Learning & Teaching
The Lower School: Reception to Year 2
From September 2020, Falcons Prep – Richmond will be opening a Reception class for up to 16 boys aged 4+. Opening a new year group each year until we have a fully formed Lower School made up of a maximum total of 48 boys across Reception – Year 2.
The Lower School will start with one Reception Class of no more than 16 boys, a Head of Early Years (teaching Reception) and a full time Teaching Assistant. As the school grows, more staff will be recruited to fit the requirements.
The expansion of a Lower School will not have an impact on our registered capacity of 250. The school has a target pupil total of just over 200 boys from Reception to Year 8.
As a school, we believe that children are born ready, able and eager to learn and that it is their Early Years which are the most formative and important in setting out their future potential. Four key themes will underpin all that we do in the Lower School at Falcons Prep; a) A Unique Child; b) Positive Relationships c) Enabling Environments d) Learning and Development.
An on-going system of both formative and summative assessment will take place daily to ensure that boys are making progress and meeting the targets set out. The EYFS Profile will be used to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of each child’s attainment and will be shared with parents along their journey and most importantly, during their transition to Year 1.
The curriculum for Reception pupils is based on three general areas and the five specific areas of learning as per the Department for Education’s EYFS Framework.
- Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Development (Learning for Life)
- Physical Development (games, gym)
- Communication and Language
- English/Literacy (phonics, reading, writing and handwriting)
- Mathematics (numeracy)
- Understanding the World (science, history and geography)
- Expressive Arts and Design (art, music and drama)
- Information and Communication Technology (digital literacy)
Years 3 and 4
The National Curriculum is the focus for pupils at Key Stage Two which begins in Year 3. During their time in Years 3 and 4, boys, taught in the nurturing environment of their form classroom for a majority of lessons, consolidate the cornerstones of their learning: reading, writing, Mathematics, comprehension, problem solving and Life Skills. They visit subject specialists (or have them visit them!) for PE, French, Art and Music.
Years 5 and 6
In Years 5 and 6, we begin the sometimes challenging road towards 11+ exit, which is sometimes an option for some of our boys. This necessarily means a keener focus on English Comprehension and Composition, Mathematics and Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning skills. The weekly Learning Habits lesson enables pupils to become better acquainted with VR and NVR tests through fun and challenging activities designed for their enquiring minds with the use of Atom Learning, Bond Online and Planet Bofa Websites.
During these lessons, pupils are taught the basics of metacognition and the benefits of collaborative learning through projects, drama, experiments, problem solving, debate and discussion. Older pupils are able to create their own verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions to challenge each other while putting their learning into practice. Higher order thinking skills and open ended questioning, as advocated by Renzulli, Bloom and de Bono, are other techniques regularly used in lessons, homework and examinations to stretch and challenge pupils.
However, we also recognise the need for balance in a boy’s life. To explore every aspect of a learner’s potential, prioritise the inclusion of subjects like ‘Technology’, Art and Music and provide access to a wealth of clubs inside and outside the School day.
Years 7 and 8
As a matter of course, we prepare pupils for general and scholarship entry to London day and boarding schools at 13+, varying their timetables, mock examinations and curriculum as necessary. In Years 7 and 8, the boys continue to follow an accelerated Common Entrance programme (please find the ISEB CE syllabus here:
Prior to this, subject teachers give boys clear guidance on what is expected of them and the Director of Learning and Innovation will have shown them a variety of revision techniques within their ‘Learning Habits’ lessons. Whilst not bound by the CE syllabus, subject departments continue to refer to it, to ensure that boys are well prepared ahead of joining their Senior Schools in Year 9. We are also committed to supporting those boys who may be considered for an Academic Scholarship and some of those boys may sit mocks in November using past scholarship papers.
After Common Entrance week in June, the children participate in a wide range of leadership and team building activities arranged by the Deputy Head – Pupil Welfare and Wellbeing. This provides the children with the opportunity to work with the teachers responsible for their last years of tuition in a more relaxed manner and to give something back to the school via a dramatic performance, staff barbeque, mosaic or artwork for display or a magazine, or similar activities.
Typical Lesson Allocation Years 3-8
|Subject||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6||Year 7||Year 8|
|Photography/ Robotics/Music Tech||35m||35m|