egypt across into geography lessons, looking at the location of Egypt on the world map, learning and applying the key skills of map reading and using a range of geographical language to describe its location and corresponding climate.

 

For connections to be made across humanities,  it is important to us that we encourage our pupils to develop critical thinking skills and to engage with the material actively. This is why pupil discussion and debate is so important in these subjects and wherever we can we introduce our pupils to a range of resources, including primary and secondary sources, to enable them to develop a deep understanding of the subject matter.

Taking this one step further, we pride ourselves on immersive ‘theme’ days across all our year groups, inviting outside workshops into the school and encouraging children to dress up to ensure truly memorable learning experiences.

PE and Games

In Lower Prep children take part in a weekly games session on site led by specialist sports staff. These sessions help the children to develop their skills in football, hockey, netball, athletics and cricket. They also take part in a weekly yoga session and for one term they take part in gymnastics and swimming lessons. In Upper Prep, the children have their games sessions twice a week, off site, just a short walk away at Old Cranleighans Sports club.

During their time in Upper Prep children have the opportunity to represent the school in fixtures against other schools, and as they mature, compete in school tournaments as well as ISA regional and national competitions for football, netball, hockey and athletics. The children compete in netball and football (Autumn); in mixed hockey (Spring term); cricket and athletics (Summer term) matches, and we are offering football to girls to run alongside their netball sessions.  

 

PRE

Philosophy and Religious Education (PRE) is an important part of our curriculum, giving children a unique opportunity to reflect on and learn from the faiths and beliefs of those around them. We help children develop an understanding of the place that religion plays in people’s lives and how it has influenced history and the growth and development of society, providing a wonderful opportunity for spiritual, moral and cultural development.  Alongside this, children develop a perception of themselves within their community. We ignite a curiosity to learn about religions and world views that help children understand about diversity in the world.

We begin teaching PRE in the Foundation Stage as the children begin to learn about special people, books, times, places, objects and celebrations. As children move up through the years, we move away from teaching one religion at a time and instead focus on a theme, for example ‘Peace’ and cover different religions across that theme. This approach ensures that during their primary school years, children are re-exposed to a range of religions and develop key skills; they learn to investigate, explore, describe, explain and debate, using religions as the context.  Beyond our PRE lessons, we actively promote diversity through celebrations of different faiths and cultures.  Our annual inter-faith week is a celebration, enjoyed by all pupils, when children and family members of different faiths are invited into the school to share their experiences.

PSHE

At Weston Green School, our approach to teaching PSHE is to help develop thriving well-rounded individuals who understand and respect the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion in society.

Our bespoke PSHE curriculum, which reflects the needs and interests of our pupils, supports the children’s acquisition and application of our school values (adaptable, aspirational, curious, gracious, honest and respectful) as well as our Learner Profiles (creativity, resilience, risk-taking, team work, independence and reflection). The Zones of Regulations underpins helping the children identify, acknowledge and understand their feelings. These skills help the children to move onto their future schools with the skill set that allows them to be confident and successful, develop self-esteem and emotional well-being as well as learn strategies to manage challenges they will face. 

An integral part of our PSHE curriculum is Relationships and Sex education (RSE). We highlight the key aspects of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships. 

Through open discussions, debate, scenarios, role plays, freeze-frames and thought-tracking, our bespoke curriculum covers:

  • healthy relationships 
  • positive emotional and mental wellbeing
  • self-respect and self-worth
  • our core school values and a sense of justice
  • our Learner Profile skills
  • an understanding on safer online choices 
  • respect and care for their bodies
  • puberty and adulthood

Latin

At Weston Green School, we are proud to include Latin as a key part of the curriculum in Upper Prep.  Research has shown that learning Latin provides children with a good foundation for other subjects and results in higher academic achievements in other curriculum areas.  It can help verbal, analytic and problem solving which translates into computing, maths and IT skills.
Latin also facilitates the learning of other Romance languages (such as Spanish, French and Italian) as well as helping children understand English grammar and the etymology of so much of their own language.  Naturally, it also provides exposure to ancient history and the Classics which are the foundation of much of our culture. The Minimus scheme we use at Weston Green School is a delightfully child-friendly approach: the books are about a real family who lived at Vindolanda during the 1st century AD and it is deeply rooted in the archaeology of Roman Britain whilst being entertaining and accessible.

Year 6 Enterprise Programme

During their final year in Upper Prep, Year 6 children participate in an exciting Business & Enterprise course called Young Minds At Work which provides a great opportunity to develop enterprise and employability skills and learn about careful money management.

Over the eight week course, which is delivered by an outside agency, the children are tasked with setting up and running a mini-business.  Working in teams they develop product ideas, buy raw materials with a cash loan, pitch business plans and make and then sell products at an Enterprise Fair.

The course is challenging and to make their businesses happen the children need to use the full range of learner profile skills (creativity, resilience, independence, reflection and team work) which they have acquired over their time at Weston Green School.

 

At the end of the course, children receive accreditation certificates and there are awards for the most profitable business and perfect pitch winners.  All profits from sales at the Enterprise Fair will go to the school’s nominated charity and in recent years this amount has regularly been in excess of £600.

Weston Green School Open Morning

Experience our ISA excellent rated prep school for boys and girls aged 2-11 years.  Come to our open morning, hear from our Head Teacher, meet our friendly staff and speak directly with the children about their experiences of our wonderful school!

 

Book your place here