The Early Years Team at Keble Prep aims to provide a stimulating, active and enthusiastic approach to the boys’ learning, through the use of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Strong Personal, Social and Emotional Development is embedded in everything we do in Reception as we believe that each boy can only thrive when he feels secure and happy; each boy’s well-being is at the heart of our teaching methods.

We support and guide the boys in making the right choices; we promote and encourage independent thinking and in building up their resilience skills; taking risks and learning from mistakes. We make detailed observations and assessments of all the boys and share this knowledge with the parents using an electronic communication forum. This maintains high levels of interactive feedback and communication between parents and staff.

We also believe in delivering the curriculum in dynamic ways; for example we have introduced Singapore style teaching in maths through ‘Maths No Problem’, focusing on problem solving using real life situations and looking at more than one way to find an answer with a range of visual, pictorial and concrete aids. In literacy we have combined the best of a range of synthetic phonics programmes to ensure teaching is inventive, catering to all learning styles and guaranteeing that differentiation is integrated into every lesson.

We foster the theory that boys learn best through hands-on, practical experiences. We deliver this using topics based on the boys’ interests. Having programmes such as ‘Incredible Eggs’ (where we care for ‘just hatched’ ducklings for two weeks) ensures that the boys’ maintain very high levels of interest, allowing them to transfer their skills and understanding from one area of learning to another with ease. The classrooms are always full of life, energy, enthusiasm and buzzing with new ideas!

We are now about to embark on a large and exciting redevelopment of the Reception playground, splitting the 385 metre squared space into two areas. The back wall of the Reception classes will be replaced with glass and bi-folding doors, stretching across the width of Reception to allow for free-flow indoor/outdoor play. This will lead into the first outdoor area which will be devoted to an outdoor classroom. Within this section, different zones will be dedicated to each ‘area of learning’ within our curriculum, giving the boys the opportunity to extend new ideas further through exploration outside in an open-ended, but focused, way. This will include a ‘top of the range’ water wall and water area, sand area, planting area, learning zones for literacy and maths, natural area to promote PSE and UW. Resources will be stored at the boys’ level to allow easy access so that they can manage, resource and extend their learning autonomously and effortlessly.

Beyond this zone will be the active area where the boys can really get adventurous! This will help to promote and encourage creativity and develop imaginative skills as well as strengthen gross- and fine-motor skills. There will be a traffic and road system installed for wheeled toys like bikes and scooters. A new state of the art climbing frame will be fitted with a range of muscle building activities to challenge the boys. We will have an underground tunnel built into a hill with slide and many other features will be included such as climbing, target work to enhance a healthy competitive aspect, a digging area and a mud kitchen. We think this area will give the boys almost limitless opportunities enhance their learning through play, exploration, problem collaboration and, most of all, fun!