If a curriculum is exciting, fun and relevant, the children quickly become engaged in their learning, and half the battle is won! It also keeps the teachers keen and enthusiastic, and that enthusiasm is contagious.
Confidence and competence in the English language, whether read, written or oral, will have an enormous impact on your child’s future, wherever that may lead. From the very beginning we encourage our children to explore and enjoy using our wonderfully rich language. Thousands of worlds lie within the books they read, and they are able to unleash their own creativity in the material they write. Together, we build their listening and communication skills, and help them discover the power of clarity and persuasion.
The tools they need to build all these skills include reading, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Just as important is their ability to think deeply, and always question.
Heywood Prep children have had a lot of success in national competitions, including the BBC 500 Word Challenge.
Our children benefit from:
- The new spelling system devised by the Head of English which enables incremental and transparent progress.
- Specialist teachers
- Gifted and Talented sessions, recent highlights including a modern retelling of ‘The Highwayman’.
- Weekly delivery of verbal reasoning lessons.
The Head of English also leads an annual workshop for parents, giving advice on how they can support their children at home
Maths is an exciting and dynamic subject at Heywood Prep! With enthusiastic specialist teachers, children are supported to get the basics right, creating a strong foundation on which to build their knowledge. Basic number skills are gained through play in the early years. As the children grow older, we build on these skills, increasing the complexity of the strategies they use in line with their natural development.
Our broad and engaging maths curriculum aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics. Varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time helps pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- Can solve 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.
- Our main aim is to develop children’s mathematical reasoning and confidence so that they can achieve their full potential.
Specialist teachers build upon an already strong foundation. They meet, plan and moderate regularly. These teachers have a real understanding of how to stretch the most able and bridge gaps in knowledge. Both specialist teachers in Years 5 and 6 have been well trained to teach using a ‘Maths Mastery’ approach.
Children in Years 5 and 6 are invited to take part in the Primary Maths Challenge each year.
Head of Maths is buildings links with secondary schools in order to run inter-school mathematical events.
Heywood Prep’s Science department consistently storms ahead to explore, excite and inspire the curious and inquisitive. Whilst most schools stick steadily to National Curriculum guidelines, Heywood dares to go further, encouraging pupils to discover more.
Highlights of what Heywood has to offer include:
- Meeting STEM Ambassadors from several scientific and engineering fields
- Handling real lab equipment and learning how to do so safely, such as when extracting DNA, melting substances, exploring reactions and observing osmosis
- Experiencing Space as a vehicle for learning throughout the school as part of our Gold award in the Space Education Quality Mark
- Scientific enquiry lead learning from EYFS to KS2, including opportunities for extension in Gifted and Talented workshops
- Recognition of the real talent and interest for Science many pupils with SEN show, who often find Maths and English challenging.
At the heart of all science lessons is the development of scientific literacy. Enabling pupils to look beyond the face value of their experiences, equipping them with the skills to effectively question and investigate further and ultimately, give them the confidence to deduce, interpret and form their own opinion and understanding. These skills are key in building confident, competent individuals who can face all of life’s challenges far beyond the classroom. Facts certainly strengthen their learning, but critical thinking skills ensure they are well equipped for life.
The Computer Science curriculum at Heywood Prep is dynamic and varied. All students from Year 1 to Year 6 receive lessons covering four main strands. These go beyond traditional ICT lessons, instead focus on developing our students as digital producers, not just consumers.
Programming – led by the principals of computational thinking, students are challenged to develop excellent problem solving skills gaining exposure to a number of graphical and text-based languages.
Digital Citizenship and Online Safety – Keeping children safe online is of vital importance. At Heywood Prep we teach students to be discerning users of technology and through the prep department discuss contemporary issues which affect our digital lives. A Heywood Prep student is a responsible digital citizen who can appreciate the remarkable opportunities the WWW provides us with as well as recognising possible pitfalls. They are equipped to make informed decisions about media choices and the internet in an increasingly digital world.
Multimedia and Core IT Skills – Through Computer Science lessons in the younger years, pupils are given skills, which can be applied in other areas of their learning throughout Prep. This includes document creation but extends to film editing, web design, creating simulations and 3D design and printing.
Robotics – Physical computing and robotics gives the students the opportunity to combine science and engineering knowledge along with their programming skills, designing and building interactive models to achieve a specific goal. Using Lego WeDo 2.0 and Mindstorms EV3 together along with other control resources allows students to develop problem solving and evaluation skills creating exciting learning experiences tied to real-life problems.
In the Prep department, Geography and History are taught as two discrete subjects to allow skills introduced in pre-prep to be further developed. These skills include investigation, research, enquiry and mapping skills. We enhance the learning of the subject through trips including a trip to Salisbury Museum and Life during World War 2 as evacuees at STEAM. There is a link between the Geography and History topics such as Ancient Egypt, linking onto the study of Rivers with the River Nile and life in Ancient Egypt.
Children are encouraged to develop a chronological awareness through the History topics and to understand how to research using a variety of methods such as reading a variety of eye-witness accounts and exploring and discussing a range of artefacts including pictures to build up a bigger picture of what happened during any time period. Children are encouraged to question why events happened and how it influenced life during that time. History is a valued part of the curriculum at Heywood Prep as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world which we live in. We look at how life has changed through the ages so they have a deeper understanding of modern society and they are able to question events and reasons.
In Geography we look at both Physical and Human Geography. We develop mapping skills using atlas work as well as exploring the local area. We encourage children to appreciate the sense of wonder and beauty in the world we live in by exploring our local wonderful Wiltshire countryside and using our local town as a basis for land use mapping and to look at the range of shops found in Corsham. Children complete questionnaires to find out why people are visiting the town and to find out how far they have travelled. In addition to our locality we look at the diversity of human society by comparing different localities both home and abroad, comparing lifestyles and communities. Children are encouraged to present their work in a variety of ways, communicating their findings to their peers and working in groups for research purposes. Throughout Geography we develop geographical vocabulary including plate tectonics, meanders and central business district.
In both History and Geography more able learners are extended and challenged with different research projects and mapping skills and these children are actively encouraged to question their findings and discuss these results with both their teacher and peers. We have a cross curricular approach with Geography and History linking the subjects into Science, Computer Science and Art.
Heywood pupils love their art and that enthusiasm is cherished and nurtured here. With a well equipped Art Room which also houses a kiln, our curriculum aims to stimulate creativity and imagination by introducing pupils to a wide range of media and a variety of techniques. Emphasis is placed upon observational drawing and pupils in the prep department are encouraged to keep sketchbooks to develop their own personal style. The study of Art History underpins the practical art curriculum and encourages pupils to cultivate a critical appreciation of art.
We regularly invite artists into school to work with the pupils. The results of recent projects with visiting local artists, Emma Leith and Anya Beaumont, adorn the walls of the local Springfield Community Campus. We have recently introduced a yearly programme of Saturday workshops for pupils and parents. Pupils capable of more advanced study or who have a passionate interest in the subject are invited to participate in a Special Art Club at lunchtime in order to help them build up a scholarship portfolio.