Experiment | Explore | Play

Learning through play

At this age, girls learn through experiential play, supported and challenged by our Preschool staff. They enjoy some direct teaching in small groups developing their early phonics and mathematics skills, and specialist lessons.

Engaging topics

Preschool girls explore the same topics as St Mary's Reception girls, with increasing levels of challenge and progression provided for the older girls. We run a two-year topic cycle, which ensures each girl only studies a topic once.

Individual attention

Our low staff to child ratio ensures that girls receive the attention and support they deserve. St Mary's teaching staff and learning assistants are experienced in early years education and excel at sparking imaginations, building confidence and ensuring all girls feel settled and secure in a new environment.

Every girl has an individualised learning programme, suited to her specific development stage and based on our Early Years Curriculum written specifically to appeal to girls. Our approach includes:

  • All 7 Areas of Learning that form the Early Year Foundation Stage
  • Additional components distinct to St Mary's such as lessons in Science, Religious Education and a range of other subjects taught by our specialist subject teachers

Monitoring progression

Our curriculum areas are levelled by age group ranges (2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5 and Exceeding). We track each girl's attainment to gain a full picture of progress which is regularly communicated to parents.

Preparing for School

Preschool girls benefit from specialist teaching delivered by Junior School subject experts. This offers the very best start in all areas of the curriculum and helps girls transition up to Reception and onto Year 1.

As Preschool girls prepare for Reception, they undertake some full-class lessons and focused group work. Once in Reception, homework and reading books for home are introduced and girls begin to join larger activities such as assemblies and house meetings, as part of our wider school community.