26th May 23
I hope you are all well.
Last Friday saw 19 teams compete in our annual Golf Day. The event was a tremendous success, with
competitors enjoying their golf and tucking into a fine lunch laid on by the team at Knole Park. It was
lovely to chat with those playing and hear about both the fantastic shots and the less successful ones.
I gather some managed to tee off again after lunch for a more “relaxed” round! A huge thank you to
Ali Croft and her team for putting on a wonderful event – we cannot wait for Golf Day 2024.
It was great to add in an extra assembly this week for our pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 so that Ms Juxon could
celebrate their success in the Junior Maths Challenge (a national competition). Well done to everyone who
took part and keep crunching those numbers!
We end the week with Grandparents’ Day and we are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone
on Friday with a special assembly and visits to the classrooms. I always enjoy chatting with our guests,
hearing about their own school experiences and what they think about the current education system – and
learning about what their children were like at school… Coincidentally, I was talking to some pupils the
other day about how school reports have changed over the years and highlighted to them the report below
on John Gurdon, Winner Of 2012 Nobel Prize For Physiology.
What a difference the sunshine and warmth has made this week! I think both the children and staff have
enjoyed the warmer weather and being able to venture outside for their learning.
I have been spending some time with children in Reception this week. It has been wonderful to watch their
superb reading and phonics skills and their progress over the year has been absolutely phenomenal to
watch. This is the time of year when staff from Nursery through to Year 1 write their reports and last week
we gathered together as a team of staff to look at the progress in the children’s work since September and
we were blown away! It was lovely to see some of their previous class teachers from the year before looking
at their books and hear how pleased and proud they were!
I often get asked how we assess the children at such a young age and how do we know that the children are
doing well, so I thought I would give a very brief summary to parents to help understand how we manage
this. In Nursery and Kindergarten, children follow the Early Years Framework, focussing on Prime and
Specific areas of learning. They use observations of the children to inform their planning and also allow for
some directed teaching activities to challenge every pupil. We monitor their progress by reviewing their
goals towards the objectives and reviewing whether the children have shown if they have met these
objectives. In Nursery, we complete a statutory two-year progress check, which takes place when your child
is between age 2 and 3. Mrs Rowland writes these reports and sends them to parents. These reports will
highlight a child’s progress and next steps.
In Reception, children still work towards the Early Years Framework, with a strong emphasis on fully
preparing them for Key Stage 1 in Year 1. At the end of Reception, children will complete a short assessment
in reading, writing and maths which allows us to track and monitor their progress and also inform their Year
1 teacher of their starting points for September. In Years 1 and 2 children follow the National Curriculum and
teachers use a mix of both teacher assessment as well as more formal assessments to monitor their
progress. Children complete some progress tests in English and maths at the start and end of the year. We
review their progress from each point and again, this helps us to track how well the children are doing
towards age-appropriate learning objectives and their progress across the year. We conduct pupil progress
meetings three times a year with each year group, where teachers prepare a full summary of progress and
attainment and present their data to me, Mrs Wake (as leader of KS1), Mrs Rowland (as Head of Early Years)
and Mrs Mott (Pre-Prep SEN Co-Ordinator).
These meetings allow us to plan additional challenge or extension groups as well as support groups for any
identified pupils and ensure that we provide very personal and individualised learning programmes. We also
track our data and compare it to other local schools, as well as national data. This year, I am thrilled to let
you know that our spring term data continues to show that our results are exceptional, with children
achieving very well. Our averages show that our data is more than 25% above that of both local and national
data, which is phenomenal.
Now, I draw my attention to the other part of schooling which makes The Prep so special. Our
extracurricular opportunities and the various experiences that we give to pupils to develop their character,
which leads beautifully into Grandparents’ Day and Maypole dancing. I am so looking forward to celebrating
Grandparents’ Day with you all. The children have been practising their songs for the past few weeks and
cannot wait to see their grandparents and show them all of the wonderful things they do at school. Then,
after this, we have our annual Maypole event at 2pm. The weather looks to be perfect, and I very much
hope that you are able to stay after the event, collect your child and then bring them along to the Pre-Prep
hall to enjoy a well-deserved ice lolly treat!
I hope that you are all able to enjoy a wonderful half term break.